International No Diet Day

International No Diet Day (INDD) is on Friday 6th May. It is an annual celebration of body acceptance and body shape diversity, and is also dedicated to promoting a healthy life style and raising awareness of the dangers and futility of dieting.

The first No Diet Day was organised in 1992 by British feminist Mary Evans Young, who was motivated by her own experiences of being bullied as an overweight child and then later irritated by what she saw as a waste of time and energy spent obsessing over food and dieting by the females who attended her management courses. You can read more about Mary’s motivations and background here.

Over the years, the event has gradually spread to countries all over the world, where people celebrate a day free from dietary restrictions. Unfortunately, the media has often reported on it as an excuse to binge on unhealthy food, which entirely misses the point! Encouraging a non-dieting mentality in no way advocates obesity.

The Goals of INDD:

  • to celebrate natural body diversity
  • to promote positive body image and self esteem in people of all shapes and sizes
  • to advocate for non restrictive, healthy eating patterns and non-punitive physical activities for EVERYBODY
  • to challenge cultural attitudes and values that contribute to body hatred, weight pre-occupation and eating disorders
  • to encourage positive, body diverse images throughout the media
  • to increase awareness of the dangers of weight-loss dieting and the social, emotional and physical consequences of food, size and weight obsessions
  • to educate the public about the dangers of weight loss surgery, diet drugs and size biased medical treatment

…some very worthy intentions that we at Équilibre can wholeheartedly get behind!

How You Can Celebrate INDD:

Here are our suggestions as to how you can promote the objectives of the day and implement them in to your lifestyle…

  • If you’re not already doing it, use the day to select and prepare foods that you really crave and that you feel your body needs, not just because you think you should be eating them as they are ‘healthy’ or on a list of what someone else has determined is ‘good for you’. If its something you feel is a little indulgent, then eat without guilt.
  • Eat mindfully, really tasting your food. Tune in to your hunger signals by paying attention to when you feel satisfied – not by how much is on the plate.
  • Start to really question what is being sold to you and the messages that accompany it. Do you really believe that pill is the answer to your weight loss woes? Is that book with the highly structured, restrictive eating plan going to be something you can sustain for a lifetime? No? Then think seriously before shelling out your hard earned cash to support an industry that is based purely on money making – not what’s best for you as an individual.
  • Consciously ignore or choose not to buy magazines or tabloids that promote unhealthy stereotypes, the latest fad diet or celebrity weight loss or body related headlines.
  • Watch your language and be careful about negative self talk particularly around children and young adults – lead by example and always promote a positive body image and an environment where the word ‘diet’ and ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods does not exist.
  • Change the conversation: refuse to partake in energy draining (and boring) discussions centred on the latest weight loss craze. If your friends, family or colleagues start complaining about how fat they feel, or how they shouldn’t be eating that sweet treat, gently, but firmly guide them in a more positive direction.

Happy No Diet Day (and beyond!)

If you are looking for more support on your ‘diet free’ journey, we recommend the following sites:

Beautiful You : Inspirational and uplifting blog by Melbourne counsellor Julie Parker, primarily aimed at females. Love your work Julie!

If Not Dieting : Website of well renowned MD, Dr Rick Kausman – recognised as the Australian pioneer of the person-centred approach to healthy weight management. Sensible articles and tools.

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