The To-Don’t List

Steph Wagner MS, RDN

July 24, 2013

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I don’t normally like focusing on the negative.

If you’ve met me, you’d likely agree that I’m a better cheerleader than a tough girl dietitian. I might say “cut that out” but usually with a smile. My personality fits some more than others. Some like the drill sergeant approach, some like to be encouraged and uplifted. To each their own!

The current book I’m reading described something called the To Don’t List. When our typical day is filled up with to-do’s (ahem, myself included as you can see below) the To Don’t List is the list of things you don’t need to be doing. Things that take your time up for no good reason. Maybe it’s a busy day, so your To-Don’t List might include playing Words with Friends or volunteering at something you don’t actually have the time for. Volunteering is good! But overwhelming ourselves and spreading ourselves thin won’t end up being good for anyone.


But I’ve been thinking about the To Don’t List when it comes to eating habits. Because I like to focus on positives, I like the to-do list a little better. This week, my Health To-Do List looks like this:

  1. 30 Minute Walking Video on You-Tube Tuesday through Friday (because it’s too hot out!)
  2. Snacks mid-morning and mid-afternoon of 2% cottage cheese or low-fat cheese sticks or plain Greek yogurt (with sweetener of course)
  3. Follow meals as planned, having leftovers for lunch

So there is my practical health to do-list for this week. It’s similar each week but also changes depending on the week/month/year.

But what about the To Don’t List? I’ve decided this list consists of the things that I know will come up this week that I need to say no to. 

Here we go. This week mine looks like this:

1. Don’t eat waffles when I make them for Mr. W

2. Don’t eat past fullness at meals (I’ve been way too full after dinner lately)

3. Don’t fall off track this weekend and avoid snacking at the garage sale

In the end, it’s really not that it’s negative. It’s that the to-dos can be great! But having some parameters of what not to do is just as important.

It’s your turn now. What’s on your To Do and To Don’t list this week?

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