Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Stories - Prochaska, HAES and Food Guides

Ottawa personal trainer Jean Luc Boissonneault is on a Canada Food Guide weight gain adventure.

Debra Sapp-Yarwood reconciles maintaining a weight loss with Health at Every Size.

Arya covers the fact that Prochaska's famous stages of change may not always easily apply to weight management.

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  1. Anonymous12:21 pm

    Thank you for linking Debra. Not because she writes well and her observations are interesting, but because her tales of weight maintenance hardship paradoxically makes it more bearable for me to lose weight. It is nice to know that I am not the only one who finds this terribly hard.

  2. It's great that you linked to Debra. Her blog is wonderful. However, she doesn't actually use Health at Every Size. She manages her weight very carefully, and HAES is all about concentrating on habits and letting your weight take care of itself. Ask her, and she'll tell you the same thing.

  3. Hi, Dee. You're right. I'm failed HAES, but I'm a foaming-at-the-mouth Size Acceptance advocate. That is because we don't have this weight puzzle figured out, and "we" includes arrogant doctors (present company excluded) who continue to recommend a simplistic eat-less-move-more paradigm that they see as merely an issue of "compliance" v. "noncompliance" (grrrrr!). One thing I do know, we must stop hating on fat people. That's doing nothing to advance health. No one chooses a BMI beyond a narrow range, and, in this culture, virtually no one chooses a "morbidly obese" BMI (with a tiny number of mental health exceptions).

    Now, as for anonymous, I "get" you! In the year-long process of writing the blog, it was so affirming to have people come out of the closet (drop any "inspirational" pretense they have been type cast into displaying) and confess to how stinking complicated weight-loss maintenance is, especially since our body's are dynamic and throw surprises at us. We fight cultural demons, hormonal demons, orthopedic demons and the naivete of family and friends who have NO CLUE, because their only impressions come from a barrage of media messages that reduce it all to a zippy lifestyle.

    Before I started writing my blog I was so discouraged. I was ANGRY, mad as Hell, that no one seemed to get it. And even fellow maintainers, at their blogs, because of cultural pressure I guess, slapped on a happy face and tried to remain optimistic and inspirational. In the grand scheme, I can see how that might seem more "sane," more productive, but sanity cannot be rooted in a lie. Trouble is, no one, to my knowledge, other than me, has called out the lifestyle myth as a lie. But, boy, people sure have agreed with me, and that feels good. And it's oddly inspiring. I have found it easier now to continue with my maintenance, stoically instead of angrily, because I've spewed a lotta personal truth and been affirmed for it mostly. (And the trolls mostly go away after a few comments.)

    By the way, Yoni, thanks for the link. I've had 181 visitors so far from it, according to my stats.

  4. I'm an example of what HAES does. Some people have atrocious habits. These people might lose a lot of weight as a side effect of HAES. However, HAES isn't a weigh loss method, and it won't make people who are naturally large into thin people.

    I weighed 175 or 180 pounds and wore a size 20 by the time I was 13 in spite of the fact that I ate a normal diet and was physically active. Then my size stabilized. I gained another 20 pounds in high school as I got a bit taller, and decided during that time that I wasn't going to jump onto the yo-yo diet bandwagon, which had left three of my aunts, my dad and an uncle - all of whom had started out around my size or smaller - weighing 250, 300, even 400 pounds and up.

    I made a conscious effort to maintain an active lifestyle (yes, I've got the actual, zippy "lifestyle" - regular walking and a few exercise classes a week) and to eat a balanced and sensible diet. At 42, I can still wear my high school clothes. My blood pressure isn't high, I don't have diabetes or even "pre-diabetes" even though it runs in my family, and I've got an excellent HDL/LDL ratio.

    Although I've always been plus sized, I've got a reasonably solid and well proportioned body and people are shocked when they find out what size I wear, let alone what I weigh. This is because I've never dieted away muscle and gained back the weight as fat.

    That's what HAES does. It doesn't deliver thinness. It makes fat people into healthy (sometimes slightly less) fat people; people who can enjoy food and life, and who are strong and capable. And, that is actually an excellent result. We do not all need to be thin.