Health at every size
Health At Every Size, or HAES for short is an alternative approach to health care that “rejects both the use of weight, size or BMI as proxies for health, and the myth that weight is a choice.” (HAES Australia) Put simply what this means is that your weight is not used to determine how healthy, or unhealthy you are, and the pursuit of weight loss is not enforced as the primary method to enhance personal health and wellbeing. At The Wellness Workshop, we are not only advocates of the Health At Every Size approach, but in most cases are registered Practitioners affiliated and endorsed by HAES Australia. We believe the pathway to a healthy life is through making enjoyable, sustainable choices that nurture your physical, mental and social health – rather than pushing weight bias agendas that can cause more harm and further complications for individuals long-term. We are home to some of Melbourne’s leading Health At Every Size Dietitians, Exercise Physiologists, and Wellness & Intuitive Eating Coaches so you can rest assured knowing every aspect of your care will be approached with kindness, compassion, and consideration – regardless of your body shape and size.
why hEALTH AT EVERY sIZE?
Ever saw your Doctor to ask about a new symptom unrelated to bodyweight-only to be questioned about your BMI before being made to feel inadequate and ashamed? This exact scenario is why thousands of Australians avoid seeing Medical Practitioners because in some way or another their weight (mainly that of someone in the ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’ category according to the BMI scale) has dictated the direction of the care they receive, even if largely unrelated to the complaint at hand. This is what’s termed as ‘weight prejudice’ in our health care system, and it’s exactly what the Health At Every Size (HAES) movement aims to stop.
what makes us different?
Our Practitioners are Health At Every Size (HAES) aligned, meaning we’re focused on improving your overall health and wellness by addressing a variety of health behaviours, rather than focusing solely on weight-based outcomes. This approach ensures you feel welcomed, listened to and supported while receiving the best possible care regardless of size, ethnicity, sexual orientation or social status.
What does haes mean?
HAES (Health At Every Size) is focused on providing weight neutral care by addressing and improving the behaviours and habits of individuals across all aspects of physical, mental and emotional health. What this means is that rather than concentrating on outcome driven goals like reducing the number on the scale (which let's face it can sometimes be totally arbitrary), we encourage you to focus on behaviour driven goals like the forming of good habits and self-care strategies.
what are the principles of health at every size?
Accept and respect the inherent diversity of body shapes and sizes and reject the idealising or pathologising of specific weights.
Support health policies that improve and equalize access to information and services, and personal practices that improve human well-being, including attention to individual physical, economic, social, spiritual, emotional, and other needs.
Acknowledge our biases, and work to end weight discrimination, weight stigma, and weight bias. Provide information and services from an understanding that socioeconomic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and other identities impact weight stigma, and support environments that address these inequities.
eating for wellbeing
Promote flexible, individualized eating based on hunger, satiety, nutritional needs, and pleasure, rather than any externally regulated eating plan focused on weight control.
life enhancing movement
Support physical activities that allow people of all sizes, abilities, and interests to engage in enjoyable movement, to the degree that they choose.
Why choose The Wellness Workshop’s HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE practitioners?
The Wellness Workshop is one of the few practices in Melbourne that advocate for Health at Every Size (HAES). Our HAES Practitioners do not focus solely on weight or the pursuit of weight loss as a tool for measuring success, but rather help you understand and improve a range of health behaviours and habits that aim to increase your overall wellbeing. Our Health At Every Size Accredited Practicing Dietitian will never force a 'diet' upon you, but rather work with you to develop a suitable eating plan in the case it is medically required (i.e. food intolerances) or requested by your doctor or specialist physician. We use the Non-Diet Approach and Intuitive Eating principles to help you develop a positive relationship with food and your body.
What is the Non-Diet Approach?
The Non-Diet Approach and Intuitive Eating Program aims to help you improve health outcomes and behaviours while increasing self-esteem and body acceptance. The Health At Every Size approach has been proven to reduce yo-yo dieting and body dissatisfaction and is based on the simple premise that the best way to improve health is to honour and listen to your body’s internal cues and messages. With research now showing that “dieting is almost guaranteed to result in weight gain over and above what was originally lost” (The Health Body Company, Susan Williams, APD) while contributing to disordered eating and low self-esteem, the Non-Diet Approach and Intuitive Eating Program encourages clients to do exactly opposite this and adopt a more flexible, accepting and nurturing relationship to food.
Frequently asked HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE (HAES) questions
What to expect in your consultation with us?
Whether you are visiting our welcoming Wellness Centre or engaging with our Practitioners using Telehealth, Zoom or video-conference technology, you can expect to feel listened to, empathised with and supported.
The HAES approach is a valuable framework for all concerns and conditions, such as Eating Disorders, Rehabilitation, Cardiovascular & Lifestyle Diseases and Anxiety & Depression - just to name a few.
During your session, we may ask you about your family & medical history, overall lifestyle, sleep quality, how you manage stress and any other contributing factors, to guide, direct and motivate you to achieve your health goals.
Does Medicare cover a consultation with us?
We offer Medicare, DVA, Private Health Cover and NDIS rebates to eligible patients, and work closely with you and your team of doctors and/or Allied Health Professionals by maintaining regular communication and providing progress reports where requested.
To book a consultation with any of our Practitioners, click here (link to booking page).
To book an online consultation – just fill in the same booking form and enter “Online consultation” in the comments.
find out more ABOUT HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE or book with us
To find out more about our services, and how you can book an appointment with one of our Health At Every Size registered Practitioners, click on the services tab in the top left corner of the menu bar. You can also click the 'book now' button below and request an appointment.