This past week week, I set out to do what I called my “No” Week. Sunday evening I resolved to adhere to whatever lifestyle parameters I set for myself, no exceptions. My foci were (1) eating clean (by my personal standards, which aren’t necessarily the same for everyone) and (2) doing the amount of cardio I wanted to do that week. Though seemingly minor goals, they meant a lot to me. Everyone knows how easy it is to shrug-off weight-loss goals, and, as someone who has spent half of the last two years in prep, it’s not difficult for me to convince myself to deviate from my health-related goals for the sake of “enjoying the off-season.”
However, I find that each time I deviate from a goal, I break self-trust and self-belief. The lie I hear in my mind that says You can’t do this feels a little more real. Deep down, this was my main concern going into the week. I decided that, for at least seven days, I would let the truth about me be true: that I am capable, that I am competent.
In the face of excuses, rather than telling myself “You can’t ___,” I told myself, “No”.
In regard to my diet, it removed the restriction that people with BED so often struggle against. Rather than saying, “You can’t have that,” I simply left the response to a craving at “No,” and I refused to allow it to mean anything more. Or, instead of allowing my mind to run with reasons why I should just leave the gym instead of throwing in cardio at the end, I simply stopped the train of though before it got out of hand.
For me, this minor shift in language served as a kinder way of speaking to myself. “No,” feels more empowering than “You can’t do ___.” It served as a reminder of my what and my why, the latter of which was to prove to myself that I was capable of deciding to do something and doing it, no matter how seemingly minute.
At the beginning of the week, I felt out of control of my thoughts, my impulses and my discipline. I reminded myself of the power of my mind and actions throughout the week. The week did not lack its presentation of temptations. There were days that I was craving something sweet or comforting, something not in my wheelhouse of foods that I wanted to eat. There were days that all I wanted to do after my workout was have my next meal, not stay and do cardio. For seven days, however, I did the things I set out to do. I reminded myself of my “why.” I felt more in control of my thoughts and my body, which resulted in feeling better as a whole mentally and physically. I was proud of myself for rebuilding bonds of self-trust and self-belief. Furthermore, I entered the next week feeling motivated and capable, and those feelings have carried me four days into this week.
So I encourage you, if your goals feel a little too big or if you feel a little too incapable, relentlessly do the thing you want to do for just seven days. If you’d rather go back to the way things were after the seven days, have at it. But for seven days, I want you to feel like “the thing” - reaching a weight-loss goal, writing a book, learning something new, etc. - is within reach.
I want you to feel like the truth is more true about you than the lies are, because it is.
1 Thess. 2:2
"...but with the help of our God we dared to tell His gospel in the face of strong opposition."