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Happy International No Diet Day!

May 6, 2009

vegan cupcakes with purple icing by artnooseHave you had your cupcake today? Mary Evans Young, a British feminist, started International No Diet Day in 1992 as a way to counteract the harmful ideas promoted by the diet industry and to address the dangers of eating disorders. To me, the point is to focus on health and happiness rather than counting calories or taking pride in hunger pains in the effort to fit into a shape sold in popular media as ideal (which is only possible or healthy for some women).

Here’s a look at what various other bloggers have to say on the subject:

  • The point is to raise awareness of fat-phobia and size discrimination; fight the idea of the ‘’right’’ or ‘’ideal’’ body shape; fight the diet industry; and honor the victims of eating disorders and weight loss surgery. (Bust Blog)
  • As a health counselor, I don’t like to take anything away, but instead, add in great things. So today, I want you to check in with yourself and eat what you want. I want you to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. I want you to move your body only in the most delicious ways that feel good. (Body Love Wellness Blog – which also includes sixteen reasons not to diet)
  • Today I plan to celebrate INDD (International No Diet Day: May 6th) by taking a moment to tell myself one thing I LOVE about the body I have. I sincerely hope you’ll join as well in at least one day of not fighting against the body you have. Take a tiny moment to appreciate the wonderful body you have; no matter WHAT its appearance; as the incredible package to your life on this planet that it truly is. (I AM in shape. ROUND is a shape.)
  • It’s an annual day to celebrate body diversity and appreciate all natural sizes and shapes; a day to bring understanding that “one size does NOT fit all;” a day to affirm everyBODY’s right to health and well-being; a day to end weight discrimination and sizism; and a day to remember the victims of eating disorders and bariatric surgery. More than 8,000 people, mostly healthy young women, are estimated to have died from bariatric surgery just in 2005. (Junkfood Science)

What do you think? Have you done anything to celebrate?

3 Comments
  1. mariazk permalink
    May 7, 2009 1:08 am

    I have continued with my ‘chocolate a day’ ritual! : )

    I agree with your point Elizabeth; “the effort…which is only possible or healthy for some women” is true. I would much rather eat and be merry then worry about osteoporosis or Vit-A/B/C/D deficiencies to name a few.

    I think there’s a reason why we are made a certain way, so let’s take this day to celebrate our unique selves!

  2. May 7, 2009 12:28 pm

    I agree that a harmful diet culture has lead to many body-image related problems, but on the flip side many Americans are unhealthy because of their poor diets.
    It’s a semantic issue – we have two distinct meanings for the same word – but the idea that a “diet” (meaning eating properly) is necessarily harmful to women’s (or anyone’s!) mental health is misleading. Let’s have a “healthy diet” day!

  3. May 7, 2009 2:48 pm

    SK -I see what you’re saying, but the name of the day is based on the more common usage: when people say they’re on a diet, they mean what in the Irish language is literally translated as “on lack of food” – a restrictive eating regime intended to lead to weight loss. People would assume I was telling a joke if I told them I was on a diet and later clarified that I meant a vegan diet or a healthy diet.

    If you want to reclaim the term, however, I’d be all in favor of going back to the Greek root, diaita, meaning a way of life.

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