What I'm Consuming [Top Reads]

As I’ve shared before, I constantly have my nose in a book or my ears plugged into a podcast.

I especially have a big appetite for content regarding food and body liberation, like Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size.

Here are a few recent articles that really resonated with me (and many others!). Perhaps they will with you, too.

Smash the Wellness Industry
“The diet industry is a virus, and viruses are smart. It has survived all these decades by adapting, but it’s as dangerous as ever. In 2019, dieting presents itself as wellness and clean eating, duping modern feminists to participate under the guise of health.”

What Does Intuitive Eating Even Mean?
“If you find that you’re counting things, that’s not intuitive eating,” says [Evelyn Tribole, co-author of Intuitive Eating]. If there’s something called a cheat day, that’s not intuitive eating. If someone’s promising weight loss, that’s not intuitive eating.”

(To learn more about the basics of Intuitive Eating, head on over to here.)

What Happens When You Put a Kid on a Diet
This heartbreaking story is sadly one I’ve heard hundreds of times.

“If you are an adult putting kids on weight loss diets, restricting their eating, or telling them they can’t trust their body, you are an adult who is saying that the risk of a lifetime of struggle—a lifetime of self-hatred, a lifetime of disordered eating, a lifetime of not trusting oneself—is worth the possibility of a brief moment of thinness."

When Did "Fat" Become an Insult?
"For much of history...'excess body fat [was] a symbol of wealth and prosperity as the general population struggled with food shortages and famine, as we can see in Renaissance portraits celebrating full-figured women.”

I’ll be sharing more of my favorite content in the future, so stay tuned…

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?