FORMING DIET SURVIVOR'S GROUPS
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Getting together with a group of like-minded people can help you on your journey as a diet survivor. Do you know of other people who have also been caught on the diet rollercoaster? Invite them to meet – at your home, a coffee shop or restaurant – and see if they'd like to join you as you normalize eating, build self-acceptance and develop self-care.
Once you decide who will be in the group, consider the following:
- How often will you meet?
- Where will you meet
- Is the group open to new members once it begins?
- What kind of attendance is expected (is it okay to drop in from time to time or do you expect people to come to each meeting?)
- If someone needs to leave the group, what kind of notice must they give?
Here are some suggestions for getting started:
Spend time in the first official meeting sharing your personal stories. It is validating and healing to hear the stories of others, and to be heard.
Spend the first several meetings discussing the ideas presented in the first three introductory chapters of the book, such as the concept of a diet survivor, the damage caused by dieting, and the meaning of giving up diets, including the stages of grief. Letting go of dieting is a big step!
Use each lesson as a focus for discussion. You may want to pick one lesson per meeting and use the activities at the end of each lesson to further discussion.
Make sure that each person has an opportunity to speak at each group. You may want to allot a certain amount of time per person, so that no one member dominates the group.
Be respectful of each other. As you build trust in your group, you are likely to share personal details with each other. Trust is essential.