What I Did on International No Diet Day
I started INDD by writing a post about the day, and then went to the dentist, I’d chipped a filling.
Then I hit the supermarket, and planned my International No Diet Day treat – strawberries in chocolate sauce made with Cadbury’s and organic cream. I also bought a peppermint crisp, my favourite flavour and a rare treat since I gave up sugar, but hey, it is International No Diet Day. It’s years since I thought about giving up dieting, because I’m in recovery from dieting! But that sneaky little mindset runs on pathways well worn by decades of diet-thinking, like cart tracks cut into stone!
I was aware of the thoughts, so almost in defiance I ate the peppermint crisp on my 40 minute drive home – hey, I hadn’t had breakfast! So the first thing I put into my body for the day was sugar, ahem!
When I got home I did some writing for my book, did some updates on my other site which I’ve sadly neglected for the last year, shredded some old client records, and then made the chocolate sauce!
Thing is, I wasn’t looking forward to it with any kind of interest, I was doing it because, dammit, it’s International No Diet Day!
Celebrate International No Diet Day – how?
Then I thought I”d check out what others in this body-positive space are doing for International No Diet Day so I got onto Twitter and had a look around for anything interesting.
I found this terrific post at Psychology Today by sociologist Pattie Thomas. Pattie talks about her journey to quitting dieting, what she’s gained since quitting, and how challenging it still is to be larger than is popular. She said she’s gained:
- time – no more weighing measuring counting
- trust in her body’s natural processes to tell her when she’s hungry, and when she’s not
- an understanding that feeling superior to others based on our thinness, “constructing another group of human beings as being less than human weakens social structure and hurts all people”.
And, she actually likes herself!
Pattie’s article got me thinking, what have I gained from giving up dieting?
- Yes, indisputably, time! No more wasted time reading diet books, going to meetings, shopping for low fat or low-carb ‘food’, spending a few minutes on weighing or measuring any part of my body, or having those you’re not fat I’m fat, you’re not bad I’m bad conversations!
- Money! No more money wasted on buying diet books, going to meetings, magazines with low-fat recipes, or buying prettily packaged low-fat or low-carb ‘food’, or buying way more ‘forbidden’ foods than I would ever normally eat when the inevitable spring-back binge comes along! And no more dodgy exercise machines!
- Energy! No more sugar crashes, no more crankiness because I’m feeling deprived, just steady energy on demand, fuelled by good quality food eaten regularly
- A feeling of real well-being that comes from trusting my body to know what it needs, when it needs it, and how much of it it needs
- No more brain fog, because my brain is well fed with good quality oils and rarely drowned in sugar, because I eat what I want when I want, and rarely ever binge anymore, the compulsion is just gone
- My skin and hair and nails are in great condition!
- My friendships are rich and engaging, because either my friends don’t do diet talk, or they simply don’t do it with me (a combination, I’m sure)
- I feel more peaceful, because I worry far less about what others think of me and my shape, because I worry far less about it it myself
- I speak more gently to myself, and give more generously to myself. I notice that I do the same with others, much of the time.
- A feeling of being a real paragon of virtue – LOL I’m joking just to see if you were paying attention – actually, I still worry about stuff – am I eating enough veges, am I working hard enough, is my work really giving me the money I need, do I spend too much time on my own, am I supportive enough of my friends, I should visit my grandmother more, god I’m a judgemental bitch because… and so on – that level of stuff we all deal with.
But life honestly seems so much easier since I gave up dieting, it’s removed a whole layer of unnecessary complexity and self-criticism. I’d highly recommend it!
Disappointed on International No Diet Day!
Oh – and the chocolate sauce – after dinner I warmed it up again and ew it was *so* sweet, even cut by the cream. The strawberries were good, and so were the marshmallows. But I had three strawbs and two marshmallows then just didn’t want any more.
It occurs to me that giving up dieting has finally given me the freedom to also give up sugar, something I never thought I could – or would even want to – do. It’s not like I’ve completely given up sugar, I just want it so rarely that I naturally use it like the ‘exotic spice’ it was when we first added it to our food supply.
So that’s what I got out of International No Diet Day this year – what did you get?