Most of us have heard the saying from Star Wars: Episode 5, The Empire Strikes Back when the character Yoda explains to Luke Skywalker: “No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try!”
Why is the matter of Luke Skywalker “trying” not good enough for Yoda? In a world where the best you can give sometimes is simply trying your best, it would seem that any effort would be considered a good thing. But Yoda understood that to make effective change you had to be committed to a goal—completely. When all you can say is, “I’ll try,” you have not given your heart and soul to the process. Therefore, failure is impending.
I use my own midlife struggle with ten pounds as an example often. But, I do so, because most of us struggle with weight—some more than others. These damn ten pound have been like an anchor for over a year. I lose five and gain five back. I lose ten, then slowly, I gain it all back. I keep saying, I’m ‘trying’ this and that diet and exercise plan. But the truth is, I have not committed to losing the weight. If I had committed, I would have already lost it and kept it off.
Today, a client cancelled, which gave me two hours in the afternoon, which I normally don’t have. Since I was caught up with my work, I decided that I would do my yoga practice. Normally, I do it three times a week, not five or six, which would be required to lose weight. Instead, I have been “trying” to get to the gym and do 45-50 minutes of aerobics. I have made it to the YMCA a total of three times in two weeks, but also have bounced on my fitness ball two more nights. Though that would be considered a good try, it is not enough of an effort to lose weight—not hardly enough.
After my yoga practice today, I took a much-needed shower. I felt invigorated and empowered, because yoga is my exercise and spiritual practice of choice. It provides me with everything I need. As I got out of the shower, I heard myself say, “I ought to TRY and do yoga every day. Make a serious effort to do it at a specific time.”
As I observed my error in ways, I asked myself another question: “How hard would it be to say: ‘I will commit to my yoga practice every day at 8 a.m.?’”
I actually muttered the words, but couldn’t commit to it completely. Immediately, I thought, well, what if I’m sick. How can I say I commit totally to something without knowing how I’ll feel each day?
I realized, then, that I could easily say, “If I’m not sick and feeling well enough, or if time constraints allow, I will commit to doing yoga at eight every morning.”
After I said that allowed, I felt sick to my stomach. It was as if a little boy inside was mad at me. He didn’t want to have to do anything he was told. In fact, that little boy inside probably was the one who has been eating the sweets and extras, even when I’m not hungry. He probably takes over my mind. And I let him.
How many times have you picked up something sweet after something salty, even when you weren’t hungry, just to make a presumptive balance in your taste palate? Or have you done what I do and continue to eat, even when you’re not hungry, simply because the food tastes so good. Or, even worse, eat because you’re bored and chewing feels like an action worth doing?
Oh dear. Effective change takes way more effort than that. I tell my clients this every day. But I know the real reason that I don’t lose the weight. It is because I believe that I look fine with a few extra pounds. And fine simply is good enough, especially when you have a partner who loves you, even with a few extra pounds.
When I come to the resolution that health is more important than actually losing the weight, I will probably easily take the pounds off, simply by changing my behavior about taking care of my body.
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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com. Please feel free to comment and/or sign up to receive your blog sent to you directly or stream with an RSS Feed.
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