International No Diet Day is celebrated each year by those who recognize the absurdity, futility and dangers of diets.
At Timberline Knolls, we applaud those who created this day. Diets exist for one reason and one reason only: to make money. This is a multi-billion dollar industry. Although diets are supposedly equal opportunity in nature, they are definitely targeted toward women and designed to capitalize on female insecurities linked with the culturally held delusion that thin is beautiful, powerful, loveable and ideal.
Diets hurt women because they discover that they can’t starve themselves consistently; they take that to mean that they are lazy, stupid, fat or just plain bad people. Those who diet and actually lose weight may initially feel good, in control, even beautiful. This is a temporary state (real beauty is an INSIDE job!). When they inevitably fall off the wagon and possibly gain more weight from the point that they started, they feel terrible, depressed, and even suicidal.
Diets are usually rife with strict rules, rigid do’s and don’ts, restrictive amounts and types of foods; they are often short lived, and frequently associated with rebound bingeing, weight gain and the development of eating disorders. Conversely, mindful eating teaches people to experience a wide variety of food choices, flexibility in amount and types of food, pleasure in the process of eating, attention to body hunger/satiety cues, freedom from the good/bad food dichotomy, and an absence of morality in attitudes towards eating.
Unfortunately, our culture continues to buy into the false belief that thinness translates into power, beauty and success. What’s more, the body type most women strive to emulate is far from their natural, beautiful, God-given body type.
International No Diet Day is a good start. Let’s work toward a time that we collectively celebrate No Diet Year, hopefully followed in quick succession by No Diets Forever! This “new normal” must be sprinkled with a healthy serving of weight diversity, intuitive eating, and health at every size!