Today is International No Diet Day (INDD). INDD started back in the early 90s in Britain by Mary Evans Young and is now celebrated in many countries across the globe. The goal? Noted on the NEDIC website, there are several, but to highlight a few:
- Put an end to diet and weight obsession
- Celebrate the beauty and diversity or our natural sizes and shapes.
- Affirm everybody’s right to health, fitness and emotional well-being.
Can you do it? For just one day can you put away your hangups about food and weight? For just one day, can you embrace and love your body as it is now? Can you give yourself permission to incorporate those “forbidden” foods back into your meals and snacks? Imagine the freedom and peace you would have if you allowed that mindset to be a part of your everyday living.
Consider an alternative approach to your health and wellness that does not involve negative self-talk, dieting or stepping on a scale. Here are a few of my steps to moving away from diets, all day, everyday:
- Think of your deep-seeded weight biases towards yourself and others. Become more aware when you’re engaging in fat-talk and gently remind yourself to be kinder.
- Accept your size and body shape. As it is now! It’s an important part of the journey towards moving away from the dieting mindset.
- Practice the art of self-compassion. Love every inch of yourself! For example, you could start by focusing on your belly – how you feel about it and your wanting it to be smaller, firmer, etc. Gently sooth your tummy, like you would a small child with a tummy ache. Think of all of the wonderful things your tummy does for you such as sending you signals when it is time for nourishment, its role in digestion and, of course, the housing of new life.
- Give yourself permission to eat the things you may have considered forbidden. How might you be able to incorporate these foods into your eating plans a little more frequently? And how might you do this from a place of control, without the guilt?
- Start to recognize and understand your body’s cues of hunger and satiety. And honour them.
- Consider your reasons for engaging in certain physical activity. Is it part of the latest “get thinner” plan you are on? Are you punishing yourself for your latest “chocolate binge”? It’s a lot more sustainable and fun to find activities that you thoroughly enjoy regardless of the outcome with your weight.
- Recognize that a healthy weight is not a specific number on a scale or any other measurement. Instead, a healthy weight is a blend of genetics, a healthy relationship with food (not dieting) and supportive physical activity.
Be easy on yourself. You may have spent a long time being critical and hard on your body. With self-acceptance, love and self-awareness you can find a happy medium with good health, good food and overall happier life.
If you’re looking to move to a non-diet approach to health and wellness, Michelle will be facilitating a couple of Intuitive Eating workshops in the GTA and surrounding areas in the coming weeks. Contact Michelle to find out more.