HAES Side Effects

news liesWe’ve all seen the tag line at the bottom of a diet ad “Results not Typical” or “The average client loses .25 pounds in 5 years” or whatever. As a result of successful deceptive trade practices lawsuits brought against the industry by the Federal Trade Commission they are required to  to say that because their product fails most of the time, and it is considered deceptive advertising to tout a statistical anomaly as your typical outcome.

So what would a Health at Every Size disclaimer look like? It could also read “results not typical” since people who practice HAES typically don’t experience the diet failure, weight cycling, body image issues and lack of long-term health benefits that plague the dieting majority.

Or what about a side effects warning (you know, like how Alli tells us to wear dark pants to work and bring an extra pair because of possible anal leakage?)

How about this on the side of the HAES box:

Side effects may include – improved metabolic health markers, improved self-esteem, elimination of delusions of impossible thinness,  and lifting of the mass psychosis conflating weight and health.  No extra pants necessary – does not cause anal leakage.

Health is complicated and not entirely within our control.  Our current thin = healthy paradigm makes things even more complicated because it uses weight as a proxy for health and weight loss as a proxy for healthy behaviors, making body size and dieting middle men where none are necessary. A Health at Every Size paradigm makes much more sense to me since it uses health and healthy behaviors, there is no need for a proxy since we can actually focus on health and behavior.  So there is no need to continue with the charade that we can tell how healthy people are by looking at them, or by doing a simple calculation of the ratio of their weight and height. Who thinks that it’s time for a paradigm shift?!


The Fit Fatties Across America project is a huge success so far.  We’ve walked, shimmied, swum, cycled and moved across the US for a total of over 2,500 miles!  And it’s only just March.   Help us hit the west coast this week by entering your minutes or miles of movement at www.fitfatties.com while you’re there check out the photo and video galleries (and consider adding your own) and the forum and groups!

Like the blog?  Here’s more of my stuff:

The Book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

The Dance Class DVDs:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs for Every Body Dance Now! Click here for the details

Become a Member, Support My Projects, and Get Special Deals from Size Positive Businesses

I do size acceptance activism full time.  I created a membership program so that people who read the blog and feel they get value out of it and want to support the work I do can become members for ten bucks a month  To make that even cooler, I’ve now added a component called “DancesWithFat Deals” which are special deals to my members from size positive merchants. Once you are a member I send out an e-mail once a month with the various deals and how to redeem them – your contact info always stays completely private.

12 thoughts on “HAES Side Effects

  1. Don’t forget, ” may cause spontaneous outbreaks of contentment. You may embark on this plan without permission from anyone else.. these are YOUR underpants’

  2. The worst side effect I’ve noticed from following the FA/HAES lifestyle is occasional outbreaks of righteous fury at the constant drumbeat of cruelty encouraged by the weight cycling industry.

    Yeah, I can’t imagine myself going back to blandly not noticing the constant hate pointed in my direction was completely undeserved.

    Other side effects I’ve noticed with HAES: growing enjoyment of movement, improved emotional health, gradual brightening of the wardrobe, and reduced bullshit tolerance.

    These are side effects I can live with… unlike anal leakage.

  3. I have to include that I’m healthier for another reason too. Not only am I taking care of myself because I believe I deserve it now, but I don’t accept poor healthcare like I did in the past. I have the self esteem to seek out a proper health care-giver who focuses on me and doesn’t treat my weight. My quality of life has gone WAY up because I don’t just accept that I don’t feel well. In the past I always dismissed not feeling well as the consequence of my weight. I don’t do that anymore and it is amazing the difference it makes!

  4. another side effect : Lots more time, energy, and open brain-space to think about more important things.

  5. Create or inflate a problem in order to sell a product. This is modern advertising at its best. Not only does the diet industry have our vanity to prey upon, now it has our health as well, thanks to all of the OMGDEATHFAT going on. I’m done weight cycling and ready to just be who I am, just as I am. I truly believe dieting has done far more damage than the fat. But luckily my health is still good and that’s what I can focus on now instead of some unattainable “ideal” weight that I’ve never been in my entire life.

  6. I typically feel really good about myself and have really good self care, but lately, not so much. I have a couple of medical conditions that require regular medical check ups with more than one doctor and I’m very comfortable with my doctors for the most part (though one seems befuddled by the fact that I exercise regularly and eat “healthy” without the goal of weight loss even though he doesn’t lecture me about my weight.)

    Anyway, I had four doctors appointments in a weeks time and for some reason it really triggered something in me. Two of my doctors are also in a tizzy because I had a glucose of 114 in a NON fasting blood test. I don’t see what the big deal is, I literally had just eaten something something because there was a fire drill and I didn’t know how late that was going to push the appointment back and for once I didn’t starve myself so I’d have the best weigh in possible. Now they want an A1C even though I’ve never had a high blood sugar test in a fasting test and I find myself having not healthy food thoughts, but rather crazy diet thoughts. Any advice is welcome.

    1. I thought having a reading of 160 was considered diabetic. Isn’t 114 on the low side? And you had eaten food, then of course it would be a little higher. Doctors are stupid.

      I wouldn’t worry about it, since you said you’ve never had a high test in your life.

    2. Most labs consider 105-110 to be the high range of normal. (Ranges are 65-105 or 70-110.) So a blood glucose of 114 after you had just eaten is perfectly fine. Sound more like they are covering their behinds than giving you appropriate medical care. I would just say no thanks!

Leave a Reply to Lauriee Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.