Get off the Fence

Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”

326-November 22

“If American men are obsessed with money, American women are obsessed with weight. The men talk of gain, the women talk of loss, and I do not know which talk is the more boring.”—Marya Mannes

My friend, Kathy, was unhappy with her weight. She complained about it all the time and agonized about trying to lose weight. She didn’t diet, mind you, she just talked about dieting and whether or not she should go on one. Every time we got together, it was “Oh, I just know I’m too fat!” and “Do you think I look too fat?” (Usually, we were eating rich, fattening foods at the same time she was complaining about her weight.) I began to get bored with this topic of conversation because there was never any action, never any movement, just endless repetitions of the dilemma. Kathy was all talk, no ships.

Finally, one day as she passed a mirror, she looked at herself sideways and then turned to me and said, “Do you think I look fat?” and I said, “Yes.” The look of shock on her face told me I had her attention.

“Kathy, you’re my friend and I love you,” I said. “I don’t care how much you weigh. My relationship and quality of friendship with you will be the same, whether you wear a size 6 or a size 16. Your weight has nothing to do with the wonderful times we have sharing our hopes and dreams, our philosophies and laughter. What matters is that you’re happy. Happy people are generally more fun to be around. Now, you can be happy as a size 16 or happy as a size 6—it doesn’t matter to me. But please just choose a size you want, go there, and be content. I will support you and love you, no matter what your choice.”

She stared at me for a long moment. Then, thoughtfully, she said, “I think size 6 sounds good.”

I said, “Great! Then let’s go to the healthy salad bar place for lunch today.”

During the next six months, Kathy dropped forty pounds. And she was happy every day doing it, because she got off the fence, chose a goal, and sent out a ship every day towards its achievement. Her dieting ships were: Join a gym, exercise every day, eat healthier foods, eat fewer foods, think thin. Her rewards were compliments, new clothes in smaller sizes, and self-satisfaction.

If you want to lose weight, do what it takes to lose weight. If you don’t want to do what it takes, choose to be happy with the weight you’ve chosen. Remember that Marilyn Monroe was a size twelve. Find role models at the weight you are—these days, they come in all sizes, shapes and ages.

But in any case, don’t talk about it.

Today’s Affirmation: “I am a beautiful soul, wrapped up in a beautiful package!”

$25 ice cream cones in Rome

This is an area where I admit to losing patience with people – when they go on and on over the same ground with their “Pro/Con” arguments about whether or not to take a particular action, or even worse, they made a decision already and can’t let go of worrying whether or not they made the right decision. I know they are just trying on different future scenarios and looking to see what is the best course of action and it helps to bounce ideas off of someone else and get responses. I’m willing to play the game up to a point, but I want it to quickly resolve in a decision, followed by positive action in the chosen direction. When the same conversation happens again, going over the same questions, I tend to get irritable.

For example, a client of mine was trying to decide whether or not she had made the right decision in hiring a consultant. She was really second-guessing herself – she had made the choice seeing many good qualities in the consultant and feeling good about their skills and connections. But then she’d hear about another consultant and wonder if she made the right choice after all, and start worrying about the possible defects in the person’s character or resume that would make the outcome of their work together not be as successful as it might be if she hired someone else.

The third time our conversation went in that direction, I just had to excuse myself and tell her that there is no way to know beforehand if the person you’ve hired is going to produce the result you want or not. You can endlessly search for the perfect consultant, you can doubt every person you hire, you can always think of someone else who might have been better. But this kind of second-guessing just steals your energy and projects fear of failure into your visions of the future. At some point, you just have to make a decision to the best of your ability in the moment. Then stick with it.

Have faith in your choice. Do affirmations and visualize your dreams coming true!

Prosperity is a habit. You have to practice it every day.

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Chellie Campbell is a Financial Stress Reduction® Coach and the author of The Wealthy Spirit, Zero to Zillionaire, and From Worry to Wealthy. She is one of Marci Shimoff's “Happy 100” in her NYT bestseller Happy for No Reason and contributed stories to Jack Canfield’s books You’ve Got to Read This Book! and Life Lessons from Chicken Soup for the Soul. Past president of the LA Chapter NAWBO, she was "Most Inspirational Speaker" by Women in Management and "Speaker of the Year" by the Association of Women Entrepreneurs. She does daily inspirational videos in The Wealthy Spirit Group on Facebook.

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