International No Diet Day - May 6th, 2015

This coming Wednesday is International No Diet Day.  It's a day dedicated to raising awareness to the harmful effects of dieting, respecting and accepting all body types and promoting healthy behaviors and a positive relationship with food rather than diets. I'm all about it!

I actually celebrate no diet day everyday.  I know!  It's pretty great.  Below are some of the ways I choose to make meals nourishing and pleasurable everyday.  

1.  I enjoy my favorite foods, like peanut butter and dark chocolate, everyday...sometimes twice a day!  I particularly like to include them at breakfast by adding them to hot cereal, toast or smoothies.  Starting my day psychologically and physiologically satisfied always feels good.

2.  As often as possible, I like to unplug and take a break while I eat.  Given we need to eat every few hours, it serves as a great reminder to take a break from life and recharge.  Clearing my head while fueling my body with satisfying foods allows me to get back to work with greater productivity.  

3.  I only follow uplifting, inspirational, body positive, non-diet social media feeds.  Since I'm fairly active on social media both professionally and personally, it's wise to make sure my feeds are free of negativity, fads or food and body shaming/preoccupation.  

4.  I don't label food as good or bad.  Taking judgment away from food and allowing neutrality creates a positive relationship.  I am then in a position to make choices in my best interest.  Naturally my body feels best on wholesome foods so it's what I choose most often.  However, there's no need to be "perfect" when food has no moral character - a key part in making peace with food.  I've realized now that I don't need to be perfect, I can just be me.  I hope the same for you.

5.  I can model a healthy, positive relationship with food and myself for my children.  That's a really big deal for me, since that hasn't always been the case.  Softening my prior rigid, perfectionistic and uptight thought patterns means I can have a more meaningful and effective impact on my childrens' developing brains.  I am truly humbled and amazed at the differences I have seen in their own thought patterns and reactions and am grateful for their increased resilience to situations.   

6.  I don't ever weigh myself!  As a proponent of HAES and it's principles, I believe that health is a result of a healthy mind and able body and has very little do with numbers.  That also means that I do not track my food intake in any way - calories, portions, grams, servings, exchanges, number of meals or snacks, protein...nothing.  If I did, I would be hanging onto diets and the diet mentality. 

I hope this gives you ideas for how to celebrate No Diet Day, or everyday!

Emily Fonnesbeck RD, CD