I have friends that can go out to eat and order a salad and water and legitimately be fine. They have an insane amount of willpower.
I lost 30 pounds in the span of a year, 50 over a three year period. But I don’t have that kind of willpower. Maybe someday, but I doubt it.
No, I’m the kind of person who sees a cookie and eats a cookie. Mmm, cookies. 😋🍪
I tell people all the time about my pre-cookie monster days. I would dip Oreos in milk, wait forever for it to get soggy and then eat them. When it was all said and done I would might get through three or four. Then I met my husband and one day he just started popping them in his mouth-MIND BLOWN-without the milk (slow down) technique. Ever since that day I’ve been able to polish off a package of Oreos within 48 hours-and that is exercising willpower to me.
Eventually, through lots of ups and down, I realized the only willpower I have when it comes to that kind of crack (yes, I call it crack…some studies point to these types of foods being MORE addictive than crack, yikes) is to not put it near my face. Or hands. Or within walking distance.
NO JUNK IN MY HOUSE. No one was super excited about this idea. But no one else was going to help me lose weight and get healthy. So, no one else got a say in the matter. When I say no junk, I mean no cookies, no crackers, no goldfish, no pudding, no ice cream, no nutrigrain bars, no little debbies, no candy, no pretzels, no chips. It’s even gotten to the point where I rarely keep butter in the house because I can easily MAKE some junk if I have butter. (#skills) You have to take this to your level. My kids have Totinos party pizzas (melted plastic? not sure) on Fridays because I don’t find those tempting. The rest of the family has this super organic, sugar free granola/shredded wheat cereal that I don’t even find tempting. I don’t even buy cheese that I find tempting (though it’s amazing what you’ll eat when you’re starving isn’t it?) So if you find something tempting that you can’t seem to cut your family off of, just find an alternative that you can live without. For example, I hate mint, so if the ice cream/candy is mint flavored, no problem!
NO GOING OUT. I can’t sit at a restaurant and make smart choices. Again, I have friends that order tacos and dump them out of the tortilla, trash the tortilla and just eat the contents. Or friends that eat the burger without the bun. Meanwhile, I’m feeling strong if I don’t get a reorder of fries. This doesn’t mean I don’t ever go out. Actually, I go out once a week. But I eat light that day, run first thing the next morning and usually cleanse with lots of extra veges, no dairy, no bread and lots of water the next day. I workout pretty intensely so I use that as a recovery meal where I tell my body, “No, we’re not starving, we’re fine, here’s some fat, enjoy.” (Yes, I talk to myself)
So, my willpower is NOT stopping at McDonald’s and NOT buying chips. Know thyself, right? Thyself is mostly not capable of saying Thanks but no. (Though it did improve when I started supplementing my diet with some vitamins/minerals/protein/blah blah blah.)
In case you’re wondering, my kids are NOT deprived, As If! If you have a kid you know they are flooded with junk at EVERY turn. School “snack” time, birthdays, Halloween, Easter, Grandparents, WHATEVER. In fact, I am happy I decided to purge the junk because seeing how much they come into contact WITHOUT getting it at home is shocking.
So those are the tips of the day. How do you exercise willpower? It’s certainly a mental thing and everyone has to find their own strategy. Some people need an all or none approach, some need to have a scheduled cheat meal every so often, some people can get by on one Nestle Tollhouse chocolate morsel a day. What’s your willpower strategy?