If you’re interested in changing your body – Just say NO!


And I don’t mean saying no when the waiter comes by to offer you dessert (although that’s not a terrible idea)…I’m talking about confidently saying “no” when the opportunity threatens your priorities.


NO has been labeled The Hardest Word by psychologists and for good reason- the ability to say NO is crucial for mental health and self-confidence (which directly affect your ability to change your body), yet we go to great lengths to avoid disappointing others and thus avoid uttering this powerful 2 letter word.


Most of us come up with plenty of reasons not to say NO:

“I say yes more than I want to because it’s hard to figure out what matters most.”

“I had to say yes, they supported me so I have to be there for them.”

“I don’t want to disappoint them plus if I don’t do it, no one will.”

“I can’t say no, it would hurt their feelings.”


Saying NO is more of a struggle for women than men, we are concerned about the disappointment, frustration, or inconvenience that our refusal may cause others.


It has become so difficult to say NO that we’ve invented ways to hint no without actually saying it- instead we say “well” or “umm” or just take a second long delay to respond (long enough to let others know that a NO is coming).

Here’s the truth though – our ability to say NO has great consequences for our mental health and our ability to lose weight!


If you want to improve your body or lose weight, you MUST pay attention to your mental health and mindset (they go hand in hand).  Losing weight requires a change to your mindset, your habits, and acting on your priorities. Saying NO opens space for you to act on your true priorities, and stop the overwhelm that comes from focusing on everyone else but YOU.


What if you started saying NO more often to others? You’d be saying YES to yourself!


It may feel like the hardest word to say now, but saying NO becomes easier with practice.  Saying NO is empowering (and it doesn’t make you aggressive or difficult). When you say NO you take responsibility for YOU and resist the pressure to satisfy someone else instead of YOU.  Ready to start?


STEP 1Determine when you are an “honest yes” or an “honest no.” When someone asks you to do something or you are presented with an opportunity, pay attention to your initial reaction.  Tapping into this gut reaction is how you will know if you honestly want to take part of honestly don’t want to take part (and just feel like you should).


STEP 2Stay Calm. Many of us exaggerate how badly others will react when we refuse their request, but the truth is people asking for help think a no is pretty likely. So we overestimate how offended people will be when we say no and underestimate how often we are expected to say yes.


STEP 3 Change your vocabulary.  Saying “No, I can’t” implies that you’re not in control and that external factors drive you. You’re also opening yourself up to the question “why not?” If you change your vocabulary and say “I don’t” it signals that this is your policy and this is empowering.  Keep in mind that “NO” is a complete sentence in itself, and fight the urge to over explain or make less excuses.


STEP 4Think of YOU! Ask yourself if someone’s request would infringe on your commitments to your partner, your co-workers, your children, or most importantly yourself! If it’s difficult to honor the commitments you make to yourself, know that when you don’t prioritize yourself then everyone else in your life suffers!  


Once you start saying no, it really becomes easier to follow your true priorities…Can you be a good leader without always being the last person to leave the office? Can you be a good parent without attending every school event? Can you still be productive and make time for exercise? The answer is usually yes.


So if you’re looking for ways to lose weight and change your body, take an audit of your life – which areas of life do you find yourself ignoring your “honest no” feelings and saying yes instead?