Eating disorders professionals are frequently using a philosophy called “Health At Every Size” (HAES) to help people recover. It is based on the idea that we can help people be healthier – physically, mentally, socially – if we take the focus off weight and instead focus on compassionate self-care and respect for body diversity in size and shape.
Here are 5 things to acknowledge and accept:
- The fashion, beauty, health, diet and fitness industries profit billions of dollars every year off telling you that you need to change your body.
- The eating disorder uses these messages against you as a way to protect itself.
- Your body already knows what weight it needs to be in order to be healthy.
- True health is a complex interplay of your body’s physical functioning, mental health, and social well-being. (definition from the World Health Organization)
- All bodies deserve love, kindness and respect. Regardless of their size or shape.
When we take care of ourselves all-around, we will be healthy. That’s not to say we won’t ever have health issues. However, the key is to treat the underlying issue and not to focus on weight loss as a cure. There is plenty of research that shows dieting – even under the guise of “health” – actually causes more harm than good. Sadly, most doctors don’t even realize this.
Even with all of the research that counters the cultural beliefs about health and weight, this information is still not well-known. As you are empowered with more information, you can use it to help you heal from your eating disorder.