Did you know it's ok to say, "NO!" and take control?
Monday, October 09, 2017
I've noticed a theme lately among other Spark users. A lot of people, including myself, seem to have difficult saying "no" to others and taking control of our own health. Personally, I have historically had a very hard time declining invitations to eat out. I love my friends and family and I always felt guilty declining invitations to go out for dinner and/or drinks.
Now that my husband has joined me in this journey toward health, we've found it to be easier and easier to say "no thank you". When we don't want to decline an offer, I've started letting my crazy, borderline-OCD, type A personality shine through. I like a lot of control and order in my life, so why has it taken me so long to allow this piece of my personality to enhance my weight loss journey?
We have dinner out with my husband's grandparents every year before they head south for the winter. They leave next week. Instead of the usual, "Where would you guys like to go?", I asked my husband to tell them where we were going to eat. I chose a local diner/restaurant that has an excellent salad bar and is well-liked among his family members. I can enjoy a meal out without making it a "splurge" or "cheat" meal. It's OKAY for me to make choices that are best for *me* sometimes. My husband's grandparents had absolutely no problem with the restaurant I chose and I find myself looking forward to the meal rather than dreading it.
My mother-in-law, who is very unhealthy and in denial about her weight, asked us to go out to breakfast on Saturday. She has no social life, so going out is usually her go-to when she asks us to get together. I used to just say yes because I felt bad telling her no when a breakfast out is the highlight of her week/month. Now, I've finally realized that I can't let her personal issues dictate *my* healthy eating! If I'm going to splurge on a meal out, it's going to be a romantic Thai dinner with my husband, not a greasy, sodium-laden omelette at the local diner. With that in mind, I'm going to call my MIL tomorrow and tell her that I'd like to make breakfast at our house on Saturday instead of going out to eat. I make amazing omelettes that will provide all three of us with a healthy, delicious, inexpensive meal. She will also benefit from the healthy meal, which makes it even easier to present this sugar-coated ultimatum. If she insists on eating out, I will politely decline the invitation.
I'm a soon-to-be licensed therapist, so I apologize if this sounds shrink-y, but I've found that "control" is a central issue as it relates to my weight loss. When I feel in control, I can make smart decisions and participate in measured, guilt-free splurges. When I feel like I'm spiraling out of control, it's almost as if my decisions are made unconsciously, and that's when the guilt sets in. For example, say I chose to go out and eat Taco Bell two weekends in a row. The first weekend, I make a conscious decision to get a couple of items and enjoy them fully. The next day, I will most likely wake up feeling satisfied and guilt-free. The second weekend, I choose to eat Taco Bell because I'm stressed and anxious. That lack of control I feel then makes me feel guilty for eating the same exact food I ate the weekend before with totally different results. I hope that makes sense!
So, I hope others with similar issues (and I think that's a lot of us) start to realize that we owe it to ourselves to take control of our lives. Will we, at some point, find ourselves in uncontrollable situations? OF COURSE! That's life. I think it's important, however, to recognize that those situations are actually fewer and farther between than we may have originally thought.
Just some food for thought (the best kind...no calories!).