Hi there, Journal & Friends,
I think Willpower is over-rated. I don't put much stock in it... it has always failed me in the past. My supply of it is miniscule.
Someone once left me a nice comment, saying they admired my willpower... I laughed right out loud!
Admire my will power... say what??!
Na Uh.... not me.
To me, willpower is like a flash... like the initial spark given off by a spark plug. Then it is spent... and then I am relying on the OTHER things I have learned over the years.
That spark is great to get those OTHER things set into motion, though. Fortunately, that initial spark of willpower only needs to last long enough to ignite those things in my life that have been the true source of my progress. Things like:
ROUTINES... habits, things to do that become automatic. They don't require willpower, you just do them out of habit. Once set into place, and repeated enough, they carry you when you don't "feel" like it.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL... you can't eat what's not here! Getting the current problem foods out of my house, out of my immediate reach. Some people can eat a little bit of anything, some can't. Um... I can't. Right now, sugar will set off nutso cravings for me. So, in order to reach my goals, I am willing to NOT eat it.
REGULAR WEIGH INS... knowing that I will see the results of my choices. This is a good kind of pressure for me. Whatever the results are, the information is always useful to me.
SUBSTITUTE FAVORITES... to take the place of the foods that still affect me too much (sugar)... this way I don't feel left out or abnormal or resentful. Yes, all rather immature reactions, but it is what it is... for now. I expect it will be better in time.
REWARDS... to add some enjoyment and fun to the process of change. Since my journey is soooo long (I started at 460lbs) I find I need to break it up into fun mini-goals, and enjoy little rewards along the way. NON-edible rewards, just to be clear. ;-)
SUBSTITUTE BEHAVIORS... this is a biggee...things to do that are instantly available INSTEAD of eating, at those times when hit with strong impulses. Gotta just hold out for little while, and the impulse will usually fade. The best for ME is something creative, I get lost in time and the pressure to eat gets more and more quiet.
Also, at times I need to examine those feelings, and face my stuff, not stuff my face. For me, it's a situational thing, as to which I do. If it's just long-standing habits (like wanting to eat whenever I turn on the tv) then I use the substitute behaviors. If it's some kind of inner turmoil that I need to deal with instead of eating, then I've just gotta face it and deal with it, not numb it with food. See the diff??
At one time I wrote out a whole list of substitute behaviors... things to do that were incompatible with eating. In other words, something to do during which I can NOT EAT. For example: can you eat while taking a nice hot shower? Or with both hands busy crocheting? Or while outside going for a brisk walk holding little dumbells?
Anyway, if you are relying on Willpower to see you through a long journey, please re-examine that method. There is so much more than that to carry you all the way to victory. Those of us that have lost a bunch of weight are no different than those that are just starting... we just figured out what works for us.
If you are at the beginning of your journey, I hope this helps you see that there is no magic formula, no exceptional person... that YOU can do this too.
CHOOSE to do it.
Whatever it takes.
Be honest with yourself.
Remember WHY you are doing it.
One good choice at a time.
It will be worth it.
From Dr Phil's book: "You must have a new conversation with yourself that responds to negative messages truthfully and positively."
My verse for today: "Praise the Lord, O my soul... who satisfies your desire with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."
My quote for today: "Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival." --Winston Churchill
Enjoy the Journey,