Life is too short to say "no" to anything delicious. So I didn't. I said "yes." Yes to three-layer cakes, chewy homemade cookies, decadent brownies, crispy french fries, pancakes doused in maple syrup, flaky chocolate-covered pastries, ice cream, gooey pizza — anything and everything. I didn't want to restrict myself at all, so I literally never said "no." If I had a brief doubt when reaching for something tasty, thinking, well, "maybe I shouldn't," a little voice inside would always say, "Yes. Go ahead. Because you're worth it." And boy was I worth it. Forty pounds worth it. That's how much I gained, not by eating entire sleeves of Oreos or gloriously enormous bowls of mac and cheese. It was bite by bite.
I was shocked at how much weight I'd gained just by eating a little extra here and there. And I realized that saying "yes" to all those foods wasn't making me happy. Initially, I was sad about not being able to button my jeans, but what really made me depressed was the fact that I wasn't taking care of myself. I felt like crap because I was eating so much crap.
So one day, when reaching for a second piece of dark chocolate with almonds, I stopped and said to myself, "No. Don't do it. Because you're worth it." That new mantra empowered me to take my health and weight into my own hands. I actually felt better restricting myself because I knew it was helping me get back on track and meet the goals I'd always had in mind — to be healthy.
Of course I don't say no to everything, I just don't say yes all the time. I definitely indulge every single day with a little something, but I'm more aware now of all those little extra nibbles I was taking just for the heck of it. Those little bites sure did add up, so not having those extra bites helped me get back into my jeans. My health is the most important thing to me, and this one small change in my thoughts has made a huge difference.