Happy international no diet day!
Now, some people will see the hashtag #internationalnodietday and share about their epic cheat day from their keto diet, going ham on FroYo because #yolo, or breaking whatever fad it is they've jumped onto.
But, really, today is a day to honor and celebrate that each and every one of us have the right to live freely and authentically in our bodies- in the here and now- without manipulation, without stigma and without oppression.
Today is also a day of acknowledging the truth...
Dieting doesn't work for 95% of people.
Dieting is the greatest predictor for developing an eating disorder.
The diet industry constantly promotes fad-diets disguised as 'wellness.' We know that wellness is not food and body preoccupation and obsession.
Deprivation and restriction leads to decreased levels of self-trust, self-esteem and increased rates of anxiety and depression.
Dieting is rooted in shame, weight stigma, the oppression of bodies outside of the beauty standard, and the undeniably harmful belief that fat is bad, should be feared and avoided.
And SO importantly, we know, at least intellectually, that it is not you who has failed at dieting... because of these factors, dieting has failed you.
It has failed you over and over again.
It has left you feeling desperate. Left you disconnected. Stuck in a binge-restrict-repent-repeat cycle. Feeing epically flawed. Loathing your body and wondering if there's another way.
Even when we know dieting is a set up, and we've seen through our own lived experience how harmful it is, moving away from it can be so challenging. Because it's seductive and has an insidious way of promising us glory, containment, stability and satisfaction- no matter how momentary it actually is.
So, today, I want to encourage you to simply consider the following.
What is one way.... just one way... you can divest from our dieting obsessed culture?
Acknowledge the harm that dieting has caused you and externalize the blame you've been putting on yourself? (no, you are not the failure, or flawed!)
Offer yourself words of compassion when you look in the mirror instead of harsh words of judgement?
Do some research about health at every size and intuitive eating?
Remove your fitness tracker and move because it brings you joy, or decide not to move because your body is asking for rest?
Begin to draw boundaries around fat-talk and body-bashing?
Break just one diet rule?
Stand up against fatphobic rhetoric and call out weight-based oppression?
Honor your hunger and your cravings?
Unfollow weight loss and fitspo accounts on social media?
The thing about moving away from dieting is that it's not an all or nothing process. I want you to remember that baby steps are more than enough. Slow and steadyish (there's always room for pausing) divestment from the culture that has planted seeds of shame about the body you live in is more than enough.
This work is hard. But, this work is healing.
On this international no diet day know that you don't have to continue to buy into a system that has cost you your peace, your trust with your body and has caused you so much harm.
You do have a choice.
Choose one way to honor your body, your hunger, your cravings, your voice, your desires, your emotions or your needs.
And when you're ready, tomorrow, the next day, next week, or next month, choose another.
Slow and steadyish. It's enough.