While reading two books, The Unapologetic Fat Girl’s Guide to Exercise and Two Whole Cakes, I came across references to a movement called “Health at Every Size (HAES).” Unfamiliar with the phrase, I did a little research and found a book called Health at Every Size: the Surprising Truth about Your Weight by Linda Bacon. In her book, Bacon discusses obesity and dieting and concludes that humans have evolved to store fat well, but not to lose it. She uses scientific studies (she herself is a scientist) to back up her argument that diets don’t work and that a number on scale does not determine a person’s health or wellbeing. Bacon urges people not to look at food (any food) as good or bad, but to listen to their bodies and eat food that makes them feel their best—energized and strong. She also encourages readers to incorporate more activity into their daily lives, but to focus on activity that is enjoyable and not a chore.
This is not a diet book; in fact it’s the opposite: Bacon advises people to pay attention the way their bodies feel in relation to food and movement to improve health, not to lose weight. I really, really liked this book; it was incredibly refreshing to read a book talking about health that urges you to listen to your body, to trust it to tell you what you need—I’d rather trust myself with my health than a diet industry that makes a huge profit selling people one particular body ideal.
health at every size: the surprising truth about your weight