Wednesday, January 5, 2011

You and I Have A Lot of Willpower

We all talk about lacking willpower when it comes to curbing our eating. The truth is that all of us have a tremendous amount of willpower instead of very little. I imagine my eating desires mirror those of many of you imaginary readers--namely that I would be perfectly happy shoveling 4,000 to 6,000 calories down my throat every day.

Mine would be a desire for all things junk. I could munch all day on candy, chips, and cookies. Just mindless eating at a rapid pace. Yogurt covered cereal bars are a real weakness. Finishing off a 1,200 calorie box of 6 in an hour would be no problem. If there were no consequences, I seriously think that 6,000 calories a day might be on my low side.

Aah, but there are consequences, so I hold my eating down to half of what I desire or even less. Not because anyone forces me to, or because I've run out of money to feed my habit, but because my willpower is strong enough to avoid temptation almost all of the time. What does it take to get all of us over the hump and to the point where our willpower is just a little bit more effective? We say no to so much available food already--every time we walk into a store, a restaurant, our own kitchen--what will change our mindset to the point that we say no enough times to start losing weight?

That's something we all need to think about. I don't have a clearcut answer on how to get myself over that hump so I'm going to give this a lot more thought. You don't need to sit around waiting for my answer which might not apply to your situation anyway. Give it some thought, reflect on how often you are able to turn down food each day, and then come up with a way to boost that willpower just a little bit more to the levels needed for losing weight. We all have this ability to lose weight, we just need to find the key to success that is stored away somewhere in each one of us.


  1. I've always remembered a comment an old friend made to me at a Christmas party many years ago.
    She turned down some tasty treat and I remarked at her willpower and what she said back has stuck in my head for probably 25 years or more.
    She said she felt better about herself if she was a little hungry instead of full.

  2. Anne--I'm just now seeing this comment and it's easy to see how that could have stuck in your head for 25 years. Truthfully, I feel better when eating light instead of stuffing it in. Not better at the moment of consumption, but better in the minutes and hours following the snack or meal. It's really amazing that the moment of consumption is such a powerful satisfaction that it overrides just about everything else.

    Thanks for the comment,