Fitness is no longer a *one size fits all* industry — more + more people are realizing that everyone’s bodies are made differently + respond in various ways to different forms of exercise [which is why CHAARG encourages you to find your fit! ; )]. As the fitness + wellness industry becomes more personalized, it’s also becoming more apparent that diet + weight should be personalized as well, because we are all unique + respond differently to certain foods, exercises, ++ environmental factors. The *Health at Every Size,* or HAES, movement goes beyond fitness. HAES promotes the idea that people can be healthy regardless of their weight. Rather, their health is determined by their overall diet, activity level, ++ most importantly, mindset. Besides this, HAES focuses on the fact that there is so much more to life beyond weight or size.
The basics of HAES include the following —
1] LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Practice mindfulness by trusting that your body knows when it is hungry or full + will give you the right signals. Your body is truly an amazing mechanism — it knows what weight is healthy for it to be at + will do whatever it needs to do in order to maintain that weight! This is why when you don’t eat enough to match how active you are, your body holds onto fat in order to survive, because it believes it’s going into starvation mode. On the contrary, when you eat the appropriate amount of food for your activity level, your body responds better to exercise + you have more energy throughout the day. Have faith in your body’s ability to keep you in a healthy physical state + take care of your body in return.
2] LIVE AN OVERALL HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Incorporate movement [it doesn’t always have to be strenuous physical activity!] + eat foods that make you feel good ++ give you the energy to be the happiest, best version of yourself. If you want a salad, go for it if you want it. But if you don’t, that’s okay too! Eat what makes you happy + never be afraid to #treatyourself. Essentially, live the CHAARG lifestyle! : )
3] SHOW LOVE TO THOSE AROUND YOU
Whether it’s a friend, family member, fellow CHAARGie, or complete stranger, accept them for their character + the kind of person that they are. Never allow another person’s size or shape to be a determinant factor in creating friendships + relationships. There is more to value about ourselves + others beyond our appearances.
4] ACCEPT YOUR BODY, REGARDLESS OF SIZE
There is nothing you can’t do because of your weight — the only thing stopping you from living the life you want to live is your mindset, not your weight! The next time you do something as simple as going for a walk, take a moment to appreciate how amazing it is that you have legs that are strong + healthy enough to carry you around your neighborhood. Show the same love + acceptance towards yourself that you should show to others. : )
If you want to learn more about *Health at Every Size,* you can visit their website to learn more + see a list of resources. There are also various books, blogs, ++ podcasts made by professionals in the HAES community —
3] Real Bite Nutrition blog
Remember, health + happiness is possible at any size. Everyone is made in their own beautiful + unique way — have faith that your body knows what is healthy + unhealthy for it, take care of yourself, ++ love the skin you’re in. : )
++Ashleigh Monaco [ashvm_inchaarg] // University of Iowa