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International No Diet Day

In chronological order, in honor of International No Diet Day:

I remember being in third grade, and telling my friends that I was only going to drink water for three days.

I remember feeling targeted and alone, because I couldn’t run the mile for the President’s Physical Fitness Test. Year after year after year.

I remember driving up to Boston, so that I could be evaluated at Children’s Hospital. I saw the nutritionist. I remember that she told me the proper serving sizes of meat and protein, likening them to inanimate objects.

I remember being in sixth grade, and working out at the gym with my mother. I remember what the salads tasted like, and how it felt to walk into school thirty pounds thinner. I remember the jeans we bought as a present for losing all that weight.

I remember going to a holistic doctor, who prescribed me pills, and said that I would get fatter and fatter for the rest of my life if I didn’t take them. When it came to order the second round of them, they had gone out of business. I remember exactly how they tasted. I waited by the mailbox for months, with the words fatter and fatter for the rest of her life echoing in my head.

I remember taking those diet pills that made me run forever, and never want to stop. I remember how expensive they were, and how badly I wanted them.

I remember being called Flubber and Free Willy. I remember each any every face that old me I was fat.

I remember being in high-school, and eating nothing but rice cakes. I remember the boy who said I would be pretty, if I lost a 100 pounds. Then he’d go out with me.

I remember stealing diet pills from BJ’s, because I was too embarrassed to buy them.

I remember being in college, and being on Atkins. I remember thinking that I wasn’t losing weight fast enough. I remember going on the Fat Fast. I remember being too weak to walk up the four flights of stairs to my dorm room.

I remember all of the friends that I colluded with. I remember the strategy sessions. The multitude of ways that we would rid ourselves of our bodies.

I remember being chased out of the fraternity, with boys yelling about how fat I was down the street after me. I remember how my friends cried, and how confused I was, because I was used to it.

I remember all of the boys I let kiss me, because I thought I didn’t deserve anyone better.  I remember knowing that no one would ever love me for who I was.

I remember knowing that there was no other way.

I remember the realization that I was an adult, and I could choose to eat whatever I wanted. I remember knowing that I could buy myself meals, and that I was in control.

I remember how all that stubborn weight started sliding off.

I remember laughing, dancing, hula-hooping, and walking around town.

I remember preforming on stage in front of a crowd.

I remember when the girls told me I was their hero, a curvy girl with the guts to perform.

I remember what eating fish and chips without feeling guilty tasted like.

I remember falling madly, truly, deeply in love. Again and again.

I remember falling in love with someone who loves me exactly the way I am, thick or thin, and I remember how it felt to be loved so completely.

I remember when she asked me to marry her.

I remember loving myself completely. Without apology.

I remember when I started trying my best not to compare myself to others.

I remember starting this blog, with the secret dream that I could inspire others, with the secret dream that together we could work though the tangle of media, diets, societal, and family pressures.

Thank you, all, for being on this journey with me.  The decision to stop dieting and start living dramatically changed my life. I’m not saying that it isn’t sometimes scary, or that everything is always perfect. But now I am living. Now I am breathing. Now I am taking risks.

And in many ways, I have all of you to thank for that.


29 Comments to International No Diet Day

  1. Meg's Gravatar Meg
    May 6, 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure this blog made me fall in love with you. You’re amazing.

  2. jpetroroy's Gravatar jpetroroy
    May 6, 2011 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Oh, I just want to give you a hug right now. I so admire your strength and determination, and how you inspire others.

  3. Chelsea S.'s Gravatar Chelsea S.
    May 6, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Oh Mara… I nod my head reading your words yet again. Thanks for your honesty and authenticity and for being such an amazing role model to us all. You inspire me on the regular, my dear! I made a vision board last year that includes the words… “diets are mean”. Ain’t it the truth? xoxo

  4. May 6, 2011 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I just love you so much. Thanks for sharing this; I so relate. I had chills and tears in my eyes while reading. xo
    Anna Guest-Jelley recently posted..Celebrate International No Diet Day!My Profile

  5. May 6, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I am in tears in the best possible way. Thank you so much for writing such a raw, thoughtful, rich and inspired post. You’re a true force.

  6. May 6, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Wow. So powerful. I started my blog for the exact same reason, so here’s to our secret dreams and the way they are finding and connecting with other secret dreams to create this movement.

    Here’s a few of my own:
    -I remember my mom taking me to a tiny room in the basement of a sandwich shop (?!), getting on a scale and just praying that no one from my school had seen me walk into the door with the WW overhead.
    -I remember waking up at 4:30 a.m. to go for a run before school, even though I had cross country practice after school.
    -I remember the shame I felt when I joined the diet program over and over in college – trying to find different meeting locations so they wouldn’t remember that I had never been able to do it before.

    And now, I remember the first night I walked into an OA meeting and heard someone else tell my story of struggling so deeply with food. I remember the moment last summer when I owned up to liking puzzles, coloring in coloring books and listening to NPR. And the joy I felt with realizing I was truly being myself.

    Thank you for this post, and thank you for the inspiration of how your life has gotten so much better. Can’t wait to go read the other posts you’re linking to in this one!

  7. May 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad you wrote this. So much of it hit home for me, and I’m SO thankful you’ve embarked upon this new path of self love and happiness. Keep on keepin’ on. You’re doing amazing work, and you are changing the world, so hopefully other people can find this path too.

  8. Jennifer's Gravatar Jennifer
    May 6, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful! Thank you! <3

  9. KCLAnderson (Karen)'s Gravatar KCLAnderson (Karen)
    May 6, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    You have such a powerful voice and unique way of telling a story that is, at once, so universal and yet so personal. I am so glad you are here!
    KCLAnderson (Karen) recently posted..The Journey I Was Going To TakeMy Profile

  10. May 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful. The post and author both.
    Mary recently posted..Actually- I Am a Human Doing- Postmodernism and RecoveryMy Profile

  11. May 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Wow. This is an incredibly raw and courageous post…. and it made me cry.

    Thank you…. so much.


    P.S. I hope you don’t mind but you’ve inspired me to do a post of my own.

  12. Caroline's Gravatar Caroline
    May 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  13. May 6, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    what a post. you just evoked in me a slew of emotions. your words just brought out tears and i’m still covered in goosebumps. most importantly though, you just saved me from a day of self-imposed starvation. thank you so much, mara. you’re amazing.
    zoe (and the beatles) recently posted..little victoriesMy Profile

  14. Martina's Gravatar Martina
    May 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    This was so beautiful and from the heart. It brought back a rush of similar feelings, I experienced
    while growing up. Thank you for sharing.

  15. May 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Mara, this is absolutely stunning! Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Your posts are always so insightful, eloquent and thought-provoking. I’m so sorry for everything you had to go through. But I’m happy for your decision to ditch dieting and start loving and nourishing yourself. It is a difficult journey – but one that’s incredibly exciting and liberating!

    You are a true inspiration!!!
    Margarita @ Weightless recently posted..Celebrate International No Diet Day!My Profile

  16. May 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful, beautiful post. Thank you so much for writing this and inspiring not me but so many other women who have dealt with similar experiences. You are wonderful!
    Allie recently posted..Movie Review- Something BorrowedMy Profile

  17. May 6, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    You made me cry! Beautiful, beautiful post! Thank you!
    Hanlie recently posted..The Habit TrapMy Profile

  18. May 6, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I’m speechless. And that’s a big statement for me.
    Wow. Fabulous.

  19. sui's Gravatar sui
    May 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    asdf THANK YOU MARA, for such a beautiful post. I love you!
    sui recently to be grateful for an uncontrollable- stuff-yourself-until-you’re-sick binge…My Profile

  20. May 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Love love love this. I recognize my childhood self in so much of this, and am working on making sure my future self resembles the end. :)
    Shannon recently posted..Turkey Hamburger Glop-oMy Profile

  21. May 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Truly amazing post, Mara.

    It’s so inspiring and beautiful to see where you’ve come from, where you are now and glimpses of where you might be going.

    Real honesty for sure, but that’s what reminds us we’re not alone in the scary, dark and hurtful places we’ve been.

    Melissa @ …the space between… recently posted..International No Diet DayMy Profile

  22. PJ's Gravatar PJ
    May 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    I have just read this through three times, and I’ll probably read it a couple more before I’m done. I remember thinking “I just have to” when I started restricting. And now I want so much to make new memories for myself too. Ones I can smile when I think of them. Ones I can recall with pride and not shame. :)PJ
    PJ recently posted..something Im proud ofMy Profile

  23. May 6, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    MM-that was beautiful, intense, gripping. There is no way out of dieting other than binging or giving it up entirely. It is a no win situation.

  24. May 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Oh my gorgeous one – you are an inspiration. Thank you for this.
    Julie Parker recently posted..Is Going Makeup Free the Next Beauty ‘Trend’My Profile

  25. May 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Comparing yourself to others never does you any good – it just makes you feel more miserable. but it’s hard especially when you have to live with society. Comparing just becomes natural when you hang out with friends and interact with other ppl
    Henway recently posted..iContact FAQMy Profile

  26. May 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Permalink


    I know I’m not the only one to say this, but I have goosebumps. Your journey is beautiful. The fact that you share it is even more so. You are one amazing woman! So grateful to be able to share the story.

    Ann Becker-Schutte recently posted..The Courage of Everyday LivingMy Profile

  27. May 7, 2011 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Absolutely beautiful, Mara. What a range of emotions it conjures up, too…pain for the things you used to experience, joy for where you are now, and awe at your courage to move between the two. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  28. Rebecca's Gravatar Rebecca
    May 9, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Reading this was just…wow, and then to read all of the comments and realize that so many women have been through what I’ve been through.

    I’d like to add a few of my own

    I remember how much I dreaded being weighed in front of everybody in my gym class for the presidential fitness test… I was only in 5th grade and I knew I was heavier than everyone else.

    I remember running around my room and jumping on the scale to see if I lost any weight, then running around some more.

    I remember being ashamed to eat lunch in front of people, then going home and binging on food to comfort myself, feeling guilty about binging, and eating some more because I felt so horrible about myself. Eventually I began purging as well.

    I remember the first time I focused on what my body could do rather than what it looked like and how liberated I felt. Hiking, jumping across streams, climbing over fallen trees, . There was no one out there to judge me by my appearance.

  29. May 9, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I have to pipe in – this is amazing and brought me to tears.
    Katie @ Health for the Whole Self recently posted..The Post I Wrote Through TearsMy Profile

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Welcome! I’m Mara.

I’m Mara Glatzel. I’m an intuitive coach and writer. I guide women home to themselves and teach them to create lives brimming with supreme self-care. read more
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