Tag Archives: powerful

Powerful new Resource Helps Medical Professionals Understand HAES.

I am very excited to tell you about an epic new article that has appeared in the Journal of Obesity.  This article called, “The Weight-Inclusive versus Weight-Normative Approach to Health: Evaluating the Evidence for Prioritizing Well-Being over Weight Loss” reviews much of the available literature on doctors and weight loss and comes to a very firm conclusion: our medical obsession with weight loss is not making us any healthier.  The article defines the difference between the Weight Inclusive and Weight Normative approaches this way:

In this paper, we review evidence that challenges the weight-normative approach for health promotion and offer evidence to support a weight-inclusive approach for health promotion. Instead of imagining that well-being is only possible at a specific weight, a weight-inclusive approach considers empirically supported practices that enhance people’s health in patient care and public health settings regardless of where they fall on the weight spectrum [1, 2, 22]. These approaches differ in the emphasis each one places on weight. While health care professionals using either approach may share some commonalities (e.g., recommending similar self-care practices), they contrast in the relative importance they place on body weight in the context of health and medical treatment, their perceptions of the malleability of weight, and how they respond to patients based on their weight.

The article is very long and rich and cites hundreds of sources.  But I thought I’d pull out

10 things you can learn about weight-focused healthcare in this article:

1.  Recommending weight loss is actually a less conservative approach than recommending HAES because there are negative consequences associated with weight loss attempts.  Thus prescribing weight loss can go against the edict to “first do no harm”.

2.  The data do not support the notion that higher BMI causes poor health outcomes.

3.  Prescribing weight loss supports the notion that permanent weight loss is largely under a person’s control, and that fat people cost society more money.  Neither of these notions are supported by the data.

4.  Weight bias not only exists, but is common in clinical environments.  This is a part of the general increase in weight stigma in the wider world, and weight stigma is dangerous to your health.

5.  Not only does weight loss not work on a permanent basis, but weight cycling (the common result of repeated weight loss attempts) is dangerous for your body.

6.  Obsession with weight loss has led to an increase in eating disorders.

7.  But there is another way.  The  weight inclusive approach focuses on weight as a simple data point in a much larger view on health and focuses on positive behaviors.

8.  The basic principles of the weight inclusive approach are these:

1)Do no harm.

(2)Appreciate that bodies naturally come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and ensure optimal health and well-being is provided to everyone, regardless of their weight.

(3)Given that health is multidimensional, maintain a holistic focus (i.e., examine a number of behavioral and modifiable health indices rather than a predominant focus on weight/weight loss).

(4)Encourage a process-focus (rather than end-goals) for day-to-day quality of life. For example, people can notice what makes their bodies rested and energetic today and incorporate that into future behavior, but also notice if it changes; they realize that well-being is dynamic rather than fixed. They keep adjusting what they know about their changing bodies.

(5)Critically evaluate the empirical evidence for weight loss treatments and incorporate sustainable, empirically supported practices into prevention and treatment efforts, calling for more research where the evidence is weak or absent.

(6)Create healthful, individualized practices and environments that are sustainable (e.g., regular pleasurable exercise, regular intake of foods high in nutrients, adequate sleep and rest, adequate hydration). Where possible, work with families, schools, and communities to provide safe physical activity resources and ways to improve access to nutrient-dense foods.

(7)Where possible, work to increase health access, autonomy, and social justice for all individuals along the entire weight spectrum. Trust that people move toward greater health when given access to stigma-free health care and opportunities (e.g., gyms with equipment for people of all sizes; trainers who focus on increments in strength, flexibility, V02 Max, and pleasure rather than weight and weight loss).

9.  Along with the data that shows the weight normalization (weight-loss focused) approach is ineffective and harmful, is significant data showing the weight inclusive (HAES-oriented) approach is more successful, and that it does not share the negative side effects of the weight normalization approach.

10.  With these thoughts in mind, it makes sense to move to a weight inclusive approach in both personal and public health and actively work to reduce stigma both within and outside of the world of medicine.

I urge you to take some time to work your way through this epic piece of work.  And I urge you to print a copy and bookmark this for sharing at a later date.  Maybe you could take this along to your next doctor appointment.  Maybe you have a friend that is struggling with health care that can use the data to his advantage.  In any case, I’m very, very excited about this and couldn’t wait to share it with you.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

Advertisements

Women (truly) Kicking Butt and Taking Names in Male-Dominated Sports

Samantha Swords
Over the past few days, I have run into stories of some absolutely fabulous women kicking butt in sports traditionally populated only by men.  And when I say traditionally, I mean like long centuries of deep, masculine culture and history of manstuff.  It’s so cool!

One exciting example is Samantha E. Cato-Mott (AKA Samantha Swords).  She is a trained “European Martial Arts” expert and all-around ridiculously cool Renaissance Woman.  She works as a film props/armor creator, stunt fighter, actress and champion sword fighter.  Last year she not only competed against men in the Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament, but also won the Longsword Competition.

You can see and hear an interview with her here:

Also this week, I ran into this piece from the New York Times about women who are competing in the male-dominated world of sumo wrestling.  These women are flexing their muscles and presenting their power in a sport with traditions that span back centuries.

One woman in the interview states:

“It’s one of the few sports where as a big girl, you can actually have physical contact and not have to hold back, and not have to [worry]–Ooo am I gonna hurt him?”

One of the cool things about these women is that they are fighting full out and for real.  They are not hypersexual parodies of fighters, they are warriors pure and simple.  (Although I recommend against spending too much time in the comments section of any of the articles about them if you’d like to keep your sanity points intact.)

I think this is so important for young girls and young women to see.  These women are stepping across traditional gender lines, fighting for the pure joy of athleticism, and kicking butt and taking names.  They are demonstrating that there is room for all of us under the athletics tent.  Whether male or female, thin or fit fatty, there is some wonderful way out there to get your sport on!

Love, Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S.  Learn more about making the world safe for folks of all shapes and sizes at the upcoming Fat Activism Conference here.

P.P.S.  And don’t forget to join my mailing list and get free stuff!

Elephants, Pigs and (land)Whales, Oh my!

ImageSo often, people equate us fat folks with various animals.  We’re compared to a pig or an elephant or a whale (or even the elusive “land whale”).  And usually this comparison is offered as a criticism or as a way to make us feel bad.  But you know what?  Each of those animals is able to do pretty amazing things.  Elephants are large and smart and strong and athletic and beautiful and graceful.  Elephants look great in dresses, are good dancers and can even water ski.  So go ahead and call me an elephant.  Pachyderms are awesome, and they are natural athletes.

Image

And as for pigs, now there are some amazing athletes.  In this ONE VIDEO, you can see a pig who golfs, bowls, plays soccer, jumps hurdles, rides a skateboard, shoots a basket, and pitches a baseball.  And pigs are also smart, independent, sociable and generally awesome!  And as for whales, how many humans do you know who can do this:

Whales are absolutely amazing athletes who can leap and backflip and sing loud enough to be heard for miles.  All in all, whales, pigs and elephants are beautiful, smart, graceful, strong and wonderful creatures.   And land whales?  Since they don’t exist in the real world, I choose to imagine them as awesome too!

The world of nature is full of evidence that creatures can be both large and athletic.  Both big and incredibly graceful.  The only place that fit and fat cannot co-exist is in the minds of certain closed-minded people.  And for that we might want to look at this animal as a reference:

ostrich_sandLove,

The Fat Chick

Thursday Theater: S’wonderful Life!

WonderfulLife

Recently a dear friend of mine sent me a holiday card that he created using JibJab.  It’s a fun and very brief synopsis of one of my very favorite holiday movies, It’s a Wonderful Life.  But in my friend’s version I get to play a starring role!  (Still waiting for my residuals and my listing on imdb.com though…)  To check out the video, check HERE.

Now this is one of those movies that makes me cry every single time I watch it.  Even this very short and funny parody reminds me of my usual state when Zuzu’s bell rings–with either three hankies or one whole box of tissues wringing wet from my soppy response.

We all have our George Bailey moments.  We wind up crying in our beer at Guiseppe Martini’s place and wishing we’d never been born.  But just for now, would you please allow me to play a different role in the movie?  Let me play Clarence.  Let me earn my wings as I tell you something important.

Even when you think you’ve screwed up, even when you think you don’t measure up, please remember that the world is a much better place with you in it.  Not because of how much money you’ve earned, not because you’ve finally reached that magic goal weight that you always wanted to attain, not because of how many sit ups you did or how you look in your skinny jeans, but just because of who you are.

You are like the stone dropping in the center of the pond.  You may make a tiny splash at first.  But in time, your kindness and intelligence and wisdom and strength ripple outwards and outwards and on and on.  You are probably aware of only a tiny fraction of the lives you’ve touched and the world you’ve made a better place.  Your awareness of your own awesomeness is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg–with over 80 percent of your fabulousity lying deep under the surface.

So let’s end the film together, shall we?  Let’s run through the streets, shouting like crazy people who are just happy to be alive.  Let’s imagine a holiday filled with loved ones who surround us and support us.  Let’s imagine a holiday where we understand that we are, in the ways that are important, the richest people in town.

Wait–what’s that?  Is that a bell I hear ringing?  ‘Scuse me while I grab another hanky.

Love,

The Fat Chick