Monday, May 6, 2013

How To Celebrate International No Diet Day! (And How NOT To)

It's International No Diet Day! Hurrah! This is something I try to celebrate EVERY day of the year, but on May 6th I get to really fly my foodie freak flag. You might be wondering exactly what INDD is about. Well, it obviously isn't about dieting, but it also isn't about scarfing down junk food in a binging free-for-all. Binging is NOT the opposite of dieting.

Binging on "bad" food is 1/2 of the yo-yo dieting cycle.  
It's bad for you, and is not anti-dieting. So don't do that.

Instead, do this: Imagine what your life would be like if you spent as much time, money, and emotional energy on your relationships, career, and/or favorite hobbies as you do on diets. Would your life be drastically different? Would the world be drastically different if this happened on a grand scale? I think so.

If you're uncomfortable with your answer to this question, I encourage you to talk with your friends, family, or even see your doctor or therapist, if you need to. Do some research on intuitive eating and mindful eating. Enjoy my favorite (chocolicious!) mindful eating exercise, Seven Steps to Mindful Eating. Finally, remind yourself of what "normal eating" looks and feels like. I've written on this topic in the past, and I'm copying my favorite "definition of normal eating," below. This is the definition I was given while in treatment for my eating disorder; once this definition "clicked" for me, I finally believed that I could recover (and I did!).

Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied.

 It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it -not just stop eating because you think you should. 

Normal eating is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food. 

Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good. 
Normal eating is mostly three meals a day, or four or five, or it can be choosing to munch along the way. 
It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful. 
Normal eating is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. 
And it can be undereating at times and wishing you had more. 
Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating. 
Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.
In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food and your feelings.

Here is how I want you to celebrate International No Diet Day:

Finally do something you've been putting off "until you lose weight!" 

Need ideas?

Buy a bikini!   WEAR a bikini!   Go to the gym!   Wink at that cutie from the coffee shop!   Spend a shit-ton of money on clothes that fit you RIGHT NOW!   Have sex with the lights on!  

Most importantly: LOVE YOURSELF! :)

Q: Have YOU ever put off something because you wanted to lose weight? What did you put off? (FYI - I'm guilty of all of the above, but not anymore!)


  1. And as would RuPaul say, "how can you love anyone if you don't love yourself in the first place?" ;)

  2. I bought your book and love it. In fact, you inspired me. So much so, that I'm doing my own little project, of doing a year (or more) without weighing myself....since that was my way of self destructing. I'm at week 6 and just started my blog.

    Thank you for being such a positive role model!

  3. “Normal eating is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable.” ~ Ellyn Satter

    “Normal eating is mostly three meals a day, or four or five, or it can be choosing to munch along the way. It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful.” ~ Ellyn Satter

    I think these ideas CONTRIBUTE to eating disorders, and smack of self-medicating through food. If you don’t have the self control to stop eating when you are getting full and eat so much that you are physically uncomfortable, there is something wrong.

    The bottom line here is HEALTH, and eating habits undeniably have a great deal to do with that. If one is so confused and scared about food, they should talk to a dietician/nutritionist and take their experienced advice.

  4. As for eating as much as you want until you feel full and portion control-it is important, too. Many of us dont even know when to stop. The fast eater regularly eats too much, and before the stomach can register its fullness to your brain. This phenomenon is not something manufactured in America. Many cultures in the world have practices of stepping away from their dinner before fullness sets in-and its an old practice-centuries old.

    Not only that, we do need to think about what we are putting in our mouths more closely. The food industry has changed from what it was 50-100 years ago. We are eating preservatives and chemicals, additive ingredients on a daily basis. I feel laziness and cost are play big rolls in fact that people are not being more food conscious. Honestly I feel you are masking/ ignoring the real problem. This is the easy way out and people wonder why they have little results and then decide that being over weight is the new healthy. Processed food is not real food, I doubt you even thought about what was in that chocolate bar. It's not about calorie counting and smelling your food. It's about eat REAL food, not stuffing yourself to death because your unhappy on the inside. In fact eating real food and less chemically altered food is the way to help your body find it's natural track and help your mind get past depression and food addiction. Look at the ingredients, do research, eat organic, feel sad? exercise and don't take the easy way out.

  5. Well for what i seem to know dieting is not at all recommended. Well it seems to be working when you weigh yourself after a month of diet. But this is not the result of just fat burn or not gaining weight. There side effects are that your muscle are getting week or even your bones getting week for not having the proper nutrition there was this incidence where a girl did not eat for months due to her upcoming wedding she finally came to the point she actually died.

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