One Simple Word

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We recently read an article by Strength and Conditioning Coach Justin Kompf and, in it, he referenced the book “Influence” by Dr. Robert Cialdini. The scenarios he writes about hit home with us and we think could easily be reflective of many of your lives, as well.

Let’s say you have a fitness or nutritional goal or just want to fine tune your discipline strategies around eating and exercising. You want to start bringing your own lunch to work rather than eating out so often, or you want to reduce your alcohol intake, or you want to be more mindful of how much sugar you consume.

Now let’s say you head to work with your homemade healthy meal and at lunchtime, a co-worker asks you to go with them to the pizza restaurant for a quick bite. Or you’re at a party and the host offers you a glass of wine or you’re attending a wedding and (although you are pleasantly satisfied after your meal) the plates of cake get passed around. You really want to move forward toward your goals, but you also feel some social peer pressure:

  • “Are you sure you don’t want a piece of cake?”
  • “Why aren’t you drinking?”
  • “Well, I don’t want to walk to the pizzeria alone. Just come with me today.”

These comments from others aren’t intentionally harmful, but they do make caving really easy, causing you to constantly battle against your goals. One solution would be to take a middle-of-the-road approach because the consumption of these things is not bad – they can easily fit into a lifestyle of good health and fitness if you apply some moderation strategies:

  • Having just one piece of pizza.
  • Drinking water between each glass of wine to control your consumption.
  • Splitting the piece of cake with your spouse.

However, if the moderation mindset isn’t your strong suit quite yet, here is a simple tip Dr. Cialdini recommends in Kompf’s article:

Say the word “because”.

Let’s look at the first scenario again and see what adding because can do.

Situation 1

Colleague: “I’m going to Mark’s Pizzeria for lunch. Want to go with me?”

Friend: “No, thank you, I’m not hungry.”

Colleague: “Well, I don’t want to walk to the pizzeria alone. Just come with me today.”

Situation 2

Colleague: “I’m going to Mark’s Pizzeria for lunch. Want to go with me?”

You: “No, thank you, I’m not hungry because I already had my lunch today.”

Colleague: “Okay, I’ll ask Tom.”

Situation 1:

Friend: “Do you want a glass of wine?”

You: “No, thank you.”

Friend: “Are you sure you don’t want any?”

You: “Yes.”

Friend: “Here just have a little.” (At this point, friend pours half a glass of wine.)

Situation 2:

Friend: “Do you want a glass of wine?”

You: “No, thank you, I’m good because I’m actually feeling a little dehydrated.”

Friend: “Let me get you a glass of water!”

See the difference in setting yourself up for success?! Give this strategy a try next time you’re in a predicament where you feel pressure to forgo your nutrition and fitness commitments. This simple word will help you still have fun while more easily navigating (with greater confidence and better social support) the unintentional peer pressures you’ll undoubtedly come across in your health and fitness quest.

Because you’re worth it,
Team Valeo

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