“Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs” ~ Pearl Strachan Hurd
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According to Webster:
“Can” – To be able to. To have the ability, power or skill to; to know how to. To have the power or means to; to have the right qualifications to. May or have permission to. To have the possibility
At any given moment of any given day, we have the possibility. Whether or not we choose to seize it, is up to us
On the flip side
“Can’t” – To not have power or skill. To not know how. To not have the power or means. To not have the right qualifications. To not have permission to. To not have possibilities.
When I think about the word can’t, it almost makes me a little defiant. It makes me want to push a little bit harder in the opposite direction. Looking back, I realize it’s also the reason I’ve stayed stuck
If we tell ourselves we don’t have power, we don’t have knowledge, we don’t have the means, we don’t have the qualifications, we don’t have permission, and we don’t have any possibility. My goodness, it’s nearly suffocating, not to mention ..
Today, Part IV; the last of a short series devoted to “I can” vs. “I can’t” A series inspired by a friend and health coach who’s on a mission to prove to her clients that “Yes, they can!” Turns out the girl who’s usually gung-ho, tells herself “I can’t” more often than I ever realized
I’ve been sharing how I’ve handled a few of my can’ts these past few weeks, and found answers to the question
“So if you can’t do that, what can you do instead?”
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“I’m going to a restaurant and can’t control my food“ vs. “In this moment what can I choose that will help me with my goals?”
“Life is busy, and I can’t control my normal routine“ vs. “What’s the minimum routine I can do during this crunch time?”
“I’m going to a friend’s house for dinner and I can’t be in charge of the menu“ vs. “When I feel the meal is out of my control, what can I do to ensure success?”
“I can’t remember to track my food, and I don’t have time” vs. “How can I look for windows of opportunity in my days?”
“I can’t work out because of an injury“ vs. “If I can’t work this body part .. what other parts can I work instead?”
“I can’t work out because I don’t have time“ v.s “What can I do instead to squeeze a few minutes of movement into my day?”
“I can’t lose weight while I’m on vacation“ vs. “What can I do through healthy habits while I’m away from home?”
“I can’t maintain my healthy habits because I’m feeling sad, worried, stressed, or anxious“ vs. “How can I feel empowered in these situations instead of turning to food for comfort?”
I have a short list of things I wish I’d done in my 30’s (respected my more-amazing-than-they-are-now thighs, interviewed grandparents, fostered friendships, followed my gut). Instead, what I did in my thirties was build a career, build a house, and survive teenagers
I don’t keep those lists anymore.
— — —
Here’s what I’d like to do in my 40’s
— — —
I know my future self will likely wish that I’d volunteered more; will likely wish I’d worn a bikini (it’s only going downhill – literally – from here); will likely wish I’d had more patience with the pets (but Mom, rolling in the mud is so much fun!)
I wish that, too.
But wishing is wishing.
Living is something different.
What I think my future self will wish I’d have done in my 40’s is precisely what I’m doing in my 40’s: floundering, failing, living, breathing, lamenting, celebrating, questioning, doubting, enjoying, trying, and doing
I’m sure she won’t remember how I felt at any given moment. She won’t remember that I was stressed because it was a long week at work, or that I hadn’t slept well the night before.
Instead, I’m sure she’ll be thankful I showed up every day and did a little something to keep myself healthy. Because it’s only action upon action upon action will get me to the future self that I’m trying to create. And that woman is going to look back and think
“I’m so thankful that on this particular day she didn’t let her emotions prevent her from doing this”
Today, the last in the series
I can’t do x because I’m feeling y
“I can remember that x and y are completely separate. I still have a choice. I can feel all of those feelings and still choose to do the actions”
We’ve all been there; it’s a bummer of a day.
It wouldn’t occur to us to tell our children or the puppies, “Sorry guys; you can’t eat today because mom is feeling sad” Instead, we choose to get up off of the sofa, and make a little something for dinner. Those are physical actions we’ll take, no matter what
The same applies when caring for ourselves
Even though our minds are full, we can still reach for the most nutritious food in the moment, get enough sleep, go for a walk, eat a quality protein, or go to bed earlier than we usually would
— — —
And so, as the series draws to a close, my sincerest hope is that one day my future self will tell me:
“You’re not gonna get it. You’re not gonna believe me when I tell you that your thighs are immaculate, that you don’t have to accept can’t for yourself anymore. That you have the possibility in every given situation and circumstance, but you have to be the one to find it. It’s not going to be given to you on a silver platter
And you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t believe me. You’re not there yet.
You will be.
And you can believe all those things when you are”
My progress report after week 6?
Total minutes of activity this week = 440 and Overall = 3090 (a combination of walking, kickboxing, yoga, resistance class, and weight lifting)
Total pounds lost this week = -1.0 and Overall = 12.3
— — —
A recipe we’ve loved at our house this week
A healthier version of the classic candy, using simple ingredients: coconut + almonds + good quality dark chocolate. With a filling that’s rich and coconut-y; and chocolate that’s smooth, rich, and decadent. They’re just like the “real” thing
They’re dead simple to make and nice for when I need a late afternoon energy boost, or whenever, really. I sprinkle them with things like hemp seed, bee pollen, or cacao nibs for a nutritional boost, and to bump up the pretty
— — —
~ Adapted from My New Roots
Healthier Almond Joy Bars
- ½ cup raw almonds
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 12 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted but not hot
- Coconut Filling
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ cup coconut milk, canned
- 2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup to make the recipe vegan)
- fine grain sea salt
- 12 oz dark chocolate, chopped (if you're not a dark chocolate fan, semi-sweet or milk are great)
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 3-4 Tbsp almond butter
- cacao nibs + hemp seeds for sprinkling, optional
- Line an 8x8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the almonds, coconut, dates, and vanilla.
- Pulse four or five times
- Add the coconut oil and pulse until it comes together, being careful not to over mix (it should be finely chopped and a little chunky)
- Press the base mixture into the prepared pan and put it in the freezer to cool
- Coconut Filling
- In the bowl of the food processor (no need to clean it!) add the coconut, coconut milk, honey and a pinch of fine grain sea salt.
- Pulse until you have a finely ground mixture. Remove the crust from the freezer and add the coconut filling, smoothing until even
- Return the pan to the freezer
- Melt the chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth.
- Stir in the almond butter
- Remove the bars from the freezer and spread the chocolate over top.
- Top with cacao nibs and hemp seeds if desired.
- Cover the pan and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour
- To Serve
- Warm your knife under hot water before cutting the bars into squares
- The chocolate layer may pop off of the coconut layer as you cut the bars; don't worry, just push it back into place.
- Keep the bars stored in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer