A friend and I talked the other day about food, nutrition and dieting. I mentioned my attempts to increase the amount of veggies I eat and decrease my ice cream consumption (after a solid week of eating Mint Moose Tracks after dinner–yum!) She looked at me and said, “Every night? That was fun, huh?”
I looked at her, speechless. Yes, it was fun! But I had never heard anyone describe eating as fun. Food has always been the enemy, from chocolate brownies to blue cheese. Like nearly every choice I make, I critique myself instead of embracing them. I say, “I should not eat this, say that, etc.
I’ve been thinking about her comment this week. Food isn’t the enemy: God made it all, and it’s good, right?
These thoughts led me to wonder when it’s okay to say no. By nature, I am a pessimist so I pressure myself to say yes as often as possible. Yes, we can watch a movie after school. Yes, we can eat popcorn for breakfast. But sometimes, I have to say no.
It’s not okay to harm my body with junk food, even if it is mint ice cream. It’s not okay to say hurtful words, even if I am legitimately angry. It’s not okay to speed, even if I am late. Saying no can be a good thing, bringing freedom and setting protective boundaries.
I vow to say no more often, for the health and wellbeing of my body, mental health and future. Additionally, my students at home need to hear me say no sometimes. Boundaries keep them safe and teach them values, morals and healthy habits.
While I would prefer to be a “yes” parent, sometimes my job description requires me to say no. That’s the loving thing to do.
Sometimes, you just have to say no.