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Old 08-29-2012, 03:16 PM   #1
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Default Don't vs. Can't

I was reading Weight Watcher's magazine--Sept/Oct edition, and it's got a small article called "Stop saying I can't". The basic premise is that saying 'I don't' makes you feel more powerful and in control. While saying 'I can't' makes you feel deprived and more likely to give in to temptation. I've tried following the suggestion, and it seems to work for me. I was wondering if you've discovered any other word substitutions or changes that seem to help you stay more in control of your eating or exercise.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:35 PM   #2
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Yep! So simple but so powerful - at least for me.

I "can't" eat a few foods for health reasons -- allergy to wheat, intolerance to sugar. But being stuck in a "I can't" mode for too long ends up with me binging on the foods that I know cause me harm. So counter productive.

I tell myself all the time I CAN have anything I want. And when I do that, I don't want those things at all. My self talk becomes a "Sure, I can have that, if I wanted.... but I don't, not right now. Maybe another time."

Getting rid of "can't" has done wonders for my inner, cranky 3-year-old - I'm eating better than ever.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:08 PM   #3
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Hmm, I use it and I don't use it. Usually I don't forbid myself any foods; usually, too, they're not interesting enough anyway for me to eat them when given the choice, so I suppose it's part of the "I'm allowed to, so it loses its appeal" contradictory mentality. But when it comes to health reasons, e.g. lactose intolerance, telling myself "I can't drink milk or I'll be sick" won't send me bingeing on milk. (Well, alright, "not being obese" is also part of health reasons. I don't really know how to explain it better, sorry.)
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:47 PM   #4
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"Never again" vs. "Not right now" - I've been putting off going to the all you can eat sushi restaurant for months now!
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:57 PM   #5
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I've never really considered "Can't" to be part of my vocabulary or part of my approach to life... and even things that aren't really within the realm of possibility for me for whatever reason simply become a "I COULD DO THAT" by making it a goal and doing what's necessary to work towards it and ultimately achieve it...

For me a another important one is changing when I say "I would like too..." to "I WILL..." this one helps me to be crystal clear with myself about something that I want to achieve...

I truly believe that rephrasing statements like these not only in what we actually say to people, but also in how we "talk to ourselves" can make a very real and positive difference in our lives...
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:07 PM   #6
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...oh and just to make the "I will..." statement a bit more concrete for myself... Instead of saying to myself "I will exercise today"... I'll make it more specific... "I will run 5 miles today"

So I guess I better go get changed, lace up my running shoes, and head out on that run...
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