Can’t?! If You’re Potty Trained, You CAN!

Lori Boxer
Weight★No★More℠ Diet Center

(c) Dazdraperma


I recently wrote about how “I don’t know” is tied with “I don’t have time” for the #1 spot on the hit parade of excuses heard regularly from weight loss clients. The #2 spot? Well, that’s definitely “I can’t.” OMG . . . I hate that freakin’ word can’t. It’s not in my vocabulary.

Here’s the short list of the “I can’ts” I hear clients whine about: 

  • I can’t make that many changes to my eating.
  • I can’t add more fresh fruits and vegetables to my diet.
  • I can’t give up 10 cups of coffee a day.
  • I can’t give up soda entirely.
  • I can’t give up junk food.
  • I can’t change my eating habits while cooking for my husband and children.
  • I can’t give up chocolate.
  • I can’t give up hot dogs and pizza once a week.
  • I can’t not tailgate every Sunday; we have season’s tickets.
  • I can’t give up Friday night fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy.
  • I can’t weigh and measure my food.
  • I can’t plan a day in advance.
  • I can’t prepare my food and pack it to go to work.
  • I can’t give up my shakes every day.
  • I can’t give up the alcohol.
  • I can’t give up salt; I use it on everything.
  • I can’t stick to any exercise program.

. . . and as they rattle off one or more of these and other cry-baby excuses, I’m looking at them and visualizing them standing in their cribs, holding onto the rails and having a tantrum. I start to smile, and my first reaction is (and the regular whiners will recite along with me): “I see we have our little girl (or boy) panties on today, eh?”

It is amazing how many people say these things to me on a regular basis, and I always wonder why they think that the same can’ts that got them overweight or obese are going to now get them slim.

Throughout our lives most of us have told ourselves hundreds of times that we can’t do something:

I can’t make in the potty. I can’t dress myself. I can’t tie my shoes. I can’t go to school by myself. I can’t ride a two-wheeler. I can’t read those words. I can’t understand that math problem. I can’t make the team. I can’t get an A. I can’t find new friends. I can’t get the job. I can’t get into college. I can’t cook. I can’t buy a home. I can’t make this relationship work. I can’t understand this child. I can’t handle this stress.

Yet, how often in our lifetimes did those ‘can’ts’ transform into ‘cans?’ Surely, almost every single time . . . and why did this happen? Because we tried. We tried often enough and hard enough until the ‘t’ dropped off the word ‘can’t.’ Whether we are aware of it or not, we have all proven to ourselves thousands of times that we in fact can—because we tried often enough and hard enough.

So if you are overweight or obese and you start the familiar cry-baby whine that you can’t lose weight, or you can’t change your eating habits, or you can’t live without certain favorite foods like fried chicken or tons of salt, or you can’t get fruits and vegetables into your daily life, or that you can’t exercise for an hour, be honest with yourself: You can but never tried hard enough or long enough. You choose not to do so.

I ask my clients to stop telling me (and themselves) what they can’t do and, instead, to put on their big boy and big girl panties and tell me what they will do in order to get the results they want.

So next time you’re about to say “I can’t” (to anything), stop and remember:

If you tie your own shoes and no longer shit in your pants, you can.


Slimcerely yours℠,

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