In a recent study found in Health Magazine, Vanessa Patrick, PhD associate professor of marketing at the University of Houston found that 80% of women who used the words, “I don’t eat that,” were able to hold to their good eating habits. On the other hand, only 10% of women who used the similar phrase, “I can’t eat that” stuck to their good eating habits.
“Saying ‘I can’t’ signals that you’re giving up something desirable, but saying ‘I don’t’ gives you a sense of empowerment,” said Patrick.
After reading this piece I couldn’t agree more. A couple years ago, when I was a sophomore in college, I had the pressure to look my best in my little-material cheerleading uniform while knowing I had gained about 10 pounds since making the squad. I used to look at the greasy box of fries my friends were eating and sadly say, “I can’t eat that.” What I didn’t realize was I was making it 10x harder on myself. Losing a few inches on my mid section was a huge goal of mine, but I was going about it the completely wrong way. Saying “I can’t eat that” felt like a slap in the face each time I said it, and it reminded me of the negative consequences and embarrassment I was facing.
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