As the weather slowly warms up in Iowa, we tend to see ourselves taking advantage of the warm weather and going outside, whether that's at the pool, beach, or simply in your own backyard. This time of year we tend to be hyper conscious about how our bodies look after the cold winter season due to exposing our skin a little more. You might also notice that around this time of year, the media is filled with advertisements and posts about weight loss. Many people start to diet and become restrictive with their food intake in order to reach that “beach body” look they have always wanted.
In 1992, there was a British woman named Mary Evans who suffered many years from anorexia. She often saw other people in her life struggling with loving their bodies as they were, going on and off diets all the time. In an effort to put an end to this, she decided to dedicate a day, May 6th, to forget about diets. She made stickers that said “Ditch That Diet” and light blue ribbons to give her friends to wear. This day was created to celebrate our bodies the way they are. This is a small commitment to not diet for a single day and enjoy the nourishment and pleasure of consuming food.
As many people feel the pressure to start dieting, it can oftentimes come with guilt if they are unsuccessful. This guilt can lead to depressing feelings and not feel comfortable in our own skin. Sometimes these diets can lead to disordered eating or eating disorders. This issue is very prominent in the United States considering 10 million women and 1 million men struggle with eating disorders every single day. Many current dietitians are promoting mindful and intuitive eating to prevent guilt from eating while also still having satisfaction and nourishment. This means that many clients have to ditch the diet mentality, which is difficult to do considering we see weight loss advertisements all over television and the internet.
Whether you or your loved ones are currently dieting, consider taking May 6th as a day to rewire your thoughts about food. Celebrate the nourishment and satisfaction that certain foods can do for your body, rather than count your calories or macros. There are so many ways to celebrate including sharing on social media, ditch the scale, cooking your favorite meal, or just talking positively to yourself. The National Eating Disorder Association has shareable graphics on their media for people to spread the word. You can also find many of these using the hashtag #NoDietDay to see how other people are celebrating! This one day shows people that it is possible to live a diet-free life and hopefully this small commitment can turn into a lifestyle for some people that struggle. Happy International No Diet Day!