Creating the Health at Every Size of my Dreams!

My efforts these days are not about me.  They are about improving access to Health at Every Size®  (HAES) for all people, ensuring that someday everyone will enjoy the benefits that I have realized with HAES.  I imagine a future when HAES is known throughout every country, when we understand how weight stigma and fatphobia present in different cultures, and we have non-English speaking countries and individuals involved in the movement.

As a dietitian, HAES gave a name to something that I was practicing in isolation in Oregon.  Without this community I wouldn’t have the science and support to help folks understand why their weight loss diets and food rules just aren’t working, but in fact, are harmful.  I am very grateful to have found HAES, and my primary goal is for others to find it too.  I hope newcomers both see themselves in the movement, and feel comfortable contributing, should they desire.

ASDAH is the primary organization for HAES professionals, and I am a member.  I hope to see our organization grow exponentially and serve a broader community of people.  I look forward to the day that I can recommend ASDAH to any colleague without needing to describe the demographics of the group first.  It will be wonderful when the membership closely resembles the US population.  I look forward to doing the ongoing and ever changing anti-oppression and inclusion work needed for this to happen, and learning from my many mistakes along the way.  I can’t wait for an organization in which a diverse group of people will feel as comfortable saying, “I have found my people” as many current members do.

If you’re similarly interested in making HAES more inclusive I’d love for you to join the conversation!

Jessica Wilson is a dietitian in Oakland, CA

3 thoughts on “Creating the Health at Every Size of my Dreams!

  1. Lisa DuBreuil, LICSW

    I share your hopes and aspirations for ASDAH’s future and the Health At Every Size movement as a whole. And I’m very grateful for your voice, Jessica!

    Reply
  2. Deb Burgard

    Jessica, this is an amazing vision. I too want us to stop settling for “HAES Lite” and really take this tool out for a spin beyond our borders and blinkers. For those of us who have been working on the HAES approach and feeling embattled and like an oppressed minority within the dominant medical culture, it takes a different kind of work and a tolerance for seeing ourselves not just as the Good Guys, but also as the Problem sometimes. Thanks for being willing to show up for this tough, often tense struggle.

    Reply
  3. Susan

    Truly enjoyed your article. I’m a teacher of health and family & consumer sciences in a small community school. It’s especially challenging to promote HAES in my teaching as all the media materials are saturated with weight loss/fat=bad messages. I’m hoping that I make a difference by eliminating those nasty messages and promoting a healthier approach to food and lifestyle.

    Susan

    Reply

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