It's time to bring back 'Just Say No' - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Living Well It's time to bring back 'Just Say No'

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Shannon Sorrels is an NSCA-certified personal trainer and owner of Physix LLC in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach her at (480) 428-5660 or

Posted: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 5:00 am | Updated: 5:58 pm, Fri Jul 1, 2011.

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,” I watched Lucy pour the tiniest glass of OJ for Ricky, in a “juice glass.” Now, Big Gulps are the norm.

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

Everything keeps getting bigger. When is enough enough?

We’ve lost the art of “no.” The notion of turning something down — refusing it — has gone “poof.”

I’m not talking about telling MeeMaw where to get off when she asks you to visit. I’m talking about delayed gratification: no to the doughnut, the newer car with the hefty payment, the fifth dinner out in one week, the kids whining for a piece of plastic junk, the bake sale asking you for 20 dozen cupcakes.

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, for saying “Heck, no!” to the excess food that’s making you fat.

It’s empowering once you get into the swing of it. Try it. Next time you’re eyeing fresh cookies in the grocery store, grip that cart and stomp away. Tempted by new car ads? Mentally slap yourself and remember: 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 — only more in debt.

I know you might think a personal trainer has no business doling out such advice, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the seven deadly sins are kicking our butt. Everything is just too much. And the effects of too much walk through my door all the time in the form of overweight, often diabetic, people.

It’s time to reign in the excess. Can you hear 1980s Nancy Reagan? “Just say no.”

• Shannon Sorrels is an NSCA-certified personal trainer and owner of Physix LLC in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach her at (480) 428-5660 or

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