Today's a holiday! It's International No-Diet Day. It's SO worth celebrating, so I'm sharing 29 unique, creative, and fun ways to celebrate.
We don't have to go too in-depth on WHY you should ditch the diets. If you want that, here's a great post on 10 reasons to ditch diets.
The short of it: Diets don't work. You know that. Research knows that. So, it's time to start believing it...and living it.
So, here's plenty of ways to celebrate no-diet day.
Choose one, two, or all 29 of them (+ the bonus one at the bottom).
While today is No-Diet day, in my book, you can celebrate it everyday.
- Make a public declaration to ditch the diets for good. Share the reasons you're ditching the diets on your blog or social media. Who knows? Maybe you'll even encourage someone else to ditch the diet craziness too.
- Journal about your relationship with food. Declare yourself free from dieting and continuous weight loss attempts. If you're not ready to share your struggles with food with others, journaling about it may help you get all your thoughts out or give you some new insights. My new ebook - Hips, Hunger, and the Pursuit of Healing - also has tons of exercises and journaling ideas on exploring your relationship with food.
- If you're into journaling, write about what you would like your relationship with food or your body to look like. Do you want to be flexible with food? Creative in the kitchen? Accepting of your body?
- Break a food rule. Jot down a list of all your food rules - "no carbs in the morning," "don't eat past 6 pm," "absolutely no sugar!" and challenge yourself to break one. How freeing would it be to have flexibility around food? When you actively challenge yourself, you also start to realize that having carbs or eating late at night won't actually kill you. The rules keep you stuck in a diet mindset that may lead to binge eating later on, too.
- Celebrate TWO holidays at once. Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, so give yourself permission to eat (and enjoy!) chips + guac (or your favorite Mexican food) + a margarita. Holidays are the best time to celebrate ditching the diets.
- Eat what you WANT to eat. Remove the "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" and eat what you truly want to eat. Give yourself permission to eat that food and enjoy it. Food is much more than fuel - you're allowed to eat food simply because it tastes good too.
- Ditch the labels, and create your own eating style. You don't have to be vegetarian, paleo, or gluten-free. You just have to be you. You're allowed to eat the food you WANT whether that's kale, chocolate, gluten-free bread, freshly baked bread from a bakery.
- Remove the 'good' or 'bad' labels from food. You're not morally 'good' because you eat big salads and smoothies. You're not 'bad' because you ate 3 cupcakes today. Instead, consider what foods makes you feel energized, which foods taste super delicious, and what foods you love to eat.
- Savor your food. Engage your senses, and create a delicious eating experience. Notice how it looks, smells, tastes, the texture, and more. Be present with your meal.
- Make cooking fun. Find a recipe that looks totally delicious - skip the "diet" food or bland chicken and broccoli! Throw on some fun music, and make cooking creative. Even better, enjoy with friends or loved ones!
- Go out to eat with friends! Browse the menu for what sounds good to you. Again, ditch the "shoulds" and order what you want to eat. Don't order the salad because you think you should. Ask yourself what you're in the mood for - maybe that's a salad, or maybe it's a full-course meal with dessert!
- Be spontaneous with your meals. Ditch the meal plan for a week, and just go with the flow. Maybe you'll create a new meal that you enjoy, or perhaps you'll decide to get take out and have a lazy night in.
- Go through your bookcase, and remove the diet books or magazines still hanging out. Get rid of them!
- While you're on a roll, give your blog and social media list a cleanse. Remove anyone still talking about diets or rules, and keep or add ones that are in support of a no-diet lifestyle.
- Feeling even more inspired? Delete the calorie counting app on your phone.
- Head to your closet, and donate your "someday skinny jeans" or other clothes you used to fit into. If you don't want to get rid of them completely, at least move them out of your closet for now. One of the fun things I do with my friends a few times a year is a clothing exchange, then donate the ones no one takes. Free clothes + girl time = win win!
- To close out the "diet detox," ditch the scale. Seriously. I love this idea of doing a "Scale Smash" to symbolize the end of your relationship with the scale.
- Move your body in a way that feels joyful, pleasurable, and fun to you. Get outside, take a new class, or just take a walk outside. Start to explore different movement that you really enjoy doing and gets you in connection with your body.
- Do a body scan meditation (a great 5-minute from YogaByCandace), and feel into your body. It's so easy to go through the day without truly connecting with your body. A body scan meditation is great to notice where you hold tension in your body. It's so insightful to realize that releasing the stress you hold in your body helps you feel lighter and energized.
- Let loose and play like a child. When I'm working at home, my favorite type of break is to head outside barefoot and play. I'll play with my dog, or flip my perspective with a headstand. Don't underestimate the power of playing, especially in nature. It brings me back into the present moment, and helps me connect with my body.
- Even, better, DANCE to your favorite song!
- If it's nice out, eat outside! This is one of my favorite mindful eating practices - eating lunch outside. Nature calms me down instantly. Enjoying the sunshine and watching my crazy dog is enough entertainment that I don't feel the need to distract myself by browsing Instagram while eating.
- Remember the bad times in your diet days. Not to get negative, but you have to note all the craziness that dieting has brought to your life. Do you feel out of control and ashamed? On your juice cleanse, did you skip going out with friends? Were you seriously exhausted? When we believe that dieting is the way to lose weight (and bring happiness), it's easy to try again...without remembering the negative side effects of dieting. The biggest one: the majority of people who lose weight gain it back AND yo-yo dieting is harmful to your health.
- Consider WHY you're dieting. What are you hoping dieting will bring you? Get curious about this - are you trying to lose weight to feel confident, be happier, or feel attractive? The truth is you have to cultivate confidence NOW rather than waiting on the weight loss.
- Grieve the end of your diet days with a 'break-up' ritual. Write an honest letter to dieting. "Dear dieting, You've been a great distraction for years, and we were BFFs for a while. Yet, I'm moving on because I am choosing to respect my body and health - including my mental health...." At the end, burn the letter to symbolize letting go. I mention this grieving process because you may be letting go of a big part of your life, which could have been a distraction, escape, or coping tool for you for years.
- Don't be afraid to take up space. We're told from a young age to shrink, be smaller, and take up less - not more - space. We need women who aren't afraid to express themselves, to live their dreams (regardless of their weight), and who are comfortable in their skin. “There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.” -Steve Maraboli
- Follow supportive blogs and social media sites. Luckily, there are tons of amazing people out there doing great work in the areas of intuitive eating, body positivity, self-care, and health at every size. If you want some inspirations, start here: Summer Innanen & her podcast Fearless Rebelle Radio, Corinne Dobbas, Rachel Cole, my co-author Valerie at Waking Up in Wonder, and Isabel Foxen Duke. (by the way, this is a very short list of amazing women passionately sharing in this field, but start here!)
- Listen to your body. Your body can tell you more than any calorie counting app or nutrition facts label ever can. By listening to its whispers - for hunger, what it's craving, and what feels satisfying - and honoring those signals, you can start to build trust with your body. You can't permanently destroy your metabolism or hunger and fullness cues. If you've spent years dieting, your body's cues may seem gone, so simply start by setting an INTENTION to listen to your body.
- Listen to your heart and intuition. We're taught to make decisions logically and rationally, yet our real superpower is listening to your heart. Place your hand on your heart, and listen. What do you need to hear?
"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself." - Alan Alda
Bonus Way: Share this list with a friend or someone who needs it. The more women celebrating no-diet day, the better!
If you can get through all 29 in one day, you're amazing! If not, save this list or print it, and try out a different challenge each day.