Saint Paul HAES® Therapist
Health At Every Size® (HAES®) is a social justice movement that embraces size diversity as equal to every other type of diversity present in humanity. As a HAES® Advocate, I operate from the knowledge that health is independent from the size of one’s body and I believe strongly that diet culture does far more damage than good. Unfortunately, in recent years, diet culture has gone underground, disguising itself as a “health and wellness” culture, promising that “it’s a lifestyle, not a diet!” while still encouraging a restrictive mindset around food that ultimately damages one’s mental, emotional, and physical health. As a HAES® Advocate, my hope is that I can help you trust your body to communicate what it wants and needs in terms of food, movement, spirituality, and self-care, and that the proof of well-being will be in your mental and emotional health, not in the number on a scale. I work with people experiencing body-image and eating issues on a regular basis, and as a HAES® advocate, I strive to help these clients accept themselves for who they are. If you’re interested in learning more about HAES® or scheduling a therapy session, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
What is HAES®?
HAES® is not a therapy technique or specific service, it’s a social movement. HAES® advocates are dedicated to helping people lead healthier lives and spread acceptance of size diversity. It encourages people to accept themselves and others for who they are and support healthy diet and lifestyle choices. HAES® is based firmly in scientific research that debunks the commonly held belief that body size/weight is an indicator of a person’s health. The truth is, there are many facets to a person’s overall health and well-being, including genetics, stress, trauma history, mental health, emotional support, family relationships, socioeconomic status, access to healthcare, environmental factors, and more. Diet is one tiny part of what makes up a person’s health, and in elevating weight as the primary indicator of health, pressure is put on the individual to change their diet, to take in less (or different) types of food, while completely ignoring the factors that make weight loss an unlikely, and unhealthy goal.
Read the HAES® Manifesto
If you want to learn more about HAES®, I recommend you start by reading the HAES® Manifesto. This document summarizes the belief system and confronts some false beliefs that have damaged our culture’s perception of body image.
What Can I Do Now to Incorporate HAES® Beliefs?
The first step to incorporating the beliefs of the HAES® movement is to accept your size – whatever it is. Step away from the scale, stop planning your life around your ideal weight, and start enjoying your life as you are. Next, you need to reestablish self-trust. Your body is designed to be healthy and functional. Listen to it. When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re full, stop. Most of all, allow yourself to enjoy eating and stop denying yourself the foods you love. Next, start finding the joy in movement. You were made to be active, and increasing your movement is essential to maintaining your ideal level of health. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym. Take a walk. Turn up the radio and dance. Go for a swim. Just dedicate some time every day to being active. Finally, embrace size diversity. See beauty in people of every shape and size and encourage those around you to learn to accept themselves at any weight and value size diversity.