No PizzaMy wife and I have a habit that we practice around our girls and I think it has a lot of value for us all around, not just when we’re trying to set a good example.

We try to never say the words “I can’t eat that.”

Why?  Well, first of all, it’s a lie.  As it turns out, we are both adults and we can eat whatever we want at any time.  Telling our daughter’s that we CAN’T eat pizza, for example, is just not true.  (For the record, that photo is a version of Chicken Pizza from AltShift Dish.  I didn’t order a pizza for the sake of this post.)

To tell our kids that we can’t eat something would give them the impression that 1) we are being forced to follow someone else’s rules, and 2) we really wish we could have it, but woe are we, we simply can’t!  Oh, the agony!

In reality, we are doing something that WE chose to do.  Nobody has ever made us eat this way and nobody ever will.  Furthermore, we don’t value junk food so we aren’t being deprived of anything.  And therein lies the magic.

If you are constantly telling yourself that you CAN’T have things, you are subtly reminding yourself that what you are doing is a burden.

“This healthy lifestyle stuff?  Yeah, it’s horrible, but I HAVE to do it and I CAN’T eat what I want because I dislike my body just slightly more than I dislike living this way.”

Does that sound to you like the path to success?

Nope.

You can chalk all this up to semantics if you like, and you can pretend that how you talk to yourself doesn’t matter, but I can’t imagine anyone actually believing that she could create health, vitality, and (thereby) attractiveness with self-coaching like this.

Mindfully intervene.  Change your inner dialogue.  It’s important.

Categories: Fat Loss Psychology

10 comments

  1. I was guilty of that. I have improved my dialogue on this but once in while I have caught myself still saying it, but then I correct my statement.

  2. I’ve found power in saying “I don’t eat that” instead of “can’t”. Then it shows that it is a choice. Sort of like a vegetarian saying “I don’t eat meat”, I don’t eat breakfast cereal (or cake or a croissant or….). Then I quickly follow up with “I just feel better when I don’t”. That way no one can tell me I’m doing something wrong, because how could they know how I feel after eating something? By doing it that way, I circumvent the argument before it can even begin.

      • Jared I was struggling to find a replacement for ‘I can’t’ but ‘I don’t because I just feel better if i don’t’ works for me. I’ve been saying ‘I can’t’ up until now – I’ll try to change that and see what happens…

  3. I have learned to simply say “I wouldn’t care for any right now” This keeps the food pushers from trying to debate the merits of what they want me to eat. This is a great post, making our own “choices” instead of feeling deprived is definitely a great inner dialogue.

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