Before reading this post, please note the following:
I am not a doctor. I have no formal education, training, or degree in anything related to medicine, fitness, or nutrition. What follows is not a sales pitch or a prescription for what you should go and do. I do not know what physical shape you are in or if your doctor would want you to make the same choices I’ve made recently. This is only what happened to me.
My children are 5 and 3 years old. Preschoolers can be challenging little people. I feel that I discipline mine
It seems I am constantly saying NO do not touch, or hit, or bite, or do not potty on the floor. Exclaiming no all day long is difficult and taxing for this mama. I know my children need to be taught and trained so they grow into God and people loving adults who do not hit or bite, or potty anywhere they please.
Saying no to them is helping them learn, grow, and mature.
As my mama’s mouth said no for what seemed like the millionth time the other day, a thought occurred to me: how often do I tell myself no?
Not very often.
I excel at saying yes instead. Rationalizations like these happen all the time in my mind:
- I’ve had a stressful day with the kids so I deserve to _______.
- It will be ok for me to do this because how harmful is one little drink, bite of_____, purchase, lie, or outburst of anger anyway?
- My plate is already full, but I fear others will hate on me or think I am lazy, so I better say yes and volunteer.
Truth is- stress is a part of life. However, stress is a part not a prerequisite. Stress should not be an acceptable requirement or excuse for me to stuff my face or my closet with more shoes and purses… but I often allow it to be.
Truth is- “one little” can turn into a “frequent habit.” And many of my habits leave me feeling guilty, exhausted, and well… more bloated.
Truth is- people will not torch my house because I decline to help out. They will not really unfriend me if I say no to their request. Yes, they may be disappointed- but life goes on and my friends continue to love me despite my no.
For the last 30 days, I worked on telling myself no in the area of food. I used to take advantage of my petite frame. If I wanted Arby’s curly fries- I ate them. That huge slice of cheesecake from Cheese Cake Factory- I devoured it without guilt.
I ate everything I wanted and remained skinny.
Then I married a wonderful man who loves to cook and enjoy food. The chronic anxiety that caused my nervous stomach issues went away. I went through two pregnancies. I entered into my late 30s (bye-bye friendly metabolism).
I gained 20 pounds over the past 6 years.
Please understand that I do not believe we should live/die by the numbers on our bathroom scale. These numbers do not tell our whole story. They do not determine our worth, our success, or our beauty. I have fought and will continue to fight NOT becoming a slave to them…
But this past September, I felt awful physically and mentally. I had aches and pains all over my body. It was hard to concentrate during the day and sleep at night. I had no energy. I felt blah.
As I was explaining this to a friend, she told me about the Whole 30 day Paleo food challenge she was doing. She could relate to what I was feeling, but explained that by changing her diet she felt like a whole new person. So I decided to give it a try- and wowzers did it begin to change me.
I did not stop eating or start counting calories, I simply watched what I was eating.
This past month I tried the Isagenix 30 day cleanse. By getting rid of nasty toxins, hydrating my body, and eating healthy food in healthy portion sizes- my physical and emotional health changed even more.
I feel like a brand new momma.
The hardest part of all of this? It was not the taste of the food I was allowed to eat. Kale and Bison meat are tasty! No, the hardest part was telling myself no you cannot have chocolate fudge or a bag of Cheetos. I had to tell myself no over and over again. I had to give up time reading and blogging to prepare healthy meals from scratch. Every night. And it was hard.
But by saying no I have developed discipline and self-control in this area of my life. Saying no to cravings for curly fries and cheesecake is not always a bad thing for this mama! My aches and pains are gone. My ability to concentrate during the day and sleep at night is back. My energy levels are soaring compared to when I was hooked on caffeine and processed sugars. Since last September, I have lost 15 of those 20 pounds.
A friendly challenge:
What do you do when you feel you “deserve” something or when you are stressed out? Is it excessively shopping, eating, gambling, drinking, or ____?
Do you believe that “one little” ______ could form into an unhealthy “frequent habit?”
Are you a chronic people pleaser that is so afraid of other’s opinions that you are physically and mentally wearing yourself (and perhaps your family) out by overcommitting?
Then consider saying no to yourself. It will not be easy- but I believe you can do this. Say no. Pray. Surround yourself with support. Be patient. Pray some more….
Just like no is helping my children to grow and mature, no will help us do the same. Praying you’ll find new freedom and blessing by replacing a yes with no.