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With our obsession over the 36-28-36, we’ve misinterpreted the word “Fit”. Well, not just fit, we’ve drawn and used words completely out of context. A primary example would be the use of the word “healthy” which originally meant, “someone who is in a physically and mentally fit state of mind”, but has now gone on to describe a person who is slightly overweight.
The unrealistic standards of beauty, especially the obsession over body curves, have damaged us more than we tend to realize. We have as a society created a stiff mold in the name of “fitness”. Our parameters might influence a few into reaching for a healthier body but more often than not, we keep people away from accepting their bodies and striving hard enough to fit into the standard mold.
If we tend to educate ourselves better, bodies are of different sizes and shapes. Some have broad shoulders, while some have a broader pelvis. Some of us are short in terms of our height while some are tall. A healthy weight is determined based on one’s height and similarly, not everyone can have the same hourglass curves since everybody has a different body structure. In this article, we shall be talking about Health At Every Size (HAES).
What is Health At Every Size (HAES)?
“Health At Every Size” believes in acceptance of the diversity in body shapes. Since no two bodies are the same, how can they be expected to follow the same parameters of health? Health At Every Size talks about the acceptance that one needs to achieve for their bodies. It stands against the different diets popular these days, that encourage starvation and restrict consumption of food. At the same time, it encourages healthy eating. Overeating or binge eating is what it stands against. It encourages people to have a grip on their self-esteem and not let their body image issues deteriorate.
Does HAES condemn losing weight?
A major conception built around HAES is that since it is against dieting, it is also against losing weight and in a way encourages obesity.
HAES does not condemn or stand against losing weight. It stands against starving oneself for the sake of fitting into the unrealistic parameters of beauty. Obesity is a long-prevailing disease in our society and has been a cause of at least 50% of the heart strokes suffered by people. HAES understands that obesity isn’t healthy and encourages losing weight if you’re obese. But what it stands against is taking your body away from the healthy weight zone and striving to be “lean” or “skinny”.
At the same time, it also does not believe in consuming more than one’s diet in order to gain weight. Instead of running blindly behind a diet, HAES encourages people to bring about a change in their behavior, their routine, and eating habits. It believes that the goal has to be larger than just losing weight, it should rather be about becoming healthier. If a person eats nutritious food in an adequate amount and also exercises daily, they can easily become healthier than before, have metabolism and as a result of all this, they would also lose weight.
How to follow HAES?
There isn’t a well-planned diet that you need to spend a lot on to get to a perfect shape. Instead, what you need to do is, understand your body, its needs, it’s functioning, and discover what is the best for it. Once you understand what is good for your body, you need to set up a good enough routine for yourself which includes the right amount of nutrients and also the right amount of physical training. Following this routine, you’ll be able to reach your goal of a healthier body.
One must know their body, understand it and most importantly, listen to it. When you eat, you must know what your body demands and consume it accordingly. You know when you’re hungry, instead of procrastinating or suppressing your hunger, you should treat your tongue and stomach with the right amount of food.
Also, no matter how delicious the food is, you must remember the capacity of your stomach and know when to stop. As soon as your stomach starts to feel full, you shouldn’t try to test its limits and stop eating.
A lot of people tend to binge eat and keep munching some of the other snacks when they find themselves anxious, stressed, or excited. One must understand that no matter how much a problem affects you, there is always a better way to deal with it rather than just overeating and adding unnecessary calories to your body. One can go for a walk, work out or even just practice some easy stretching exercises to improve their metabolism and keep themselves fitter.
Working out not just helps you in burning the excess calories that get stored in your body, but it also increases the amount of serotonin produced in your body. Serotonin is known as the happy hormone. It not only activates our body and gives it the energy to work more efficiently, but it also uplifts our moods and makes us happier.
HAES is a widely misunderstood concept. A lot of people believe that HAES stands against losing weight. Instead, what HAES stands for is acceptance towards one’s body and working on yourself to get into a healthier lifestyle. One needs to accept their body as it is and then understand what would be good for it. Once the goal is known, the person should work hard, follow a good and healthy lifestyle and achieve a healthier body.
As a part of HAES, one needs to start consuming more nutritious food. Eat healthily and eat in adequate amounts. Do not starve yourself, and nor do you need to overeat. Also, working out whenever you feel stressed out or anxious is a better idea than binge eating. Do not try to fit into the unrealistic beauty parameters. Instead, find what is good for your body and achieve it.