“I can’t eat that. It’s not on my diet.”
I have a resolution for you to consider.
It’s simple. (...I did not say easy…)
It does NOT require you to hit the gym, stop eating your favorite food or make sweeping lifestyle changes. (Unless that’s what you have in mind. 🙂 )
It has to do with how you to talk about your life, your choices.
When I was FIRST starting on this journey, I would find myself in any situation that involved food and immediately feel the need to proactively defend myself/my choices. “I can’t eat that. It’s not on my diet.”
That provokes ALL kinds of responses from people; most re-enforce the negative response I just put out there…
‘I couldn’t do your diet’, ‘Just one bite won’t hurt’, I even got one ‘Ugh. Your LIFE sucks.’
I had a critical mental shift early on this journey, thanks to a conversation with my friend, Liz. She’s my life-long, cheerleader, butt-kick-when-I-need-it kind of best friend. Everyone should be lucky enough to have a Liz.
I was telling Liz about some experiences I had had and that people weren’t as supportive of what I was doing as I had hoped. She said…
‘You chose this. You KNOW you can do it. You don’t have to ask for permission. You don’t have to defend what you choose to do to anyone.’
Fast forward about two months from that early conversation; She was right. Dodging social invitations or avoiding ALL of my friends wasn’t sustainable. Relying on other people to support or be OK with what I was doing was NOT the answer either.
This was all me. My fight, my life, my choices. And when I really got to thinking about it…? The core issue was actually pretty simple:
I needed to start by changing my language.
If I changed how I talked about my choices (food, diabetes, exercise, ALL of it!), maybe I could set people up to respond more positively to what I was trying to do…?
So I tested it out. I started saying…
“I choose not to eat that right now, but thank you.”
Funny. Nobody really seemed to argue with me when I said it was my choice…
I mean they might argue, but they seemed less likely to argue than when I was proclaiming unhappy absolutes. Most folks will instinctively or intellectually argue against a restriction. Life just shouldn’t be about restrictions and cant’s and not-getting to’s.
But when you alert folks that this is a choice. I CHOOSE… I get to and want to… People usually respond accordingly. I found that they overwhelmingly responded with support when I stated things in the positive.
Talking in the positive does some amazing things to your thinking as well. I have better resolve. A better attitude. I am more persistent and stubborn. ALL of that continues to get stronger when I changed the way I was talking about my choices.
With cementing lifestyle changes – it’s really our brain we have to convince and keep babysitting. 🙂
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
And if Henry Ford isn’t a credible enough source for you…
‘Can’t is NOT a word.’ – Hannah O’Leary
Don’t take my word for it; try it out!
It’s a subtle and simple resolution that takes some practice. TAKE charge of your words. Make them positive and strong. People will respond by supporting you.
And best of all? Your brain will follow. 🙂