Health at Every Size
Health at every size (HAES) is a philosophy that promotes health and well-being for all people, without focusing on body weight or size.
The HAES Principles for Individuals:
Cherish Your Body Today
- Accept and respect the journey of your body, not a destination.
- Honor that your health and well-being are multi-dimensional; they include physical, social, spiritual, occupational, emotional, and intellectual aspects.
- Honor the right to health and well being for your body at the size you are right now and at any size you may become.
- Eat in a manner which balances your nutritional needs, hunger, satiety, appetite, and pleasure.
- Honor your desire for appropriate, enjoyable, life-enhancing strengthening physical activity, rather than exercise that is focused solely on a goal of weight loss.
From Amy Pershing, LMSW, ACSW - used with permission.
10 Steps to Health at Every Size(copyright Peggy Elam, PhD, LMT)
1. Stop weighing yourself. Shift your focus from weight and body fat to healthy behaviors and fitness.
2. Live now, not in the past or future. Live your life as if you were at your desired weight - including wearing beautiful, comfortable clothing in your present size.
3. Eat well and mindfully. Enjoy your food. Let nothing be off-limits - there are no forbidden foods.
4. Listen to your body and give yourself and your body what you need to thrive: balanced nutrition, adequate sleep and regular exercise.
5. Love and accept yourself as you are, and others as they
are. Refuse to engage in fat prejudice toward yourself or others.
6. Feed your soul with meaningful and enjoyable recreation, relationships, work and spirituality. Clear out toxic environments/relationships/behavior patterns. Build a nourishing community, surrounding yourself with size friendly people (friends, therapists, doctors) and images of happy, successful people of all sizes.
7. Connect mind and body. Increase body awareness through yoga, walking meditation, tai chi, massage and bodywork, and movement therapy (such as NIA or Feldenkrais). Focus on what your body can do and how good it can feel.
8. Decrease self-criticism and body judgment, increase positive, supportive self-talk. Talk to yourself and your body the way you would a cherished friend or loved one.
9. Address any emotional eating or body image issues
independent of weight change. Attitudes and opinions are easier (and healthier) to change than body size.
10. Invest time and money in yourself rather than the diet industry.
See "recommended resources" page for resources that support the HAES philosophy.
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