Mon, Jan 26, 2015

Weight Loss, Health & Fitness

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Have You Got Strong Willpower & If Not How Do You Get It?

Willpower is a strange but common complaint that I hear again and again from clients who are trying to lose weight.

“My problem is I just don’t have any will power!”

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. – Vince Lombardi


Willpower Is Your Ability To Set A Course Of Action And Stay Engaged With It!

Willpower is like anything else, you can teach it to yourself if you are prepared to put in a little time and effort.  You wouldn’t expect to be able to speak a foreign language without practicing it first would you and willpower is no different by practising your willpower techniques you’ll find that it will soon become available for your use,  whenever you need it.

Think about it for a moment outside the weight loss arena.  How many things do you do each day that you don’t really want to do but you do them because if you don’t then tomorrow you’ve just got a bigger job to do, a larger hill to climb.

– Wash the dishes
– Vacuum the house
– Take the dog for a walk even when it’s raining
– Get up in the morning and take a shower when you’d really rather have an extra 10 minutes in bed
– Clean the house
– Take out the rubbish
– Do the shopping
– Wash the car
– Power wash the drive and so on

These are all things that our inner conscious is telling us we don’t want to do but we do them because we already have willpower and self-control, we might procrastinate for a little while before we do them but in the end we do them because we know we have to.

Having willpower when trying to lose weight is really no different we just view it differently because we treat it as an excuse for our failure, something to hide behind and blame.  Our willpower isn’t always with us, it’s a temporary state that comes in bouts and then disappears again.  Willpower requires conscious focus, and conscious focus is very draining and cannot be maintained for long periods of time. Something will eventually distract us and then our willpower is lost again but the trick here is to have simple plans in place to help us on those down days which will help us refocus again and as quickly as possible.

Finding the willpower in the first place and building up the momentum is the hardest part but generally with weight loss the enthusiasm experienced at the beginning of a new weight loss programme is more than enough to harness and focus you to make a plan and execute the necessary changes around your home that will make life so much easier for you on the days when your motivation has gone or is at a low.

Make Your Willpower Battle Plan

For example think of it as your battle plan.  You are fighting the enemy and you need to be ready for when the enemy attack, you need to have all your soldiers ready to respond to the attacks where and whenever they might strike because for sure it’s not a case of if they attack, it’s most definitely a case of when.

1) Firstly identify all your weak spots (potential enemy attacks), like biscuits, chocolate, crisps, sweets, nuts, junk food, processed or ready meals and remove them from your home.  This includes anything that you enjoy and that might tempt you to overeat.

2) Then take a piece of paper and on one side write down everything that you like to eat.  Now turn it over and divide that side into two columns one headed up ‘Healthy’ and the other ‘Unhealthy’.  Now go through your list and pick out the foods that you like and which fall into the healthy category and write them down.

Yes I appreciate that there will be more unhealthy foods no doubt than healthy but don’t worry, just focus on the healthy ones for this exercise.

Ok so now you have your list of healthy foods (these are your soldiers) the foods that you actually enjoy eating.   These are the foods that should always have available in your cupboards so that you can call upon them when you are attacked!

3) Now on your next day off, sit down and decide which meals you are going to cook throughout that week.  Literally make yourself a menu for each day.  Then go to the supermarket and buy everything you need to prepare those meals for that week.  If you have all the ingredients in to cook healthy meals on an evening then this will stop you having to call into the supermarket or worse still the fast food shop on your way home from work when you are tired and hungry and in a place where you are unable to make healthy decisions (a high potential for enemy attack).

4) One very important thing to remember here is to make sure you have eaten before you visit the supermarket for your shopping otherwise you’ll spend more money than is necessary and you’ll end up with a basket full of unhealthy food (another potential enemy attack).

5) And finally make yourself a food diary, everyone thinks they don’t work but believe me they do.  Those who complete a food diary have far quicker and greater success, without a doubt, than those who don’t.

Taking these few simple steps and getting yourself prepared for the ‘War’ ahead means that on the days that you are lacking willpower you can go and find something in the house that tempts you but is still healthy ie (when ‘war’ breaks out and the enemy attack you, you have all your soldiers and ammunition in place to fight the battle and win of course!)

Remember if you don’t have rubbish in the house you can’t eat rubbish when the enemy start trying to attack.

Nobody is perfect and nobody has perfect self-control which is all that willpower is but the great news is that once you start practising the art of willpower you’ll find it easier and easier to do.  At first it might seem difficult to resist certain foods and getting into the habit of saying ‘no’ can be a struggle to begin with but all you are doing is learning how to break old habits and learn some new ones.

Three weeks is about the length of time they reckon it takes to break a habit or to learn a new one so of course for that 3 week period you’re going to have to be hard with yourself and dig deep but after that it will just become easier and easier to say ‘no’.

The more you say ‘no’ the easier it becomes but following the steps provided above will without doubt help you breeze more easily through those challenging weeks which you must remember may strike at anytime, not necessarily at the beginning of your new weight loss regime, oh no, in fact for the first few weeks the enthusiasm and challenge of starting something new may carry you along absolutely fine, it’s generally as things start to settle down and the mundane takes over that you start to experience a loss of willpower and that’s when you can start to have a little fun and play some willpower mind games (see separate post).

Apart from the tactics listed above there are other simple things that you can do to both boost your weight loss results and the control of your mind (see separate post)

Please leave a comment or click the ‘share’ buttons at the top if you enjoyed reading this post.

Contact Rachel Moore, Weight Loss – Made Simple, Kent Road, Harrogate, 01423 529 708 for further information on weight loss, wellness or willpower


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