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Musings: Flexing the 'No' Muscle

Flexing the 'No' Muscle

It's been said by many that will power is a muscle that needs to be flexed regularly in order to get stronger, and do you know what? I actually believe it.

I'm normally skeptical of all the nice 'motivation' images that float round the interwebs from time to time. I often think they're written by someone who's perfectly happy with their body, has always loved exercise and has never had an issue with food. But, hey, I'm probably overthinking that.

This whole willpower/muscle thing though. Yeah, I'm on-board with that. Why? Because I've experienced it.

Cast your mind back to when you first decided to lose weight and become healthy (the 'for real this time'time). Remember how motivated you felt? Can you remember that time Uncle Bob offered you a slice of chocolate cake and you said no?

I can!

Well not when Uncle Bob offered it to you, and well I don't have an Uncle Bob, but I do remember the first time I said no to something.

All of sudden I felt like the post powerful person on the planet. (Step aside Hercules...) I was so in control, so determined to reach my targets and goals that I said NO to cake. Then someone else offered me another treat that would've put me further from my goals and I said no to that, and I could feel the power growing.

Kind of like when you give a character in a video game the item their after and their energy builds until you can use a supercharge. This power I was feeling at saying no kept me going. It made me feel proud of myself.

I was finally putting my needs and health first over what I knew my tastebuds wanted. Something I'd never really been able to do before. With each 'no' my sense of pride grew and my willpower/motivation stayed strong.

Then all of a sudden my 'no' turned into 'oh well, go on then' or 'just this once,' and before I knew it was saying flat out 'yes' to anything and everything. Even things I didn't really want.

Once I'd stopped saying no, I found it hard to start again.The 'no' muscle was disappearing, and my willpower was going along with it. And to be honest I felt pretty crappy.

So on January 1st, I made myself a promise that I'd build back not only my fitness levels (a whole other blog post) but also my no muscle, and do you know what? The first time I flexed that neglected 'no' muscle I went straight back to that powerful goddess feeling. So far, that power is what's kept me going.

I'm sure it'll grow a bit weak from time to time, but I think I've discovered that the key to me sticking on track is learning that when things start going downhill again, I just need to say 'no'. Just one simple 'no' holds a lot of power. Because if you've said no to one thing, then you may as well say it to the next thing, and the next thing and the next thing. (Just like you would when saying yes!)

So let's all hail the mighty 'no' muscle, and may we all use it a little more.