Many of you know I believe in a healthy lifestyle or the Health at Every Size Movement http://www.haescommunity.org/.
How do you determine the success of a health regiment or diet? I would wager that 90% of you would answer “weight loss” or if you didn’t you probably would be thinking ‘weight loss’ in your head but saying something more socially acceptable.
Here’s the thing- THAT IS WRONG!!
Every day there seems to be more evidence that the link between weight, even obesity, and actual health is not as strong as we once thought. This defies the logic of the ‘war on obesity’, Michele Obama, scores of trainers/dieticians but that doesn’t mean it is not true.
Read this book. It will BLOW YOUR MIND
To start the book Dr Bacon (I know ironic last name) shares her testimonial. Here it is directly from the book:
This quote might lead you to believe the book is merely anecdotal but its not. There is real science to back up what she says about eating healthy, being happy and not worrying about weight. She leaves no stone unturned answering questions about diabetes, cholesterol, heart disease, bone density, and even has the most brilliant defense against gastric bypass I’ve ever read. I’m telling you it will change the way anyone, not just the obese, look at eating, health and exercise. Here is my favorite (this is also quoted in Amy Farrell’s brilliant book Fat Stigma):
“In this study, a group of fat women was divided into 2 groups, one receiving coaching in restrictive eating (diet) and exercise, the other being encouraged to eat a healthy diet, listen to their bodies cues, to foster ways to engage in fun exercise and take part in a fat acceptance discussion group.
Significantly group 1- the traditional diet/exercise group- initially lost weight, but by the end half had dropped out; most had regained weight; blood pressure, cholesterol, and other metabolic measures had not improved and self-esteem levels had dropped.
In contrast, group 2 hadn’t lost any weight, but most stayed with the 2 year program; their blood pressure, cholesterol, and other metabolic measures had improved dramatically; their self-esteem levels increased substantially; and they exercised regularly. Encouraged to pay attention to their bodies, to stop restricting calories, to fight the discrimination they experienced as fat people, and to enjoy their bodies through physical movement and eating well- the non-dieters showed significant health improvements. But, and this is the key point, they never became thin.”
Doesn’t that blow your mind?
One of Dr. Bacon’s patients describes her battle and realization of her own worth so beautifully:
I recently have become aware of the activist Jeanette DePatie, otherwise known as The Fat Chick. She gets it. I wish someone had explained this to me when I started exercising (instead I went into it expecting to lose 100 lbs in the first year. Sigh…)
I am happy most of the time. I love my life most of the time. I have times when I’m more fit than others but I’ve basically looked the same since I was 17 years old and I was always ashamed by that, like it was this big failure I could never overcome. Now I just make sure I have clothes that fit me in lots of sizes and work out at least 3 times a week. Would I like to be skinny? Yes, but I’m finally not convinced I’d be any happier if I was (or healthier). The guilt is for the most part gone.
I hope this encourages all of you. I started my journey saying I was the Only Happy Fat Woman in America and I had friends who fought me on it. They thought I was just being patronizing or disingenuous but it was true then and today it is still true (I really had someone argue with me saying I was basically full of crap. Not true). TV will make you believe you have to be miserable if you are fat (biggest loser sorry) but its a lie! Be healthy, be happy, be human, have bad days, eat cake and then work out for an hour the next day, find stuff you love, therapies that work and live the best life you can.
Every time Tanya and I swim together people look and have a surprised expression. I know they think ‘I’ve never seen a girl that looks like do what they are doing’ and that makes me so happy. It may be my greatest legacy of all.
So thats what I have to say on that. Get active. Be happy. Love life and Follow God.
I would also just add that my times in the water when I’m at my thinnest and best trained is about 3 minutes faster than when I’m not. My recovery is much better but my time really isn’t. Funny. It just goes to show what your definition of success makes such a difference in achieving it. If I was only focused on times I’d never be successful.