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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Belated Happy No Diet Day

Hello, dear readers. I hope you all had a very happy and enjoyable International No Diet Day this past May 6th.

For those of you who don't know, International No Diet Day was founded by a British woman named Mary Evans Young in 1992. Young created the day because she was frustrated by the dieting obsession of women around her. She realized that dieting had become a kind of mass neurosis among them, and knew that something had to be done to make our attitude towards food and body image healthier.

Mary Evans Young
I hope you've extended International No Diet Day into International No Diet Week. Come to think of it, why don't we make May International No Diet Month ... why don't we just declare every day International No Diet Day and make it a No Diet Day Eternity! It would be so much healthier for everyone.

A lot of people may be tempted to think of International No Diet Day as a ticket to gluttony -- as their excuse to eat every sugary, fatty food out there and just stuff their faces. While there's nothing wrong with indulging from time to time, going to the other extreme and gorging isn't the answer either. It's just as unhealthy as starving yourself. But due to dieting, many of us have engaged in binging or gorging behavior to compensate for the deprivation incurred by dieting, which makes us gain weight ... which leads us to the diet trough yet again.

We need to find a happy medium ... a comfortable balance. We need to stop being either at war with food or making food our everything.

Food, in its most basic form, is simply fuel. We all need food to ensure that our bodies flourish and have energy. Other than pleasure, that is food's only purpose. But food has come to represent so much more. Food is everywhere we look. It's on TV commercials, presented in the most tempting, decadent, mouth-watering ways ... it's on billboards, urging us to stop in at our local fast food restaurants and try their latest concoction ... it's depicted in pictorials and recipes in magazines, in the most appealing ways. At the same time, amid all this temptation and pleasure, we're told it's evil, we're told to beware ... that it can be our downfall.

Food is not our enemy ... and it's not our friend, either. It's simply food.

If you feel that your body is currently at a size where you would benefit from dieting, I urge you to think again. Nobody's body benefits from dieting. What does benefit us is ensuring that we eat healthy, nutritious foods, move our bodies regularly in whatever way feels comfortable and beneficial to us, and loving ourselves just the way we are.

Focus on that instead, and stop listening to the incessant campaigns that try to make us hate ourselves and embark on yet another diet.

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