cycling · diets · fitness

A non-annoying discussion on biking and weight loss: Just ride!

An excerpt for an interview with Heidi Guenin,  on Kevin’s Moore’s reembody blog.

Hiedi Guenin is a public policy analyst from Portland, Oregon,who has a masters in urban and regional planning from Portland State University and will be completing another in public health from Oregon Health and Science University in 2014.

“I got started working on transportation issues, which came about mostly because I love the fun and freedom that comes with being able to ride my bike and walk around my neighborhood.  But when I talk about bicycling from a public-health perspective, it’s easier to emphasize the health and financial benefits of obesity reduction. Which is just plain silly; I don’t want someone to take up bicycling just because it will help them lose weight. That’s a recipe for disappointment and frustration and doesn’t support sustainable healthy choices.

Doesn’t it? That may come as a surprise to many. Can you explain?

The researcher who first got me interested in the role that shame plays in behavior change is Brene Brown at the University of Houston. She’s written a couple of popular books on the subject of shame and guilt, and I’d definitely recommend those to anyone interested in examining how shame negatively affects our mental and physical health.

But stigma is more widely studied than shame.  A 2010 literature review on obesity stigmatization found that “…weight stigma is not a beneficial public health tool for reducing obesity. Rather, stigmatization of obese individuals threatens health, generates health disparities, and interferes with effective obesity intervention efforts.

Approaches that are more oriented toward weight acceptance and empowerment, however, show great promise in helping people increase their physical activity.”

No, go read this rest of this wonderful interview at

Thanks for the pointer!

Image description: Me on Le Petit Train du Nord Bike Path

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