I Can’t vs. I Don’t!
Hello again! It’s been a while, but I’m back to update you on my health journey. And what a journey it has been… thanks to life, technically uneven pavement, getting in the way. I fell and sprained my ankle a couple of weeks ago, and as a result I have not been able to exercise. It’s amazing how an injury can impact your mood and motivation. While I’m maintaining the early weight loss I had experienced, not much else has changed. I talked to Meridan Zerner, my Cooper Clinic registered dietitian, about feeling deflated and she had a great tip to get my mental attitude in shape while I wait on my body to heal.
She says that every day is a new day and a new opportunity to build a long-term healthy foundation. That means, ideally, the choices we make today should be decisions, patterns, foods and activities that we can see ourselves doing next month, next year and five years from now. Meridan shared that on a plane ride home from visiting her family she was struck by an article in Health magazine. Researchers looked at the change in psychology and attitude when people said “I don’t” instead of “I can’t” regarding food challenges. They were more successful by switching their mentality to one that was more positive and committed to change and less about deprivation. Think about replacing the unhealthy words “I can’t” with the healthier “I don’t” or “I choose not to” when confronted with difficult situations.
It’s amazing the power you give yourself and allow yourself to experience from the simple words of “I can, but I don’t.” A perfect example is a man named Reuben who works at HEB and is participating in its “Slim Down Showdown” challenge. Meridan is his nutrition coach via phone. She said that people bring donuts and other desserts to his office and one colleague is especially giving him a hard time about his health journey. Instead of falling into the jealous man’s trap, Reuben simply replies with “I can have it, but I choose not to.” The power is now on his side and it shows he is taking control of his health.
This new mindset is very inspiring. I’m excited to refocus how I view my choices. It’s very freeing being in control, rather than feeling like I’m a prisoner to what I can’t have. I hope this is helpful for you, too! Let me know what you think!
This was written by Amy George former VP of Marketing and Communications at Cooper Aerobics. Amy is no longer with Cooper Aerobics and we wish her all the best with her future endeavors.