I have more stuff bouncing around in my brain than I can cram into one post, so I’ll probably hit the high points here and then break them out into other posts over the next few days.
On “dieting” and Health At Every Size:
I’ve been thinking that ANY attempt to lose weight can’t possibly be HAES. But I’ve been overlooking the fact that EVERY PERSON’S BODY IS DIFFERENT. I’ve been much heavier, and I’ve been much thinner, and I know from experience that I feel better if I’m thinner than I am now by about 20 pounds. (My thinnest was about 40 pounds lighter than I am now, but I don’t feel good at THAT weight, either.) Here’s the thing, though: I could lose that 20 pounds by drinking Diet Coke and not eating all day (which WON’T make me feel better), OR I can lose that 20 pounds by dealing with my internal issues and any food-related coping mechanisms (which WILL make me feel better). One is Dieting. One is HAES. Either way there’s weight loss. I guess I get hung up on the idea that wanting to lose weight = Dieting, no matter what other factors there are. But I wouldn’t be honest if I said that my weight didn’t matter to me. I know that’s just cultural brainwashing, but I guess I haven’t hit critical mass on that issue yet. So am I dieting? Or practicing HAES? What if the methods are HAES, but the motivation is losing weight? Does the fact that I KNOW changing my behaviors according to HAES will result in weight loss change the equation at all? I mean, since I know that about my body, I can’t say, “Well, if I don’t lose weight, I’ll be doing all the right behaviors, and that’s the only point.” Because I know I’ll lose the weight. On the other hand, in my perfect “skinny fantasy” world, I’d lose closer to 40 pounds. I’m not going to do that because I know that I’d have to be miserable, both physically and mentally in order to do that. Does THAT change the equation? I guess really the whole thing boils down to whose definitions I want to use. And maybe what I’m really starting to think is that I’m just going to make my OWN definitions.
On other weight-related fronts:
I had a nutritional consult last week and got some interesting info. Over the past several years, I’ve struggled with losing weight. I can do it if I live on nothing but juice and soup, but that’s insane. I know, it sounds totally contradictory to the stuff above, right? But the thing that’s been so frustrating is that this is relatively new. SO. I had the consult, and found out that there is a BUNCH of stuff affecting my body, my weight, my energy levels, etc. Apparently, my gall bladder is not working properly (she actually asked if I’d had it removed because there are NO markers for it in my system), my thyroid is a little whacked out, my body is not digesting fat and therefore isn’t getting enough EFAs (which explains my CONSTANT cravings for high-fat foods: my body’s trying to GET SOME EFAS, DAMMIT), I’m also not digesting protein or carbs very well (though not as badly as the fats) AND I’m borderline hypoglycemic. Holy. Mother. Of. God. No WONDER I feel like hell all the time. So she gave me some supplements and a set of general dietary guidelines, and told me it might take some time for my body to right itself. At this point, I’m so grateful that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel – to know that there is actually something WRONG and not that I’m just lazy or have no willpower (because I crave high-fat foods and am constantly too tired to exercise). So yay! for answers and cool nutritionists!
On the fatosphere:
There has been some turmoil in that group lately, and some of the folks are questioning exactly what it means to embrace Fat Acceptance. I’m sorry for the turmoil, but I’m so glad to see all the dialogue happening around there. Babble and Good with Cheese have both had some tremendous things to say recently, and it’s really encouraging to see others sifting through things and sometimes acknowledging that the issues aren’t black and white, but are always varying shades of grey.