Respecting the body with a Health at Every Size® (HAES) Approach
iLiveWell Nutrition has some exciting news to share! Two of our dietitians will be starting a Health at Every Size® (HAES) FREE Support group. This weekly free support group is kicking off Tuesday, October 2nd, at 6:00 pm, and we wanted to share more about what Health at Every Size® (HAES) is all about.
We interviewed the two dietitians running the group to help share the insight behind the group and also, so you can hear from the experts about the group.
What is Health at Every Size® (HAES)?
Rachael: Health At Every Size® (HAES) is a movement that is based on respect for all human bodies. It’s focus is on compassionate self-care, critical awareness of scientific and cultural assumptions, and body diversity and inclusivity.
Kathy: HAES is an approach that does not use weight or size to define health and works to debunk the idea that size is a choice.
What does it mean to be a HAES RD?
Rachael: It means taking a very personalized approach to health, free of judgement or shame, and guiding humans on their journey to building trust with their bodies. This might mean learning how to be flexible with food, discovering hunger and satiety cues, honoring your body while respecting the social factors that influence intake, and so much more!
Kathy: Being a HAES RD means I don’t use weight or size to define the health of my clients. I focus on the individual and not just a number on the scale and work with clients to identify where they think a change may feel good to them.
Why do you practice from a HAES mindset?
Rachael: I’ve witnessed the damage that can come from the diet mentality. Food and body pre-occupation, discrimination, self-hatred, poor health, and eating disorders, are just the beginning of the harm that can come from being at war with your body. I also know what kind of true peace can come from learning how to honor your body and care for it in a way that feels fulfilling. I hope to help as many people as I can discover that peace!
Kathy: Just like when we’re doing any sort of personal growth, it can be frustrating at times – we are asking our clients to leave behind a way of thinking that has been so ingrained, it can be challenging and slow work. At the same time, I think it can be incredibly freeing to reject diet culture and focus on just being yourself. No diets, no calorie cutting tips found here. You will find someone who can help you identify your personal definition of health and what might be getting in the way of feeling comfortable with food. We work to dispel food myths and to bring peace to eating. We make sure our clients are nourishing their bodies and help them move towards a positive relationship with food and away from food rules and using food in a way that no longer works for them.
What can someone expect in this group?
Rachael: A space for healing and growth, free of judgement. I hope that this HAES group can be a space for individuals to realize that they are not alone on this journey, and that support can be vital in recovering from the trauma of diet-culture.
Kathy: Like-minded folks who are speaking the same language as you! This work can be slow and challenging and sometimes it’s nice to know others are traveling along the same or similar road. There will be two dietitians and a therapist to help navigate but this group is mostly member driven – a success/challenge round-table discussion.
We would love to see you at one or all of the group meetings! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Rachael or click here to learn more!
Adrien Paczosa is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas and the surrounding counties.
She is the owner and founder of I Live Well Nutrition her Dietitian practice which started in 2007 and serves clients in the Austin, Texas area in two locations. Fearless Practitioners, the division of her business that offers training to dietitians and wellness professionals.