The Power of No

It is one of the things we all need to learn: saying No.

This can play out when your child is acting up. Maybe you’re doing more than your fair share at work while others go out for lunch.

It’s also a powerful skill when taking care of yourself.

Big talk is easy. You can’t count the number of times you’ve thought, “This is it,” in regards to getting the weight back down, “No more.”

You have the right ideas to be healthier. You have the motivation. But.

When you’ve had a busy day and someone brings in donuts, you might think “Ah, well, it’s only one donut. I won’t have one tomorrow.”

Maybe you’re out for dinner scanning the menu trying to decide between the cheeseburger with French fries or the tavern greens with salmon.

We have situations every day that put us to the test. When you’re not hungry, it’s easy to walk away.

Plan ahead. Understand those situations at work and at home where you will be faced with the devil on your shoulder. When they come up as you know they will, say No and walk away.

Here’s the good thing. This is a skill like anything else. It is empowering to have discipline and willpower. You will get better at it. It won’t take that long before your craven desires fade. You will get to a point where it’s a piece of cake to skip the piece of cake.

It will happen.

You will break free and be rightfully proud.

On the times when you do have the bowl of pasta or the hot fudge sundae, enjoy it, relish it, have sex with it, but then let it go.

There is also a time to say Yes.  Like when you’re lying in bed and need that moment that overcomes your inertia. Know those moments are going to happen as well and plan in advance to do the thing you need to do.


For those of you who already follow a strict diet, exercise regularly and say “No” every day of your life, the next  blog is for you. I will delve into many of the other areas that can explain your frustrations with weight.

Andrew Lenhardt, MD

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