Saying, “no,” when all you really want to do is shout, “YES,” is not an easy feat. Learning to say, “no,” has been my “burden to bear” these past few months. I’ve become more accustomed to saying, “no, thank you,” but there are definitely times when I am tempted to cave and say, “Yes, I would love a piece of that chocolate cake!” or, “Yes, please sprinkle a little cheese on top!”
To give you a little context here, I mentioned in my last post that my infant daughter has MSPI (milk, soy protein intolerance). I made the choice to continue nursing her because it was important to me that I at least try. After eliminating all milk products from my diet, we found that her symptoms started to improve. Unfortunately for me, I’ve said good-bye to my perfectly cold glass of skim milk, but fortunately for my daughter, she’s able to get the most complete nutrition possible. It isn’t easy and some days I do feel down about it, but I know it is worth it. I know it is the best choice for my daughter and for my family. Surprisingly, there seems to be a positive aspect of learning to say, “no.” In the process, I’ve had to learn to eat differently, plan more, and occasionally skip out on some really tasty foods. But I’ve also learned to try new foods, cook and prepare meals differently. One of the greatest benefits of following the MSPI diet is the fact that I can say, “no,” now. It has taught me self-discipline. I will take this experience with me for the rest of my life. It isn’t easy to turn down the things we really want especially when it’s something we’re used to having, but sometimes, “no,” really is the better answer.
Learning to say, “no,” has been somewhat freeing. I know, this sounds slightly contradictory to what I wrote above, so I’ll explain. Imagine, you walk into work and someone brought in treats to share. You think, “Great! I get to eat a yummy doughnut!” So, you eat the doughnut and think, well that wasn’t that great. And now I just ate 200 plus empty calories for a not-so-great tasting doughnut. Since I’ve been forced to say, “no,” more often because most doughnuts (and treats shared at work for that matter) are not milk-free, I’ve learned to be more selective about the calories I do choose to indulge on. I’ve learned that I do have the will power to walk past the doughnuts and be okay with it. Nothing will happen if I don’t eat one, except maybe I’ll get into my pre-pregnancy pants a little sooner. I think sometimes we think we have to eat things because they are in front of us, but we really don’t. I guess my bottom line here is, learn to truly enjoy your favorite foods and don’t feel guilty about it. Make a meaningful decision about whether the food fits within your overall healthy diet, but don’t be afraid to say “no,” if you think otherwise.