The very short (and illustrated with ugly pictures) quick guide to HAES

HAES is a concept that’s become popular in the last few years and it stands for Health at Every Size.

I’m now going to explain this to you using very pedagogical pictures that I’ve drawn. And while I have many, many talents (including speed reading, Trivial Pursuit and putting together IKEA furniture) I can’t draw.

thin person

This is a person. This person has a body and it looks a certain way. In fact, this person happens to be thin. That is the one thing you can tell from this picture. (or if you saw this person in real life.)

fat personThis is also a person. With a body. This body is fat or perhaps obese. Maybe even morbidly obese. That is also the only thing we observe here. A fact.

Middle person

Here’s a third person with a body. This body is somewhere in the middle.

We don’t know anything about the habits or the lifestyles of these people. We don’t know how they eat, if they ever exercise, if they smoke or their medical history. Nada.

That is, we have NO WAY of knowing if they are “healthy” or not.

What I’m trying to say here: Weight is not a way to determine if anyone’s health or not. It’s also not a determinant of their habits.

It’s impossible to look at a fat person and say that he or she is going to get diabetes and die early and has never set foot in a gym.

It’s impossible to look at a thin person and say that they probably eat a lot of vegetables.
Think about it. You probably know a thin person who never ever exercises and brags about how he/she can eat anything without gaining weight. Is that person living a healthy life?

BMI and such measures are rubbish.

Health at Every Size is about healthy habits rather than weight. Moving your body, eating a well-rounded diet, instead of staring manically at a scale.
That people are more than what they weigh and that looking at someone is not a way to see if they’re healthy or not.

Links:
Haes Commnity
Kate Harding
Linda Bacon
Body Positive
Dances with fat

“Don’t be infected by a health zombie.”

I’m really meant to be writing my thesis and nothing even resembling blogging, or fiction or fanfiction, but I wanted to link to this excellent post by a high school friend of mine (unfortunately in Swedish, but I’ll link to a google translate version as well.)

Excerpt (my translation:)

The Health Zombies have taken heatlh and exercise one step further. They wake up at 5.30 to fit in a power walk before breakfast (“quark, nuts and protein powder – so good!”), de exchange pretty much all carbs (“unnecessary”) for three slices of cucumber, five pieces of rocket salad and 5 red pepper wedges and they make sure to track each and every jogging round with RunKeeper so that they can copy that map that shows exactly how you’re run (preferably 5-6k on weekdays, to be celebrate with 10k on the weekend).

Read, read, read. It’s funny, spot on and so so important. I agree with every word in there.

(Google translated English version.)

Please tell me I’m not the only one who sees a problem with this.

An image showed up in my Facebook feed about a woman who’d lost a large amount of weight, and that what she had done was “simply” to cut down her calorie intake to 1300 kcals/day and “not restricting herself on anything.” (I’d say eating so few calories is restrictive, but what do I know?)

Now, as you may know, I’m sceptical to weight loss in general and to dieting in particular, so I did some googling.
My recommendation: don’t google.

One of the first links I found was this, from the Livestrong Foundation (that is, a reputable source) and this quote:

The lowest recommended caloric intake for women and men is 1,200 and 1,500 calories, respectively. According to the National Institutes of Health’s Medline Plus, a diet of 500 to 800 calories a day is dangerously too low and should not be done unless its a medically supervised diet.

So it’s really, really dangerous to be on a diet of 500 to 800 calories, but y’know, it’s ok if you’re fat. Let’s ignore the dangers and how that is not enough for the body to survive on. The dangers of starvation is outlined in the next paragraph:

Starving yourself has serious health consequences such as dehydration, constipation, malnutrition and electrolyte imbalances that can cause heart arrhythmias and death, according to Health Tree.

But apparently it’s ok to ignore that if you’re on “a medically supervised diet.”

I also found this nugget:

Image

Please tell me I’m not the only one who sees that there is a problem in telling people that eating under 800 calories is starvation, as in people DYING of it, and in the next sentence it’s ok if you’re doing it to lose weight.

 

 

 

 

Don’t be quiet.

I hadn’t intended to write anything about the International Women’s Day, mostly because I’m still catching up on my work after being sick for a week.

But then I read so many great pieces that I wanted to say something, just a little.

My only request for today is:

Remember those who came before us.
Fantastic women like Mary Wollstonecraft, Josephine Butler, Emeline Pankhurst, Florence Nightingale, Susan B Anthony and so many others who are rarely remembered.

Women who made it possible for me to sit here, 23 years old, with short hair and trousers, expressing my opinion, knowing that I have a place at a university, that I can get a job and earn my own money, that I don’t have to have a male guardian, that I can vote or even become prime minister.

These women, who fought against such oppression, don’t you think that they had to hear how “unwomanlike” they were?
That wasn’t it enough now?
Hadn’t they considered what would happen to the families?
That no man was safe from women like them?
That really, there is a difference between men and women and they should simply accept that?
That their unnatural inclinations and opinions probably were due to a “celibate lifestyle”?
That they were loud, annoying and destroyed things for normal women?

If they had meekly accepted all that and said “Well, I suppose it’s enough now.” and just stopped fighting?
Change is terrifying. It doesn’t happen if you sit quietly in a corner and accept things. If you’re quiet because frankly, you’re annoying people?

Should I tell Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot in the head because she said she wanted to go to school, to be quiet?

Or Astrid Johannson, who was bullied by her own principal because she protested against a sexist painting in her school? Should I tell her to shut up and find something bigger and better to do?

So don’t be quiet.

Don’t let yourself be silenced.

Remembered those who came before, and what they did and really think about whether or not you should stay quiet.

And give a woman you admire some love.

Travel

This spring is all about travel. So far, I’ve been in Oslo and Berlin and I’m at the airport waiting for my flight to Paris. I’m also going to Amsterdam over Easter to visit my brother and to Rome in July. And hopefully to the US in May for one of my best friend’s wedding but I daren’t hope for that. 

 

I can’t wait for the flight to leave so I’ll get to see my best friend. 

I would rather be an annoying feminist any day. That’s not an insult. That’s a good thing.

If it annoys people, that means I’m doing something right. It means that maybe, maybe they will start to think and reflect. And maybe we will change the world, just a little.

But I will not be quiet. Never ever.

“A basic course in gender studies.”

Found this at Emfilus‘ twitter:

Den här bilden skulle kunna vara kursmaterial i vilken genusfokuserad utbildning som helst.

This sort of unconscious expression is how we can see how unequal people still are. 
These three people are all sports journalists, probably all equally qualified, yet the woman is pushed into taking very little space compared to the two men with their wide, spread legs and powerful postures. She’s not as important as them.

 

“Distgusting fatties”

I wasn’t sure if I should post this with names or without. It regards a Swedish blogger whom I absolutely can’t stand, and think is offensive, rude and… sick, actually, and I don’t really want to generate traffic to her blog. On the other hand, I do want to write this, and writing it without names seems cowardly.

So:

There is a Swedish blogger/PR-person called Katrin Zytomierska who’s famous for being provocative. She regularly makes fairly outrageous statements about everything from au-pairs to cleaners to childrearing, but she’s made it her mission in life to hate on fat people.

As in writing a lot about how fat people personally disgust her. How she’d never hire a fat person. How it’s a scandal for a gym chain ad to feature a woman who’s not super skinny. She’s a big fan of the LCHF diet, and has written several books on the subject.

Now, I’m not generally against people writing cookbooks or lifestyle books or things like that. What I do take offense at is when someone writes an entire book dedicated to fat-shaming and basically pointing out that the only reason to eat LCHF or exercise or generally live is to become skinny.

I swear, this woman needs therapy for her eating disorder.

Katrin Zytomierska recently acquired a disciple. A fat woman joined her diet-program and blogs about her weight-loss, and Katrin Zytomierska also uses this as a promotional tool for the diet-program. I can say nothing about this woman or her motivations,  but when she posts this on her blog, I can’t think of any of them as healthy influences:

20130110-100652.jpg

It freaks me out.

[For those of you who speak Swedish, this is a link to Katrin Zytomierska’s old blog, where the quote from the title comes from. I don’t recommend it unless you have a drink or two first. I won’t link to the blog I got the picture from, as I considering it triggering for a lot of people. Live with it. ]

Whoever said being a teenager was easy lied.

I had a talk with my friend Sara today, a fellow student at SSE, and we talked a bit about being teenagers.

I’m sure all of you remember it. And i’m sure most of you aren’t eager to repeat the experience.

I don’t remember life as being terribly hard when I was 12-18, but I know there were so many things that upset me, so many hours spent discussing trivial things that don’t matter know. Even when I was slightly older and living in the US, almost all of our time was spent with drama. Who’s friends with who, I’ve got a crush on him, he doesn’t like me…

And I can objectively say, my life is much harder today. I work much more, I have so much more complicated things to think about… My future, my family, my friends… And yet, life is so much easier now, at 23 than it was at 17.

Things like going on holiday somewhere new was daunting at 17. At 23, I’m nervous but I know I can handle pretty much anything that may happen. I’m so much better equipped to handle whatever life throws at me.

No matter that SSE is so much harder than high school, that it matters much more and that it’s so intense compared to everything else. I can handle it all in a different way. Even though an outsider would say there’s so much more against me today, it doesn’t feel that way.

I guess that’sn why they tell you life gets better when you grow up. And why I, no matter how much “easier” being 17 was, never want to have to do it again.

“These boys are exactly what they’ve been raised to be: rapists.”

More Steubenville and more rape culture.

This is an especially great video from a man about what we as a society need to teach young men.Because blame should always be placed where it belongs, with the rapist, not the victim. But we can’t act like all rapists are gun-wielding mad men who assault women in parks, because almost none of them are. But boys and men today aren’t taught that it’s unacceptable to touch, have sex with or shout at someone just because you feel like it. They’re taught it’s ok and what they should be doing to be “manly”.  And however hard it is for me to admit this, we cannot teach young men that they’re entitled to women’s bodies and then start yelling loudly when they act on that, because they simply didn’t know better. We need to act much, much earlier than that by teaching everyone, boys and girls, about their right to their own bodies, and the fact that you never, ever have a right to someone else’s body, unless they consent.

This is why sex ed is so important, y’all.

Now go watch the video: