Yes, you read that right! There is a holiday to celebrate NOT DIETING. International No Diet Day was started by Mary Evans Young of Britain (an eating disorder survivor) and is celebrated on May 6th each year. The purpose of this holiday is to encourage body acceptance, body shape diversity, promote a healthy life style, and raise awareness of the dangers and risks of dieting. Some of the goals of this holiday are:
- Doubt the idea of one “right” body shape.
- Raise awareness to weight discrimination, size bias and fatphobia.
- Declare a free day from diets and obsessions to body weight.
- Present the facts about the diet industry, emphasizing the inefficacy of commercial diets.
- Honor the victims of eating disorders
Celebration Activity Ideas
Share Your Favorite Food with a Friend
Giving yourself permission to eat any foods you want is a game changer for how we eat. Constantly wondering what we should eat based on calorie, fat, or sugar content is tiresome and takes up a lot of time and energy. Instead, ask yourself, “what do I feel like eating?” and notice how your mind and body start to change. This type of thinking will allow you to savor foods you enjoy instead of having feelings of guilt. Paying closer attention to what your body needs and likes will bring you closer to nourishing your body adequately. So, go ahead and choose your favorite food and share it with one of your friends.
Start the Day in Front of the Mirror
International No Diet Day aims to raise awareness of fat (and skinny) shaming and help end weight discrimination. Not sure where to start? Using a mirror, look yourself square in the eye, and declare this day free of diets, weight obsession, and negative body image. Today, love your body, or at least accept it for what it is. If this is difficult for you, think about all of the things your body can do that you are thankful for.
Pay More Attention to How Your Body Feels
Most of us are out of tune with how our bodies are feeling because we are too wrapped up in our thoughts. Try to be mindful today and check in with yourself every few hours by asking “How am I feeling?”. You might notice you’re feeling stressed, anxious, hungry, tired or any number of things. Taking the time to notice your feelings will likely help you manage them more appropriately. This is especially important when talking about food and eating. Some people may eat when they are stressed. If we take the time to notice our feelings we can manage them directly instead of turning to food, which will not help in the long run.
Also, notice how many thoughts cross your mind about weight, size, food, and diets. Learn how distracting dieting is. Think about all the time this takes up and how you could put this time to better use.
Throw out Your Scale
Or at least consider not using it anymore. Research has shown that using scales can actually promote weight gain, which is clearly the opposite intention of those of us using scales. What does the number on the scale even mean anyways? Most of the time the numbers only serve to make us feel happy about weight loss or devastated by weight gain. Stop playing the scale’s game and you will be amazed at how much more free you will feel.
Compliment People on Things Other Than Appearance
This can be difficult in our culture that is so focused on appearance. Start reminding people how valuable they are for their personality and not their looks.
Coming Soon: Look for upcoming blogs on related topics like risks of dieting, mindful eating, body image, and more!