The Health At Every Size and Fat Acceptance Movement Podcast The Hart of Health Podcast S1 E20

The Health At Every Size and Fat Acceptance Movement Podcast | The Hart of Health Podcast

Joané & Jonathan: (00:03)
Hi, I’m Joané Hart and I’m Jonathan Hart. This is The Hart of Health. A show where we focus mainly on health and self-optimization. Here, we like to talk about our experiences and knowledge when it comes to health and biohacking. Hope you enjoy the show.

Joané: (00:34)
Hi, everyone. On today’s episode, we are going to be talking about the health at every size movement. So the health at every size movement, basically you started with the whole fat acceptance movement where a bunch of people have started saying that you cannot tell anything about my health by looking at the way I look. So somebody who is morbidly obese, for example, I’ve seen people make claims like, oh, I’m not obese. And you can’t tell that I’m unhealthy by looking at me. You’re not my doctor. Even though most of us know that being morbidly obese is not a healthy thing. I think it’s quite obvious. It’s quite obvious. It comes with a lot of risks. Yeah, you might currently still be okay and your heart hasn’t given in yet, you don’t have diabetes yet or something hasn’t gone wrong yet. And you might feel fine. Or you probably don’t feel very fit, but a lot of people only consider their health when something goes wrong. But the thing is, health is not just the absence of disease, which is something really important that I think a lot of people forget. You’re not just healthy when you’re not sick. So being healthy doesn’t just mean, but I’m not sick There are a lot of ways to be unhealthy.

Jonathan: (02:20)
Yeah. I just feel like this is almost a movement to try and make yourself feel better about your situation and not actually to solve the problem because you can even see now in this COVID-19 time, the data coming out is that being obese is not a good factor when it comes to surviving COVID. And it’s just going to be one of the examples that you can give, because what is the number one killer at the moment in the whole world? It’s cardiovascular disease, it’s heart attacks, basically. And your chances of getting that increase dramatically when you are obese and when you’re morbidly obese, it increases even more. So it’s really, really hard to understand how you can say health at every size, even though the people in the movement will say like, no, we’re talking about even though you’re a plus size or whatever, you can still be healthy. It’s like, no, every size means every size. Don’t use the word every, if you don’t mean every.

Joané: (03:37)
Yeah, you can say health at many sizes. I don’t necessarily believe that you need to be this lean, super fit person to be healthy, especially as a woman, it is a good thing to have a little bit of body fat. But health at every size, I didn’t believe it. My argument is, that the health at every size thing started with the fat acceptance movement. But you get a lot of people who are naturally very thin or unfortunately, you also get people who are anorexic and have different eating disorders that result in them being severely underweight. So now my question is health at every size, does it include the anorexic people? With eating disorders, people like to focus on anorexia and bulimia, binge eating disorder is also an eating disorder. So I see a morbidly obese person and instantly think, Oh, you have an eating disorder, you have disordered eating or food addiction. That is an eating disorder. And people will think, Oh, but that is fine. You know, eating yourself to death is fine.

Jonathan: (05:03)
Starving yourself to death Isn’t.

Joané: (05:05)
So then the people who have food addiction, maybe binge eating disorder, eat a lot of food and eat so much that it’s really unhealthy for their bodies. They will claim health at every size, but then a lot of them will also criticize the people who are on the other end of the eating disorder spectrum. And aren’t eating enough and I’ve heard so many people say bad things about people who are skinny. One of the things that really upset me is people saying, I’ve read this quote so many times in my life is, “real women have curves”. No, some people are naturally thin, but you get a lot of people in the fat acceptance movement who will say negative things about people who are naturally thin. And I’m not talking about people who are anorexic. Obviously, they need help too. But if you’re gonna claim health at every size, just so that you can carry on living with your eating disorder, then it should apply to people who are anorexic as well. So if you’re anorexic and people around you are trying to encourage you to gain weight, your doctors try to help you gain weight. And then you claim but health at every size, you can’t tell that I’m unhealthy just by looking at me, nobody would go for that.

Jonathan: (06:31)
No, It’s almost like people don’t see the hypocrisy and that they’re being kind of illogical in the situation because I think fat is becoming more of a norm because everyone on average is getting fatter. So seeing someone being overweight is becoming more and more of the norm. I think it’s almost easy to paint someone who’s anorexic as very unhealthy and you’re killing yourself. Now it’s becoming almost accepted to be fat, which is it’s the exact same thing just in reverse. It’s now you’re going to get diseases of excess instead of malnutrition, you know? You are now going to start getting the opposite problem, but it’s still a problem. And people are trying to pretend that it’s not. And that’s a big problem.

Joané: (07:26)
And trying to pretend that it’s healthy. You know, I get quite upset because nowadays, if you talk about fat loss, people get upset. If a celebrity or somebody in the public eye loses weight, loses fat, people get upset and there is this whole backlash and people keep saying diet culture is bad and being fat is perfectly okay, but going on a diet and stressing about food, that is the worst thing. And that is what messes people up. So a lot of people will claim that they used to be fine. Then they went on a diet for the first time and then they started developing issues around food. In my mind, if you were fat or obese before you went on your first diet, you already had issues with food, but people keep bringing up but depriving yourself of food causes eating disorders and anxiety and depression.

Joané: (08:30)
But my thing is, if you are morbidly obese and people tease you, or you can’t run around with your kids, you can’t go on the rollercoaster that you want. You can’t do a lot of things because of your size. That can also make you feel anxious and depressed. So yeah, going on a restrictive diet is not necessarily great. You should try and just eat healthily, but there’s this whole movement where people say diet culture is bad. Trying to eat healthily and trying to live a healthy lifestyle. That’s what messes people up and that’s what we need to stop doing. You know? I saw a post where someone was saying that if you have polycystic ovary syndrome, which is associated with high insulin levels, not in all cases, but in a lot of them, in most cases I think, the person was saying if you have this condition, just eat whatever you want.

Joané: (09:30)
Don’t worry about what people say. Because if you’re trying to lower your sugar intake or eat in a way to support your insulin levels, that is what’s going to mess you up. But if you have polycystic ovary syndrome, you already have a problem with your insulin. Your lifestyle up to this point has contributed a lot to your health. But now people are saying just because you have this condition, it doesn’t mean that you have to change anything about yourself because that’s going to make you feel bad. We live in a society where we’re so worried about making people feel bad about themselves, that we’re willing to choose to change the rules about our health and our views. Like we used to say that being overweight is not healthy, but that hurt people’s feelings. So we’re not going to say that anymore.

Joané: (10:28)
And now we’re going to claim health at every size. People get upset with their doctors and say my doctor is fat-shaming me for telling me that he thinks, or she thinks, or they think that I need to lose weight or lose fat. The doctor is fatphobic and the doctor is fat-shaming me. I’m just thinking, no, the doctor’s trying to help you. But people are so sensitive. They don’t want to hear that they’re overweight. They don’t want to hear that because of their size, their health can be negatively affected. You know? If the anorexic person said you’re skinny, shaming me by asking me to gain weight, you know, would you still be as accepting as the fat person saying the doctor’s not allowed to comment on my weight. Okay, then why did you even go to the doctor in the first place if you’re not going to let them help you?

Jonathan: (11:28)
Yeah. I was just about to say, chances are an obese person is going to be needing to go to the doctor at some point, because there’s going to be an issue that they would want to be solved. And I mean, I haven’t gone to the doctor in, in years now and it’s just because I don’t have any issues that I need to be solved. And it’s so funny that you pointed out their situation because it’s like they’ve gone to try and solve a problem. The doctors told them, look at your problems based on the fact that you’re obese and then they take it as, nope, that can’t be true because that’s just fat-shaming. And I can be healthy at this size because it’s health at every size. No, there’s obviously going to be a spectrum. There’s going to be some people that can be heavier and healthier. And some people that can be skinny and still healthy because you get different body types and it’s going to be very individual like health. And yes, many sizes works way better because each person’s going to have to be sort of analyzed on a case by case basis to determine health. And as technology improves, we’ll be able to define health better, but at the moment, saying “every size” is very wrong.

Joané: (12:55)
And I got upset because I’ve always been passionate about health and wellness. Yes, I understand that being on a very restrictive diet, constantly dieting can have a negative mental effect, but that’s also being very restrictive with your calories, stuff like that. When just trying to eat healthily is a way better approach than going on like a crash diet or something like that. Especially crash diets. Nobody should be doing that. Don’t go on a lemonade diet or you only have lemon juice and cayenne pepper for a week, or don’t do a juice cleanse, something like that. But we’re living in a world now where I saw this company that launched and it’s all about health. Their whole goal is to promote health. Most of the posts I’ve seen from them, especially now that a lot of people are talking about race, have been where they would share pictures of women who were overweight and say we are not focusing on size or anything like that.

Joané: (14:11)
We’re not focusing on changing your diets in any specific way, but we just want to tell you about this woman who has her own wellness company and she’s doing so well in helping people to live healthier lifestyles. And then I look at this picture seeing this woman who is borderline obese and she is being promoted as a wellness, entrepreneur, wellness, health, and wellness influencer because she talks about self-care a lot. She talks about relaxing, putting on masks, doing all these things to help you relax. And yes, taking care of yourself is a big part of wellness, but we’re skipping over all of the other things like, are you at a healthy body composition? Is your diet healthy? No, because we don’t want to offend anyone. So we’re just saying that’s not important for health anymore. What is important is taking time to watch Netflix and sleeping in. Yes, your sleep is very important, but we’re skipping over the diet and exercise part of health and wellness and going straight to just relaxing.

Jonathan: (15:33)
Yeah. I feel like what we’ve mentioned in the past is the four pillars of health that we consider the most important. Number one is sleep. When you’re obese, your chances of getting sleep apnea increase a lot. So boom, the most important pillar already is being affected by your size. Then the second one is nutrition. And based on if someone’s obese, they’re probably not getting the right nutrition. They’re probably getting a lot of nutrition, but not the right nutrition. Then you go into exercise as the third pillar and obesity definitely restricts your ability to exercise properly. Then lastly, social interactions also get affected because now you’re almost becoming alienated and everyone’s sort of staring at you. When you go out in public, you feel isolated. I feel like it’s almost like a four for four hit on all the pillars of health that we’ve mentioned by being obese, especially morbidly obese. Obviously, if a movement comes out to say, hey, you can be accepted for being like this. A lot of people are going to jump on the bandwagon because it’s going to sort of externalise the problem. It’s not their fault anymore. It’s just sort of the way things are.

Joané: (17:02)
It’s diet culture that’s the problem.

Jonathan: (17:04)
Yeah. I mean not like diet culture is something to support. I think you should be more focused on lifestyle changes and trying to make things permanent. Trying to make changes that you can implement forever. Instead of just saying you can do a month challenge. Like we do monthly challenges for fun, but we never make any permanent decisions on something really extreme. That’s the thing, people are doing these extreme diets for such a short period of time. And yes, it can have a negative effect, but it’s not to say that you should never try and change what you eat. Because that is a very important factor for health.

Joané: (17:50)
Just because you went on a diet and it was the wrong diet for you and you felt bad mentally and all you could think of was junk food, doesn’t mean that there’s not a healthier diet out there that will work for you. You have to experiment and not just follow a diet that people say you should follow, okay? You don’t have to go low carb. You don’t have to go keto. You don’t have to go carnivore. Please don’t go vegan. But you don’t have to follow the diet that everyone around you is suggesting, but find a healthier way of living. And I got upset when I read somebody said just eat whatever you want. If someone was diabetic and you told them to ignore what the doctors say, just eat whatever you want because you don’t want to feel bad about yourself while you’re trying to live this healthier diet lifestyle and the deprivation from not eating the candy, that’s gonna kill you quicker.

Joané: (18:48)
That’s way worse. If you’re a diabetic, try and eat in a way that will be good for you and help you to live a longer life. But we’re happy to live shorter lives and screw up our health just so that we don’t have to feel bad when people around us are eating cake and we are not eating cake with them. I’m not saying never eat the cake again, but there has to be some balance between you can never have these foods again and just eating whatever you want to screw diet culture. Just love yourself and tell everybody health at every size. If someone gives you shit about it.

Jonathan: (19:35)
Yeah. It’s a very hedonistic approach. You know, it’s sort of just like pleasure in the moment at the cost of quality of life. And so that’s why I always tell people like, yes, I’m carnivore. Food for me is not a mass effect. Like I’m not a foodie. So, as long as I’m getting my nutrition in order and things are going well, I’m happy. And the food’s not that important to me, but that’s a very individual case. That’s the way I am. Not everyone’s like that. I think the sort of map everyone needs to start trying to figure out, is what is the best quality of life you can obtain in your current state? So you have to almost try and solve for what’s going to maximize my quality of life and being obese is not maximizing your quality of life in any way and doing things to change that is going to improve your quality of life drastically. Yes, you can say that my quality of life is pleasure in the moment. And I feel like that’s a very narrow focus of what you consider the quality of life, because you’ve got to take a whole bunch of things into factor. Are you experiencing sleep problems? Or do you have an unhealthy relationship with food? And all these things. Can move around easily? Do you have ease of movement?

Joané & Jonathan: (21:12)
Can you play with your kids for 10 minutes without getting winded? Can you walk around the block?

Jonathan: (21:18)
All of these things contribute to your quality of life. If just standing up is a painful event, how can you argue that you have a high quality of life?

Joané: (21:32)
Yes. And it will go to the extreme because remember health at every size, it includes the people who are 600, 700 pounds who can not get out of bed. I don’t know if you’ve seen the show, My 600 Pound Life, but it’s shocking. And I just think about health at every size. Some of these people can’t get out of bed. They can’t go to the bathroom or anything like that. They just have people cleaning up after them and people bringing food to them. What quality of life do you have if you are stuck in bed the whole day and you can’t get out? And people get bed sores and it’s very sad. There are some people who will say, yeah, but that is an extreme case. And my argument is, but it’s called the health at every size movement.

Jonathan: (22:26)
Yeah. And the problem is literally that word, every. One thing that I found interesting when we started researching this whole podcast, was there’s plenty of things when you Google health at every size and fat acceptance and a whole bunch of things popped up. But if you try and find a pro-anorexia site, that was super difficult. You couldn’t get to it. It’s like that side of the spectrum has been banned. And I don’t understand how we can be so unbalanced and not see that it’s the exact same thing just on the other side of the spectrum. And it’s sort of like they’re almost promoting fair acceptance and the health at every size movement. And it’s the exact same thing as accepting and promoting anorexia. Just in the opposite direction.

Joané: (23:24)
Just for interest’s sake, I tried to show Jonathan because I knew about the pro-anorexia websites from years ago, I never went on them. I just saw them talk about it on TV. And I found some hashtags that people use for pro-anorexia. If you search for these hashtags on Instagram, they give these warning signs and say this content has been blocked to protect viewers and stuff like that, which is great. It’s good that they are trying to protect people. At least give a warning. We’re not saying at all that anorexia is good and it’s very sad and people who are going through it, I feel very sorry for them and we need people need to help them. But on the other end, he searched for the hashtags, Fat acceptance, ike so many different hashtags and you just see endless pictures of people with no warning, saying that eating to the point of morbid obesity is bad for you. There’s no warning. It’s being celebrated. However, people promoting being skinny is problematic. I think both are problematic.

Jonathan: (24:45)
Yes. The whole point of this podcast is how can you say one is bad, but the other one is accepted and celebrated. It’s almost like if there were more anorexics in the world, we would see the opposite scenario. It’s because more people would be happy to associate with being anorexic and say anorexic acceptance. If the vast majority of people were more towards the anorexic side, they’d be way more accepting of it. But now in our society, way more people are on the fat and overweight side that it’s now sort of pushing the what’s acceptable. And what’s not just because there’s a lot of people who will support that movement based on their own body composition.

Joané: (25:37)
Didn’t they ban models who have BMIs under 18 in France? So I think in France, if a model’s BMI is too low, she’s not allowed to go on the runway or anything like that because they don’t want to promote this really skinny look. They don’t want people to feel bad about themselves, but a morbidly obese model is perfectly fine.

Jonathan: (26:07)
It’s sort of just like a bait and switch. It’s like okay, we’ve all come to an agreement that being anorexic is unhealthy. But how can you not see all the data pointing a finger at obesity as being one of the number one problems when it comes to health?

Joané: (26:32)
I know, but we have to ignore all of the science, just so that we don’t hurt people’s feelings and you get people who are obese and then their kids become obese and it’s just this sick cycle. And you get families that all they eat is junk food. There are no nutritious foods going into their child. We’ve heard of people putting their kids on vegan diets and then getting prosecuted for it because it’s seen you’re not taking care of your kid properly and you’re not giving your kid the nutrition they need. what about the parents who are only feeding their kids junk foods?

Jonathan: (27:20)
It’s funny that the vegan diet often results in health concerns quicker than if you’re just eating junk food. But yes, it’s hard when you see those kids who they’re less than 10 years old and they’re already obese. I feel like there should be classified as child abuse because that poor kid has zero choice in the matter. And he’s getting forced into a lifelong situation of problems and issues. It’s all based on the nutrition and lifestyle that they’re living. You can say, Oh, it’s all just genetic that my parents were fat and their parents were fat and it’s like, okay. Yeah, maybe you have body types and genes that make it easier for you to get fat living on a standard American diet. But it doesn’t mean that you’re hopeless and there’s nothing you can do about it and it’s just predetermined genetics. No, that’s a very old school way of thinking about things. The truth is that there’s a large component coming from how you were raised and what your life was like, what you ate, how you slept, how you, all these things in your first 20 years of life make a huge impact on what you see the outcome of someone’s life being.

Joané: (28:51)
Yes. I’ve seen a plus-size model who’s been very vocal in the health at every size movement who has kids and her kids are already overweight and the kids are just pushed into this fat acceptance movement. Like you can’t tell but my kids are super healthy and stuff like that. I just think it’s sad. Yes, there are a lot of kids who become overweight, who aren’t part of the whole fat acceptance movement.

Jonathan: (29:26)
Yeah. So with the kids, it’s unfair because they don’t really have a choice in the matter, you know? I think it might be a bit far taking it to child abuse, but it’s unintentional child abuse because the parents often don’t know any better. And they’re just sort of following the guidelines that they’ve been given. But I would like to definitely see that there are warnings on fat acceptance messages and that we try and treat it the same way we are treating anorexia. Because if you saw a child that was anorexic because their parents were anorexic and they were making sure that the child is anorexic, basically anyone who’s listening to this now, would say you can’t do that. You can’t let a child be anorexic. That is terrible. Yes, both are terrible. I feel like we need more balance. If we’re going to treat anorexia a certain way, we need to treat obesity a certain way too. They’re both unhealthy and they both come with a lot of issues. And the fact that anorexia has become completely unacceptable and banned, is a good thing in my opinion. But why are we not doing this with fat?

Joané: (30:52)
And why are we celebrating morbid obesity? One thing that I find interesting is you get people who…I like the whole body positivity idea. I’ve dealt with struggles with how I feel about my body. And I don’t want anybody to feel bad about themselves and the way they look, but you get people who’ve spoken about body positivity. They are maybe plus size and they’ve gotten a lot of followers because of it, but they want to lose fat for health reasons, but feel like they can’t because the moment they start losing some fat, there’s this huge backlash. They lose a lot of followers. I heard a podcast where someone was saying, Oh, they’ve gotten messages from people who have been in this fat acceptance movement for a while. We have been told by their doctors, you need to lose fat, but they’re too scared to lose fat. And they want to lose fat for themselves. They want to improve their quality of life but there’s so much backlash. And the moment that you lose any fat, they say you’re a traitor and now you’re giving into diet culture. Now you’re not body positive anymore. Body positivity should mean being positive towards your body. Yes, the junk food is positive towards your taste buds, but it’s not positive towards your body.

Jonathan: (32:24)
Yeah. I definitely think that body positivity is fine. If you’re morbidly obese and you want to change your body, being negative towards your body’s not going to help the situation. Like you might as well be positive and be like, okay, I’m in a shitty situation now, but I’m still going to try and not go down that dark hole of depression. That often leads to me eating again and try and be positive about my body and the fact that I’m going to be going on to a healthy lifestyle and go down the path towards better quality of life. So body positivity can work really well for any situation. It’s sort of just like trying to get your mental framework around how you look and feel about yourself. And it doesn’t mean that because you feel positive in the way you look now, that you can’t change the way you look or your body composition, especially if you’re trying to do it for health reasons.

Joané: (33:28)
Well, a recent example that we saw was Adele’s weight loss. The singer Adele. Yeah, she used to be bigger and her voice was still incredible, but when she lost fat and when pictures recently popped up of how she looks now, the world was basically divided on this. A lot of people were saying she looks so good but then the other half got upset and said things like, does that mean that you didn’t think she looked good before? No, she looked just as good when she was overweight as she does now and by saying that she looks good now you’re saying that she didn’t look good before. So now if a celebrity loses weight, it’s not like in the past where everybody’s saying that’s cool. Congratulations, congratulations. Now it’s this controversial thing where half the people get upset because they think you gave into diet culture now.

Jonathan: (34:36)
That’s the thing, making a change to your body composition is a very difficult task and people understand that because a lot of people have tried and failed. So when they see someone succeed, they’re immediately like, well done. And that’s the thing, you can say she looks good because that’s your own subjective opinion. You’re allowed to have your own subjective opinion. If you think she looks better now, then you’re allowed to say that. Like why is everyone trying to be like the thought police and say like, no, you have to think that Adele was just as beautiful when she was big. You’re entitled to your own subjective opinion. Why does everyone have to try and like narrate what everyone’s opinion has to be?

Joané: (35:23)
Yeah. It used to be that people were attracted to different things. Some men like women with big boobs and a lot of curves, some men like thinner women who aren’t necessarily as curvy, but can rock the runway or whatever. And it used to be like, oh, I like people with dark hair. I’m not that attracted to people who are blind, you know? What you’re attracted to is so subjective. But now you’ll get it where somebody says, but I’m not attracted to people who are overweight. I want somebody with a healthy body composition and there’s this outrage because now you are fat-phobic. And you have to basically be just as attracted to this type of person as this type of person because otherwise, you’re discriminating. No, you’re just attracted to what you’re attracted to. There are a lot of people who are attracted to bigger people.

Joané: (36:28)
There are people, there are men who want women who are obese and who get upset if the women lose fat, you know? I’ve seen it on My 600 Pound Life. The show I mentioned earlier where there’s one woman was so big that she struggled to move around, wanted to lose fat so that she could have a better quality of life and be there for her child. I mean, she was so big that she couldn’t play with her kid in the park. Her friend had to come over to go and play with the kid in the park. She couldn’t even walk into the park because it was too far. She would park next to the park and sit there and watch her kid from 50 meters away playing because she was so big. She couldn’t. So that I found quite sad. So she, even though her husband was somebody who was very attracted to big, bigger woman, she decided she wanted to lose fat so that she can actually go to the park with her kid and the husband did not take it well. And they ended up separating because he was quite upset with her losing fat. You get those cases as well. But don’t get upset with somebody who isn’t attracted to bigger people for not being attracted to bigger people. You are attracted to what you’re attracted to, but people are trying to force that as well nowadays, which I find very weird.

Jonathan: (38:01)
Yeah. It’s so weird. You feel like 20, 30 years ago, that political side of the aisle was more on the like being liberal and free. It was more like about freedom and like whoever you are, I’ll accept it. It’s cool, I’m not going to be prejudice. I’m just going to take every person as they come. And from all walks of life and everything is cool. And like it’s suddenly become that you’re not free to be who you are. If you’re like X, Y, or Z, you are the enemy basically. And you can’t operate with that because your coming from a point where everyone says, I want to be free. And so as soon as you say you can’t be free, you have to be attracted to fat women otherwise you’re fat-phobic and you’re a horrible person. So now you’ve made this very rigid sort of ultimatum between you’ve got to be attracted to this, otherwise, you’re a fatphobic asshole.

Joané: (39:17)
Yeah. Which I didn’t like. Just let people be attracted to what they are attracted to.

Jonathan: (39:23)
There are people out there that will be attracted to people who are on the large side. And we’re not saying that you have to be not obese. It’s not like we’re saying that. You can choose to be obese.

Joané: (39:40)
And if you’re happy with it, if you feel good about yourself, then brilliant. I love that. You know, I really like plus-size models. I like people who are comfortable in their own skin. I just don’t like that health at every size claim. If you said beautiful at every size. Yeah, sure. I can go with it. I want to support that. I’m never going to say that a person who is overweight is less attractive than a really skinny person, because I don’t think that’s true. I’ve spent hours just looking at plus-size models wishing that I also was that curvy. I’m thinking about Ashley Graham and people like that. But if you’re morbidly obese, I’m just thinking about Tess Holliday, for example. Yes, she’s gorgeous and she’s beautiful, but I wouldn’t say she’s healthy.

Jonathan: (40:45)
Yeah. It’s very unlikely that she’ll have a long term health outcome staying at the side. There might not be anything that they can detect now currently, but that’s the problem. Often it’s a few years down the line and suddenly there’s a big problem that they discover. And suddenly your health is at risk. And now suddenly you want to lose the weight, but you’ve now been put up on this pedestal as the sort of fat acceptance person. And now you feel pressured to not lose weight. Even though now all the doctors are telling you, no matter how many doctors you go to, they will say this is a problem. And if you don’t solve it, this is the outcome.

Joané: (41:30)
Once again, health is not just the absence of disease. I feel like a lot of, like you just said, people who are part of the health at every size movement, yes, everything is fine for now. But 5 or 10 years down the line, when your size starts having negative health implications, what are you going to claim then? And if you’ve built your entire empire off of being overweight and now in order to save your life or to be there for your kids one day, you have to lose fat. Now you have to choose the empire you built or your health. So it really is not health at every size.

Jonathan: (42:21)
Yeah and I think we’ve got that point across. Health in many sizes, but not every size.

Joané: (42:29)
I used to think that I had to become very lean to be seen as healthy. And I’d say I’m about average, but I’ve just over the last few months been thinking about trying to lose all of my extra body fat, but I am scared of what that will do to my hormones because I have had hormonal struggles. I think a lot of it also came from trying to lose fat or being in a calorie deficit for a very long time. So I’m not saying that we all need six-pack abs. I don’t have a flat stomach. I’m not overweight. I’m at a healthy body size. You know, I’m at a healthy body composition and my hormones are doing a lot better and I’m just wondering, okay, the most important thing is health. Not the way I look. The healthy thing might be to maintain the way I am and not to try and lose fat.

Joané: (43:39)
And that’s where I think, I hate saying diet culture, but we’ve lived in this society for very long where everybody was trying to get very lean. So many people were trying to get very lean and it caused problems for a lot of people. So I feel like we just need to get to a point in society where it’s not health at every size, but it’s also not we all have to look like Hollywood actresses back in the day and we can belong on the cover of a runway, a fashion magazine. There has to be a happy medium, you know?

Jonathan: (44:19)
Yeah. Also don’t resent the people who look different to you, even if they’re way more popular to the guys or the girls, whoever is attracted to them. They might have a more popular body composition or look or whatever, and people are allowed to be attracted to them. When you’re talking about looks, it’s completely subjective and it has nothing to do with health. You can be a person with a six-pack and still be unhealthy. Yes, it’s much more unlikely that if you’ve got good muscle tone and good skin tone and all these things that people are normally attracted to, to be unhealthy, but there can still be underlying issues that you don’t know about. So it is difficult to look at someone and know straight away if they’re healthy or not. When you get to certain extremes, it becomes very easy to tell if someone has health problems or not. It’s sort of here in the middle of the spectrum, that it becomes a lot more difficult to actually judge those things. So I think people do need to try and separate health from attractiveness, but a lot of attractiveness is based on health.

Joané: (45:40)
Yeah. We are attracted to people who look healthy a lot of the time. Like you can get a person who is, as a lot of people would label them skinny. You can get two people who are the same sizes, but one person looks sickly and the other person just looks like that’s the way they’ve always looked. And I love the Victoria secret models, the Angels, you know? I think they’re all really beautiful. And I’ve heard a lot of people comment on how thin they are. And I just think but that’s the way they’re built. I’m not gonna hate Victoria Secret models because they are so much thinner than I am. I think they look beautiful for their own bodies and some of the plus-size models I’ve seen are just as beautiful to me as the Victoria Secret Angels.

Joané: (46:39)
So beauty is very subjective and that’s why I say, yeah, I agree with beautiful at every size. I think Tess Holliday is beautiful. She’s a beautiful woman. Would I prefer to have a flat stomach and kind of have more of a Kardashian type body? Yes. I think it’s beautiful. Would it be healthy for me to try and achieve that? I don’t know. Probably not. Separating what is healthy and what is beautiful is important. Looking healthy and being healthy helps you look more attractive. There are a lot of things that play a role, but health at every size. I don’t agree.

Jonathan: (47:30)
100% do not agree. Why use the word every?

Joané: (47:34)
Yeah, let’s call it H.A.M.S. Health at many sizes.

Jonathan: (47:52)
Ha-ha, I’m supporting the H.A.M.S. movement.

Joané: (47:57)
Anyways. Those are our thoughts on the health at every size movement. We can get quite passionate about it. I think we’d be able to talk about it for way longer, but I think we’ve said most of what can be said really. What should be said right now?

Jonathan: (48:11)
Yes and health is a journey. Don’t think you can suddenly become healthy with a crash diet.

Joané: (48:20)
If you are healthy, don’t take your health for granted.

Joané & Jonathan: (48:24)
And yeah, until next time, bye.

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