Open Accessibility Menu

Say "Yes" to Saying "No"

According to a recent study on holiday weight gain, up to half of the weight gained during the months of November and December is lost shortly after the holidays, while the other half of the weight gained during that time remains with us through the summer months and beyond. You have two options this holiday season: accept whatever food and drink is handed to you at social gatherings and occasions or view the next two months as an opportunity to take your health into your own hands and start setting boundaries. The following are reasons we can start saying yes to saying no, and making decisions for ourselves.

  1. Greater Self-Acceptance

Fear of missing out, or “FOMO,” is a real thing. Rather than fighting it, embrace your fear of missing out or the fear of failing to meet the expectations of others. Too often we feel compelled to say yes to an opportunity without taking the time to examine whether or not that opportunity is in line with our core values and priorities. If getting to a healthier weight is your top priority, it logically makes sense you would RSVP to opportunities that will help you succeed rather than jeopardize your ability to be successful. If a friend or family member invites or tries to convince you to do something that is not well-matched with the habits you are trying to form, say no and either let it be or suggest something else that does agree with your goals. If your friends or family members shut that idea down, refer to the next reason we should start saying yes to saying no.

2. Identify and Rid Yourself of the Naysayers

Saying “no” to food offerings and invitations that detract from our goal is not easy. It is especially not easy when those invitations are extended from the people we love spending time with. Another positive aspect of saying no more often is that we are able to identify people around us who are unsupportive. When loved ones can’t take your “No,” for an answer or persist in trying to persuade you away from your goals, consider temporarily limiting your time around them or confront them with the issue. Sometimes the people in our lives have a hard time with change and may not understand how important your goals are to you. Other times, negative aspects of being human (like jealousy, fear, resentment, etc.) make those we love act unsupportively. Confronting those we love with a simple request of providing social support we need is crucial when it comes to long-term success in health and wellness. At the end of the day, those who are still not on board with the new you may need to go. Remember why you are committed to being the best version of yourself and stay true to that when your inclination is to please others.

3. Be the Most Important Person in Your Life

Finally, keep in mind the wise words of Suzette Hinton (author/innovator): “We must say ‘no’ to what, in our heart, we don't want. We must say ‘no’ to doing things out of obligation, thereby cheating those important to us of the purest expression of our love. We must say ‘no’ to treating ourselves, our health, our needs as not as important as someone else's. We must say ‘no.’”

Start saying “no” to unnecessary liquid calories at happy hour and get your friends together to go for a hike. Begin offering to bring a veggie tray to the next gathering and simply state “No thank you, I’m not hungry” when second servings are presented to you. It is liberating to make decisions by yourself, for yourself without feeling guilt or shame for not complying with the wishes of others. Reject the trend of carrying around holiday weight into July this year, and do so by making the commitment today to start saying yes to saying no.