Revisiting the difference between can’t, don’t

Over at Best Body Fitness, Tina shared a link to a post that broke down the can’t/don’t research much better than mine.

Amanda at Happy Mother Runner explains:

Using the phrase “I don’t” shows that the person does not do something and makes a strong statement about a permanent state of thought. The  “I can’t” statement means a  temporary decision.

She goes on to conclude:

By saying “you can’t” to yourself, it makes that food urge even bigger and you want to consume it even more, leading to a craving. When you say to yourself “I don’t” it shows personal strength and establishes a standard within yourself.

That makes a lot of sense. Wish I’d seen this post before my trip to Anaheim. It might not have turned into a free-for-all had I made the transition to thinking “I don’t” eat such-and-such food, instead of treating myself all the things I tell myself I “can’t” normally eat.

Of course now I have a whole new set of “don’ts” — at least for the next several weeks.

  • I don’t eat dairy.
  • I don’t eat grains.
  • I don’t eat artificial sweeteners.

If I practice saying these things often enough, they’ll become second nature, right? I hope so. I need personal strength. I need determination. I’m ready to change my life once and for all.

And that’s what “It Starts with Food” promises about the Whole30: “the next 30 days can CHANGE YOUR LIFE.”

Bring it on.


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