Jeez, I’m totally annoyed now with the “Health At Every Size” people now. I’ve been basically blackballed by them, because I continue to maintain that weight loss is a good thing if done in a rational manner.
I totally understand their criticisms of the Diet-Industrial Complex. I am a woman who has a family history of a poisoned relationship with food, I have a poisoned relationship with food that I’m working towards healing, I also find empowerment in making good food choices, learning to eat real food and enjoy it in an intuitive, non self-recriminating manner, and in being active.
However, I see the value of being lighter, being less physically, mentally and spiritually weighed down by the extra fat I’m carrying, and in finding a rational, natural and sustainable way of slowly losing it.
This, of course, is the new no-no with the Health At Every Size movement. This is their fundamental of the faith. As my rejection letter stated:
“We have strict criteria not to put people into the Registry who are supporting weight loss or the idea that thinner is better. We want to make it safe for anyone exploring links not to be exposed to those messages. Unfortunately, as your blog still clearly states that you think weight loss is a good idea, we are unable to add you to the registry at this time.”
So here’s the rub. If I become part of their movement I have to absolutely adhere to the letter of a new no-weight-loss philosophy. If I can still see the value of becoming a less fat chick, if I can still see the value of feeling healthier because I’m lighter, and I speak publicly about it, I have committed an unpardonable sin and do not belong in their fellowship.
For crying out loud, if I wanted to become a friggin fundamentalist I wouldn’t have left Hebrew Christianity! I left it in the early ’80s over a careful Bible study that made me convinced that strict adherence to the commandments within the TaNaCh and the New Testament would mean giving up my core conviction about the equality of men and women! When faced with the strict rules that circumscribe a “good Christian woman” and her life choices, and seeing the roots of these rules in the chapter-and-verse of scripture, I had to make a choice. Follow my heart or follow the pages of a book. I chose my heart.
There apparently is no value, in their eyes, to a balanced approach. Their response to my blog is essentially a prohibitionist response. What I feel in my heart about what I’m doing from a health and fitness perspective is that keeping balance is the most important thing. Learning to love my body no matter what size I am at present and what size I ultimately end up is a hard thing, but ultimately it’s the best way to go.
I know how wrong it is to judge people on their size. That is the important work that needs to be done…reversing all these decades of fat shaming, unrealistic body images and impossible-to-meet standards of beauty and normalcy. This is part of my philosophy too. These people are doing important work, vital work, and it’s backed up by current science. I still like the book Health At Every Size and will continue to recommend it.
However, I cannot deny the truth of how I feel now. I am healthier now at 195 pounds than I was at 218 pounds. I feel better and stronger because of the fact that most of the effort is going into being physical. Strength training, aerobic training… powerful stuff. I will not keep silent and conform no matter who is asking me to. I FEEL BETTER AND STRONGER NOW. I am willing to bet I’m healthier as well. We’ll know for sure when the chem panels come back from my 12/12 visit to the clinic, but I think I can be confident of the outcome even now. So if that makes me a heretic. so be it. I can’t deny the truth I feel.