My two year old loves to say ‘no’. He says it just because he can and struts away with the satisfaction that goes with sticking to your guns.
Somehow, life, society, being polite wear away that satisfaction and for some, saying ‘no’ becomes a real battle. But saying ‘no’ is an important part of being assertive. And being assertive is an important part of living a healthy life. People who suffer from obesity often feel unable to be assertive and say ‘no’ to others.
It might seem odd at first that obesity could be linked to our interaction style. But obesity is more than an issue with food. In some ways obesity can be seen as a symptom of other problems. Problems in mindset which are played out with eating habits. There can be many aspects to a ‘fat’ mindset, but one is commonly having difficulty prioritising ourselves and balancing our needs with other demands.
An example: A client of mine could eat nutritious meals when she was alone, but when she was at work or her friends, felt trapped into their eating habits. At work, she sat across from a woman who at crisps and chocolate all day and offer it to my client, who felt unable to say no. This was partly because it looked so tempting, as well her worries about seeming rude. But after a few weeks of leaving work disappointed that she succumbed, she decided to speak to her colleague. She said that she’d prefer it if her work mate ate her treats away from the desk. She poised herself for a backlash, but it never came. Her colleague obliged and made it much easier for the client to lose weight.
Although saying ‘no’ in itself doesn’t cause weight loss, it is an essential tool in solving the problems that stand in the way of making lifestyle changes. Breaking the patterns that lead to excess fat require learning the ability to ask for what you need and say ‘no’ to what isn’t working.