No Diet Day

Posted On May 5, 2022 By Lisa Traugott

People eating at a table.

No Diet Day is celebrated on May 6, the birthday of its creator, Mary Evans Young. Mary battled anorexia and body issues and by 1992 she had enough and started a “Ditch the Diet” picnic in the UK that quickly caught on and spread internationally.

What is Anorexia?

According to the Mayo Clinic, anorexia is an eating disorder where the person is excessively thin, fearful of gaining weight and has a distorted perception of body weight. Anorexia isn’t really about food; it’s about seeking self-worth through thinness.

Two people eating croissants.

How do you celebrate?

  • Eat what you want. A lot of judgements are placed on foods as being good or bad, or in the case of anorexics “safe” foods that are low calorie. In reality, food is just fuel for your body.
  • Have a picnic. A component of disordered eating is the secretive nature of it – eating alone or making excuses to not eat at all. When you have a picnic, you’re bringing together a group of friends to break bread and enjoy each other’s company.
  • Go easy on yourself (and others). There’s a lot of body shaming in our culture, and it goes both ways. Ditch the stereotypes and celebrate the person inside.
  • Focus on the good things. Growing up I remember my mother and her friends meeting up and comparing notes on which diet they were on and complaining about it. This would morph into saying which body part they hated most. That’s not emotionally healthy. Stop focusing on flaws and focus on the parts you like – your smile, your eyes, the kindness you show.
  • Take a break from social media. Facebook and Instagram made headlines for making body issues worse. In a leaked study one in three teen girls’ body issues were made worse and in another study 40% of people who felt unattractive started feeling that way after joining the app. Apps are just a snapshot of a moment in time that can be filtered, edited, and cropped to change the real picture. Put your phone down, stop comparing yourself to influencers you’ve never met and enjoy the company of the friends in front of you.

Your body is with you your whole life. Treat it well. Happy No Diet Day!