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A reader who had a weight problem and a spending problem told us that a therapist he was seeing suggested that he say no to himself once a day. He described it as dreadfully painful at first. When he went into Starbucks to buy a coffee, he said “no” to himself about adding the five teaspoons of sugar he normally added to one cup of coffee and started drinking it only with skimmed milk. He improved his “no” skills and started losing weight after 20 years. Then he began to apply it to spending. Today, he says, he has his weight and spending under control.

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