So often in weight loss circles you hear the phrase, “Just Say No.” Say no to treats. Say no to excess food. Say no to social occasions you can’t control yourself in. Just say no. And for a lot of situations involving food and weight loss, you do have to learn to just say no.
But for this post, I wanted to talk about saying “yes” when you want to say “no.” It seems a bit counter-intuitive doesn’t it? But let me give you an example:
It’s Sunday night, and you are thinking about your week ahead. You are super busy at work or have a lot going on at home. You know you should set your alarm to get up early and exercise but you are just overwhelmed when looking at your to-do list. So you don’t. You don’t set your alarm, you don’t get up and exercise, and then regret it later.
Here’s a case when it would be great to say, “Yes, I’m going to commit to exercising this week even though I don’t want to.” You’ve just told yourself “yes.” It’s not easy to do this, because often times our reasons for not working out seem valid.
We are busy. We are overwhelmed. We are tired. We don’t always feel like working out. (Note that I’m not saying to over-exert yourself when you are feeling poorly, or that you have to exercise every single day!)
But by telling yourself “yes” during those busy times, you are actually teaching yourself a valuable life lesson. Because as you finish up your weight loss journey, life still happens, and the lesson you learned will serve you well into maintenance. In fact, it’s probably already a lesson you know. I say “yes” all the time when I want to say no. When my child has asked me the same question for the 100th time in one day, I want to lose my mind sometimes. But I tell him the answer to the question again, usually with a smile on my face.
You probably do this all the time at work. Your boss asks you to do something you’d rather not, but you say “yes” because you know it’s good for your career. Sometimes my husband will ask me to make some phone calls (which I hate) because he is absolutely swamped at work. I really want to say no, but instead I agree.
Can you apply the same principle to exercising? Even if you are exercising with some consistency now, there are often opportunities to increase your intensity or try something new. I remember the first time I rode a bike for exercise after I had lost all my 150 pounds. A friend of mine was an avid cyclist, and my Mom had just given me her old (nice) bike. So when my cyclist friend asked me if I’d like to ride with her I wanted to say no, because I was afraid I couldn’t keep up with her. But I said yes.
And guess what? I couldn’t keep up with her – but she was gracious enough to slow down for me! The feelings of accomplishment I had were huge. Twelve years later, still cycle fairly regularly, and enjoy it greatly. Imagine if I hadn’t tried that form of exercise. I might still be looking at the nice bike in my garage just wishing I could ride it fast.
What are you tempted to say no to when you could say yes? Has there been a time when you said “yes” and are glad you did? I’d love to hear your experiences. Diane