SuperDewa Photography


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Thursday, May 5, 2011

International No Diet Day

    I Pledge:
  • That I will not diet for one day, on May 6, International No Diet Day.
  • Instead of trying to change my body to fit someone else's standards, I will accept myself just as I am.
  • I will feed myself if I'm hungry.
  • I will feel no shame or guilt about my size or about eating.
  • I will think about whether dieting has improved my health and well-being or not.
  • And I will try to do at least one thing I have been putting off "until I lose weight."
  • 110502_0115webready
Dieting is something I think about a lot these days. I have a loved one with a severe eating disorder. When I see what she is going through, I want to ban diets and any thoughts of weight loss from this world. But I am conflicted, because I have fallen into the obese (or more) category on any medical chart for nearly ten years, and I have not been happy with myself. Most of the weight came on post children and post moving to the country from NYC (living here has slowed me down significantly). I have taken it for granted that I am fat and that I need to lose weight and that there is something wrong with me for not being able to lose weight. I’ve tried dieting. I’ve been on weight watchers. I’ve counted calories. I lose weight, and then I gain it all back plus more. While dieting, I become obsessed with food and numbers. Thankfully I recognized that tendency in myself and was able to stop each time without it turning into a disorder. I will never do weight watchers or count calories again, because I see how close that mindset is to the mindset of someone with an eating disorder. Some people can do these things without it getting out of hand, but I feel like I’m at risk.
It’s quite possible I would never have started my steady rise upward on the scale if I had never started in the beginning. I really have no idea. And I don’t really know what to do about it now. Perhaps taking for granted that where I am now isn’t healthy is what needs to change. I eat well. I am relatively active. I get clean bills of health from the doctor. Why not learn to be happy where I am and stop letting worrying about my weight affect my life?
The last line in the International No Diet Day pledge struck a chord with me. What have I been putting off until I lose weight? I never thought that through before, but I realize I’ve been putting off a lot. I have put off seeing myself as beautiful. I shrink from certain things because I am afraid of how people will see me. I see myself as worth less. I give up on doing things that are good and healthy for me because I think “what’s the point”? These are big things, and I need to work through them.
One smaller thing I have put off is taking a full-body self-portrait of myself. It’s can be hard to see myself that way, and because most of the people who see my photography are friends I’ve made or reacquainted myself with through the internet, I’ve deluded myself into thinking I can present a different and better side of myself by hiding certain things.  So I decided the full-body portrait was how I would honor the last line of the INDD pledge. I took my camera to a local orchard where I knew I would have some privacy and gave myself what I am coming to look at as a gift. I know I’m off in the distance here, but it’s a big start toward presenting myself as I am. I hope this is the beginning of my loving myself more and showing myself more respect.
What have YOU been putting off until you lose weight or until some other obstacle in your life changes? If you care to share with a photo, I’ve started a flickr group for International No Diet Day. I welcome you to join.


arin said...

This is so honest and amazing. I could say "ditto" to nearly everything you've said above - even though I know I'm not being fair or kind to myself. Why do we do that?? I'm psyching myself up for a self-portrait for tomorrow - between INDD and Picture Spring Day 6, I think it's a sign :) This is a further kick in the ass! You found a beautiful spot and did yourself a wonderful favour - you are beautiful! (I love the one of you frolicking, below!)

April said...

You are so brave and honest for sharing this! I have been on my own healthy path lately but it doesn't involve counting calories like you said (boo to that!) I am sure there are many things I have put off because of weight, I will have to think about it. Thanks for this wonderful post and sharing beautiful pictures of yourself, you have inspired me!

SuperDewa said...

Thank you! This was a hard one to write -- I had to think long and hard about it.
Arin -- I'm so glad you'll be taking part!

Marvett Smith said...

This is just so wonderful! You are such an inspiration! I will be joining you as well. Thank you for being who you are and for sharing!

SuperDewa said...

Thank you Marvett, your photos area always an inspiration to show oneself love.

Anonymous said...

First off, that's a lovely post, it can be so hard to put oneself "out there." Secondly, what a beautiful setting and nice place to explore oneself. Thirdly, good for you for doing the self-portrait and you look beautiful. I especially like the one with you skipping off, all happy and carefree.

I hope I can think up something for the Flickr group, so far, nada :)

Megan said...

proud of you, girl! A full body selfie!!! You rock and I am in beautiful company, my dear. We are so tracking with our views. I have put off doing a triathlon because I am not fast or skinny like my friends who do them...well, guess what? I am going for it in October. ;)

sure love you, girl!!!


Kirstin said...

Oh this is such a powerful, powerful post, lovely! x

Anonymous said...

These pictures are so wonderful and you are so beautiful, in the pics and in real life. What you wrote brought tears to my eyes.

kiersten said...

It's like you're inside my head. I have been battling my weight for years. Before I had my son I had lost 45lbs and looked amazing. Ever since's been a painful struggle. Did I mention he is almost 13?? Ugh. I hide myself too, Deirdre. I am completely okay with selfies of my face..but my whole body? The thought makes me cringe. I have gained since I came home from out west..the heartache and grief have triggered my coping mechanism...numbing out with food. Now that my mind is healed and my heart is almost there, my body is left with the fallout. Kind of unfair.
Thank you for being brave enough to post this. I wrote a blog earlier this week..maybe now I will be brave enough to post it on my own blog. more blogs that make me tear up, got it? ;-) xo

Anonymous said...

You are beautiful to me... You always have. I think because when I see you through Flickr eyes I see YOU, your talent, your life, your thoughts and emotions, and I have never really thought or cared about what your body looks like.

Nordljus {Lonely Librarian} said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley Sisk said...

Amen - love what you've done here. Love love love it!

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photos and life