I'm tickled pink to let you know that on next Tuesday, November 24 I will be interviewing Dr. Linda Bacon, the author of the book, "Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight" in a live Google Hangout entitled, "Health At Every Size For more details on that event, scroll to the bottom of this post.
Back in 2013, I first met and interviewed Health At Every Size author, Linda Bacon, Ph.D. She was on my Lovin' the Skin You're In radio show. In 2014 Linda teamed up with Lucy Aphramor, Ph.D, RD, and they co-authored the book, "Body Respect." The Health At Every Size" philosophy is the cornerstone and foundation for the book, "Body Respect."
Here I'd like to share my thoughts on my radio interview with Linda discussing her book, "Health At Every Size."
Most people can relate to the pain and anguish that comes with feeling like something is wrong with their body and that they have to lose weight. Carrying around that burden is stressful. In fact, it's so stressful that research shows that nearly 98% of all people who lose weight on a diet, will regain their weight within less than 5 years.
Have you been feeling like you've been a victim of your own body wars? Want to know how to win the war against fat? You’ve got to stop fighting. Did you know that fat isn’t the problem? Dieting is. And self-love and more self-care is actually the solution?
Why HAES is Hailed by the New York Times
You can learn more about this in best-selling author and scientist, Dr. Linda Bacon’s book, “Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight.” The New York Times hails her book saying, “In the long run, the ‘Health at Every Size approach works better than dieting.”
At the end of this Juicy Woman blogpost, you’ll see an audio player for the fascinating “Lovin’ the Skin You’re In” episode with Dr. Bacon.
Looking for a solution
After struggling for years with yo-yo dieting and feeling terrible about her weight and eating, Linda sought the answers by turning to science. After three graduate degrees she learned that the messages that we get in our culture around why we weigh what we do and what we’re supposed to do to get healthier bodies, just aren’t grounded in science and they often backfire.
No More Dieting
When she made the bold decision to give up on all the old dietary rules and stop watching her weight in an effort to get thinner, her issues around food and her body changed.
Giving herself permission to eat the foods she loved when she wanted to eat them, she began to notice distinctions in how they made her body feel.
Slow Down and Listen to Your Body
In talking about her former relationship with chocolate she says,
“When I had that sense that chocolate was bad and that it had too many calories, and it was going to make me fat, then I couldn’t ever hear the message of chocolate. When I was going to eat it, I would just be consumed with guilt and when I let go of all of these ideas about food and instead just
paid attention to what the food could teach me, it was amazing to see that the
food could actually talk.
When I ate chocolate, I learned to eat slowly and to be mindful about it and to notice it in my mouth as it was dissolving and all the wonderful sensations and how great it tasted, I started to do that and my body was giving me these sensations where I noticed that it tasted amazing right away, but after a few bites there was a little bit of a calming down and the chocolate didn’t taste as fantastic anymore.” She explained the reason for this is that there are taste buds that actually get turned down after your calorie needs are being met.
By making the choice to stop being enslaved by all the diet rules, and instead tune into your body’s wisdom, and pay attention to your hunger, you will be able to be sensitive to when your urge for a food changes, making it easier to stop eating. You can always go back and eat that same food again when you get hungry. The goal is to enjoy the food at the height of its deliciousness and to avoid the tendency to settle for anything less.
How to Regulate Your Blood Sugar
With her Ph.D in the science of Physiology, Linda discovered that the amount of food you eat has a direct result on your blood sugar. She says, “If you eat smaller amounts, it supports a much healthier blood sugar. If you binge on chocolate, your body would have to release a lot of insulin to help all the sugar get into the cells and over time that can cause damage.
If you eat just a few bites of something, then you just release a smaller amount of insulin, and the insulin can get into the cells and help to nourish you in a healthy, positive way. And then if you go back to eating the sugar half an hour later, you’ll just trigger a small response so this means that you can eat the same amount of chocolate, but if you eat it more slowly, your body supports you in healthy blood sugar regulation and that same amount of sugar is not going to be damaging to you.”
Here are some of Dr. Bacon’s tips to make the (Health at Every Size) HAES approach work for you:
It’s a process: Understand that this new mindset will take time to adopt. Be patient with yourself and avoid being judgmental. Take on the role of
being a curious observer.
Commit to being mindful: Eat the foods you want and put the focus on
how you feel after eating. Expect that there will be a period of time when you
will overeat. Those episodes will become fewer as you gain trust in your body’s ability to signal you to stop eating when you’re no longer physically hungry. Keep in mind that you can always go back and eat again when you’re hungry.
Eat a variety of foods: Rather than focusing on avoiding certain foods or food groups, put a new emphasis on adding foods, especially those that are fresh and come from nature. Don’t like fruit and veggies? It may be because you haven’t really tried them fresh off the vine. Produce purchased at the supermarket is often tasteless and bland.
Shop for a higher quality: Buy fresh from the farm or a farmers’ market. Be adventurous, experiment and try new recipes. Linda and her son like
to roast carrots in maple syrup or toss them in a mustard vinaigrette. Try out
your favorite sauce on veggies to add a whole new dimension. When you enjoy what you’re eating, you can absorb more nutrients from that food.
Be loving and respectful with your body: First have compassion for
yourself. You’ve been getting messages for so long that your weight makes you unattractive. It’s not true.
The answer is to recognize that this is not fair or respectful so it’s up to you to give yourself new messages about your body. Find ways to see your body in a more empowered light.
If you feel bad about your body, it’s going to be hard to nourish it and want to take care of it. To break that sense of shame and frustration, pay attention to how you feel. Honor your emotions. Ask for what you need. Notice if you really want another piece of chocolate or if you’re looking for a hug.
Be grateful: Pay attention to all the ways that your body serves and
supports you. Be thankful for the body you have and for what you’re able to do.
Beat the Heat: To release the feelings of being pressured to lose
weight, identify why you want to be thinner. Now ask yourself, “How can I get this right now?”
Seek out role models: Find people whose bodies are similar in size and shape to yours and learn what they do to feel good about themselves.
Spend time with others who are comfortable with their bodies. Focus on being happier and more fulfilled in your life and stop looking at weight loss as a goal.
Become your own authority: Educate yourself and learn more about
nutrition and how different foods affect you. Experiment and try things out and be curious.
Move more: Find ways of being more physically active that you enjoy.
Choose a size-friendly doctor: Recognize that most doctors are weight biased because they have not been properly educated in weight control. Take charge of your health by making a conscious decision about your physician.
Above all, know that your body and your happiness is your responsibility.
To expand your thinking and open yourself up to new possibilities, you can check out the free Health At Every Size Community Resource site at http://www.haes.org for more information. There you can get connected with other people who are also on Health at Every Size journeys and you can learn about the bloggers, doctors, therapists, dieticians, nutritionists, and various other providers that support the Health at Every Size journey.
For more information on Linda and to buy her book, "Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight," visit her site at http://www.lindabacon.org
And as promised, here is the complete show for you to enjoy. Click below to download: