A New Month

by tessa8m on June 1, 2011

in Awesome Bloggers,Disorded Thoughts,Serious Stuff

I honestly cannot believe that it’s already June! Seriously, things need to slow down. Not going to lie, the rate at which time seems to be speeding by is quite alarming, anyone feel this way?

Oh and did everyone remember to say “Rabbit, Rabbit” as soon as they woke up? If you are wondering what the heck I am talking about, when I was a kid I heard that if the first words you say before anything else on the first day of the month, then you have good luck the rest of that month! Yes, a silly superstition but one I try to remember to do 12 times per year… 12 chances for extra good luck :) Don’t worry if you missed it this morning or forgot to, as I did (what date it is occurred to me after my alarm went off and I had already exclaimed out loud how “tired I am!” therefore missing saying ‘rabbit, rabbit’ before anything else) July will be here before we know it!

The beginning of every month, week, year, day, has often been thought of as the perfect time to “start over,” try and commit to something, or reach a goal, etc. That is of course why the whole concept of New Year’s Resolutions exist. They give people a beginning point where they have the opportunity to make some goals in whatever area they feel is necessary, and that is the date in which it will begin. Dieting is often associated with New Year’s Resolutions or the start of a fresh week, when individuals make claims that as soon for example as soon Monday rolls around, no more treats, sugar, fat, whatever. However, we all know that goals like this are not long-lasting because they are all about deprivation, negative thoughts, and the continuous use of the word “no.”

NO. When you hear that word, what do you think of, how does it make you feel?

NO. It’s a pretty negative sounding word if you ask me. It means something you are not allowed to do, have, be, engage in… no, not allowed. Saying no can be both beneficial and negative for an individual depending on the situation. If for example, a drug addict is choosing to say no and stop their drug use, this is obviously a good thing. On the flip side for example, if you are someone who is saying no to something you truly need or want and this is actually a positive thing for yourself, than “no” is only causing you unneeded distress.

No matter the circumstances however, continuously saying NO causes distress, angst, anger, fatigue, confusion, sadness, and depression. It completely makes sense, you’re going to get mad if you are deprived of something you want. When a child is not allowed to have the toy they so desperately “need” they will most likely throw a temper tantrum. The teenager who asks his parents for a later curfew but is denied this request, is going to be in a bad mood and become angry. If you are someone with disordered eating who constantly says no to the foods they want, the activities they hope to engage in, and the life they so want to be comfortable living, well that person is going to be pretty pissed off.

Last summer I was pretty damn good at saying no. No to an increasing number of foods that I fooled myself into believing I no longer liked. No to going out with friends. No to taking a rest day. No to even slightly breaking from my routine. No to traveling or visiting others and leaving my place of comfort. No to gaining weight. No wonder I was always in a foul, depressed mood last summer. I was convinced that by depriving myself of certain things, then I would eventually become happier with my choices and eventually be glad I made the decisions that I did. I was making myself believe I no longer even liked the foods I had cut out, ice cream, nut butters, cereal, meats, baked goods, pizza, and pretty much any carbohydrate source (besides fruit).

I would make every effort and excuse to say no to any sort of social event that involved food I was “not allowed” or it was too late in the evening and would corrupt my precious sleep patter for the night. No, I would not go out to dinner and have drinks with friends, ‘I mean it’s not fun anyways!’ Nope, definitely will not travel anywhere and leave my sheltered home with the food I need to have to keep me functioning and “happy.” No, I will most certainly not take a day off of exercise. My body is fine, it can take it, and it will only improve my overall fitness level. Why would you take a rest day? No, I will no do something so silly like that, no matter what experts and every single person in my life advices for me.

NO to (what I consider) junk foods. NO to the occasional indulgence. NO to gaining weight. NO to a life that is fun, spontaneous, filled with adventure, different, changing… NO!

Did just reading that kind of put you in a bad mood, or think negatively? Because it sure did for me. When you lead a life that is full of deprivation, no matter how much you convince yourself that you don’t want whatever you are not allowing yourself to have, it’s going to reflect on your mood. It is simply not fun to never say YES.

YES. YES. YES. I am saying this word out loud right now and it just feels better. Try it yourself, speak NO and then YES out loud. Which one do you prefer? Which one is lighter sounding? When I pronounce yes, I can feel my voice becoming a bit elevated and it allows me to stop dwelling on whatever negatives are occurring.

I am going to try something new for the month of June and it’s this crazy idea to much more often than not, say “yes” to the things that I want. It can be anything. Food, being spontaneous, taking a chance, resting, lounging all day in my pajamas, standing up for myself, going out with friends… Yes to all of these, oh and guilt is not allowed! The goal is to start a month full of YES, allowing myself to have what I have been saying no to for so long. I understand at this point that the repeated NOs really add up and make me a miserable bitch.

Why yes, I think I will have that extra tablespoon of almond butter with breakfast. Of course I am going to have ice cream for dessert a few days in a row. Why wouldn’t I go out to dinner to a place that has “scary” foods on the menu and order something that makes me uncomfortable? Yes to having something for lunch other than a salad. Certainly it’s fine to travel for a few days without complete access and control of what I am going to eat or when I am going to exercise. It’s completely okay to not get at least 9 hours of sleep every so often. Yes, everything will be alright.

The repeated fear is what’s going to happen if I start saying “yes” much more often than “no.” Not only will I gain weight, but how much?! Will I be able to exercise enough to burn off what I ate? How will the weight gain make me feel? What if I don’t have fun with the chance I am taking? Well I do know one thing, the world will not end if I put on a few more pounds, it will not kill me to miss a few days of exercising. So what if I am out of my comfort zone for a few hours or day, at least I am making memories.

For me that’s what it comes down to. What will I remember 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 years from now? I do not wish to have memories that are filled with all of the NOs I have clung onto and answered with. Their is not adventure in living a life like this. My memories should be ones that are about that crazy vacation I took, or the most amazing, indulgent dessert I ever had. The relationships and friendships I have formed with people. None of these will occur if I keep saying NO.

YES, is the goal for June. YES to living a life that is free of irrational, disordered, illogical thoughts about food and my body. No one deserves this.

I have been reading so many blogs lately where each of the lovey author’s have been challenging themselves or have conquered something important in their lives that have benefitet them in the long run.

Corey said YES to taking a week off of running after being in a bit of a funk lately. She tried running again and had positive results.

Even though it was initially uncomfortable, Tina said NO to binging and YES to releasing her emotions through a powerful, tiring run and workout.

Melissa is saying YES to acknowledging her feelings, and understanding that she needs them rather than suppressing them or pretending they do not exist.

Try saying YES to just a few things you have been depriving yourself of or have been reluctant to engage in. Maybe not all at once if it’s too frightening, start slow if you need to. That’s what I am planning on doing. Tonight for example, I am saying YES to going out to dinner at a restaurant for a friend’s birthday that has a menu chalk-full of NO foods. Although I will not take such a hefty plunge and order something that is deep fried or smothered in butter, I will answer YES to tasting something that I truly want to try. Megan just did this the other night, and she inspired me to branch out a bit for once :) The only thing I am allowing myself to say NO to is Guilt, it is not allowed, forbidden… sorry about that Guilt.

What are some of your goals for June?

Do you like this idea of choosing to throw in a few YES’s in the mix?

What is something you will say YES to today and allow yourself to do or have?

 

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 corey @ runners cookie June 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm

I loved reading this post and think you are a very talented writer, Tessa! Im just now remembering that I tried to leave a comment on your r2r recap but my computer was freaking out…anyway, you did amazing and I hope you are so proud of yourself!
The word Yes is incredibly powerful, and all of the examples you wrote about really show that. I used to deprive myself in a similar way of tricking myself into what I did and didn’t want, and saying no to pretty much everything. Being hit with the reality of what I was missing out on by restreicting myself so much was a major factor in motivating me to get into a healthier mindset. Not only was I missing out socially, but I was emotionally on edge all the time and it became sad to think how much of my precious time I was wasting everyday thinking about things that didn’t matter, like exercise and calories. That’s not real life, that’s what I was using to escape real life, and I was really holding myself back. I had never really thought about all of the” No’s” that went through my head everyday, but this post definitely makes me see that. Sometimes reading your posts makes me feel like Im hearing my own thoughts! Please keep writing, my dear! <3
corey @ runners cookie recently posted..Perfect

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2 tessa8m June 1, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Hi Corey!
Nope, not your computer’s fault, something going on my site, but all figured out now :)
Reading what you wrote here made me smile and of course I can relate to what you are saying too. I also get sad by thinking about all of the wasted time I have put into constantly thinking about food, restricting, calories and exercising. I know I am interested in proper nutrition and fitness and it’s okay to think about these often, but I must do so with a different perspective. Instead of seeing these items necessary things I cling to, I would rather look at food as a way to flourish my body, and exercise to make me both physically and mentally happy.
I am glad to hear that reading this allowed you to reflect a bit on yourself! Keep up the amazing work you are doing, your recent ventures with running are quite inspiring!

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3 Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Great post, m’dear. I hate the word no. I hear it, and it automatically makes me want to rebel. That’s actually where a lot of the motivation for my recovery came from… just getting pissed off at that voice that was causing me so much grief and denying me so much. I started to say yes to myself more often and I’ve never been happier. Yes, it’s fine to have that treat. Yes, it’s fine to rest. Yes, you’re beautiful, and amazing, and worth it. So much better than no :D

I haven’t made any goals for June yet, really. I pretty much just have one goal that I’m keeping my sights set on… and that’s to always do what’s best for my health and my body.
Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted.. Q&A 1- motivation & recovery

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4 tessa8m June 1, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Hmm, I like the idea of getting pissed off about how much I have missed out on, rather than sad about it. I believe getting mad and wanting to rebel, like you said, might actually give me a further kick in the butt to keep saying YES to everything I want!
That sounds like a perfect goal to me, and one all of us could keep in our minds as well :)

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5 Kristi June 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I have never heard of saying rabbit, rabbit the first day of the month, but you know I’ll be saying it when July rolls around.
I’m saying yes to running outside. I ran today and as hard as it was I loved it.
Kristi recently posted..do you trust yourself

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6 tessa8m June 1, 2011 at 10:26 pm

And I believe running will only improve from here. Keep saying yes to this amazing, healthy habit!

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7 Melissa June 1, 2011 at 8:05 pm

I LOVE this idea of saying YES! In fact, I have to tell you that I feel so much lighter since writing this morning’s post. YES, I feel things, and I can say them out loud and still be loved an accepted. YES, I can feel those things and someone will tell me it’s ok.

I don’t have any specific goals in mind for June, but I’m going to work on saying YES as much as possible to anything I truly want/need. And NO to negativity. Now that’s something I don’t need! :)
Melissa recently posted..Hella-Hot!

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8 tessa8m June 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm

I feel ya on the negativity certainly not being needed :D
We can do this Melissa!

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9 McKayla @ Green Groats June 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm

May flew by for me too! I was just thinking about that as well. I made a list of May goals, and I feel like I need to continue working on these goals through June. One of them (kind of a silly and unusual goal) is to start up more conversations with strangers just to make everyday life more interesting.

I LOVE the idea of using YES more often. For me, it’s usually easier to just say no to new opportunities or new routines, so I need to work on just saying yes. What is the worst that can happen? How else can I push my comfort zones and actually learn new things about myself?

Thanks for leaving me with meaningful things to think about….
-McKayla
McKayla @ Green Groats recently posted..Yes to Lentils!

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10 tessa8m June 1, 2011 at 10:25 pm

That is definitely not a silly goal, I think it’s great! I believe having the ability to talk to strangers is a great one to have. Then you have the ability to feel comfortable in all sorts of different social situations.
I agree, thinking about the worst that can happen, and realize that it’s not a big deal, might prompt both of us to say yes more often :)

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11 McKayla @ Green Groats June 1, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Haha. I totally forgot that I just titled my last post “yes to lentils” haha. I guess I have been thinking about the YES word more than I thought.
McKayla @ Green Groats recently posted..Yes to Lentils!

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12 tessa8m June 1, 2011 at 10:25 pm

YES, you are on the right track ;-)

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13 Kristy June 1, 2011 at 9:44 pm

OMG girl! This post definitely hit home for me.

A couple years ago when I was entrenched with Ed, I said no to everything. No to eating out, no to drinking, no to going on trips, no to late nights…no, no, no. I ended up lonely and miserable. During recovery, however, I learned how to say yes. Last fall, I had the best semester of college to date and I know that was largely due to me letting go and saying yes, yes, yes! Extra calories, little sleep, a few B’s instead of straight A’s??? Yes, yes, yes! All though things were a little crazy at times, I definitely have the best memories from last fall semester. Although I still push myself on a daily basis and definitely have not reverted to my old ways of eating, I found myself saying more a lot more this spring. And you know what? I had less fun. While I may be a better and more dedicated runner, have more A’s than B’s on my transcript, have less fat on my body, and a sense of control, I am having less fun. Your post definitely inspires me to let go and say yes this summer!

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14 tessa8m June 1, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I am so so honored to hear that this post is inspiring you to say YES! I am glad to hear that though you had more control and perhaps a few positive things going on, such as better grades, you did have less fun and made fewer note-worthy memories. Those are the things we are going to remember, but constantly doing nothing interesting!

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15 Vanessa June 1, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Wow!! That was inspiring, beautiful, and so true! :)

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16 Allison @ Happy Tales June 1, 2011 at 11:14 pm

What a wonderful and beautifully written post — so powerful!!! I LOVE the message you are getting across here, and I want to incorporate it into my life, too! I started graduate classes for public health about a year ago (oh boy this is such a long story that i don’t think i can explain in a comment… but anyway!) and since then, I’ve been saying “no” to a lot of social events because I wanted to make sure i was giving my ALL to my h/w and studying so that I could do the best I could so I could be accepted into the actual MPH graduate program. Well, this past april i was *actually* accepted, so now I no longer have to bust my ass and prove myself. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. Now i actually have to follow through with that advice… and let up a little bit. I’m so used to staying in working my tail off to make sure I master material for that “A” — it’s hard to switch gears and become more “okay” about not understanding a concept and just moving on. I’ve been accepted to the program, and they’re not going to kick me out for a B or C. So *yes,* I will be working on becoming more go-with-the-flow, too!

Oh, and I TOTALLY say “rabbit rabbit” on the 1st of each month! I think it came from a Nickelodeon commercial from way back in the day…? Looove that someone else does that, too!

BTW! I meant to write this earlier.. but I just found your blog! And you, my dear, are INCREDIBLE for being so true to yourself and open and honest and out there. I absolutely *love* the way you write! And I am so excited to see that you are well on your way to recovery (hope that doesn’t seem weird/stalkerish…!).
Allison @ Happy Tales recently posted..Oh- Happy Day!

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17 tessa8m June 2, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Hi Allison!
Wow, thank you SO SO much for that amazing compliment, it literally made my day! That is certainly NOT weird at all, you have no idea how happy you made me :D
I would love to hear about your Public Health journey! Perhaps not in a comment but when you get the chance to or something :) First of all, you go girl for maintaining such good grades, but if it majorly cuts into your social life, then you should loosen up a bit like you said. I know you are not suddenly going to start flunking out or anything like that, I can tell it’s not in your personality to. I am thrilled to hear you are planning to “go more with the flow” as this is something I certainly need to do too

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18 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food June 2, 2011 at 12:05 am

YES! I do love this idea and what a wonderful way to start to new month. Tessa I love what you wrote about what you will wish you had or hadn’t done in 25 years. You will most definitely not wish you had said no more often!

What I will say yes to in general is the possibility of failure and rejection when I put myself out there professionally and personally. That will help with reaching my goals. That and figuring out where we’re moving! (A few things are currently in the works nothing for sure yet..)
Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food recently posted..Shopping for Dreams…

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19 Cait @ Beyond Bananas June 2, 2011 at 7:32 am

Wow, Tessa. What an AMAZING post. Everything you have said.. rings near and dear to my heart.. my life.

I said YES to life.. rather then NO to food. It is hard.. and there are still days where all I want to do is say no.. but baby steps right!? I am still working on saying YES to more things… being more social, etc. But recovery is a work in progress..and I am constantly working to SAY yes..

I legit said “yes” and “no” outloud.. and yes does come out of my mouth with a lighter tone.. and just slips off the tongue. What a fabulous post!

Oh.. and I totally said “Rabbit, Rabbit” this morning!
Cait @ Beyond Bananas recently posted..I NEVER turn down a SURVEY!

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20 Tina June 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm

I love this post. I think that is a great goal. I agree that saying yes to not only foods but things that you normally wouldn’t is also just as important. I’m happy you found me and I’m going to check out the rest of your site.

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21 Alaina June 3, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Oh my gosh, I totally would say Rabbit, Rabbit! I learned that in one of my Girl Scout magazines. :-)

This is exactly why I love reading your blog. It always makes me think and inspires me. We definitely need to get together again. I love your plan of saying YES. It really is a great feeling because I remember being in college and just saying NO because I was so down on myself and figured nothing would help to make it better. Saying YES really does perk things up!
Alaina recently posted..My First Marathon

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22 tessa8m June 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Haha yay, we must remember for July now, I dropped the ball for June!
And what a lovely thing to hear Alaina! We certainly must get together soon, and other bloggers around the Boston area! I could travel in one night… all have dinner perhaps? Something we should plan :)
Keep saying yes, say it all weekend long!

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23 Devon S June 10, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Eep, this is an old post but it’s SO what I needed to hear! I say no probably 75% more than I ever say yes…and ya know what, that sucks! I’m about to leave for a week in Disney World and I am going to PISSED if the word no passes my lips! You’re right…would I rather look back on my trip and think about how disciplined and “well behaved” I was or how much FUN I had and how many memories I made?! Second option, pleaaaase!
Devon S recently posted..Getting mad!

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24 tessa8m June 10, 2012 at 10:52 pm

YESSS to the second option, I hope it goes soo so well Devon!

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