A few thoughts regarding “Willpower”


People say it to me all the time “Oh I just have no willpower”.  And I always say “I don’t either!”

You place me alone in a room with any amount of baked goods and I’m probably going to eat them, especially if I’m alone.  I can’t walk past a candy dish without grabbing some.  You don’t get to be super fat like I am/was by having a strong sense of restraint.

The good news, you don’t need it. Not at first anyway. There are ways around it, if you want it badly enough.  This is how I’ve made it this far:

1. Even if you can’t control your SELF, you can absolutely control your SITUATION. Can’t leave that ice cream alone? Why the fuck is it in your freezer then? Don’t buy it. Don’t even walk down that aisle. Don’t think about it. You are going to have weak moments. I do. I have about 400 of them a day. Luckily, there’s no damned ice cream in my freezer.  I read recently that you only have a certain amount of willpower a day. Don’t waste it while you’re at home, save it for the tough times. There will be many tough times.

2. Prepare for the tough times, and know thyself. I KNOW I’m hungriest in the afternoon, and weakest at night. I keep snacks in my car, so I have no excuse to hit a drive through in the afternoon. At night, I know what I’m really craving is sweets. I can fight it, or I can find ways to work with it. Sugar free chocolate pudding takes the edge off, and then I try to stay busy, or just go to bed. Boredom is my demon. What’s yours?

3. Do it anyway. Come to terms with this absolute truth: You will never, ever “feel like” passing on cake and going for a run instead. It’s not going to happen. But..if I think about all the shit I don’t feel like doing, and manage to do anyway..well, it becomes obvious I don’t have to feel like it to do it. I can’t remember the last morning I popped up out of bed, ready to get the day started, got dressed and tore into work. Please. Just about every day, when my alarm goes off, I groan and think “FUCK! I don’t feel like it!”

But then I roll out of bed, throw on some clothes and get shit done, because I have to.  Make time to make your lunch in the morning. Make time to go for a walk. Stop whining about it’s too hot, too cold, your vagina hurts, what the fuck ever. Just do it anyway and stop waiting for lightning to strike. The difference between you and the people who are succeeding isn’t some personality trait. It’s just that they do it, and you don’t.

4. Make the better choice, the easier choice. We’re all a little bit lazy. I know I am. I didn’t get this way by not being lazy. Work with it. I know I’m not going to put on clothes and drive to the grocery store just to get some chips. I’ll just eat the damned carrots in my fridge, I guess.  This one takes some prepwork. Some times the only thing that stops me from raiding the vending machine at work is that I don’t have any cash on me, and I’d have to go and get my debit card from the car and get cash out and..oh forget it. I’ll just eat my damned carrots.

See how that works?

Sometimes it’s unavoidable to screw up. I’ve been stuck for a few months, bouncing around the same five stupid lbs. Now I’m starting to realize that willpower’s a muscle I have to develop. From here on out, it’s going to take more to get me past this plateau I’m at presently. When I figure it out, I’ll be sure to let you guys know what I figured out. But if you’re just starting out, and waiting for inspiration to strike, don’t hold your breath. Just lace up your shoes and fucking do it anyway.