We talk a lot about building healthy habits like meal prep, drinking water, scheduling time for exercise and going to bed earlier to get at least 7 hours of sleep, and making these part of our daily routine.
Many of us can stick to these healthy habits short term, but once progress starts to slow down, it becomes difficult to celebrate those micro-changes over the long term. Micro-changes would be things like celebrating 0.5# gains in muscle mass, or a 0.5% loss in body fat. These are still amazing accomplishments!
But, when progress starts to slow down, sometimes our minds lose some motivation, and we may find that we start to engage in more unhealthy habits, like adding in more desserts, skipping a workout, or opting not to meal prep for the week ahead.
During this time, it’s more important than ever to exercise your NO muscle. This NO muscle is one of the more powerful muscle groups in your body. It’s your mindset. As you work hard to make routines when it comes to nutrition, and make things like meal prep and eating whole foods part of your foundation, it’s important to challenge your mindset to stay focused on the ultimate goal of long term health.
When we make a point to say NO to things that will keep us off track, while also learning how to enjoy things like the occasional dessert in true moderation, that is the point where we win. When we create more mental toughness, we accomplish our long term goals, maintain our progress, and carry a decreased risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes as we age.
So, what are some exercises to strengthen your NO muscle? Here are 3 ideas:
- Change your terminology: Practice using more empowered “I don’t eat” statements rather than “I can’t eat” statements to improve your odds of making more healthy food choices.
- Challenge yourself to stand up for yourself. If someone offers you a choice that you know is not healthy, its ok to practice self care and respect your own feelings rather than fearing that you may offend someone by saying no to their offer. Its ok to stand up for yourself to stay on track with your goals, and politely say “No thank you.”
- Go into a situation with a plan. Whether it’s going to a party with a healthy snack like a vegetable tray, or scoping out a menu before you head to a restaurant, go into a situation with a plan to stay on track with your goals. Your mind is primed to make those good decisions and say NO to temptations..
Be on a mission to create the healthiest version of yourself. Change your terminology, stand up for yourself, and make a plan! The more you practice, the more this becomes a routine that will feel effortless over time. Exercise your NO muscle and BE WELL!