Today is the 9th annual International No Diet Day (INDD). The campaign was started in 1992 by an author in Britain who had gone through her own recovery from anorexia. What started as a gathering in her living room has grown into a celebration of beauty and health across the globe.
Here are 20 ways you can get involved with the international celebration of INDD...
1. The obvious: Take the No Diet Pledge (Don't forget to print it out as a reminder.)
2. Review the facts. Dieting rarely works. 95% of all dieters regain their lost weight and more within 1 to 5 years.
3. Do some research. Next time you see a diet ad, read the extra fine print under the before/after pictures.
4. Throw out your scale. While physically chucking that bathroom scale out a second-story window and watching it break into pieces below sounds exciting, there are obvious risks with that tactic. Consider these alternative methods:
- Donate it to a thrift store (bonus = tax write-off for donations!)
- Hand it over at your next therapy or nutrition appointment
- Wait by the road on trash day and hand it directly to your Garbage Collector
5. Use the money you planned to spend on diet products to get a massage, visit a museum, send a gift to an out-of-town friend, OR deposit it in a savings account. We promise it will be more fulfilling.
6. Check out some of our favorite websites and bloggers that advocate a non-diet approach to healthy living for people of every size.
7. Recycle any weight-loss magazines or diet cookbooks. Get creative and turn them into crafts, rip-out the pages and use them as packing paper for breakables. Or simply thrown them in the recycling bin.
8. Better yet: cancel any ongoing subscriptions to diet-laden publications.
9. Do a spring cleaning of your closet. Donate clothes that don’t fit or don’t make you feel good in your body. Remember,clothes are meant to fit your body, not the other way around.
10. Start living. Do the thing you’ve been putting off until you lose X pounds. Go to the beach, take a salsa dancing lesson, go mountain climbing.
11. Reach out for support. If chronic dieting and an intense focus on weight loss has led to serious problems with eating disorders, dangerous weight-loss attempts or feelings of depression, seek professional help. (Not sure if you really need help? You can start with this confidential, self-assessment quiz to find out).
12. Are you a parent, pediatrician, educator or childcare provider? Help cultivate a new generation of non-dieters by teaching children to be competent eaters from the start. Check out these great feeding resources:
13. Make a list of 10 positive things your body does for you. Hang it on your mirror.
14. Wear something you love and feel comfortable in
15. Spread the word. Copy the picture above and post to your Facebook profile.
16. Connect to nature. Find some beautiful scenery, sit, relax and be inspired by the natural ability of living things to nourish themselves without external cues from diet companies. You have the same ability.
17. Feeling crafty? Instead of trashing the bathroom scale, consider taking it apart and turning it into an art project representing your freedom from dieting. (Side note: If you do this, PLEASE send us a pic and we will post on our facebook page!)
18. Compliment a friend on a quality not related to appearance OR tell someone you love what makes them beautiful without using words that describe body size, weight or appearance.
19. Add up all of the time you usually spend weighing yourself, counting calories, reading weight-loss articles, feeling badly about your body, or thinking about food. Make a list of all the things you'd rather be doing with that time. Start doing them.
20. Keep on going. Just in case 20 ideas wasn't enough for you, here's a list of "50 Ways to Lose the 3 Ds: Dieting, Drive for Thinness, and Body Dissatisfaction" from The National Eating Disorders Association.
The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt fully supports the goals and values of International No Diet Day on May 6th and all year long. We hope you have a chance to try at least one of the ideas today, but remember that they don't expire. These 20 ideas represent steps you can take at any time to start changing your relationship with food and weight.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, please visit our website at www.eatingdisorder.org or call us at (410) 938-5252 for information about treatment and support.