Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about your Weight
By Linda Bacon, PhD
Did you know that no study has ever shown that weight loss prolongs life?
As Dr. Linda Bacon’s book Health at Every Size explains, “Extensive evidence documents that attempts at dieting typically result in weight cycling, not maintained weight loss. Weight fluctuation is strongly associated with increased risk for diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases, independent of body weight. The recommendation to diet may be causing the very diseases it is purported to prevent!”
Dr. Bacon continues:
“In contrast, whether the concern is type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, cancer, or a host of other conditions, the evidence is clear: An abundance of studies indicate improvement through nutrition or activity habits, independent of weight loss.”
In other words: Dieting makes your body less healthy. Healthy habits are what create a healthy body – regardless of weight.
If you’re surprised, you’re not alone. We live in a society that is constantly perpetuating the myth that a bigger body is a less healthy body – but that’s just. not. true.
It’s time we reeducate ourselves, don’t you think?
And Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about your Weight is the perfect place to start. It’s a life-changing book backed up by over 400 studies, and its approach has been proven to boost health and self-esteem.
Want to dive into it with me?
Actually, let me be more specific. Want to dive into it with me AND a tribe of women who, just like you, are ready to WAKE UP to the fact that our culture’s tightly-held beliefs about healthy living are largely untrue and are messing with our psyches (and physical well-being) in insidious ways?
If you answered a wholehearted YES, keep reading to learn about my newest creation: Food Freedom Book Club!!
Food Freedom Book Club is for you if you are:
- A yo-yo dieter who wants to trade dieting for an enjoyable (& sustainable!) healthy lifestyle
- A woman who feels uncomfortable every time you hear a colleague, friend, or family member make a comment about someone’s weight (even if it’s of the “Hey, you’ve lost weight” variety) – but you haven’t been able to put your finger on exactly WHY these comments make your insides feel like you just ate bad Mexican food.
- A mom who is wondering how you can possibly raise a confident, body-positive daughter who has a healthy relationship with food in our diet- and appearance-obsessed culture.
- An activist or feminist who wants to scream loud enough to shatter glass every time you hear someone allude to the (still rampant) cultural expectation that a women’s job is to look pretty and stay small, sweet, and quiet.
- A college student who is ashamed of how much time you secretly waste comparing your butt to your roommate’s.
- A health professional who struggles to talk to clients about healthy eating and weight without making both of you wish you were somewhere (anywhere) else.
In short, this book club is for anyone who wants to find freedom in their relationship with food and body and be part of a movement towards a more inclusive, respectful, and empowering conversation around health and weight.
Here’s how it works:
Every week, you’ll read 1-2 chapters, according to a set syllabus I’ll provide.
As you digest the content, you’ll have moments of “I must tell someone about this, stat!”
In case it’s not a good time to call your bestie with the news that it’s scientifically proven that diets actually harm your metabolism, you’ll be part of a private Facebook community in which you can share your ahas and enjoy the sense of comradery that naturally arises as a group learns new truths together.
When we’ve had a lifetime of lies hammered into our heads, it takes a while for new beliefs to sink in. Often, we must hear the new information several times before it starts to take hold. To help you integrate what you’re learning, I will release weekly audio recordings with my commentary on that week’s content.
As a former teacher, I know that the absolute best thing I can do to help new information travel from head to heart is to make you live it. Therefore, I will issue a weekly call to action (CTA) based on the key lessons from that week’s content. Each CTA will be a step towards creating a new life for yourself – a life that reflects a newfound sense of FREEDOM around food and weight.
The magic will continue for nine weeks. Eight weeks to read the book at a clip of 30ish pages per week, and then a bonus week to process the work as a whole. We’ll start the first week in April, and end the first week in June.
As I write up all of these details, my heart is buzzing in excitement. And I haven’t even told you about the final ingredient, the crème fraîche on the book club soufflé:
100% of the proceeds from Food Freedom Book Club will go directly towards a non-profit or social enterprise that is working to create a world where ‘healthy’ and ‘empowered’ go hand in hand.
I’ve hand-picked three organizations that we’ll be supporting, each of which aligns with (w)holehearted’s work in its own way. They are:
Parillume: Parillume is a social enterprise committed to transforming the conversation about sexual violation from shame and silence to heroism and fierce hope. In addition to their services designed to empower survivors to reclaim the treasure of their true selves, they offer monthly SHINE Soirées℠: free community events where they celebrate the triumph of the human spirit in the aftermath of sexual violation.
Why it’s on the list: Unfortunately, it’s common for women to develop a distorted relationship with food and body in the aftermath of sexual violation. But as we work together to help survivors realize that they are beautiful, they are free, and they can shine again (without shame), we go a long way towards helping women to feel confident, healthy, and empowered.
Slow Food Denver: Slow Food is a global, grassroots movement that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. Through its two main programs, Seed-to-Table and Community Table, Slow Food Denver provides opportunities for people to interact with local food producers, learn about food production and support other organizations with similar missions.
Why it’s on the list: A BIG reason that we are collectively suffering from an unhealthy relationship with food is because we’ve forgotten how to slow down, think about where our food came from, and take pleasure in eating. Slow Food Denver’s programs empower people to do just that.
Realize Your Beauty: Realize Your Beauty promotes positive body image to youth through theatre arts. They bring plays, workshops and camps to children and adolescents to promote self-esteem, confidence and kindness towards self and others.
Why it’s on the list: Empowering youth to develop confidence, positive body image, and kindness towards self and others is essential if we ever want to create a new cultural paradigm that elevates mental and spiritual health to their rightful places, equally as important as physical health.
When you sign up for Food Freedom Book Club, you’ll get to choose which organization you want your $20 enrollment fee to support.
$20, you say? That’s it? For all of this?
Yes! (Plus the cost of the book).
When the idea for FFBC came to me, I knew three things from the start:
1) It had to be extremely accessible, so that anyone who wanted to participate could do so (thus the low price)
2) It had to make as great an impact as possible (thus the non-profit/social enterprise piece), and
3) It had to light me up like a firefly on a hot summer night (thus the glittery energy my business accountability partner said she could feel when I first shared the idea with her!)
Basically, FFBC is my way of activating the change that I want to see in the world, in in order to create ripples far beyond what I can do with 1:1 or small-group coaching.
I hope you’ll join me.