Celebrating International No Diet Day and My Birthday!
Today is International No Diet Day and It’s my birthday and I’m going to let you in on a not so little secret.
I love celebrating birthdays. My birthday, your birthday, pretty much anyone’s birthday! Birthdays are, for me, the response to the question poet Mary Oliver poses at the end of her much beloved poem, The Summer Day.
Indulge me for my birthday and read along with me:
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
So today is a special day not only because it is my birthday but because it is International No Diet Day. I invite you to ask yourself, “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Will you restrict yourself from pleasure? Will you tow the line? Will you shrink and make yourself smaller? Will you hustle and push and exhaust yourself?
Or will you make room to sink your teeth into all of the delicious things in this life? Yes I mean this literally – moist, rich cake; hot crispy french fries, juicy sweet peaches, creamy soft cheeses. But of course I mean it as a metaphor as well.
I hope you will use this day as an excuse to do the thing that perhaps you’ve been a little scared to do. To look diet culture dead in the eye and say – “Nope, not today. I have my one wild and precious life and I simply cannot waste it on you.”
I’m off to go eat some cake. And in your own way, I hope you are too.