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 6 hours of sleep, and making these part of our daily routine.
Many of us can stick to these healthy habits short term, and once progress starts to slow down, it becomes difficult to celebrate those micro-changes as we start to approach attainment of long term goals. 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.
This is when 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 real food 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, enjoying things like the occasional dessert in true moderation, that is 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 bunch of cut up vegetables, 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 when you go into a situation with a plan.
Be on a mission to create the healthiest version of yourself. Create a consistent mission for yourself to do something healthy each day. Have a motto of “Just show up and make good choices” and make that part of who you are. The more you practice, the more this becomes a routine that will feel effortless over time. Exercise your NO muscle and BE WELL!