Sunday, May 6, was International No Diet Day, an annual celebration of body acceptance and body shape diversity. As Go Folic! has tried to emphasize over the past two years, the body benefits by joyful movement and by balanced, healthful and pleasurable eating; it is only hurt by attempts at weight loss (click here to download a paper debunking “the obesity myth”).
In the past week, how many times have you…
- Seen a weight loss ad?
- Heard a “health expert” talk about the “ills of obesity” with no discussion about the dangerous weight cycling and binge eating that normally result from calorie restriction?
- Engaged in “fat talk” with family or friends? (Do I look fat in this? I was so “bad” yesterday, I ate…)
The messages and negative self-talk are relentless. They have nothing to do with health. They do, however, support an international diet industry that profits from damaging our self worth and our bodies to the tune of $$60.9 Billion annually in the U.S. alone (PR Web, May 9, 2011).
How the celebration started
International No Diet Day was created om 1992 by Mary Evans Young, a British feminist who had battled anorexia. During a coffee break, as her companions were debating whether or not to eat a biscuit – “Oh, I’ll just have one”, “I shouldn’t really”, “Oh, all right then” – Evans asked, “What do you think would happen if you spent as much time and energy on your careers as you do on diets?”
A light bulb went off. A movement was born.
This post is the first of a week’s worth of discussions about dieting, health, self-esteem and the weight loss industry. Our schedule is as follows: Thursday – The Case Against Dieting and the Healthy at Every Size ® Approach; Friday – Celebrating Beauty at Every Size, Young Women Speak Out.
To learn more about International No Diet Day:
We’ll end our first post of this week with a question, “What would happen if women refocused the energy we spend on dieting on our careers, our families, and our communities?”