As I left the office on our last visit, he tossed out: "And it would be a good idea if you could lose some of that weight." You can imagine that I turned quickly on my heels (probably with my eyes flashing). I told him: "Please do not give this advice to your patients. When you give this advice you are recommending weight cycling, which damages both physical and mental health. Why would you recommend a treatment that has a 90% failure rate?"
Now this is why I think he is good; He engaged in conversation with me on the topic of weight loss. What he said next was very important to the HAES movement because it shows what most people think is the opposite of a weight loss focus. He said: "What do you want me to recommend, weight gain?"
To most people in our culture the opposite of weight loss is weight gain. The opposite of dieting is binging.
When we in the HAES movement promote an alternative to dieting and weight loss, MOST PEOPLE ASSUME WE MEAN WEIGHT GAIN AND BINGING. It is important for us to realize this assumption is out there and to head it off at the pass when we talk to the media, our doctors, and online in discussions.
I told my doctor that binging and weight gain were the RESULT of dieting, not the opposite of it. "I want you to recommend a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE and body appreciation (HAES℠) instead of weight loss. I will be sending you Linda Bacon's book, Health At Every Size."
I predict that within five years, the media, government, and science communities will recognize Health At Every Size® as the opposite of dieting.
I predict that within 5 years the public at large will be familiar with the LIFESTYLE centered paradigm for health as an alternative to the old fashioned weight centered paradigm.
Wouldn't it be nice if I were right. I am going to put it in my Google Calendar right now so I can look back at this blog entry five years from now!