Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Choosing our words carefully

I had a friend, that the second she found out she was diabetic, every conversation became a dissertation of what each of her meals contained, what she can’t eat, what spikes her blood sugar… everything became about Dale and her new condition. It was exhausting. It was boring. It got to the point that when we would go to lunch, and the server would ask her if she wanted a potato, side of pasta or bread, she would say, very loudly… “OH NO!!! I CAN’T HAVE THAT…I’M A DIABETIC!” It was awful… that poor server couldn’t have known that, and Dale made it seem like the poor girl was trying to kill her.

I had to have a “come to Jesus” with Dale one day… She had to know that her words were not helping her condition. I told her that just because she was a diabetic, she had full control over what went into her mouth, and each bite was a conscious choice. If she was going to live her best life, she needed to change how she saw herself, and how she ate. She needed to verbally, and quietly, announce that A. she was CHOOSING not to have foods that will spike her blood sugar, B. other people are just doing their jobs and offering her choices, and not trying to kill her, and C. she needed to banish the word “can’t” from her culinary vocabulary. She was an adult, and no one was forcing her to adhere to her new eating plan.

She saw the light… and miraculously, the “Diabetic Dialogue” stopped. She ate happily, kept her blood sugar under control, and apparently her husband had the same talk with her.

I was reminscing about her today… and I realized, that ANY change in lifestyle prompts that type of behaviour. I was guilty of it too.

In December, after a catering job delivery in San Diego, my family and I all went out to dinner. When the server was taking our orders, she asked me if I wanted potato, rice or whatever, and I answered, politely, but answered nonetheless “Oh… uh… no, I can’t have that stuff”. Do you think she cared AT ALL that I “can’t” have potato, rice or bread? No, she doesn’t… it didn’t need to be said… AND…it stunted me. Saying “I can’t” stunted my thinking and growth in my new way of eating. I was stifling myself. I announced, right after she left the table, to my Mom, kids and Hubby, that I was going to stop saying “I can’t”, and internally start saying “I choose” or ‘It would be better for me if I didn’t”. “I can’t” makes me seem like I am disobeying a direct order from the DietGod, and I’m doing something bad.

When we make a major lifestyle change, it may be difficult in the beginning to change our minds before we change our actual actions… but it’s worth it in the long run to remember to change our thinking early on.

Being positive in our self talk can make a world of difference in how we view the lifestyle change. What we say, how we say it, when we say it, can mean the difference between the lifestyle change lasting an actual lifetime, or just a little while.

Here are some words to change by:
1.Instead of “I can’t” …………..say… ‘I won’t”

2.Instead of “Ugh, I cheated, I’m a bad person”…….. say “I really need to eat better at my very next meal to get back on plan”

3.Instead of “I wish I was a size 6″ ….. say… “I can’t wait until I can slither into a size 6, or 10 or 12 or even 14!”

4.Instead of “Chocolate cake tastes sooo yummy… I wish I can have some…one slice won’t kill me”… say……”On my one year anniversary of my new lifestyle change, I am going to reward myself with a new wardrobe, so that chocolate cake can suck it!”

5.Instead of “I’m not allowed”…….say……”I choose not to”

This can be applied to virtually any aspect of life… except “the chocolate cake can suck it” that one is definitely for a diet plan…LOL.

So… the next time someone offers us something we know we shouldn’t have… we can just smile and say “No, thank you”… and know we are taking care of ourselves.

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