Happy Kindness Day!

What a great day to celebrate kindness.

Kindness is something that this world can use more of, however, what we are all in need of is self-kindness or self-compassion.

Think back to a time when something didn’t go to plan or you made a mistake.

What was your reaction? I bet it was harsh, judgemental and self-critical.

We are wired to be our harshest critics for survival, but berating ourselves in this judgemental manner doesn’t usually enable us to thrive and find joy and happiness. Continue reading

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What’s the Real Problem with Obesity?

Today is world obesity day.

We live in a world where ‘obesity’ is seen as a bad thing, a disease and a problem to be fixed.

There is so much stigma associated with larger bodies.

The data on weight stigma is truly astonishing—weight discrimination is on the rise, increasing by 66% over the past decade (Puhl & Heuer, 2010).

Weight bias disproportionately affects women, and was found to be more common than age and gender discrimination in employment settings.

There is a common misconception that stigma might help motivate people with obesity to lose weight and improve their health. This misconception is inaccurate – discrimination can have the opposite effect.

Weight stigma stands in the way of people accessing treatment. Larger people intentionally skip annual physical exams in order to avoid shaming at the doctor’s office (Drury & Louis, 2002).

And if people in larger bodies do go to see the doctor,  the doctor spends about 28% less time with larger people (Phelan et al, 2015). And surgery is often withheld until larger people lose weight.

The belief that a fat person eats more calories is often one reason that weight stigma exists, yet multiple studies have also shown that people experiencing weight-based stigmatisation consume more calories (Schvey, Puhl, & Brownell, 2011; Major et al, 2014).

It also decreases motivation to care for one’s self i.e. eating well and exercising  (Schvey et al., 2011 & Puhl & Heuer, 2010 & Puhl, Moss-Racusin & Schwartz, 2007 & Van de Berg & Neumark-Sztainer, 2007).

Weight stigmas leads to serious health consequences such as elevated blood pressure, unhealthy weight control and binge eating behaviours, bulimic symptoms, negative body image, low self-esteem, and depression among children, adolescents and adults (Tylka et al, 2014).

Weight stigma clearly impacts a person’s quality of life.

If we continue to be overly concerned about our bodies or wait for them to be in the form we deem worthy of our dreams, we may find ourselves living lives rooted more in shame than worthiness, and never pursue the things that really matter to us.

Poor body image leading to poor health behaviours along with weight stigma leading to poor health behaviours is a real thing.

 

What are some things we can do to end weight stigma?

  •    Stop talking about other people’s bodies, either with judgment or aspiration.
  •    Begin to follow people on social media who support body acceptance, are body positive, and who are bravely sharing their body as it is, without apology.
  •    Do not seek healing and treatment for disordered eating or body shame from someone who markets weight loss.
  •    Do not judge people for eating or apologize for the food in front of you.

 

For more information about weight stigma CLICK HERE

 

References

Drury, C., & Louis, M. Exploring the Association Between Body Weight, Stigma of Obesity, and Health Care Avoidance. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Banner. 2002. Vol 14, Issue 12, 554-561

Major, B., Hunger, J., Bunyan, D., & Miller, C. The ironic effects of weight stigma. Journal of Experimental Social, 2014. 51. 2014, 74–80.

Puhl, R & Heuer, C. Obesity Stigma: Important Considerations for Public Health. Am J Public Health. 2010. 100(6): 1019-1028

Puhl, R. M., Moss-Racusin, C. a, & Schwartz, M. B. Internalization of weight bias: Implications for binge eating and emotional well-being. 2007. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)

Schvey, N. A., Puhl, R. M., & Brownell, K. D. The Impact of Weight Stigma on Caloric Consumption. Obesity, 2011. 19(10), 1957–1962.

Tylka, T., Annunziato, R., Burgard, D., Daníelsdóttir,S., Shuman,E.,  Davis, C., and Calogero, R., The Weight-Inclusive versus Weight-Normative Approach to Health: Evaluating the Evidence for Prioritizing Well-Being over Weight Loss. Journal of Obesity. 2014. Volume 2014.

Van den Berg, P., & Neumark-Sztainer, D. Fat ′n Happy 5 Years Later: Is It Bad for Overweight Girls to Like Their Bodies? Journal of Adolescent Health, 2007. 41(4), 415–41 7.

 

Why Intuitive Eating Isn’t Working For You

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Are you someone who believes intuitive eating hasn’t worked?

Intuitive eating is a non-diet principle, which means it is not a diet.

Intuitive eating is a way of eating that helps people to heal and improve their relationships with food and body.

Intuitive eating involves stopping dieting behaviours such as counting calories and macronutrients, weighing food and your body and so on. It supports people to tune, honour the body’s signals and ultimately trust their body again.

Freedom from guilt and judgment associated with food and eating comes from really trusting your body. Continue reading

Improve Your Nutrition With Self-Kindness

Self-kindness and eating: What Does It Look Like?

Could self-kindness (or self-compassion as it is also called) be the missing ingredient in nutrition that most people lack?

Self-kindness can be described as being kind to one’s self in times of perceived inadequacy, failure, or suffering.

Kristin Neff has defined self-compassion as being composed of 3 main components – self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness:

Continue reading

6 Top Tips To Rebel Against Diet Culture

In planning to write this post I asked my community what their top ways were to rebel against diet culture.

One mum brought up a great point, which I thought was important to share before jumping into my top tips. She shared that she was putting too much energy into being angry at diet society rather than loving herself, so she was changing her focus to feeling proud of herself beyond aesthetics. This is a great point to highlight there is a fine line balancing being rebellious and caring for yourself.

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What to Do When You Want A Quick Fix to Weight Loss

You struggle with wanting a quick fix to weight loss, but on the other hand, you don’t want to go down the dieting rabbit hole again.

At least once in your journey to breaking up with dieting, the desire to lose weight will surface. This desire may actually never fully go away.

Let’s re-visit the following resources to help you stay in charge and honour what your body truly needs.

As no one strategy works for everyone, pick out the resources that may be useful to you when the struggle of wanting to lose weight surfaces. If the desire of wanting weight loss consumes you, please reach out to a non-dieting APD or health professional.

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Why The Fear of Weight Gain Consumes You

You’re not alone.

You don’t like your reflection.

You see how people look at you. You see how they react to you. You feel judged, excluded, treated unfairly.

You have struggled with your weight for what feels like a lifetime. Continue reading

What Will Non-Dieting Do For Me If It Does Not Change My Body?

Depending on your individual needs and desires, taking a non-diet approach to nutrition and health offers so many benefits: Continue reading

What Most People Think About Non-Diet Nutrition

The following statements are key pieces of misinformation surrounding the non-diet approach or Health At Every Size(R) approach to healthcare, which keeps people stuck in the vicious dieting cycle: Continue reading

Step-By-Step Guide to Preparing Nutritious Meals Sanely

Meal planning can be challenging when your child is a fussy eater. Balancing meals for nutrition and variety can be challenging.

When the challenge becomes a daily struggle, parents tend to provide an alternative meal for the fussy eater or provide meals that the fussy eater usually eats without fail. Parents also tend to eat later when the child is in bed because meal times become disruptive, stressful or monotonous. This is the parents’ way of eating something they prefer in peace.

Even though a child may be a fussy eater, all family members can share a meal together and be happy and satisfied.

The goal of feeding is to provide children with a variety of food every day to increase their exposure to a variety of food and enough food to be satiating.

The goal is not to ensure your child eats all the food groups or particular foods you provide.

Here are 7 strategies that you may find useful in meal planning:

Continue reading