“I want to lose weight,” she groaned. “I’ve been stress eating during the pandemic.”
“Sorry to hear that.”
“I was thinking about joining a gym, but I’m so out of shape and not disciplined. You have to have the right mindset and discipline.”
“I understand,” I said, nodding in agreement. “I can assess your fitness level, and create a workout routine for you.”
“When I’m ready. I will definitely reach out to you.”
The above conversation was one I had with a colleague. On the surface it looks straightforward, until you extrapolate the meaning of what actually was said.
I heard it all before. Whenever someone says they want to do something, what invariably comes out of their mouth next is an excuse of why it can’t be done. I normally bait the person by suggesting a solution that will remedy the problem, and wait for a more persistent excuse to reinforce his or her inability to have what they want.
The start of the conversation held the clue. She wanted to lose weight. A want is simply a wish without a date on it.
She gave a reason for the weight gain. Whether true or false, her belief made it so. Trying to argue that the excuse she gave was not really as simple as overeating would only strengthen her resolve.
The next line is where the fallacy began. She thought about joining a gym, but claimed that the wrong mindset and lack of discipline prevented her from doing so.
To gauge how strong her desire was for change, I baited her with an offer to assess her fitness level and devise a workout regimen. I knew it would not be accepted. The next statement validated my conclusion.
She would reach out to me when ready. The use of definitely thrown in to suggest she would really consider my offer.
She does not want to lose weight, although it would improve her health tremendously if she did. If she had said that she “needed” to lose weight, the call to action would be swift. The conversation was merely a feeble attempt, to justify why she was overweight, and worse, why she was powerless to make a change.
“When it’s tougher to suffer than change you change.”
What will it take? What will be the tipping point? This part of the equation only she can answer. It could be gossip overheard at the water cooler. Coworkers, unaware that she approaches, chuckling about why she wears loose-fitting clothes.
It could be running up the steps to catch the train. Realizing that her being out of breath and shape caused it to be missed.
Worse, it could be an innocuous fat statement uttered by her child . . .
You can use most any measure
When speaking of success
You can measure it by a fancy home
Expensive car or dress
But the measure of your real success
Is one you cannot spend
It’s the way your child describes you
When talking to their friend.
I recited the above poem to my colleague. Will it make a difference? Will I ever get a call asking for help?
The only person who can answer these questions is the one that looks in the mirror, and finally declares . . .
I will lose weight!