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P005, Diets, Session 3, Linda Bacon

Welcome to “Achieving Health at Every Size,” with Linda Bacon, who’s a researcher, professor, and author of Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight. In this session, Bacon will discuss the evidence illustrating that popular ideas regarding weight loss as equal to positive self-care can actually hinder a healthy lifestyle.

She’ll cover the science that disputes conventional perspectives about health and weight, how working toward weight-loss goals can undermine a client’s ability to achieve positive, healthy habits, how to help clients understand that self-nourishment is more important than weight loss, and much more.

After listening to the session, please share on the Comment Board what you learned and any questions you may have. What was most interesting or relevant to you? We invite you to include your name and hometown with your comment, and to take a few minutes to read and response to other participants’ comments.

05.09.2011   Posted In: P005 New Perspectives on Practice: Diets and Our Demons   By Psychotherapy Networker
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  • Not available avatar Cathy 05.12.2011 12:05
    First of all Linda, thank you for sharing that you did this research to save yourself. I intend to order your book and study its content. I have so many clients who "struggle" with not being thin; with being in the body they are in. I so appreciated your affirming the importance of empowering the client as being their own best expert; and assisting them to tune into their own bodies and own knowing. I also appreciated helping a client to define what they want from thinness and then how to have those things currently. They, I don't have to wait to be thin to have happiness, respect.I just love having the self acceptance with where each is at - not have to wait for the weight to be lost. I also want to discover what nourishing self truly is. I may come back to the comment board to share the name of a book by Sark that is about all the ways to nourish one's self.
    Thank you, Cathy
  • Not available avatar Carla 05.12.2011 13:09
    What an enormous dose of SANITY on this very difficult topic. This is the first approach, along with Judith Matz, that gives me solid information with which to maintain an esteem building, compassionate approach to my clients who are fear based related to weight. THANK YOU!
  • Not available avatar camille 05.12.2011 13:11
    I am a practitioner of mindfulness meditation and I am wondering if there has been any research done studying the effects of mindfulness on natural regulation of weight. I recall years ago that when I began my mindfulness practice that I experienced weight loss when that was not even a goal.I also feel that it brought me into a much better relationship with my body and emotions and the size of my body was irrelevant.
    • Not available avatar Camerin 05.15.2011 18:31
      You may enjoy The Center for Mindful Eating website: http://www.tcme.org/ and the professional articles: http://www.tcme.org/published_professional.htm
    • Not available avatar Linda Bacon 05.16.2011 10:16
      There has been research on this topic that confirms the value of mindfulness. I routinely lead people through mindful eating exercises when I work with them - very valuable. I don't have record of the research, so you're on your own if you want to find it. But the research is showing that it helps with weight stabilization, rather than weight loss. While this may be the result for some people (including me, which you'll find out if you read the intro to my book), I think it's dangerous to have this expectation - it won't be the result for everyone. We don't want to set people up to think they're doing it wrong if they don't get the weight outcome they're looking for!
  • 0 avatar Paul McIntosh 05.12.2011 15:40
    Hi Linda - a very interesting session today, thank you. One question I have is around the science of BMI vs mortality. A key reference you used was from 1999. Are there any more up-to-date peer reviewed papers on the subject? Has your work / your book been peer reviewed? Have you seen the piece on the Mayo web site (Grand Rounds section) on the subject of microbial content of the gut vs efficiency of energy recovery from food. I found this to be very interesting. Your thoughts?
    • Not available avatar Linda Bacon 05.16.2011 10:19
      Plenty of current peer-reviewed research on this topic. See this peer reviewed article I wrote, which will lead you to many other references: Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift: http://www.nutritionj.com/content/10/1/9. My book discusses the background politics of this in depth, some good story telling on government manipulation of data!
    • Not available avatar Linda Bacon 05.16.2011 13:40
      Yes, I've seen the microbial research you refer to. This is just more support for the basic idea that we have a lot of differences that contribute to how readily we store fat that have little or nothing to do with what we eat or how active we are.
  • Not available avatar Carol 05.13.2011 12:33
    Excellent! What a refreshing way to look at weight and health issues. I look forward to reading Linda's book and learning more about health at every size.
  • Not available avatar Gustavo 05.13.2011 15:33
    I found Linda's presentation very affirming, fascinating and confirming my approach that fitness should be the focus. Linda, I don't think you meant to say the ADA is the big obstacle though, because it is the governing board of the organization the problem (similar to local, state and national governments!). I truly enjoyed your presentation - I found myself saying 'yes!' so many times.
  • Not available avatar Gail H 05.15.2011 13:29
    To Linda Bacon:
    I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation on the myths of weight and diet, giving me a new perspective. The research and the experiences discussed made it easy for me to appreciate the confidence with which you spoke of this topic. "Fat and fit" will now be looked at differently.
    Rick: I want to thank you for giving us these webinars as gifts for our profession. I am thoroughly involved with watching them and although I feel that the information is sometimes enough for a course, I do not want to miss them.
    I hope that the ones that I had technical difficulties with (attchments 2 and 5) and diet(1,2) will be shown again for viewing. Many thanks. Sincerely, Gail H. Miami Beach
  • Not available avatar Dr. Deah Schwartz 05.15.2011 14:40
    What a wonderful presentation. The balance of science and humanity that you apply to this work is inspiring. Hopefully therapists will incorporate these beliefs and interventions in their individual and group sessions. Thank you! Warmly, Dr. Deah Schwartz, leftoverstogo.com
  • Not available avatar Beverly Walsh, PhD 05.15.2011 16:26
    Thank you for this very informative and helpful presentation. I have a client who is in Weight Watchers and beating herself up for not having lost as much weight as a friend, despite having significantly improved her eating habits and health. When we agreed that she would no longer weigh in each week but continue to attend because she enjoyed the support, it made a huge difference. Now I have info to back up what I was telling her. It makes so much sense!
  • Not available avatar Camerin 05.15.2011 18:37
    Thank you Linda for another informative presentation and your dedication to providing access to so many resources. I always find something new to read on your websites~
  • Not available avatar sharon 05.16.2011 10:24
    Thank you, Linda, for this informative, science-based presentation of material that can assist people in seeing themselves in a new way. This is information that needs to be accepted in the media, magazines, etc that are feeding the cultural dialogue on how we are supposed to look. Thank you for the resources that can assist people on this journey and for ways we as therapists can help clients not buy into the cultural definitions of health.
  • Not available avatar Linda Bacon 05.16.2011 11:00
    I want to thank everyone for the support in the comments. I'm glad to see that the webinar was appreciated. It always strikes me that practitioners are on the front lines - we see the damage of the weight preoccupation, so it's not so hard to understand the value of the HAES approach. Knowing that there is actual science to support these ideas can be very freeing - and I'm actively involved in helping to provide that education. In a couple days I'll post a more extensive resource list on Psychotherapy Networker, to help you get better educated - with plenty of resources you can also pass on to your clients, so please check back. In the meantime, you can meander around www.lindabacon.org, www.haesbook.com, and www.haescommunity.org to find resources on your own. I'm also tweeting (LindaBaconHAES)and Facebooking (Linda Bacon HAES) regularly to keep people up to date on current HAES news.
  • Not available avatar Anita 05.16.2011 16:17
    What an excellent, clear and thought-provoking presentation! Thank you for providing a science-based approach to help me and my clients reframe this issue.
  • Not available avatar Amy 05.16.2011 17:19
    Thank you for your eloquent presentation! I hope you will have more opportunities to share this research and your perspective. It's so nice to hear your message that allows us to stop fighting with our bodies. Not only does this presentation help our clients, it helps us!
  • Not available avatar Kirsten Belzer, LCSW 05.16.2011 18:39
    Thanks for all your work in this area. I work with a 73-year-old woman (not even particularly large) who has carried great shame about her weight throughout her entire life, leading to guilt-inducing binges. When I began talking with her about the concepts of attuned eating and letting go of worrying about losing weight, she said in our next session she felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders and immediately felt lighter after leaving the previous session. I felt good just knowing that perhaps this woman could finally have some degree of peace in her later years.
    I only hope your message spreads rapidly!
  • Not available avatar Niquie Dworkin 05.16.2011 19:36
    I have been promoting healthy lifestyle changes and size acceptance in my practice, but I had not heard of the research refuting the relationship between size and longevity. I will be referring clients to this research.

  • 0 avatar Larry Donalson 05.18.2011 12:50
    Thanks so much for your presentation. Parts of which, I have to admit are a "paradigm shift" to my mind. Clearly what so much of society has been doing around this issue is not working and destructive. Plan to get the book.
  • Not available avatar Abby Houtchens, LPC 05.18.2011 20:18
    Much appreciation for your work in this field. Are you aware of any correlation between the inflammation associated with fybromyalgia and weight fluctuations or other weight related behaviors/thoughts/emotions?
  • 0 avatar gabrielle guedet 06.29.2011 17:23
    great appreciation to Networker for presenting such a wonderful information filled and thoughtful seminar - Dr. Gabrielle Guedet, MFT
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