Happy August –
I’m setting a goal of writing a blog post once a month. I’m saying it out loud, and now you can all hold me accountable :)
I had the privilege to be on vacation the last couple of weeks and it was marvelous to have some time to recharge. My vacation started with a trip to Portland for the NoLose conference.
NoLose is an organization of fat people and allies working to end fat discrimination. As a personal trainer focusing on a Health at Every Size approach, and as someone who values celebrating people of all sizes, it was important to me to go to this conference and to learn more about how I can better support all of my clients, and deepen my work encouraging body love and acceptance.
Fat discrimination and disparaging messages about bodies are so pervasive everywhere in our society, especially in the fitness industry. We are all affected by it. Blogger Ragen Chastain calculated that she receives, on average, 353 negative messages (PER DAY) about her body for every positive one. She looked at messages in the grocery store, in magazines, on TV. She tallied up just what she encountered on a given day, without actively seeking any of it out.
As a way to counter this omnipresent body hatred being sold to us constantly, one of the NoLose attendees took pictures of us for this tumblr project. Check it out!
I work with a Health at Every Size and in fat acceptance model because I believe the path towards health, embodiment, and empowerment cannot come through shame and guilt. I spent my childhood hating exercise because it was often coupled with body scrutiny.
Health is not a commodity; it’s not something you can just get, and then go home. Having healthy habits is a process; it is something that ebbs and flows, and that is not always in our control. The path towards health looks radically different for each person, depending on what they’re working with. Health is a process that is daily, life-long, and imperfect. Achieving sustainable health, fitness, or life goals is a process that comes with patience, acceptance, consistent work, and compassion.
Are you curious to learn more about Health at Every Size and about fat acceptance? I encourage you to message me and ask me more. Or, check out Linda Bacon’s website. She’s a nutrition professor, researcher, writer, and public speaker. She has so much informative research backing up the perspective that people should be healthy at every size, and looking at the dangers of dieting and how this messes up our metabolism and internal hunger and satiety cues in the long run. This website also has links to a million other blogs, activists, and articles. I was just poking around on them, and got sucked in for hours!