Weight, Body Image, HAES

A good friend had dropped out of my life several years ago — something like five — and turned back up again a bit more than a month ago. In talking with her and catching her up on the events in my life, I mentioned that my current frustration is with my weight. More specifically, I am tired of looking like a blue meany, and frustrated by the fact that I am getting more exercise than I have since my 20s, eatting better, and am in better health than in the last decade. . . I remain apple shaped.

Dragonsgrail immediately told me “You need to start Working with the Venus of Willendorf.” She had more to say, but I was already looking at my altar and going through my dishes of objet ‘d’magique. I’ve owned a small Venus de Willendorf since my college years, but hadn’t ever Worked with Her. She promptly went on my altar and I relegated my subconscious to figuring out what ‘Working with Her’ meant.

A week ago a book came into my life — Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Linda Bacon.¬† This book posits — and proves — that fat isn’t the problem, dieting and societal attitudes are. That the studies that show that nearly EVERY aspect of dis-ease and un-health that the medical establishment has “proven” results from being fat are, in fact, untrue. That being “thin” has higher rates of heart disease, cancer, strokes, and organ failure. (The only aspect she does not touch upon is the pain of joints from having to move extra weight around.)

Bacon has developed a program that focuses on¬†creating positive self-esteem and finding joy in one’s self. It’s a plan to take care of one self, whatever that means. She argues that in taking care of one’s self, we will create new and healthy patterns. She argues that a person who cares about them self doesn’t WANT a lot of sugar and fat, that we reach for those things when we are bored, nervous, stressed, <fill in the blank with negative situation/emotion>. She argues that a person who cares about themself finds ways to move that are fun, not punishing. And when we find things we enjoy doing, we’ll do them.

In other words, when we love ourselves and are paying attention to our needs, we will eat less and exercise more without stress or the snese of having to catch up or fit in or match an external expectation.

For the past few days, I’ve been working the precepts Bacon gave me. I’ve been paying attention to when I am hungry, eating only as much as I am comfortable with, and exploring what I want to eat (and trying to get it, or something very close). I’m trying to eat with attention, and slowly, so that I can tell when I am full. Most of what I eat is tasty, so I’ve never been one to bolt my food, but slowing down even further has done a good job of focusing my attention.

I’m contemplating adding a yoga class to my routine, and I’d like to find time for another KB class each week. That feels like a good balance of things I like to do.

I know my friend Diana has mentioned this book in passing, but I’m pretty sure it was reading Diane Sylvan’s blog that brought it to my attention NOW. And as I look over at my altar and see my Venus lying there next to my athame and cauldron, I can’t help but think that this is Her answer to my plea.

Oh, and have I mentioned that Diana is my Matroness?

3 thoughts on “Weight, Body Image, HAES

  1. Linda Bacon

    I’m honored to participate in your journey, Lisa. Sounds you like you’re on a great path. The one point you mentioned that I missed in my book – I did address this in a FAQ on my website: http://www.lindabacon.org/faqs_joint%20difficulties.html. Thanks to Dianna too for the kind words. But sadly, it’s my holiday resolution to be less available – it’s taken a toll – just not so good for me to be so overextended and I need to put more attention to taking care of myself. But I do have tons of resources that I make available to support people in learning to take joy in their bodies. Check out my book’s website (www.haesbook.com), my website (www.lindabacon.org) and the HAES Community Resources (www.HAESCommunity.org) if you’d like more. Oh – one correction: I didn’t develop HAES. It was around long before I came onto the scene, tested it in a research study, and described its major aspects in my book. There’s a huge community of people participating in it and finding their own way, as you can see if you visit the HAES Community Resources.
    Anyway, it’s great to see this blog. Wishing you all best in your journey…
    Linda Bacon

  2. lisa Post author

    Mucho thanks for the feedback and the links.

    Also: GOOD FOR YOU for taking care of yourself. You’ve got to live what you preach, right? I know how hard that is to do — I’m terrifically bad at taking care of myself. Having cancer helped break that bad habit, but it’s still a factor in my life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.