Sunday, September 9, 2007

Debunking myths may entrench them deeper

This article (title of post is link to article) isn't about fat myths, but the research applies to all kinds of myths. This could be one of the reasons fat activists have such a hard time convincing people of the uselessness of dieting, why people are fat, and fat and health. The lies have been propagated for so long that people believe them and even when they read the truth, their brains don't accept it. Somewhere along the way, our brains see it as reinforcing the myth, not debunking it. Too bad they haven't come up with a way to counter that.
Junkfood Science has a good take on this (link)
The only thing I have seen that works, at least for me (with fat acceptance and the no more dieting) is personal experience. I know that every time I dieted, I did my damnedest to lose weight and I tried as hard as I could to keep it off. So yeah, I did everything I could to lose weight and stay at the lower weight, but it didn't work. Of course, I thought I should have tried harder, so I dieted again, and again. I even tried WLS, and when that failed, I figured I was a dismal failure, I was destined to be fat the rest of my life because diets just didn't work for me (and I thought it was my fault, that I was the only one going through this). Then I found Big Fat Blog, and through that, other bloggers, who showed me I was not alone. I learned that I had tried as hard as I could, it wasn't my fault I failed, and that it was all the dieting that had made me fatter than I was before I started the foolishness. It took that (and the books they recommended) to debunk the dieting myths for me. Maybe our voices, if we keep saying it long enough and loud enough, will finally get through to other fat people and let them know they aren't alone, they aren't failures, and it's ok to love yourself no matter what size you are, and that the dieting madness has to stop.

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