Weighing in on Weight Bias

I recently presented at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating's annual fall conference. One of the other speakers, psychotherapist Carmen Cool, gave a thought-provoking and perspective-shifting presentation on weight bias and the Health at Every Size (R) (HAES) movement.

HAES is a weight-neutral approach to health and well-being that accepts, respects and celebrates body diversity.  The organization advocates that healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes and has scientific research to prove it.
 
Carmen's belief, which I wholeheartedly agree with, is that "we can't make assumptions about other people's health or their habits based on the size of their body."

As our culture has conditioned us to make assumptions about and negatively or positively judge others (and ourselves) based on body size, it can be tough to undo this deeply ingrained programming.  It takes commitment and perseverance, but it can be done by starting with examining and reshaping our own mindsets.
 
I encourage you to explore your weight biases and body diversity beliefs by asking yourself the following questions:

What opinions, judgments, assumptions, stereotypes and stories surface when I observe a human body--my own or someone else's (e.g., lazy, lacking willpower, unhealthy, disciplined, motivated, healthy, starving, bad eater, ignorant, perfect eater, popular, etc.)?

How do my beliefs prevent me from discovering and engaging with someone's (or my own) true essence?

What steps can I take to become weight-neutral?  How might my life change?