Friday, November 30, 2012

HAES

Had a very sincere person left me a comment on a previous post recommending a diet for weight lost.

I don't diet. I haven't been on a diet for over 25 years. I was meant to be a big girl, I have pictures of grandmothers and great grandmothers who were all on the large size. Granted, I probably wasn't meant to be as big a girl as I am, but since I was told by doctors and society that I was supposed to be 105 pounds at 5'3" on a very sturdy Scots-Irish frame, I started on the diet-go-round.

So instead of naturally weighing in at 150-180 lbs like my grandmothers, I ended up pegging out at 250 lbs when I finally stopped the insanity.

Face it, when a medical procedure only has 5% success rate, it is really stupid to keep trying. I believe that is the definition of insanity. Hell, if a medical treatment is only 5% successful, any medical professional who is worth their salt wouldn't be using it. But for some reason, the diet industry keeps pushing it, to the detriment of the health of the population.

I began to listen to my body, eating when I was hungry, stopped judging foods as good or bad, doing physical activities that I enjoyed, started buying clothes that fit and looked good and gave away all the brand new clothes that were too small that I was going to get into some day.

I stopped gaining weight as I'd re-set my thermostat to the 250 lbs and there I stayed for years.

I actually began to enjoy life and learned to love my body as a partner, not as an enemy that needed to be subdued and controlled. I also discovered that while I had been so blinded by the diet-go-round I had been missing out on all the guys who liked me and wanted to be with me. I always thought I couldn't find the person of my dreams until I'd reached the "right" weight.

So fast forward a few years when people started noticing I seemed to be loosing weight. Don't know why, it did seem to be coming off and I wasn't doing anything different. The only major change in my life was a brand new hubby and a home we owned. When people asked me how I was doing it, I simply said that my body had decided on its own to do so.

Little did I know it was trying to kill me.

Soon I was experiencing tremors, severe heart palpitations, accelerated weight loss, sleep problems, a whole host of other symptoms and things between the hubby and I got a tad bit tense.

Finally saw the doctor and I had developed an autoimmune disorder called Graves' Disease, it causes hyperthyroid.

Went on meds, found various alternative methods of medications, started to avoid foods with a lot of iodine in them and eventually my thyroid levels moved back to normal. I also regained the weight I've lost and then some.

But you know what, it didn't bother me one bit. I knew my body would react to what was happening and decided that I wasn't going to force it to do something it didn't want. I kept on my meds, kept up my alternative methods and I eventually went into remission and right back to where my weight had been, 250 lbs.

Fast forward a few years, I discovered HAES which stands for Health At Every Size. It seems that what I had been doing on my own was a wonderful new paradigm for caring for myself and my body.

The reasoning behind HAES is simple:

Health at Every Size is based on the simple premise that the best way to improve health is to honor your body. It supports people in adopting health habits for the sake of health and well-being (rather than weight control). Health at Every Size encourages:

-Accepting and respecting the natural diversity of body sizes and shapes.

-Eating in a flexible manner that values pleasure and honors internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite.

-Finding the joy in moving one’s body and becoming more physically vital.

Studies have been showing that when the focus is not on weight loss, but on simply changing habits that people are more apt to keep on with the healthy habits and are healthier AND happier in the long run. How many times have we ourselves started on a new healthier habit, but when the scale didn't budge or budge enough, discouragement set in and we gave up.

Lots!

By taking the weight factor out it is easier to see that the healthier habits are working when the only numbers you look at are things like blood levels, blood pressure and such.

Here is a link to finding some resources on HAES.

I have always had low blood pressure, even tho the nurses and doctors could't believe that a fat chick like me had BP levels better then they did. I had doctors call me with my blood results and were very disappointed that my fat ass wasn't diabetic (and if I follow family medical history I have to seriously worry about HYPOglycemia, low blood sugar!).

I have trouble keeping my cholesterol levels up (mine are usually in the "serial killer" range). In fact, I also have to keep a serious eye on my cancer risk because of it!

So I don't diet. I however have to be careful what I eat. As mentioned I avoid a lot of foods with high iodine. I am euthyroid, which means my levels are where they should be. I am doing so by watching what I eat, avoiding vitamins with iodine and taking a maintenance dose of my anti-thyroid drug.

I've also developed gluten intolerance. When you have one auto-immune disease, the chances of developing another are greatly increased. As far as the other auto-immune diseases I could develop, gluten intolerance is manageable.

I simply avoid anything with gluten in it as much as possible. I do not have full blown Celiac's, so I have a somewhat easier time of it then someone with Celiac's.

I don't diet, I do eat what is healthy for me, I will also eat what other people don't think is healthy. A healthy diet includes any and all foods that you enjoy, even junk food. I just make sure it is low in iodine and has no gluten so it doesn't injure my body because of the auto immune diseases I have. They aren't "bad" foods, that is putting a moral judgement on them. They are not good for me purely because of the health issues I have. I can eat foods with iodine in them as long as I am careful and don't eat them that often. I occasionally can consume foods with gluten as long as they contain a small amount. I am simply intolerant of it.

I move and participate in physical activities that I love (shooting, Geocaching, gardening, swimming, fishing, camping, etc) that helps with the stiff joints (discovered at an early age that vodka and water skiing really don't mix), gets me out and about and meeting other folk.

I take pictures, make jewelry, cook and bake and have a job I love.

All of which I found when I finally decided that I was going to stop being at war with my body, accept it as it is, work on making sure my health is as good as I can, avoid healthism (I am not a "good" fatty because I am working on keeping healthy, I am simply a fatty who strives to be healthy for me) as much as possible and simply live a good life.

If I feel like Doritos and cream cheese for dinner, then I will have Doritos and cream cheese for dinner. Trying to substitute something else for what you want is only going to back fire and make the cravings worse. That doesn't mean I am a "bad" fatty either. Just someone who eats normally, just like any person, even thin folk. No one has a lock on good health simply because of their body size or the numbers on the scale.




















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