Health is not an easy thing to define. Society, media and culture likes to tell us it is about our size (ie fat = unhealthy). We are told that being smaller is better, losing weight should be something we want/need to do and that exercise is about burning calories and weight loss.
Health is SOOOOOO much more than your size alone. And exercise (or as I like to refer to it ‘movement’ or ‘activity’) has lots of benefits even IF your size does not change at all. In fact, as a personal trainer, I prefer to work with clients on goals unrelated to weight. I don’t believe weight loss should be celebrated (more on that in a future post, or most likely, most of my posts).
Health is extremely difficult to define because is individual and contextual and it has many components. Physical is just ONE aspect of health. It also includes:
I work with the Health At Every Size® (or HAES®) approach which is a set of principles for health and health care from a place of body respect .
This brings a focus on healthy behaviours as opposed to weight loss and dieting for weight loss as the goal. It is a weight-neutral approach to health and wellness. Examples of healthy behaviours are joyful movement and eating with respect to your body’s internal cues, hunger, fullness, pleasure etc.
I encourage you to challenge your own ideas of health. How do these influence your perception of other’s bodies, your self image and your own behaviours (for example exercising and dieting)?