In 2002, I stopped dieting. For 17 years, I lost weight, then gained weight, plus more. I believe dieting caused my weight gain. When the diets failed me, I always ended up around the same number: 235. All attempts to change that set point either through “sensible eating plans” or crash diets had failed miserably.
All diets (including the sensible eating plans and the crash diets) had the same issues. I'd get bored, hungry, and obsessed with my food. During low-carb dieting, I dreamt about eating bread. On all diets, my self-esteem plummeted when I didn't lose weight. When the weight loss stopped, I would stop doing any healthy habits.
When I stopped dieting, I had no idea how to eat. I hadn't eaten intuitively since I was a child. When I was a kid, I ate candy but I also loved carrots, peppers and cucumbers and ran and biked like a maniac. I didn’t become aware of my food until I gained weight and the adults began chastising me for any junk food I ate.
Now I had to figure out how to eat healthy and move for my body rather than weight loss. I had to make sure that I didn't vilify foods. I had to ignore the scale for the first time in 17 years and eat and exercise not based on what it said.
Recently a pro-weight loss blog posted an article from an "anonymous commenter" claiming that those who preach HAES (tm) have disordered health, whatever that means, and that people who preach HAES is only meant for fat people.
The "community" has become less about health at any size. It has become "Only healthy at larger sizes". It was noted that people who gained weight for health reasons were OK (that intentional weight change is acceptable). People who benefited from weight loss, however, were villains, lying, or anomalies. (Their intentional weight change is bad, offensive, and "dangerous") Health concerns for people at smaller sizes were/are irrelevant.
I am a member of HAES community and I have find that while HAES tends to be more for larger people (As they are the most affected by the dieting/binge cycle), HAES is weight neutral. So if you happen to be anywhere on the BMI ruler: 17, 40, 37, 23 or 25, It’s not about losing or gaining weight, it’s about eating and moving for your body and loving yourself. The whole idea of HAES is to continue these good habits whether or not there is weight loss or gain.
Or maybe it’s because HAES is not a money maker.