As Nancy Reagan said: 'Just say no' - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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As Nancy Reagan said: 'Just say no'

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Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 5:00 pm

Everything is getting bigger. Cars, houses, furniture, clothing, drink cups, plates... people. And don't forget debts.

My Depression-era grandparents didn't owe a thing. My grandmother washed and reused Ziplocs. No lie. She hung them from a clothes line. On "I Love Lucy" (don't judge me), I watched Lucy set out the tiniest glass of orange juice for Ricky - in a "juice glass." Now, you can get a Big Gulp of the stuff, and it's normal.

I still have a pair of Levi's 501s from the '80s that I use to torture myself. They are my gauge across time. They are also my proof that clothing sizes have changed. When I'm a comfortable 10, those 1980s jeans fit ... and their tag says 14.

Everything keeps getting bigger. When is enough, enough?

We've lost the art of "no." Somewhere between 1920 and now, the notion of turning something down, refusing it, has gone poof.

I'm talking about delayed gratification - no to the doughnut, the newer car with its hefty payment, the fifth dinner out in one week, the kids whining for a piece of plastic junk, and no to the bake sale asking you for 20 dozen cupcakes. No.

It's time to get a backbone and tell others, "I'm sorry, I just can't right now." It's time for self-discipline - say "heck no" to the excess food that's making you fat. No.

It's empowering once you get into the swing of it. Try it. Next time you are in the grocery aisle, contemplating the fresh cookies, on sale for $6.99 for a baker's dozen - grip that cart and stomp away. No.

Tempted by new car ads? Mentally slap yourself and remember: Their marketing machine is powerful and they are after your money. Your old car still drives, and that new car won't make you skinny, roll back the years, or replenish your receding hair line. You'll still be middle-aged, chunky and bald - and in more debt.

I know you think a trainer has no business doling out such advice. What do I know about finances or time management?

I can tell you it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the seven deadly sins are kicking our butt. Everything is just too much.

And it walks through my door in the form of deconditioned, overweight and often diabetic people. It's time to reign in the excess.

Can you hear 1980s Nancy Reagan? "Just say no."

NSCA certified personal trainer Shannon Sorrels holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry and an MBA. Her company, Physix LLC, works with Valley individuals as well as groups to improve their overall fitness. Reach her at (480) 528-5660 or visit

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