Mindful eating is an intuitive, non-restrictive approach to food and hunger. What does your body really want? Are you eating to sustain your physical body or to appease your mind or emotions? It is a kinder and more compassionate way to treat yourself and your body.
Self-acceptance is all about acknowledging your body size and learning to treat yourself kindly and expect the same of others. Every BODY is deserving of respect, care, and basic human rights from both ourselves and society.
Your amygdala, or "lizard brain" has evolved to protect you from danger. This means that if, for some reason, your brain believes the best way to keep you safe is to prepare for famine, it will prevent the normal expenditure of energy by any means possible.
There are many co-morbid physical conditions that are important to address to give yourself the best chance for overall wellbeing. Polycycstic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), endocrine disorders, sleep disorders, and nutrient deficiency can all add levels of complexity to regaining health.
Many "things" are designed for "normal" size people. For the obese, even a ride on public transportation can be a painful and potentially traumatizing experience. Inclusive design to accomodate larger bodies can help us move about freely and break down fatism in public spaces.
There is a huge prevalence of psychological disorders (depression, anxiety disorder, PTSD, ADHD, etc) in obese individuals. Screening for mental health, rather than just treating one of the many symptoms, is essential for long term health.
Food addiction and compulsive overeating play into many obese lives. An addiction model of treatment may not be right for everyone, but it can help shed light on how our brains react to some foods and how we can break the cycle of eating for our minds and not our bodies.
The Health at Every Size movement was developed to unbalance the idea that body size is an appropriate indicator for health. It utilizes a model for health based on body acceptance, mindful eating, and physical vitality.
Extra weight can prevent us from enjoying a full range of human movement. Focusing physical recovery on the ability to move, rather than weight or size loss, can free us from the oppression of prevailing beauty ideals.
Obesity is both complex and individual in nature. It is, essentially, a symptom of a suite of mental, physical, and cultural concerns which all need to be considered during treatment. Is it simple? No. But that should not stop us from caring, investigating, or broadening our research.
We strive to facilitate the shift to this alternative perspective, especially in wider society. An essential part of combatting discrimination and promoting health is centralising these concerns and making them available for browsing. Only once we step out of our narrow view of obesity and begin to really address the roots of it can we sow the seeds for a healthier future.
Neural connections are like muscles that can be built or atrophied. It is important to be gentle and kind with yourself when trying to change habits you are unhappy with by realising that your brain may be slow to accept changes but that it will, with practice, get there in the end.