International No Diet Day (INDD) is an annual celebration of body acceptance, including overweight acceptance and body shape diversity, held on May 6, and the symbol is a light blue ribbon. The day promotes body acceptance and diversity of body shapes. INDD is also committed to promoting a healthier lifestyle that emphasizes wellness at all sizes. This day is also devoted to promoting a balanced lifestyle with an emphasis on fitness at all sizes, as well as raising awareness about the risks of dieting and the risk of failure; the Institute of Medicine summarizes: “those who complete weight loss programs lose approximately 10 percent of their body weight only to regain two-thirds within a year and almost all of it within five years.” Unattainable body expectations and pressure have led to eating disorders, low self-esteem, bullying, and unhealthy restrictive diets for many people, especially women. When British feminist Mary Evans Young had had enough of it all in 1992, she invited friends to “Ditch that Diet,” which quickly became a worldwide phenomenon. In 1992, the United Kingdom hosted the first International No Diet Day. International No Diet Day has been observed by feminist groups in a number of countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Israel, Denmark, Sweden, and Brazil. International No Diet Day (INDD) is observed for the purpose of:
- Educating people about the right way to diet and do it responsibly and effectively.
- Having people take a break from their diet.
- Helping in celebrating the diversity of different shapes and sizes.
- Helping you in accepting your body.
- Aiming to help end weight discrimination, fatphobia, and sizeism.
- Embracing your body shape.
Allowing people to eat what they love without worrying about the calories. Similar days have been funded by the International Size Acceptance Association (ISAA) and the National Organization for Women (NOW) since 1998. The International Size Acceptance Day, which is celebrated on April 24th, is ISAA’s day. NOW’s Love Your Body initiative, which includes its own annual Love Your Body Day in the fall, criticizes what it calls the fashion, beauty, and diet industries’ “fake Photos” by requesting that images of women of various body sizes and shapes be used instead. Dieticians and dieting have been around since the 18th century when obese English doctor George Cheyne lost a lot of weight by consuming only vegetables and drinking only milk and avoiding meat entirely. He then published an article titled “An Essay of Health and Long Life,” in which he prescribed his diet to anyone suffering from obesity. The first diets were born as a result of this essay, which recommended getting plenty of fresh air and avoiding “luxury foods.” People have tended to use particular eating habits to improve their health or conform to social ideals. In 1863, English undertaker William Banting coined the term “Banting” to describe the first fad weight-loss diet. As of 2007, it was still being printed and is regarded as a model for mainstream diets. It consisted of four daily meals of meat, greens, fruit, and dry wine. Marketers promoted body values and principles that were impossible for many people to achieve with a growing amount of available media, from television to advertising to the internet. Photo editing and cosmetic surgery made these statistics technically difficult to achieve in many situations, but many people felt the social pressure and went on diets to lose weight. Mary Evans Young, an English feminist, had been battling anorexia, bullying, and body image problems for years and had had enough. While she had planned for her first No Diet Day to be celebrated only in the United Kingdom, she was moved to see it spread across the world. Just a handful of women in the United Kingdom celebrated the holiday in 1992, with “Ditch That Diet” stickers and a picnic. In 1993, feminists in a growing number of countries planned to commemorate International No Diet Day. Americans, especially in California, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, were worried that the date would conflict with the southern states’ Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Young didn’t see the 5th of May as particularly important, so she decided to move the date to May 6, which happened to be her birthday. The best way to celebrate No Diet Day is to acknowledge that our bodies are perfect in their natural state. We should focus on being safe and involved rather than worrying about our weight and body shape. Another way we hurt ourselves when compromising our wellbeing is by losing weight quickly or aiming for unrealistic body types. Instead, we should learn to enjoy our bodies more, which will make us happier and healthier. Don’t care about the calories; eat what you want. Instead, eat what you really want because it is delicious. That should be your sole concern. Get rid of your weights. Don’t judge yourself solely on the basis of an amount. You’ll be shocked by how freeing it feels.