26. The Power of Your Decision
Welcome to episode 26 of the Mindful Weight Loss podcast. This podcast is six months old - yay! I am your host and your coach, Emily Erekuff and today I want to talk about the power of decision. And I have a little personal story to start us off with.
So a few weekends ago, the weather was really gorgeous. I live in Seattle and it got up to like 80 degrees. And just before Christmas our family got a few kayaks and we've been really excited to try them out, so we took them out on the water with a few friends. And now, I have been canoeing a ton as a kid, and my husband and I had an inflatable boat that we've used various times, so I feel pretty comfortable on the water, I always have a good life jacket, but after this trip I definitely realized that I needed to brush up on my safety precautions, namely to wear some kind of wetsuit when the water is cold, which it always is up here in the PNW, and also to practice getting back into the kayak in case you tip, which is not exactly what happened,
So, we're out on a pretty shallow bay heading for a small island that's not too far away, and there are ton's of seals popping their heads up and I'm excited to get closer to the seals so I'm paddling away, and then when I look back to see where my friends are, I see that one of our friends has tipped his kayak. I paddle back to where he is and watch as he tries to get back in a few times, but he just can't keep it steady. And a few friends try to help hold the boat steady from the ends, but it's just not working, and so I move alongside his boat and put some of my weight on it in the middle to hold it steady, and, I wasn't leaning too much, and he was so close to getting in, but next thing I know I'm in the water. It happened so fast I think he maybe overshot and then tipped over the top and brought me in with him.
And man the water is cold. I think it was in the 40s because it's still only April, and that's why I should have worn a wetsuit. And I have my life jacket on and we're not that far from shore, but because it was far enough and because that water was cold, my thought was I need to get back in my boat. I need to get out of this water. I'm not going to be like my friend. I'm getting back in my boat.
And so my husband helped get the water out, and I got back in my boat. I got a lot of water in it as I did it, but it wasn't enough to tip me. And then I rowed my ass to the shore, so I could get the rest of the water out and kayak back to where we took off. And yes, I'm buying a pump so I'll be able to pump that water out next time.
My friend meanwhile did not get back in his boat but he is ok. He also had a life jacket and hung on to the back of his wife's kayak and she towed him to the shore and he was very cold, but got warmed up quickly and he's completely fine.
So what the heck does this have to do with weight loss?
Well, let me tell you. To this day, I have no idea how I actually got back into my kayak. I hadn't practiced and I had never done it before and I had no idea of the technique. And I know the execution wasn't perfect. Heck I got a good amount of water in my boat doing it. But it's not like I tried a few times and eventually got in. I was one and done. I didn't try. I just did it.
A friend told me that it was pretty graceful, and my husband and another friend talked about my form and I guess I did heave myself up on top on my stomach and turn myself over, but honestly I remember none of that.
So how the heck did I get in? I credit my decision, my thoughts. I looked at the shore for half a second and it was like, no, I'm not swimming. I'm getting in the boat. No doubt, no questions, no second-guessing or wavering. And yeah, I didn't even consider how. I just decided and I did it.
And look, you could definitely call that lucky. And I wouldn't argue with you. I had a different style kayak than my friend. I'm also a lot lighter. Yeah, there was certainly a lot on my side.
But my mindset was as sharp, clear and determined as it has ever been in my life. And I know without a doubt that enabled me to get back in. I could have just as easily panicked and, especially after watching my friend try multiple times to get back in and fail, I could have thought, there's no way I can do this. I could have thought that I don't know how. Because I didn't. I could have thought, I'm not strong enough, because guys, I lift weights, but I'd still consider myself a beginner with a fairly weak upper body. I could have been timid about it. I could have overthought it. I could have asked for someone to tell me how to do it. I could have asked someone if I should even do it verses swimming for the shore.
But I didn't do any of that. I told myself that I was getting back in that boat and I made it happen, or maybe the universe or God made it happen for me. But I made that decision. I had the focus, the drive to get back in the boat. And that's why it happened.
And the lesson I want to offer from this is how powerful your decision is. I think so many of us think, it's just a thought, you can't see it, so what's it worth. But it is the thing that has the power to create reality. Thoughts create things, decisions create destiny. Your thoughts are the key to everything and when they come from a powerful place, like from deep in your gut, it's less like thinking and more like knowing. I didn't think I was getting back in my boat. I knew.
And you can be that sure, that certain, that you will (not can, will) stop overeating and lose excess weight. It can be a given. It can be as good as done. And when that decision is that powerful, you become more powerful, you become resourceful, you become willing to fall or fail, because your belief doesn't waver. There is no failing when you know it's going to happen. You just try another way, another how. And you keep going until you get where you want to go.
And speaking of how, and this is really important: The how is what you need to let go of in order to make that powerful decision.
We humans we love our brains and we love to overthink things and so when we think about making a decision (and notice we don't just make a decision) we think about making a decision. We think about thinking. We create pro con lists and we create plans and strategies first before we decide. We try to work out the how before we decide because we're unsure. It's just like having to see it to believe it. If we can see how it might happen, well then we can feel sensible and make the decision, make the choice to believe in that specific outcome.
But ironically that process is backwards and it doesn't really convince us. It doesn't really assuage the doubts that are lurking in the back of our mind. Because your mind is all over the place. Just like one moment you can think you look good and the next minute you think you look terrible, when you make a, let's call it a weak decision from the place of just the intellect, one moment you can be confident and the next you'll feel doubtful. And at the first sign of difficulty or struggle, you'll think "I can't do this."
Conversely a powerful decision isn't made from the head, from the intellect. It's made from the gut, from deep down in that soul space of knowing. And it doesn't need a pro con list and most importantly, it doesn't need to know how. It doesn't need to see it to believe it.
And for that very reason it's more powerful. It doesn't need to see that it's been done before or that it can be done. It knows that the decision is the power. The decision is what will determine your future reality. The decision is what makes it happen.
So you want to lose weight. Maybe you even decide to lose weight, but you're not sure how, so you decide to go on a diet or complete a workout program, or maybe you do both of these things.
But then they don't work. The diet probably isn't sustainable, and the exercise program is probably too advanced, not to mention that the level of change is probably too much and is stressing you out - so then you stop and you think we'll that doesn't work, I guess I can't really decide to lose weight. Translation. I guess I don't really have the power to lose weight. Because your power wasn't your power, it was the power of the program. You never really believed in yourself to begin with, you believed in the diet or the exercise program.
And then you repeat this cycle however many times with new diets, new exercise programs.
But imagine instead if you made a powerful decision to lose weight and you didn't concern yourself with the how. Can you feel what I'm talking about and how powerful that is? I'm sure some of you think it's crazy, but I know some of you are like tuning into your gut and you really know what I mean, or at least you have an inkling.
What if you made that decision and then allowed the how to be revealed to you over time? What if you had that faith, belief and trust in yourself and in life.
If we don't know the how right away we say, it's not sensible, we think we need to be able to control all the factors in order to create the outcome, but really I think that's just an excuse not to believe. Because believing is a little bit scary. It's surrendering to the unknown. It's signing up for this journey and you're not sure where it will take you.
There's this great book that I just read to my kindergartner called Jabari Jumps and it's about a little boy who is going to jump off the diving board for the first time. And at first he's excited, but then he gets closer and realizes how high it is and he lets all the other kids go in front of him and starts looking like he's going to put it off until tomorrow. But then his dad reframes the situation and tells him that when he's scared he takes a deep breath and reminds himself that he likes surprises.
And that totally clicks for Jabari and he jumps and of course he loves it.
And honestly that's what we need more of when it comes to weight loss. Instead of trying to micromanage ourselves and planning out the next three months of our lives, we could just allow ourselves to be surprised and delighted.
Greg Laurie said "God's plans are better than any plans you have for yourself."
And Thomas Edison said "If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves."
What if you allowed God or the Universe's plans to unfold before you. What if you allowed yourself to be astounded?
I have no idea why we are here on this earth, but I am certain that we didn't come here to have it all planned out. And so much of the time we're planning from a consciousness that doesn't allow us to see the full picture and so we don't make great plans for ourselves. But when we make a powerful decision and take just that first step, we evolve and that's what allows us to see the next best step, and we take that and our consciousness expands again so that we can see the next step.
So when you think about losing weight, let go of the how, because it's not available to you yet. Stop trying to see the finish because that's not where you are yet. But that doesn't mean you can't make a powerful decision to get to that place. Not knowing the how, not seeing the finish line - it doesn't mean those things don't exist or won't exist in the future. And when you make a decision and stop needing proof that it's the right one, stop looking for proof that it will work, and commit to it no matter what, that's the most powerful decision you can make, and that's the decision that's going to produce results.
I hope you enjoyed this episode and I want to remind once again to check out my free 7-day kickstart challenge. Over 7 days, I will teach you the 5 keys to stop overeating and binge eating and help you create a daily habit of success. Check the show notes or visit mindfulweightlosscoach.com/start to sign up.
And I'll see you next week.