Perhaps you’ve known people like this, who in an eating situation can just say:
“I’m going to pass on dessert because I’m full,” or may say, “No thanks, I’m done.” When I was obese I’d stare at them like they had lost their minds.
I couldn’t seem to say NO. Even as a teenager I rarely said no to my friends when they asked if I wanted to go through the drive-thru after school. I never remember saying no to the anonymous voice of the drive-thru cashier when she asked if I wanted to “value size” my already gigantic order. I always said, “Oh yes!” And my waistline, hips, arms, face, and legs showed it. They were the stark evidence of my inability to say no to food. Any food.
The people I knew who could say no to food baffled me. Why in the world would you turn down a perfectly delicious donut when it was free? And why say “no” to the second trip through the buffet line? Why?
They seemed to possess an internal full signal on their food tank that I thought was missing in my body. I was rarely full enough to say no to food. I was rarely concerned enough about my calories to say no to food. And so I rarely said no.
As I finally got serious about my weight loss I knew I needed to learn to say that one little word. “NO.” Quite frankly, it was hard to say no at first. I didn’t really want to say “no” to the yellow bag of peanut M&M’s that I saw at every grocery check-out line. I didn’t really want to turn down my friend’s offer of some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
But I did. And along the way I learned something important about myself. My friends who could just say “no” to food items weren’t really much different than I was. I had the ability to say no just as much as they did – but what I was sometimes lacking was the desire and self-discipline to say no.
So I practiced saying no and the more I said no, the easier it got. Of course the fact I was seeing the scale move in a downward direction was a great help during that time period of learning to say no to foods I didn’t need.
Thinking back on those early years of weight loss and maintenance made me realize something. That practice of continually saying no to the foods I had no business eating served me well even today. Now when I am tempted by the 2nd cookie, or candy that has no nutritional value at all, I remember that if I don’t say “no” when I know I should, then I can start to regain my weight.
And that would be a definite “NO” in my book.
So I continue to say no when I should, and allow the occasional yes’s to enter in. I learned that I’m no different than my friends after all – I just needed to find my inner “no.”
Have you learned to say “no” when you know you should? Has it been hard? Diane