Posted on January 22, 2014 by Dr. DeahHealthy Weight Week (Francie Berg handed over the baton after creating HWW 20+ years ago) as being one of the top 35 bloggers with a message that is emphatically about Self/Size Acceptance and promotes the HAES® tenets. I am so honored by this especially when I looked at the other 34 award winners and saw what esteemed company I am now a part of. Also grand is that the Healthy Weight Week tradition will continue into the next 20 + years! When I received the email letting me know I had received the award, I was asked to write a short piece on what healthy weight means to me…ahhhh there’s always a catch!!! (Normally I would tangent off right now into the sports arena of Dwight Clark and the amazing “catch” except I am still suffering from PFSD, (Post Football Season Depression) after the devastating loss of the Niners and do not want to trigger my despair) so I will go forward and stick to the topic at hand. Healthy Weight Week has recently been the subject of discussion and some controversy. It isn't the reason for the week that is being scrutinized e.g. to ditch diets, expose diet scams, and promote the concept that health is not defined by a standard uniform measure of a person’s size and or weight. From what I have read, it seems as if all factions of the size/fat/HAES acceptance movement are in agreement there. It is the name that is being discussed and I understand why this is so. So much of the work that I have had to do both professionally and personally is to wean people away from using the scale as a measure of self-worth or health. We are trained from day one to watch weight charts and see where we fall in relationship to what is normal and what is healthy. This system is exceedingly rigid and has been uncontested for a very long time. And those who do contest the value of “Health at a Specific Weight” are labeled as radical and/or in denial. So when I see the title Healthy Weight Week, if I didn’t know the origin of the name or the reasons behind it, I would think that it is yet another mandate to diet down to a specific number on the scale and that number would then mean that,
“I was good!”And that is something that I believe is problematic. Diets, plain and simple, do not result in long term weight loss for the majority of people. Obsessing over weight and eating is a sure fire way to develop disordered eating patterns and spend your life in a morass of self-loathing. Diets Just Do Not Work for most people long term. There is no weigh that this is a healthy weigh to live your life. So I have to agree that it may be time to change the name of HWW to one that is more congruent with the principles it promotes. Something more size positive, self-accepting, non weight centric. Something that does not keep the scale center stage, if only linguistically, and that does not imply that there is one healthy weight for everyone to aspire to. I am wondering if any of you have any suggestions? Being the Pastafarian that I am, I am going to noodle on this and perhaps before next year’s HWW we can focus on the focus of the week and not on the name itself. Til Next Time, Dr. Deah P.S. In honor of Healthy Weight Week, this week only, if you order any of my books from my website you will receive your choice of either a bumper sticker or refrigerator magnet, FREE, with the sassy slogan, My only weight problem is YOUR problem with My weight." CLICK HERE to start shopping!