By Susie Burrell

There is no doubt we can all remember a time in our lives when we said yes when we really wanted to say no. We may be prone to saying yes when we know we should not because we want something badly, or because we hate disappointing people or simply because we have been programmed over many years to be yes people.

It is the same with people who present for weight loss. In this case, clients can have major difficulties in saying no to food that they do not even really want or perhaps foods they know they should not be having if they want to lose weight. As they have never said no, the thought of doing so is almost unfathomable.

Saying no, and how comfortable we are in saying it is a marker of the respect we have for self, and the personal boundaries we keep in our relationships. Often those who have difficulty in saying no feel used in relationships, and that they always give much more than they receive back. Feeling drained, overwhelmed as well as regret, frustration and resentment too are common as you become increasing annoyed at self for not saying no, often taking out these frustrations of those closest to you.

If you know that you have difficulty saying no, a way to move forward is to try and avoid having to give an answer to someone on the spot, so you have time to think about what it is they are asking of you, and if you really want to do it. Another option is to pay attention to have you feel inside after being asked something. If your instant reaction without considering what others may want is to say no, then go with it, as our internal emotional signals will be telling us the right thing to do, whether cognitively or philosophically we think it is the right thing to do or not. 

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