Let’s face it. Saying no to yourself isn’t really popular, or a lot of fun.
It’s not fun to tell yourself “no” when you want to buy a new pair of shoes, a new laptop, or a new outfit. But, if you are working on reducing how much money you spend, you have to learn how to tell yourself “no” and mean it.
Likewise, if you are trying to lose weight, there are times when you have to tell yourself a big “no.”
Not surprisingly, telling myself “no” was a major failing of mine as I tried to lose weight during my obese years. I didn’t want to say “no” to fast food meals, chocolate milkshakes or chocolate chip cookies. Instead, I wanted to have all those things and still lose weight.
As I rejoined Weight Watchers, or tried a new diet book, I found it very difficult to resist the foods I loved. Believe me – I tried the “moderation” approach, but in the beginning stages of my diets, I wasn’t so great at moderating anything. That came with time and practice.
The lure of sugar-filled doughnuts, or the yellow package of M&M’s seemed to call my name more strongly than the salad or brown rice did. And I heeded the unhealthy call, and hence passed up the opportunity to make the right choice.
Telling myself “no” was part of the process of self-regulating myself in order to succeed at losing weight. Other facets of the weight loss process involved developing strategies to combat bad habits, committing to an exercise routine, controlling emotional eating and retraining my cooking skills.
When I started to lose weight that last time, I found it easy to say “no” to myself for the first few weeks of my dieting experience. But even though I saw pretty heft weight loss totals those first few weeks, after about three weeks, I began to feel sorry for myself. I still had the desire to eat a lot of junky foods, and telling myself “no” when it came to cakes, cookies, etc. was tiresome.
Instead of succumbing like I always had in the past, I gave myself a lot of pep talks about how miserable I was as a 300 pound woman, how tired I was of being constantly tired, and how much better I’d feel (and look) if I weighed less. In addition to pep talks, I also refused to buy those foods, walked away from dessert tables at social functions and chewed a lot of gum.
Over time, I didn’t mind saying no to most of those unnecessary foods, but instead relished in the fact that I could now say yes to smaller clothes, more energy and compliments from my husband.
As my weight loss progressed, I learned to say “yes” to the occasional treat that rated a “10″ in my book, but still said a lot of “nos” along the way.
How are you at saying no to yourself? Or do you believe that you shouldn’t have to say “no?” Diane