Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Losing Weight has less to do with *willpower* than you think...

People talk to me all the time about my weight loss. Many times they express a desire to lose weight but claim they don't have the WILLPOWER. But it takes a lot less willpower than people realize - Let me explain.

First of all, you need to be READY to make this or any significant change in your life. Weight loss is so mental and if you aren't ready mentally, you will likely not succeed. The good thing is that at that beginning stage you are typically highly motivated. Because of that initial motivation, your willpower tends to be very strong and hardly challenged. There will be occasions when it is called upon (and I will blog about my strategies for those situations at another time). But the longer you are on plan, the less you rely on willpower because what happens is you will actually completely change how you view, and why you eat, food...

I've noticed huge changes in this regard. All the things I thought I would struggle with and miss about my old way of eating have virtually disappeared. Over time it has become less of a struggle to stay away from certain foods and limit portions. Why? Because I have learned so much along the way. My relationship with food has completely changed. I actually view food as "fuel" now - I consume it for the basic purpose of nourishment and keeping me healthy (what a crazy concept, huh?). It is no longer a drug to cheer me up or an activity to kill time. I want to put good things in my body simply because they make me feel good physically and mentally! I have no desire to go back to that old way of eating. It disgusts me to even think about some of the things I used to do or eat.

Here's some ways my entire mindset has shifted:
  • I know how good it feels to stop when I am satisfied - before I get full - so portion control is not as challenging anymore.
  • I know how good I feel when I eat real, healthy and wholesome foods, so I severely limit sweets and processed foods. I significantly reduced the frequency I would indulge in them - Now I save them for special occasions and eat a smaller portion than I would have before.
  • I know how eating certain foods trigger cravings and zap my energy, so I avoid them. I know the outcome and it's just not worth it to me anymore.
  • I actually do not even have the desire to eat the way I used to! The idea of hitting a fast food place couldn't be less appealing to me.
  • I know how amazing it feels to be in control, and on program and to know that no matter what the scale says that week, I know I did well, and I can be proud of my choices. That feeling is priceless!
The bottom line is that I have learned so many good behaviors that they come much more naturally now - simply because I know the outcome of giving into temptation (immediate and long term) and I also know how great I feel when I eat correctly. I keep all of that in mind when making my choices and rely less on willpower.

3 comments:

  1. I totally agree with this post, I know its an old one, but you really should reiterate this point in a new blog.

    When I started in January, I knew it was a little cliche, but I didn't realize this until *after* I had decided to change.

    I woke up one day and said I am going to do it this time. This time it *is* different. So I started tracking my calories. And the next day, I got up and it still felt the same. Different. It's not about me secretly hoping that I don't fail.
    This time I know I will do it, because I want to do it. I know I will face many challenges and I've already gone off plan a little, but honestly, I still feel the same. I took control.

    Thanks for all your inspiration, your successes and sharing your less than stellar moments. It really helps make you seem more real. Just because I never met you doesnt mean I dont know what you've gone through/are still going through

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  2. I love everything about this blog! The spunk, the colors, the SUCCESS. WTG and thanks for putting it out there for the rest of us who follow!

    Carly over at http://thenextrightchoice.blogspot.com

    :-)

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