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Health At Every Size (HAES), Size Acceptance (SA) and Me

About a year ago I stumbled upon the idea of Health At Every Size (HAES). And I loved what it said.

It says that no matter what size I am, I can still be healthy. It says I have the right to move my fat body in any way I choose without censor or ridicule.

And it says that fat does not immediately mean out of shape and that thin does not immediately mean healthy.

In fact, I remember a man in my first ‘Oh fuck you have Type II diabetes, now what?’* class who was thin as a rail. And still had Type II.

You know why? Because a Type II diabetic is one whose body does not use insulin properly. Yes, that can mean because they are too big for their insulin supply, or could just mean their body produces too little. But they produce some.**

Anyway, HAES gave me the courage to say ‘fuck it to dieting.’ I have never really been a “dieter” anyway, but I certainly tried Weight Watchers or other weigh what you eat plans. And have never kept the weight off for more than a year.

Of course, I didn’t just see HAES and give up watching what I eat. I also read the actual studies about the harm yo-yo dieting does to the human body and also how none of the weight loss “experts” or programmes, such as Weight Watchers, will even publish studies past about 5 years of success.

One of the blogs I follow, Dances With Fat, says this about weight loss past five years:

 “The vast majority of people who attempt long term weight loss gain their weight back, and a majority of those gain back more than they lost.  When most people trying an intervention have the exact opposite effect, ethically we have to stop recommending it, at least until we figure out why and have research that shows a higher degree of success.”

HAES has actually even permeated Type II Diabetes guidelines. When I was diagnosed about 10 years ago, I was told my HBA1C*** had to be under 7 in order for me to be in control. Just last year that number went up. To 7.5. And just two weeks ago, at my 6 monthly appointment, I was told it needed to be about 7.6**** or under. 50 Shades of Diabetes chart 50 Shades of Diabetes chart

This was because a lot of studies showed there was a nominal difference in health and secondary pathic issues between 7.5 and 7 but a huge difference in the quality of life for diabetics. In other words, people were working so hard to achieve 7 or lower, they were miserable.

And my last A1C (not counting two weeks ago, that one isn’t back yet)? 7.4.

And then there’s SA. SA is exactly what it says it is. Accepting that people are fat or thin just as they are tall or short, brunet or blonde. My weight is none of your business and your weight is none of mine. You can’t tell how healthy someone is by their size. And it’s really none of your business how healthy I am or am not.

So what does this mean practically for me? It means I still eat fairly well most of the time (I’m a huge lover of vegetables and always have been) and when I don’t? I don’t worry about it.

But I am also exercising more. Because my goal isn’t weight loss, but to just enjoy the exercise, I am more willing to do it and I do it more often. There is no goal, actually, beyond trying to move (I usually walk) about 4 days a week, if not more.

So give it a try. Try eating what you want, when you want, as much as you want and accepting that some people are just fatter than other people. I mean, I will never be 6′ tall. And now I accept that I will never be 140 pounds either.

*Probably not the actual name of the class.

** For the record, a Type I or Juvenile diabetic produce no insulin at all. That’s the difference between the two. Also, everything I say here having to do with diabetes is about me and Type II.

***HbA1c refers to glycated haemoglobin (A1c), which identifies average plasma glucose concentration, usually over 8-12 weeks.

****The United Kingdom no longer uses DCCT numbers for A1C but IFCC numbers instead, which are two digits and start at 35. But just as kilometres have no meaning to me, IFCC numbers mean nothing. So I always convert to DCCT, which I understand!

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Eating Less, Moving More, Gaining Control

As I start 2014 I am exactly 23 pounds away from my goal weight. It was 20, but I gained 3 over Christmas, which isn’t actually all that bad considering I didn’t even move from house for over a week and ate all the Christmas treats!

So I’ve started seriously tracking my eating again, over at My Fitness Pal (MFP) (Tee2072 if you want to friend me) and using Pinterest (also Tee2072, come say hi!) along with my Facebook page (Eat Less Move More Gain Control).

But while I’d love people to come ‘play’ with me, what I really wanted to write about was something on MFP that bugs the shit out of me.

So part of MFP is, of course, tracking your food. It has been proven, over and over again, that a food diary is an excellent tool for helping you lose weight, even if you’re not tracking a set amount of calories. Just seeing what you’re eating can help you control what you eat.

However, with MFP, after you’re done logging for the day, it calculates how much you ate and tells you something like ‘If you ate like this every day, you’ll weigh 5 pounds by next Christmas’. However, again, if you haven’t eaten at least your base calories, those ‘given’ to you before you exercise, you also get a message saying something like ‘You don’t appear to be eating enough. You may not lose anything ever.’ However, for the third time, you also get a message automatically posted to your ‘News Feed’ that says ‘Tee finished her food and exercise diary for the day and was under her calorie goal.’

Um, what?

So, is it good or bad to not eat enough? Their program ‘yells’ at you and yet places that on your wall for your friends to like and comment on.

Am I the only one who is going O.o about this? Surely it’s a totally mixed message?

I have contacted MFP about this on their message boards but have been ignored. I will be linking to this blog post over there and emailing them as well about it as I really do think it’s a not just a mixed message but a dangerous mixed method.

It is bad to not eat enough. Starvation Mode does exist. Oh it’s not as simple as ‘don’t eat enough, starve’ but it’s not good for your body in any case.

And really? Isn’t that the point?

To do something that’s good for your body?

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Eat Less. Move More. Gain Control.

There’s been more than one thread on Mumsnet lately about Diabetes Type II management.

As a long term owner of the condition, I’ve been chiming in a lot.

And repeating the title of this post.

Because that’s what I am currently doing. I don’t diet, per se. I eat sensibly. Everyone knows I walk 1,000,000 miles a day. And I’m, hopefully, bringing my A1C down to better levels.

And it’s not necessarily a mantra just for diabetes management. It’s the basic idea, really, behind any sensible weight loss.

Eat Less.

Move More.

Gain Control.

I might make a badge.

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Signs Of Progress

So, I think I mentioned, Adam’s school is a 1.5 mile walk, one way.

This means that three days a week I walk six miles, and one or two days a week I walk three miles, depending on whether or not Simon can take him on a Friday. His childminder picks him up Wednesday and Friday, so Simon or I only have to go there and back on those days.

And I’m seeing some results.

First result is that what has been a 30 minute walk for me, when Adam isn’t with me, is slowly getting faster. I expect it will take me around 20 by Christmas.

The second is the centimetres are falling away. I have lost a total of one and half centimetres off my waist and two and half off my hips. My neck, which is weird to measure anyway, has stayed the same.

The third is half a kilo gone.

I actually think I am more pleased by the centimeters lost than the kilos!

New clothes here I come!!!

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I’m Not Doing Very Well…

Adam has been having nightmares, which he seems to sleep through, but once I hear one I can’t resettle to sleep until I’m sure he’s moved through it so I wind up awake for at least 20 minutes, sometimes an hour.

We think something is going on at his daycare, although they say there isn’t. He’s only there for 5 more sessions and then it’s child minder and school so we’re just going to plow through.

Anyway, lack of sleep is making me sore and grumpy and not feeling like doing anything except sleep and eat. Really great for the eating plan, no?

So there you go. Now you know why no updates.

Hopefully I’ll get some sleep this weekend.

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My Current Goal…

I have taken up yoga again, using an app on my iPhone. It’s a fab app where you put in your level and what you want to do and for how long and it gives you a program to follow.

I have been concentrating on stretching, thanks to my fibro, and have found a fantastic 42 minute program that I have been trying to do at least 3 times a week. Not sure how it’s going to work once I have to get Adam to preschool every day, but for the next few weeks I’m going to do it.

It’s a fairly straightforward series of positions, starting standing and ending up on the floor. And I can do all of them.

Until the end. When I get to half boat pose or Sahaja Navasana: –

Half Boat Pose
Half Boat Pose


In the program you are suppose to hold that pose for 45 seconds. Which doesn’t sound like much, does it?

Try it. I’ll wait.

How’d you do?

I currently can hold it for, about, 10 seconds.

My goal is to hold it for the full 45.

I’ll keep you posted…

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Creating A New Me

As Adam gets older and moves towards school I am trying to, as much as I hate the description, find myself. Again.

It’s not so much as I’m lost. I don’t really feel lost. I’m just not sure what’s next. The plan has always been to build up my business as Adam moves on to full time school. And I’m heading that way, working on my business plan and marketing the business and networking.

But what about me? For the last two plus years I’ve lived in jeans in t-shirts. I’ve neglected my nails and haven’t done much with my hair. Let’s not even talk about my weight…

So that’s the first step. My weight. To go back to walking as much as possible. I am going to start Monday by walking at least part the way back from nursery drop off. It’s nearly 3 miles so I doubt I’ll do the whole thing, especially as a big chunk of it is up hill, but it’s right along the bus route so I can jump on that any time to get the rest of the way home.

The next step, which I am also starting to work on, is my wardrobe. I’m determined to move away from t-shirts. I doubt I’ll move away from jeans as I have always loved jeans, but the t-shirts really need to go. I’ve started digging into the back of closet and pulling out some of my old nicer shirts to wear. And even when I wear a t-shirt I’m trying to layer it with a cardi (of which I seem to have thousands that I’ve forgotten about) or short jacket.

I’m also hunting the web and using Pinterest (same username as here 🙂 ) to keep track of what I might like to wear soon. I’m also keeping track of the things I wish I could wear if I was 6 inches taller! My weight I can change, but I’ve been 5’2″ since I was 15. That’s not going to change! And I can’t wear heels so 5’2″ I shall remain.

Anyway, this is all really just first thoughts. And I’m having fun looking at clothes and thinking about what I might do with my hair.

And today? I did this:

Red Nails!
My toes match!



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That Old Shaky Feeling

Tonight as Adam was being cranky and crabby and clingy I suddenly felt weak and dizzy and sick. And I realized I was having a hypo.

I haven’t had a hypo since my pregnancy when I was on insulin. Hypos are very unusual on metformin, which is what I take now. As it’s not an insulin replacement but an insulin enhancer it doesn’t do what actual insulin does. It helps the insulin you have work better so, theoretically, your body should still be producing, with metformin’s help, just the right amount of insulin to cover what you ate. Just like a non-diabetic.

So what happened? I have no idea. I’ve started back on my eating plan so I know that I ate enough at lunch. Some rolls, some soup, a yellow pepper, 1/2 an apple and 1/2 a nectarine (Adam likes the first bite or 2, then I eat the rest). In fact, with the rolls and the fruit I probably had too many carbs at lunch.

I didn’t check my blood so I don’t know for sure that I was hypo but it certainly felt like it. One second I was a bit hungry and the next I was shaking and feeling a bit fuzzy.

I have been thinking about talking to my diabetes team about reducing my metformin anyway as my numbers have been consistently good. Oh I get the occasional highish number but they are getting rarer. It helps that I am continuing to lose weight.

So why was I hypo at 5pm?

No idea.

But next time, if there is a next time, I will check my blood and remember that some orange juice is the best cure.

Or, my actual preferred method during my pregnancy, a Mars Bar. 🙂

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This Isn’t A Cooking Blog

Any more than it is a Mummy Blog. It’s just a blog.

So I don’t really write about what I cook. And I do cook. Daily. And mostly from scratch.

What do I cook?

Well, tonight it is Macaroni and Cheese and salad. Not combined, you understand. The salad is on the side.

Last night it was left over stew that I made on Sunday. I like things that we can eat over two nights. Especially on Monday’s as Simon gets home late from work and Adam is at daycare all day.

Tomorrow I am not cooking as I am off at a video shoot so Simon is making himself and Adam some pasta. Simon only cooks a few things.

Thursday I am cheating and we are having frozen battered scampi and chips. I am cheating because I have to process the videos from Wednesday night’s shoot all morning and then have a training class in the afternoon so no time to do more than throw something in the oven.  We’ll have peas with it.

Friday I don’t know what I am cooking as Adam and I are off to St George’s Market to pick out some fish. And I think local peas are  coming into season soon. Yum.

I do menu plan, weekly, for shopping on Tuesday. I have no idea when it started to be Tuesdays. I think it might have been from back in our old flat where we had a very tiny fridge that only held about 3 days of food. So we’d get food in on Saturday to last through Monday and then get groceries delivered on Monday night.

Then we moved to this flat with a bigger fridge and I started ordering more food on Monday for the whole week. Then Tesco got stupid about delivery and I got more and more pregnant and then went on Maternity Leave with Adam, I started doing Tuesday through Friday shopping on Tuesday.

So now my rallying cry is ‘Grocery shopping. Must be Tuesday!’ (Pauses for laugh from Buffy fans.)

I don’t have a recipe rota or anything. Mostly I say to Simon (and Adam, but he doesn’t contribute much yet) ‘what haven’t we eaten lately?’ and I buy for that.

I do Shepherd’s Pie and Veggie Lasagne.

I do Paella (which Adam doesn’t like) and Fajitas.

I do Goulash and Turkish Lamb Stew.

And many many other things.

Anyone want any recipes?

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I Have Been *So* Bad About Updating

My life in bullet points: –

  • Designed To A Tee started its first contract on 1st June.  Some kinks to work out, but mostly having a blast working for myself doing nothing but web/graphics.
  • Mum and Step-Dad are visiting.  Arrived on 3rd, heading to London tomorrow then back on 10th until 15th.  Adam is basking in the never ending attention.
  • Adam stood up!  All by himself.  We even had 1/5th of second of no hands before he landed on his bottom.  First steps can’t be far behind.
  • Next Friday, 11th June 2010, Adam will be 1.  This has been the fastest year of my life.  And the most fun.
  • I’ve lost a total of 10 pounds on Weight Watchers, for a my 5% loss star.  Go me!

And that’s the news.  I’ll try to be better at this again!!