Published on December 3, 2016
There’s a word that my mother never allowed my sister and I to use at home when we were growing up, and that my husband and I didn’t allow our daughter to use either. No, it’s not the F word. I’m OK with that, depending on how it’s used. The word I’m talking about is CAN’T. That word is alien to my nature, never comes out of my mouth and even now, as a college freshman, my daughter doesn’t use that word ‘can’t’ in our home or at school.
I don’t like that word CAN’T. I don’t like it because it lowers expectations. It denies opportunities. It sets limits. It creates obstacles. It is used as an excuse for WHY NOT?
Unfortunately, I hear that word way too often by folks who come in to see me for weight loss, from those of an age and/or temperament where they’ve been practicing some unhealthy habits for so long, they’re not willing to open their minds to a new way of doing things.
Just SOME of the “I can’ts” I hear on a regular basis are:
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; we have season’s tickets.
I can’t give up Friday family night fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy.
I can’t weigh and measure my proteins and vegetables.
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 sodium; I use it on everything.
I can’t stick to any exercise program.
… and I’m going to stop here because the list is never-ending.
If any of the above is you, I ask you the same exact question I will ask a client, or someone who comes in for a consult and says any or most of the above:
You can’t do this and you can’t do that. Why is it then that you wonder why you can’t lose weight? Or, if you do manage to take off a few pounds, how can you say with a straight face that you don’t understand why you can’t keep it off?
You’re overweight or obese. You are unhappy with the way you look and feel. Everything you‘ve been doing as relates to how and what you eat has created the overweight, unhappy and unhealthy person you are today. Do you really think there’s a way to continue doing all of that and have a different outcome?
You have to look at the word CAN’T a little differently. It stands for:
C – can A – and N – never T – tried
Throughout our lives most of us have told ourselves hundreds of times that we can’t do something: 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 your lifetime did those ‘can’ts’ transform into ‘cans?’ Surely, almost every single time … and why did this happen? Because you TRIED. You 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.
When it comes to #weightloss, look at the word CAN'T a little differently. Click To Tweet
So when you start that familiar cry that you can’t exercise for an hour, or you can’t lose weight, or you can’t change your eating habits, or you can’t live without certain favorite foods like chocolate, fried chicken, tons of salt and the like, or you can’t adopt better eating habits loaded with life-supporting fruits and vegetables, perhaps … just perhaps … you Can And Never Tried hard enough and long enough.
In his article, Building the Bridge: Empowering Intention on the Path to Health Freedom, Dr. Joshua Garrin, Health Psychologist, says it best:
“When we adopt a decisive, committed no matter what attitude about approaching the challenges that lie ahead, we shift the paradigm from I can’t to I can . . . and I will.”
Discover which foods feed you and which foods deplete you. Fill up on those foods that feed your body—whole, fresh fruits and vegetables, occasional lean meats, fish, whole grains and beans. These foods translates into health and the best chance for permanent weight loss. If you fill up on the good foods first, you naturally gravitate away from foods loaded with fat, cholesterol, chemicals and calories, which compromise your body and your health, and that happen to make you fat.
Today is the perfect time to take the steps that will transform the “I can’t” into “I can, I will and I am!”
I CAN fill up on the healthy foods to lose weight and gain health and fitness.
I WILL set and achieve weight loss mini-goals.
I AM down two sizes and feeling great for the first time in years.
Are you an old dog who CAN learn a new trick?