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Give away those 'thin clothes'

Give away those 'thin clothes' on International No Diet Day

Finally . . . there's a place to put your 'thin clothes' - the ones you hope will fit again when you lose weight.

Usually they are stored in the back of wardrobes - always there and never out of mind - just serving as a reminder that they once fitted and now don't as a result of diets that don't work.

International No Diet Day, on Tuesday, May 6, is a day for people to stop dieting and give some serious thought about whether perpetual dieting helps or hinders health and happiness.

It is also a day where people are encouraged to go through their wardrobes and donate their 'thin clothes' to The Salvation Army.

International No Diet Day is a great opportunity for people to give away the clothes they're never going to wear to people who will really benefit from them.

Garments can be donated to The Salvation Army's family shops around the country.

The idea to encourage people to free themselves of the pressures of holding onto 'thin clothes' by donating them to the Salvation Army was the brainchild of Sarah Ley.

Sarah is the Auckland-based New Zealand co-ordinator for HUGS, a non-diet health and lifestyle programme that rejects the notion that diets work. She has a Masters in Nutritional Science, and is a registered dietitian and nutritionist with more than 30 years experience in nutrition.

Sarah says it is well known that habitual dieters divide their wardrobes into 'thin clothes' and 'fat clothes'.

"Invariably, the 'thin clothes' are not worn and, more significantly, they are probably never going to get worn again. 'Thin clothes' haunt their owners every day. Each time people open their wardrobe they receive a negative and depressing message about their bodies and their failure to successfully diet," Sarah says.

"I encourage people to free themselves from feelings of failure, to enjoy the freedom of wearing comfortable clothes and to be able to open their wardrobes each morning and feel happy."

Sarah says the barrage of unrealistic body images in today's media makes it easy for people to get trapped in the diet cycle and spend their lives trying to change their body shape and size.

Salvation Army Public Relations Officer Don Oliver says the organisation welcomes donations of clothes for recycling.

"They will go to needy homes or be sold in the Salvation Army shops. We have more than 100 shops throughout the country, so we always really appreciate donations of garments."

The HUGS programme was founded by Canadian registered dietitian Linda Omichinski in the late 1980's to provide a non-diet alternative with a focus on health and self-acceptance.

HUGS, the only true non-diet programme, helps free people from diet cycle thinking and behaviours and encourages independent nourishing eating and activity patterns and self acceptance.

It is supported by the best selling book, "You Count, Calories Don't" by Linda Omichinski.

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