“Sometimes we know the best thing to do, but fail to do it. New year’s resolutions are often like that. We make resolutions because we know it would be better for us to lose weight, or get fit, or spend more time with our children. The problem is a resolution is generally easier to break than it is to keep.
Peter Singer, Philosopher
“I have been trying to lose 30 pounds for about ten years!”
Nathan was a thirty year old, married, middle school teacher. He and his partner, Ester, had no children as yet. He had pitch black hair and a short matching beard, neatly trimmed. He was a little on the pudgy side, but had a friendly, easy going manner you somehow knew kids would like …and trust. He was good at what he did evidenced by his rise to the position of vice-principle. He genuinely liked kids and loved the atmosphere of his particular school. Nathan called it a magic energy you only see around children who are sponges, intent on absorbing everything, right away!
He said he had made an appointment because, it was only January 10th and, he had already broken his New Year’s resolution. He decided he needed professional help if he was ever to get back the self control he had earlier in his life.
I asked him about the resolution he had broken. He responded,
“I have been trying to lose 30 pounds for about ten years!” the frustration clear written on his voice.
“…you can’t actually lose weight…”
Smiling to ease his tension, I said, “Haven’t you heard Nathan…you can’t actually lose weight…it defies the known laws of physics!”
“Well, I know the law of gravity is getting to me because I find it harder to get up off the floor when I am working with my kids in class!” he replied returning my smile.
“I’m actually being serious about not being able to lose weight because of the physical laws of nature.” I said, this time with a more serious expression.
“Please enlighten me, Ken…because I would welcome any excuse to justify my lack of control of my weight.”
“Nathan, it is actually based on the law of energy conservation which says, matter and energy are constant and so cannot be created or destroyed…only transformed.”
“So, what does that have to do with losing weight, Ken?”
“That means trying to lose weight is like trying to destroy matter…impossible! The only other option is to transform your weight into another form of matter or energy. You could have some of your weight removed, transformed, with surgery; you could also transform it with exercise into energy; and you could even transform it by eating differently. But you can never lose it…only transform it into some other form of something else.”
“Information is the resolution of uncertainty.” – Claude Shannon, Mathematician
“…I need to think and talk about it, as a transformation process, instead of a loss/gain process…”
Then I added, “Nathan, if you lost your wallet in a grocery store, what is the first thing you would do?…I bet you would go look for it! When, we think and talk about our weight as gaining or losing it, our brain, from habit, unconsciously tends to go look for it. So, how you think and talk about your weight is really very important, when you want to control it.”
“Does this mean Ken, to change my weight I need to think and talk about it, as a transformation process, instead of a loss/gain process? Are you saying that will make a difference?”
“Nathan, that’s what I’m saying. But there is another important pierce you need as well. To make your transformation permanent you will need to connect it very closely to your highest values!”
“How do I do that?”
“Let’s learn from your own experience. Why do you want to transform your weight, Nathan?”
“People need revelation, and then they need resolution.” – Damian Lewis, Actor
“…What are your highest values?”
He thought for a moment and then said, “Well Ken, my clothes don’t fit, I feel out of shape; I feel awkward and clumsy at times; and sometimes I get short of breathe when I’m exerting myself.”
“They sound pretty important to me…but specifically, how are they connected to your highest values in life?”
“Well…I want to look and feel good and I want to be healthy!” he replied.
“Yes, I understand, but why Nathan, do you want to achieve those?…What are your highest values?” I asked.
“Ken, after I attended one of your seminars, I completed The Demartini Value Determination Process , so I have my top five values memorized!”
“What are they Nathan?”
“First, is my self which includes my health of course; second, is my children which Ester and I are working on presently; third, is my work which enables me to be me, and have the resources to honor these values; fourth, is Ester, my life partner; and fifth, is my parents and siblings who are very close to me.”
“Nathan, that is really useful you are so clear about your highest values. When you can consciously connect transforming your weight to each of your highest values in numerous ways…then it will be easier…not easy…but easier, to achieve the weight you want!”
“What do you mean by ‘numerous ways’, Ken?”
“Nathan, I’m talking about hundreds of connections to your highest values!” I replied.
“Jeez Ken, I never thought about it that way before!”
“So, let me see if I understand this. Are you telling me, as one example, there are hundreds of ways transforming my weight is connected to the children, Ester and I, want?”
“Yes, I am! Do you want me to list a few which occur to me?”
“Yes…please, because I don’t see them, Ken!”
“Nathan can you see how transforming your weight will strength your spirit, improve your self confidence, make you more efficient in your work, raise your self worth, give you more self confidence with others, bring you even closer to Ester, and of course, improve your health?”
Nathan’s face slowly took on an odd expression, somewhere between surprise and awe, like when you first notice a beautiful sunrise, then he said “Jeez Ken, I never thought about it that way before!”
“Nathan, can you also see there are many other connections yet to be identified which, if you start stacking them consciously, will enable you to motivate yourself to transform your weight…because they will be tied clearly to your highest values in life?”
“Thinking about my weight this new way makes it more achievable because I can see more clearly why I am doing it, eh?”
“So my New Year’s resolution got lost because I did not have it clearly tied to my highest values…”
“Exactly Nathan! And, as you identify more, and more, links to your highest values, you empower yourself to achieve your goal…you become more certain of its attainment!”
“So my New Year’s resolution got lost because of my thinking. I was thinking about losing weight, instead of transforming my weight. And, I did not have it clearly tied to my highest values and, so was not motivated to achieve it…I’m starting to get this, Ken!”
Then he added, “I feel more confidence already just knowing what I have learned today! Ken, will you show me the specific steps involved to complete my weight transformation?”
“Nathan, it would be my privilege! Let’s get started!”
Nathan went on to identify over 750 links between his weight transformation and his highest values. He completed the process adjusting several aspects of his thinking and his actions which transformed his weight in a useful and healthy manner. Each of us is capable of transformations once we know how to do it.
“When time and space and change converge, we find presence. We arrive in presence as we resolve things, calm of mind and fuller of understanding. Presence is knowledge of self and nature.” – King Ayles, Author
Until Next time…
So, remember, there is no weight loss…only weight transformation and New Years Resolutions will never be achieved unless they are tied clearly and strongly to your highest values.
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Namaste, (I salute the grandly organized design of the universe, manifested in you!)