Ok, maybe you have done what I have done, a time or two, and rested the entire outcome of your goals on WILLPOWER. The belief that if you are simply just strong enough, you can withstand all the pressure of the world around you to achieve your goals. Like, if you somehow stumble you failed, you aren't good enough, you aren't powerful enough, you aren't deserving because you should have been stronger.
WHAT A JOKE. No seriously - it's actually an appalling tactic. The thought of "willpower" makes me cringe the more I break it down.
Will·pow·er - ˈwilˌpou(ə)r/noun
1 control exerted to do something or restrain impulses.
"most of our bad habits are due to laziness or lack of willpower"
It's an interesting concept that we can control or restrain from impulses! Can we really? Should we? And if we do, what is the cost? What do we suppress when we deny and restrict? And where does it manifest instead?
Now, you probably know I don't work from a place of restriction, I don't think it's super helpful to tell anyone "no, you can't have that" - because that will absolutely be the very first thing you want to go do as soon as we stop chatting.
Food should be a choice. One you consciously connect with and choose. You can choose to have that candy, or you can choose not to. There is no shame in either option, it's simply a process of honoring yourself and what you need at that moment and decide whether it will support or hinder your goal. There is no right or wrong. Maybe today you want the "treat" and maybe tomorrow you don't. Willpower makes you believe that you cannot have it or else you've failed. But let me tell you the longer you live in that mentality, the more likely you are to binge/indulge. I'd rather see people eat a slice of pizza, one scoop of ice cream, or a few candies, rather than binge on a whole pizza, three scoops of ice cream, or a value pack of fuzzy peaches. Let's be honest - there is social value in enjoying what your friends, family, peers, colleagues, kids, and others are enjoying. Feeling like an outcast in a social situation because you are on a "diet" is exactly the mentality that keeps you going back to diets.
Let go of the weight of feeling out of control! You aren't weak. You aren't lacking. You aren't a failure because you had a treat. You are human, you are strong, you are capable!
What happens, when what is happening to you is beyond your control and you are led to believe it's a willpower issue? Say you have a yeast overgrowth, those bugger feed on sugar, well, of course, you want sugar. But you believe it's a willpower issue. You have imbalanced blood sugar, and you crash – of course, you want sugar, it feeds the cycle. You believe it's a willpower issue? You have an underactive or inefficient thyroid and you are struggling to lose weight? You believe it is a willpower issue?
It's damaging and strengthening your fear of food. It's denying you the pleasure of eating, and it is robbing you of some amazing and powerful experiences. And then you go on to believe that you've failed, maybe not for the first time, but of course, you'd end up here. Then your self-worth is diminishing, your light is dulling, and you feel lost and alone and out of control.
I want to tell you, you are not alone. You don't have to believe you have no willpower. There is so much more going on and there are a lot of moving parts.
Sure, it takes dedication, perseverance, soul searching, support, and some big changes to achieve your goals - whether they are food related or life-related. There's no question. But it all boils down to so much more than willpower, so don't throw in the towel yet. You've come this far, and you are worth it. Free yourself of those beliefs, and step into your power, your strength, YOUR TRUTH.
Lead with Love,