Reading through Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon on this journey of spending a year with HAES one of the first things on the program is to challenge what you really think about obesity, beliefs that you hold and so forth.
Ask yourself the following questions.
How often do you …
- Talk negatively about your own weight?
- Choose clothes based on your perceptions of whether or not they make you look fat?
- Assume that someone wants to lose weight?
- Assume that someone should lose weight?
- Make negative comments about someone else’s weight?
- Encourage someone to lose weight?
- Admire someone for having lost weight?
- Admire someone’s ability to control his or her eating?
- Admire someone for burning calories through exercise?
- Assume someone is doing well because he or she lost weight?
- Admires someone’s slenderness?
- Assume that being fat is bad?
- Disapprove of someone because of what he or she weighs?
- Make comments to a heavy person about losing weight?
- Smile or laugh at fat jokes?
- Compliment a fat person on his or her appearance?
- Compliment a fat person on his or her personality traits?
- Actively oppose anti-fat comments?
- Challenge someone who conveys a myth about body fat?
Questions 1 to 15 are cultural messages that a lot of us have internalised. Only, they’re all really harmful messages. Questions 16 to 19 show support of living proud, regardless of appearance.
The idea with these questions is to find out where you’re at on this journey toward accepting yourself and others at whatever size your are.
- Very occasionally I will make jokes about my weight, or lament to my partner about my size. I don’t often talk out loud about it though because I believe that the things we focus on are what we attract into our life and frankly I prefer to be happy. I do think about it quite a lot though. Particularly when I look in the mirror.
- Sadly I write a whole website about selecting clothes that don’t make you look fat.
- No, never.
- Not this one either.
- Now days I never comment about anyone’s weight. I used to comment on thin people, and I do still assume they’re smug and judgemental, but I don’t make comments.
- Nope. I think people who lose weight are kind of sell outs.
- Never. I don’t think about other peoples eating at all.
- Again, never notice.
- I do admire people’s slenderness. I look at slender people sometimes and think, wow, what must that be like. I’ve never been slender, ever, so it’s like a foreign place to me. Plus I resent like fuck that people make it so hard for fat people through bigotry.
- I don’t assume fat is bad, but sometimes I wonder if people are unhappy or feel like I do, a mix of acceptance, rage and jealousy.
- I have thin person suspicion.
- Never, ever.
- No, they’re not funny.
- All the time. Being fat doesn’t make you less beautiful.
- Sometimes, if it’s appropriate.
- On the Internet, hell yes! In real life, not so much.
- Sometimes. Again though, I don’t really want to argue about it. Believe what you want to believe. I believe fat is not synonomous with unhealthy.
For the most part I have internalised supportive messages about fat, though I am lagging behind in applying those messages to myself rather than just fat people in general.
I also have quite a lot of anger and resentment toward thin people. It’s quite scary to feel so much anger actually. I’d really like to let it go if I could.
For the most part though, pretty happy about where I am on this journey.