Dear Readers –

Here’s another guest post by one of my favorite inspirational bloggers and healthy living advocates. Jennifer inspires with plain talk and relatable advice, and more importantly, walks her talk each and every day. I hope you, too, are inspired to rid your vocabulary of this 4 letter word!


The 4 Letter Word that Prevents Healthy Living

(and How to Flip the Switch!) By Jennifer Espinosa-Goswami

CANT imageI ran as fast as I could to the safety of my room. There, I crawled underneath my bed and laid my tear-streaked face on the rough carpet. Repeating over and over to myself, “I can’t, I can’t, I just can’t”.

The cause of this turmoil? Ma had just told me that I should stop eating potato chips. I was a young child, and I was morbidly obese. After a disappointing visit to my pediatrician, we had just found out I had high triglycerides. I had no idea what that meant, but Ma was concerned enough to lay down the law.

At the time, giving up potato chips was akin to Armageddon. It was as unthinkable as becoming a mermaid. It was a challenge that I refused to accept.

Today, I have no problem avoiding potato chips. Remember that famous Lays slogan, “you can’t eat just one?” They lied. Not only have I given up potato chips, but I also have stopped even thinking of them as a complement to my favorite meals. I’m content with a handful of nuts, or some popcorn. As you can imagine, I did not change overnight, and I didn’t even accept the challenge until after I saw some results.

What changed between my childhood tantrum, and my current lack of interest? I threw out the word, “I can’t.” Along the way, I learned how to lose weight and improve my health.

Recently, I was chatting with a personal trainer about one of her clients. Her client is a busy professional who spends almost every day in the gym. To my astonishment, she said that he also fasts for up to 3 days at a time. Being an avid fan of eating every 3-4 hours, and bowing to the concept of “friends don’t let friends get hangry”, I was astonished! I flatly stated to the PT, “I could never do that”. She turned to me and said, “And that’s why you never will”.

positive thinking

The Power of Positive Thinking

I thought about that conversation for a while. Why wouldn’t I be able to fast for three days? Sure, the last time I tried going without food, I lasted about 12 hours before scarfing down everything in sight. But, past efforts don’t rule out future success. The problem was not in my ability. The problem was in my attitude!

Let’s get real here. When I tried losing weight for the first (and last) time, I did NOT set out to claim the far-reaching goal of losing 100 pounds. I would caution my clients not to set such grandiose goals, either. The whole “Dream Big” or “Go Home” attitude is not really the way to lasting and sustainable weight loss.

What I am suggesting is that you first understand that you don’t need fancy equipment, expensive products, or celebrity endorsers to embrace a healthier lifestyle. You actually have everything you need to succeed at your goals- if you first get out of your own way. When I speak, I tell audiences that I never wanted to lose 100 pounds. But, I did want to get healthier, look and feel great, and someday have children.

What are your attitudes when it comes to your goals?

  • When faced with the idea of trying a different workout, what are the first words that come to mind?
  • When considering giving up one of your favorite foods, what makes you change your mind?
  • When someone offers you a food you have never tried, or you can’t recognize, what do you say?

Can’t is a 4 letter word. It also travels with some lesser-known family members. You might recognize these family members, such as “should”, “might”, “don’t”, “won’t”, or “am not”. All of these words underscore a fear of failure.

Failure is ok. That’s right. I have failed, you have failed, and I guarantee it will happen again.

Guess what? The faster you fail, the more opportunities you have to improve! Next time you find yourself saying, “I can’t”, STOP! Replace “can’t”, with “can”. Try this for 30 days. You have nothing to lose (except the unhealthy habits).

Ma once challenged me to give up one of my favorite childhood foods. Little did I know that years later, I would have found the courage to try, and to succeed. What challenge can you accept? If you are ready to accept the challenge of living a healthier lifestyle in just minutes a day, visit