Say Yes When You Want To Say No

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

21 thoughts on “Say Yes When You Want To Say No

  1. Bearfriend says:

    Saying yes to exercise is so hard at first. But if I get into doing it everyday I get to the stage where I can’t not do it because otherwise I get too twitchy! My muscles are expecting the exercise and have put plenty of energy into my muscles for that purpose, so if I don’t do it I’m not going to be able to sit still anyway!

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx
    .-= Bearfriend´s last blog ..I’m not naturally fat =-.

  2. Marisa (Trim The Fat) says:

    I say yes to exercise often and now I basically do it without having to “talk myself through it” anymore. But, this post also made me think about saying yes to food (in a good way)! My family (extended, too) is a hard sell on having a healthy meal for Sunday dinner and/or special occassions. But, this past Sunday, I had a “healthy bbq” meal planned and I stuck with it even though my family was coming and probably expecting pasta and 3-4 other courses. I said “yes” to healthy and guess what? They all ate it and liked it! Now, I’m gonna ambush them with more “yes” meals 😉

    Oh,and “answering the 100th question with a smile”…gosh, you are my hero! Can’t say I’m so nice -lol!
    .-= Marisa (Trim The Fat)´s last blog ..Make It Quick =-.

  3. Monica says:

    This is so difficult for me, because like your excuses post the other day, I have so many excuses not to get my big self out of bed and exercise.

  4. vickie says:

    I think the biggest thing in our lives that we have to say “yes” to is change. I think that many of us stick to what we know and stick to what we have always done. Changing everything up is hard work.
    .-= vickie´s last blog ..4 sets =-.

  5. Jody - Fit at 51 says:

    Great post Diane and YES important for us! There are many times when the alarm goes off & I stumble out of bed saying I just don’t want to BUT, my motto is get there & get going & see how you feel & I almost always feel better! Now, like you said, this is considering that I am not sick or injured & it is just a MENTAL thing! This is a big lesson to learn. Don’t say no just because the mind says so.. we have to learn to evaluate our bod & what is a true, we need rest vs. I am just mentally screwing with myself.

    As for me, my post today…. again we are on the same wavelength. With these age related hormones getting worse, yes, there are so many times I just want to say NO, I am not going to change my food for the 4th time this month OR NO, I don’t want to work out harder since I am already working out like a fiend OR NO I don’t want to do this anymore. It is just getting too hard with these age hormones……. BUT, I step back & see what I have accomplished & what more I still can accomplish & that spurs me on. Yes, mentally, I do want to give in but something does not let me & I return to YES I CAN.

  6. Amy H. says:

    I’m still toying around with swimming. I really love to walk, so that’s what I’ve been doing, but I used to swim and think I should do it again, but it involves more than just walking out my front door (pack a bag, change clothes, shower after, get dressed…). It’s all I can do to walk out the front door right now. I’d like to think I’ll get there.
    .-= Amy H.´s last blog ..Is it bingeing or binging? =-.

  7. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    I have been wanting to get back into taking a group exercise class (I used to take some many, many years ago at another gym). I have so many excuses why it’s just not convenient for me. But to be honest, it would be doable. There are so many free classes offered at my gym at all times of the day. But I’m a bit intimidated I guess. What if I am not as flexible as those who have been taking the class for a long time? (Come to think of it, that would be normal, no?). What if I can’t keep up with the steps? (Also, normal, at least at first).What if people laugh at me? (Not likely). Okay, I think I should just say “yes.”
    .-= Andrea@WellnessNotes´s last blog ..Movie Night =-.

  8. Leah says:

    Once again I’m amazed at how right on your posts are!! 🙂

    That was me this very morning! 🙂 The alarm went off before 6:00 am. I am substituting today, tomorrow and most of the next two weeks. In order to for sure get my exercise in when I am working I have to get going by 6:15 at the latest. I lay there wishing I could just sleep in, but I thought to myself, “You need to do this or you’ll regret it later. This is part of a new way of life.” As it is it’s only a 30-minute workout, so I HAVE to do it.

    So, I made myself get up and start my walking DVD. I was a bit groggy through it, but now I’m glad I did it.

    You’ve no idea how much I needed to read this today! Much thanks!!!

    p.s. I was to try bicycling later also..I dream of going on bike rides with the kids when they are older. Someday…

  9. Gigi says:

    I almost said no to exercising today as I’m exhausted but got out there anyway and did 2/3 of my usual walk. I’m glad I pushed myself enough into the “yes” territory to get at least part of it done.
    .-= Gigi´s last blog ..Catching Up =-.

  10. John W. Zimmer says:

    Hi Diane,

    I am a planner so if my boss asks me to do something that takes time, I add it to my excel spreadsheet and assign an approximate priority (sort field – I use 1 – 8 with 9 being completed).

    Each time I complete a task I change the priority to “9” and resort (as well as adjust the other fields. If I received an urgent email, instant message, phone call or I am running behind and have to do the previously planned last task of the day that I am about to miss – at a higher priority to “fit it i.” – I just bite the bullet and do the other tasks the next day.

    Having said that I always seem be readjusting my goals to accommodate other’s people’s urgent projects. I really wish there were more planners out there – it would make my life a lot easier (less last minute things thrown at me). 🙂

    So to speak to your topic, I said yes to working out last night at 7pm (I was planning on a 3:30pm workout) to help my family with their last minute projects. 🙂

    My other task was to write a post but my workout was more important to me and I rescheduled that one!

    Timely topic!
    .-= John W. Zimmer´s last blog ..Cheat Day; Ice Cream & Cake! =-.

  11. Lynn Haraldson-Bering says:

    You’ve been in my head again 🙂 Saying yes when I want to say no has been my mantra these days! What keeps me saying yes is remember how good I feel when I make the right decision. Good as in physically and emotionally. Sometimes you just have to trust that your body and mind won’t let you down if you just let them to their thing.
    .-= Lynn Haraldson-Bering´s last blog ..Even Blythe Danner Makes Mistakes Sometimes =-.

  12. RickyRae says:

    I guess ‘yes’ is the new ‘no’!

    I love what Amy said…if you make exercise a non-decision, there is no yes-no debate to even worry about. As she says, ‘it just is’ …
    .-= RickyRae´s last blog ..CycleOps =-.

  13. Joanna says:

    I said yes to joining a friend in a triathlon 5 years ago. Every inch of me thought I was nuts. I had just gone from about 240lbs and a total couch potato to someone certainly lighter (about 170lbs at the time) and getting fitter every day. I caught the bug. I’ve now done the same triathlon 5 years in a row, 3 marathons and more 1/2 marathons than I can remember. That day changed my life.
    .-= Joanna´s last blog ..Stories From the Back of the Pack… =-.

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