10 Reasons I’ll Never Diet Again

Success and DietsMay 6 is International No Diet Day!  In honor of INDD I took some time today to reflect on the many, many years I wasted dieting and came up with 10 reasons that I’ll never diet again – and let me clarify that my definition of dieting is any attempt to use eating and exercise to manipulate my body size. Let me also clarify that I am only speaking for myself here – your mileage may vary.

1.  I refuse to manipulate my body size to try to conform to a social stereotype of beauty.

2.  I refuse to attempt to manipulate my body size to try to solve social stigma, bullying or oppression.  The cure for bullying, social stigma and oppression is not weight loss, it’s ending bullying, social stigma, and oppression.  The problem is not my body, it’s people who bully, stigmatize and oppress me because of my body size.

3.  Of course health is not a guarantee, an obligation or a barometer of worthiness – we each get to choose how highly we prioritize our health and the path that we want to take to get there.  For me it’s important to know that research suggests that habits are a much better indicator of future health than body size.

4. There is not a single study of any method of intentional weight loss (whether you call it dieting, lifestyle change or something else)  has shown it to be successful for more than a tiny fraction of people.  Even the diet companies’ own studies show that they don’t work.

5.  Even if I managed to be part of the tiny percentage of people who succeed at long term weight loss, there is not a single study that shows that it would make me healthier, in fact, the little research that exists suggests that it wouldn’t

6.  During the time that I was attempting intentional weight loss my body size would decrease in the short term, then increase over time no matter how strict I kept to my habits (which, it turned out, is exactly what the research said would happen.)  I wasn’t able to stabilize my body size until I started practicing Health at Every Size.

7.  During the time that I was attempting intentional weight loss I had unhealthy relationships with food, exercise and my body.  A focus on appreciating my body and supporting it through healthy habits has lead to my having healthy relationships with food, exercise, and my body.

8.  Three words:  Uncontrolled Anal Seepage.  And a whole bunch of things that I was told were “healthy” as a dieter, often by doctors, that don’t make any damn sense

9.  I don’t want my money to be part of the over 60 billion dollars that we spend every year on the diet industry – an industry that has lost so many deceptive trade practice lawsuits that they are actually required to remind us that their product doesn’t actually work every time they advertise it.  I think that there are a lot better things we could buy for 60 billion dollars.

10.  Diets don’t work – I definitely gave dieting the old college try and it didn’t make me thinner, healthier, happier, or anything other than miserable.  I think I’m right, but even if I’m wrong I choose Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size.

Happy No Diet Day!

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15 thoughts on “10 Reasons I’ll Never Diet Again

  1. OMG, Thank you for reminding me NOT to buy into all the advertising hype as I once did. And that my health is NOT related to my body size. really needed to hear this today.

  2. Reblogged this on Tiana the Health Coach and commented:
    This post is a fantastic summary of many of the reasons why dieting is not good for us. We have to practice compassion, curiosity, and honesty with ourselves in order to be healthier in mind, body, and spirit. Do that in whatever way makes sense to you, but in the meantime check out Ragen Chastain’s list of 10 reasons why she is never dieting again:

  3. A-freaking-men, sister! I particularly like reasons #2 and #9… though the other eight are all quite compelling, too.

    Happy International No Diet Day, everyone!

  4. This essay should be required for every single “fashion” or “house-wife/cooking, etc” magazine. It should be listed at least yearly.

    They have their diet columns along with the ‘decadent brownies’ how-tos. Perpetuating the very continuance of these rags!

  5. Last year I realized that even though I wasn’t going to the gym, I hadn’t cancelled my membership. Maybe it was only $10 a month, but think about how many other millions of people are doing the same thing.

    You know that they count on just such customers because they make you cancel your contract in writing to the corporate offices out of state—just enough of a deterrent to keep a nice revenue stream coming in.

    Wow, I thought, wouldn’t it be something if they make more money off the people who don’t use the gym than off those who do?

    You see where I’m going. The diet industry deliberately and cynically makes its profits off the people who don’t lose weight, which is to say, everybody. They count on you “failing,” not on you “succeeding.” It’s a numbers game, with the odds being 99.9999% in favor of the house.

    Those studies that show the ten-pound weight loss followed by the five-pound weight gain are music to their bottom line. Just enough of a lure. And an ideology that says: if you lose weight, it’s thanks to us; if you don’t, you have only yourself to blame.

    Wishing everybody a militant International No Diet Day!

  6. I just want to thank you for doing the research and sharing it with all of us so that we too can be truly informed about what diets do and what they don’t do. For me, I refuse to believe it is all my fault that I have never been truly successful at dieting (and now I have the data to support why). I’ll never diet again either! I have much better things to spend my time and money on and taking care of myself is one of those things.

  7. …I wonder how much hate mail this is going to generate. Because you know that someone’s going to post that they’re the exception to each one of those statements, and how we fatties just don’t try hard enough.

  8. Thank you for so good summary 🙂 . Its a great article to forward to the weight loss trolls like my father … just few days ago he sent me link to BS article in some woman magazine “10 reasons to loose weight”. I hope he will read your article really carefully.
    @dad: if you think i used to be thinner then my brother because of healthier eating and more excercising then you are very very very wrong

  9. I have a dilemma, this New Year was the first in a long time I didn’t start yet another diet. Instead I have been trying to eat more fruit and veggies and home cooked foods but my problem is this – I have gained 4lb.

    So while I am becoming more comfortable with my body and realising diets don’t work at the same time I don’t want to gain weight!!

    Is there a solution?

    S x

  10. I love this! My favorite part is ” The cure for bullying, social stigma and oppression is not weight loss, it’s ending bullying, social stigma, and oppression. The problem is not my body, it’s people who bully, stigmatize and oppress me because of my body size.” I posted this quote on my Fb page and will continue to do so once a month to remind everyone that bullying/stigma/oppression begins and ends with THEM. I think I love you, Ragen!

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