My 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?
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.