I am in the midst of working on my assignments and doing some prep for interviews I have tomorrow. One of them is going to tackle the idea that you can be “fit and fat”—I don’t necessarily like using the term “fat” so perhaps “fit regardless of your weight” might be better—and I plan on talking to a kin prof I had who lectured on the topic and to Julie, the registered dietitian who came in to Brescia a few weeks ago and talked about Health at Every Size. I think the article’s angle is going to be to focus on getting physically active for the sake of moving your body—and all the benefits that come along with that for your mind and your body—and about leaving expectations about losing weight out of things because maybe the weight loss isn’t the important part after all. It’s a big topic to tackle, but I’m looking forward to it!
Anyways, in my research, I came across this awesome post about Health at every size, exercise, and eating disorder recovery from PsychCentral (get ready to get sucked into a bunch of post reading—fair warning!). Points like:
- “…the ED is an attempt to protect oneself from experiences that threaten emotional overwhelm. The person flips into ED behavior (including dieting) automatically to avoid the overwhelm. The opposite of automatic behavior is awareness…”
- “Thanks to shows like The Biggest Loser and various magazines regularly advocating rigorous, almost-daily exercise, it’s tough to know what’s healthy and what’s unhealthy exercise. There seems to be this great pressure to exercise all the time, which in my humble opinion can breed an all-or-nothing attitude toward physical activity and muddle up our motives…”
- [some tips for healthy exercising]:
- “Exercise because you want to – not because you feel that you have to.
- Do exercise activities that you enjoy – not exercises that you dislike.
- Include a variety of exercise activities – don’t get in the rut of doing only one or two things.
- Stop if it hurts! Do not exercise when your body is in pain, or when fatigued.
- Never exercise with an injury.
- When your body is telling you something – listen!”
reminded me that looking at exercise and why we do it is key. Recall yesterday’s insight into my injury and my newfound craving instead of compulsion to start training again? I am so glad I had that epiphany…exercise is supposed to make you healthier, which means it should make you feel good!
Check out that post—I think it’s a good intro to a touchy subject that I know I struggled with a lot. Compulsive exercise is just another form of purging behaviour, and that’s hard to admit and since people tend to reward those who are dedicated to training or working out, the line between what’s healthy and what’s not so healthy can get blurred. While ditto goes for people who are “good” eaters, I think it’s even harder to realize when you’ve crossed the line with exercise. Keep in mind that depending on the person and on the day, week, month, etc. that line might be different! It’s about constantly checking in with your motives and remembering that you should eat foods that fuel you and keep you energized, exercise to feel strong, fit, and better in general. I’m not trying to boss you around, but if you do that—listen to yourself and respect what you need in any given day in terms of food and exercise—I really think your weight will take care of itself and land at “ideal”, whatever that means for your body.
Do you care about the number on the scale? Why or why not?
What do you think about the HAES movement?
What are your thoughts on being fit and fat?