HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE (HAES®)
If you’re unfamiliar with the Health at Every Size (HAES) movement, I strongly recommend familiarizing yourself by reading through the recap below adapted from the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH). Each one, teach one ♡
“ The Health At Every Size® (HAES®) approach is a continuously evolving alternative to the weight-centered approach to treating clients and patients of all sizes. It is a movement working to promote size-acceptance, end weight discrimination, and to lessen the cultural obsession with weight loss and thinness. The HAES approach promotes balanced eating, life-enhancing physical activity, and respect for the diversity of body shapes and sizes.” – ASDAH.ORG
The HAES® approach to healthcare shifts from a weight-focused lens to a health-focused lens, which are not one in the same, contrary to what so many believe. Taking this approach to health care also means recognizing that health and wellbeing are multi-dimensional and include physical, social, spiritual, occupational, emotional and intellectual aspects. This is the approach that has been implemented here at Arreola Naturopathic, ensuring that my patients will be provided a safe, judgement-free space to adequately address their health concerns.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME AS A PATIENT?
This means that as a healthcare provider, I will encourage body acceptance, intuitive eating and self-advocacy while making recommendations based on 𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐮𝐚𝐥 𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐚 (such as lab results) and not 𝒃𝒊𝒂𝒔𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒖𝒎𝒑𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔 based off of appearance. I vow to listen to the concerns of patients and collaborate with them on a plan to reach the level of health they desire. I will not discuss weight for the sake of discussing weight, nor will I recommend eliminating food to promote weight-loss . I believe chronic dieting and restriction solely on the basis of being “overweight” is harmful to the body physically, emotionally and spiritually and will not continue to partake in that practice.
With that said, I am a doctor and therefore understand that there are still health risks and medical issues that cannot be ignored solely on the basis of inclusivity. However, I also know that they can be addressed adequately 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒕 making the assumption that a person needs to be a certain weight or BMI (i.e., specific dietary changes can still be recommended in the name of promoting health without the demand for weight loss). 𝐔𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐨𝐝𝐞𝐥 𝐢𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐈 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐥𝐲 𝐮𝐧𝐛𝐢𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH WEIGHT DISCRIMINATION
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I went to a doctor’s office only to leave feeling shamed and humiliated. Forced to believe that the concerns I had about my own body were not only 𝐈𝐍𝐕𝐀𝐋𝐈𝐃 but were undoubtedly due to my weight (despite lab work and other health markers being normal). I was told over & over again that the only way I could feel any better would be if I were to “really try and lose the weight,” not only dismissing my concerns at the time (that were in no way related to the size of my body) but implying that I had never 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 tried to address my weight in the past. Since I was a child, I was repeatedly dismissed and treated poorly by numerous doctors, nurses, PA’s and other medical professionals because my body did not fit their idea of health. This is weight discrimination and I know I am only one of hundreds of thousands of people that deal with the reality of this on a regular basis.
My collective experiences have fueled me with a passion & drive to provide compassionate healthcare to the thousands of people that I know have left their doctor’s office feeling unheard, under-treated and vowing never to go back.
I am here for 𝒚𝒐𝒖.
– Dr. Arreola