12 Steps to Health At Every Size
by Peggy Elam, Ph.D.
1. Stop weighing yourself.
Shift your focus from weight & body fat to
healthy behaviors & fitness.
2. Fire the food & body police.
3. Stop critical self-talk.
Would you speak to a friend or loved one the way you do to your body?
4. Increase positive talk.
Talk to & treat yourself & your body the way you would
a cherished friend, loved one, or child.
5. Clean out your closets.
Give or sell or throw away everything that doesn’t fit, is
uncomfortable, or that you haven’t worn in years. Fill your closets with beautiful, comfortable clothing in your
6. Eat well & mindfully.
Enjoy your food. Let nothing be off-limits; there are no
forbidden foods. Don’t restrict what you eat in order to lose weight, as those behaviors and attitudes have
negative physical and emotional consequences. Focus instead on eating & living well.
7. Be active.
Find, create, or rediscover activities that you enjoy, and engage in them
8. Listen to your body.
It is the means by which your subconscious communicates with you.
No one can discern your body’s messages better than you can, although you may need to re-learn its language. Pay
attention to “gut feelings.”
9. Respect your body.
It is a manifestation of and a conduit for your soul. Ensure that
others respect it, too.
10. Reconnect mind & body.
Increase your body awareness through yoga, walking meditation, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, massage & bodywork, and/or
movement therapy (such as Feldenkrais). Focus on what your body can do and how good it can feel.
11. Address any emotional eating independent of weight change.
12. Invest in and support yourself rather than the weight loss, pharmaceutical, healthcare, fashion
or beauty industries.
What's Health At Every Size? It's an approach to health and well-being that celebrates
natural diversity in body size, encouraging people to stop focusing on weight (or any numbers on a scale,
BMI, or calorie/fat/carbohydrate chart), dieting, or other weight loss efforts in favor of listening to and
respecting their natural appetites for food, drink, sleep, rest, and recreation. The Association for Size Diversity &
Health (ASDAH) has registered Health At Every Size®
as a trademark.
The basic principles of Health At Every Size (HAES) as outlined
by the Association for Size Diversity & Health are:
Accepting and respecting the diversity of body shapes and
Recognizing that health and well-being are multi-dimensional and that
they include physical, social, spiritual, occupational, emotional, and intellectual
Promoting all aspects of health and well-being for people of all
Promoting eating in a manner which balances individual nutritional needs,
hunger, satiety, appetite, and pleasure.
Promoting individually appropriate, enjoyable, life-enhancing physical
activity, rather than exercise that is focused on a goal of weight loss.
Health At Every Size® (sometimes referred to as Health At Any Size, or Health
For All Sizes) is a solution to health concerns that helps people live well without encouraging or
reinforcing size/weight prejudices or phobias, poor body image, or eating disorders—or the negative health
consequences of dieting-related weight loss and regain.
Pearlsong Press endorses Health At Every Size, and promises that every
book and product we publish or offer for sale, if published by another company, celebrates size diversity or
at least does not contradict it.
Health At Every Size friendly resources
Dr. Elam article on HAES |
More of Me to Love website |
People of Size website
| Declaration of Taking Up
Space | Health At Every Size online community
| HAES radio show | Big Fat Blog | Association for Size Diversity & Health
(ASDAH) | Council on Size & Weight Discrimination |
National Association to Advance Fat
Acceptance (NAAFA) | Fat Friendly Professionals
| FAT!SO? | Body Positive | Plus Size Yellow Pages |
Kelly Bliss | Fit Fatties Forum | Dances With Fat blog |
The Fat Chick Works Out | Curvy Yoga | Make Peace With Yourself (Kelly Bliss article)
Nourishing Connections |
Make Love, Not War on Obesity
| The Ample Traveler | Size Matters Radio Show | 12 Steps to Health At Every Size | Linda Bacon, Ph.D. website
Some Health At Every Size friendly