Yes, But…

“If you want something you’ve never had before, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done before.” – Drina Reed

Thursday is Ladies’ Night at The Augusta Pub, the one place in town where you can procure an alcoholic beverage, other than beer. Actually, on any night from Wednesday through Saturday you can find any number of women in attendance; but Thursday is the ‘official’ Ladies’ Night, which doesn’t mean much, come to think of it – no drink specials – except for that it has become a gathering space for the women in our tiny town to share with each other and re-connect. And, this is where I was last Thursday evening, raising a Killian’s to a friend who just started a new job.

However, my story is not about this particular Ladies’ Night, where we sipped our drinks on a warm spring evening on the lovely patio of The Pub. The night I want to talk about took place several weeks ago on a chilly evening inside…

…Coach Walks Into a Bar 17057052_s

Picture this: As I sit innocently sipping a glass of Chardonnay and chatting with a friend, another acquaintance joins us at the bar and the conversation turns to the weight she has gained over the winter. My friend tips her head in my direction and says, “You need to talk to Lisa – that’s what she does – she coaches women to help them lose weight and things like that. And, she’s really, reealllly goooooooood.” (I’m not exaggerating – she really said it like that – she’s a good friend!) I engage our acquaintance and kind of give her a quick rundown of what coaches do and ask her to take a look at my website.

She continues on to tell that very familiar story of the fact that she’s tried every diet in the world and nothing works. She loses a few pounds, then ditches the diet and gains it back, but she’s thinking about giving Weight Watchers another try. I nod sympathetically and tell her that I’ve worked with women for 15 years and I’ve heard the same story many, many times. Now granted, coaches aren’t supposed to wear the ‘expert’ hat, but taking into consideration that I’m ‘off duty’ and this is someone I know, I proceed to share with her that the reason she and so many others have been unsuccessful losing weight on diets is because diets don’t work. I go on to tell her about intuitive or mindful eating and the work I do with Dr. Michelle May’s Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program.

And, then she says…

Yes, but…

Ah, yes, but… Not, wow, I’ve never heard of that and it sounds intriguing – tell me more! No, I get a ‘Yes, but…’ These are not words a coach wants to hear – ‘off duty’ or not. Because this means anything I say will fall on deaf ears, since this person is not ready to keep a promise to herself to do what she says she wants to do. Conversations like this can quickly turn into a watermelon seed spitting contest. And, I don’t really want to be part of one of those…I don’t like anything to do with spit (Just ask my son, who played the saxophone and explained to me what cleaning out the ‘spit valve’ meant – Gag, gag).

But, I digress…

“Yes, but don’t you think that Weight Watchers is the best diet program?” she offers. I answer that in my experience I have found that externally motivated, rules-oriented programs don’t work in the long run.

(Now, I really don’t want this post to turn into a primer on mindful eating – I’m gonna talk about that in another post, but if you want more info on that now, you can find it here.)

“Oh,” she says. “Well, how much does this Am I Hungry? program cost?” I tell her and she balks even though it works out to be less per session for the 8-week program than what ongoing Weight Watchers meetings cost. When I point this fact out, she insists…

…Yes, but… don’t you REALLY think that Weight Watchers is better?


About that time, another friend bellies up to the bar and engages me in conversation, saving me from the sticky wicket that I have gotten myself into. No good deed goes unpunished, you know. I finish my wine, say my goodbyes and exit, stage left.

The Punch Line…

Are you a ‘Yes, but-ter? Come on, be honest. We all are, to a certain extent – doing things the same old way, not open to a new way. We want to stay with the familiar, even though it’s not working anymore or never worked in the first place. We’re afraid of the unknown. We don’t want to ‘fail’ again. We’re not sure what people will think of us. We don’t think we deserve success, happiness or any of those pie-in-the-sky dreams.

  • So, you want to exercise regularly. Yes, but…I don’t have the time.
  • So, you want to go back to college or change your career path. Yes, but…I’m too old to do that now.
  • So, you want to choose healthier foods. Yes, but…I’ll never get the family to eat that.

Lose the ‘but’… Get out of  your comfort zone, ‘cause nothing is gonna change if you’re not willing to try something different.

  • So, you want to exercise regularly. Yes…I make time in my schedule, so it’s part of my self-care routine – like brushing my teeth. It feels great to get my body moving – I feel stronger and I’m starting to drop the extra weight I’ve been carrying around.
  • So, you want to go back to college or change your career path. Yes…I love to learn new things and I feel very excited about a new career that utilizes all my talents and skills.
  • So, you want to choose healthier foods. Yes…I found healthy and delicious foods that the entire family loves. I feel so much better about our nutrition, now.

Yeah, right, Lisa, losing the ‘but’ is easier said than done.

True. I understand, believe me I do – been there. And, I also know that when you’re truly ready to commit to yourself,  you will be able to open to the ‘Yes’ of a new way and your vision will be strong enough to inspire you over any ‘but’ that comes along.

If you’d like to learn how to lose the ‘but,’ contact me for a 30-minute coaching consultation at no charge. Please leave your comments, questions and ideas below. And, remember, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” -George Eliot

With love from your partner on the path,

Lisa :-)

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5 responses to “Yes, But…”

  1. Hey Lisa,

    Great post on getting “but” out of your life. It’s one of those scene changing devices.

    People often don’t want to change their circumstance because of what might happen if they do. It often seems more like a fear of what comes after, the unknown. Just like your quote says, it requires courage to go into the unknown. Something of course our schools/work and other institutions don’t want. Heaven forbid folks actually do “things” without getting someone’s permission other than their own.

    Maybe make it “but of course!”

    Thanks, G.

  2. Hey Lisa, great post. Makes perfect sense on so many levels. Actually, though
    I don’t currently have a weight problem, would sure like to get a few ‘buts’ out of my life. Think you can help me get rid of them?? ;^)