I know I’ve been bitching about this HAES journey and how it seems so much like a weight loss, but the reality is I’ve been working on this stuff for a while now.
One of the key things I’ve been doing is spending a lot of time on Pinterest (follow me!) looking at pictures of plus size women. It’s kind of an odd thing to do if you don’t know why. After all isn’t it more beneficial for me to be looking at pictures of women I’d like to be like, which seems to be the conventional wisdom.
It turns out, not so much. In her article How Changing Visual Cues Can Affect Attitudes About Weight Nancy Shute offers a different perspective.
Durham University in England ran a study where they showed participants pictures of thin women and fat women in grey leotards then tested their responses to ascertain how exposure to those images affected their attitudes toward larger bodies.
“Showing them thin bodies makes them like thin bodies, more, and showing them fat bodies makes them like fat bodies more,” says Lynda Boothroyd, a psychology researcher at Durham University in England, who led the study. She calls it a “visual diet,” changing what your eyes eat.
…Perhaps that’s why we’re so obsessed with thinness, even if most of the people around us are found to be larger. We’re constantly fed images of very slim actresses and models, all beautifully dressed. “All you have to do is watch five minutes of TV and you see more thin bodies than you would all day on the street,” Boothroyd says.
I read this article and decided, OK, I really want to change my attitude towards weight so it behoves me to make some sort of a start. I started my Pinterest board and spend time every day looking at women who look like me.
It helps. It really does.
Though then I started researching HAES online and that exposed me to the endless rubbishy attitudes toward fat people and that sincerely bummed me out.
But, small steps.
And that’s the point of this whole program. To take small steps toward where I want to be. To take small steps toward living the life I want to live.
Below is a great video doing the rounds at the moment which illustrates beautifully the importance of persistence and handily gives me a bit of inspiration as well.