This Sunday, May 6th is a reminder of a pivotal time in my life. It’s a day that represents trust, freedom and having choice. I know all of this could sound silly to some but I think there are many that may comprehend the transformation. It’s not the kind of transformation that you see on the surface, or a before-and-after Instagram post. It’s what you may catch sight of if you peer deeper into my eyes, it’s what I feel in my bones.
I don’t think I ever identified with being a dieter. I didn’t think telling myself that I liked certain nutritious foods when I actually didn’t and choosing foods that I knew contained maximum nutrition and minimum calories was a diet. I thought I was just making smart choices. These choices weren’t innately wrong but they were disconnected. I made these choices when I was feeling ‘strong’. Other times I would choose to indulge in foods with friends to show that dietitians actually do eat everything. I ate strategically, kind of like playing a game of chess (wait, I don't know how to play chess... but maybe it's still a good example because as I look back, I wasn't winning the game!). At the time, I didn’t realize these overly calculated choices were actually creating a more tumultuous relationship with food and distracting me from really living.
The day I heard of No Diet Day, it drew me in like a magnet. From there, I continued to gradually learn that eating did not require careful micromanagement or all hell would break loose (although initially it can definitely appear that way). It gradually came to me that feeling spontaneously crazy around food was not my real problem, it was a red herring. It was in fact a symptom of what needed fixing. With lots of reading, sharing, curiosity and experimenting, the fog slowly lifted and I was finally catching glimpses of the real truth. My problem was making choices guided by my pride in healthy eating and ironically what I thought was a healthy relationship with food. It wasn't the kind of pride I would flaunt, but the pride I secretly held when I was successful at making carefully calculated choices. It was a kind of pride that did not hold under the test of time and reflection.
What No Diet Day means to me is that there is a better way, or at least it’s a better way for me. Dare I say it could be a better way for all (with unique nuances of course, because we are beautifully diverse). So if you’re not sure what it could mean for you, what I would love for you everyday but especially this Sunday is to simply enjoy the sh*t out of what you eat. Breathe in the experience, savour what you eat and go freely into your day!
I would love to hear from you! If you are interested in sharing your food and body story with me, I would be so honoured to be your mindful listener. Learn more about the challenge right here: