The Power of Saying No: Prioritizing Your Health Goals

The Power of Saying No: Prioritizing Your Health Goals

Note from a fellow bariatric patient…

Let me tell you a secret…I hate parties. Don’t get me wrong, they can be fun, but they usually throw me off my game.

Sadly, I’ve spent too many hours of my life suffering through them until I discovered the power of saying no. Once I learned to do that, it helped me prioritize my well-being and focus on my priorities, and honestly, it completely changed my life.

Saying no is uncomfortable, but I have found five ways to politely sidestep an invitation while still maintaining social connections and enjoying life.

1. Have plans—I know what I enjoy doing most and have come to the realization that it’s perfectly okay to say no, even if my plans are for “me time.” That might involve reading a favorite book, spending time with a pet, taking a long walk, or snuggling on the couch for the evening.

By saying no to invitations that don't align with my priorities, I free up time to focus on what truly matters to me.

2. Suggest an alternative—Instead of meeting friends for an indulgent lunch, I’ve learned to suggest a walk, paddleball, bowling, or just meeting for coffee. It’s the relationship, not the activity, that is important.

3. Pause and ask for time to think—I’ve learned that I don’t have to accept an invitation immediately, I can say, “Wow, that sounds like fun, but can I get back to you in a couple of days? I’d like to check on a few other commitments first.”

4. Be appreciative when declining—It is nice to be thought of and respected by friends or associates. Acknowledge this when declining. For example, “I’m grateful you trust me to lead this fantastic project, but I really can’t take on additional responsibilities at this time.”

5. Share your health goals—I’ve gotten more comfortable letting others know that I’m making my health a priority, so I have to decline their request or ask if there is another way that I can contribute. Someone else can make cookies for the school musical.

Remember that saying no doesn't mean you're depriving yourself, disappointing others, or missing out. You are setting boundaries that prioritize your health and well-being.

It might feel uncomfortable at first, but it will get easier when you realize that people understand and respect your requests. You are worthy, and your time and priorities are valuable.

Try saying no a few times this month and see how you feel. I’ll bet you’ll feel a greater sense of empowerment because you put yourself first!


—Your bariatric friend

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