Wednesday , 20 November 2019
Home » Stop Diseases » What it Feels Like to Have Iron Willpower
What it Feels Like to Have Iron Willpower

What it Feels Like to Have Iron Willpower

Photo by Kalexanderson

Photo by Kalexanderson

“I need to get motivated.”

“I need to stop being so lazy.”

“I wish I had her determination.”

“I need to just DO IT.”

I constantly hear people saying these things when they talk about eating better, exercising, or losing weight.

It’s also ingrained in the psyche of our culture. “No pain, no gain.”

Of course, these are all just different ways of saying you wish you had more willpower.

I get it. Willpower is an amazing thing sometimes. And having a strong reserve of it certainly has its advantages.

But there are also serious disadvantages.

I spend a lot of time here on Summer Tomato talking about how willpower doesn’t work for long-term goals. That our brains are built to run on habits, and that self-control should be used sparingly since it takes up so much mental energy.

Whether you agree with this premise or not (apparently this guy doesn’t), today I want to show you that even if you could get healthy through the strength of your iron will, you shouldn’t want to.

I know, because I have really strong willpower. And I used it ruthlessly for 15 years.

When all the other kids in high school were out partying and trying to get into each other’s pants I was doing homework, studying for exams, and working out in the ballet studio.

It wasn’t because I loved studying or dancing until my feet bled. It was because I wanted to get into to college and be thin.

The thing about willpower is it works great for short-term, defined goals, like studying for an exam or prepping for a presentation at work. In those moments of accomplishment it can give you a deep sense of pride in the success you know you earned.

But for a long-term, vague goal like “getting healthy,” willpower goes from being your friend to being your enemy. It becomes the source of your pain and unhappiness.

Without an endpoint for success, you never develop a sense of accomplishment from using your willpower. You might have small victories here or there (I lost 5 lbs! I resisted a cookie!), but there’s always a dozen more challenges in front of you.

It. Never. Ends.

When you are in one of these long, drawn-out willpower battles it drains your spirit. Instead of feeling proud of what you have worked for, you feel demoralized that you still have to fight another day.

And what no one ever tells you is that this is true whether or not you hit your goal.

I spent plenty of my life at size 0. But as long as I was dieting to stay there my willpower felt like constant hunger.

It felt like anxiety when I had to go to a restaurant.

It felt like guilt to eat a full plate of food.

It felt like shame when I had to wear a bathing suit in front of my friends. (Yes, even skinny dieters are still dieting because they aren’t happy).

Willpower feels like endless work, and endless failure. Like you need to keep working harder, because you still aren’t good enough.

When you always use it, willpower feels like torture.

You may look at a thin dieter and think, “Wow, I wish I could do that.” But the truth is you don’t. Because it sucks.

The whole point of living a healthy life is to feel good. Striving toward health rests on the fundamental belief that you deserve to feel great, look great, and live to your fullest potential. That is a fantastic ambition.

But pushing yourself toward health with willpower undermines this goal. Because even if you could do it, it feels terrible.

It feels way better to work with yourself instead of against yourself.

How does willpower make you feel?

Originally published January 26, 2015.

Click Here For Original Source Of The Article

Check Also

Is this Celiac Awareness or Fear-Mongering?

I’m warning you ahead of time…this post may be a bit sloppy and all over the place (kinda like my sex life when I was younger) as I’m still trying to grapple with my thoughts behind it. Ok…here we go. As most of you probably know, May is Celiac Awareness Month and lots of bloggers […]

The post Is this Celiac Awareness or Fear-Mongering? appeared first on Gluten Dude.

Need Your Help Passing the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act 2019

They say that common etiquette means not talking about sex, religion or politics. Hmmm…I’ve already talked about sex drive, if sperm is gluten free, and gluten-free sex for only $27. I’ve also discussed if you can pray your celiac away and if a church has the right to ban gluten-free hosts. Since we’ve already pretty […]

The post Need Your Help Passing the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act 2019 appeared first on Gluten Dude.

$100,000 Lawsuit for Getting Glutened? C’mon!

There is a Twitter account called Endless Screaming. Every time he or she tweets, it’s simply: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! That’s exactly my reaction to a fellow celiac suing a Las Vegas restaurant $100,000 for causing “permanent injury” after getting glutened. I’ll say it again: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Here’s the article. And here’s the Gluten Dude breakdown. A Los Angeles […]

The post $100,000 Lawsuit for Getting Glutened? C’mon! appeared first on Gluten Dude.

And the Beet Goes On…For 4 Days!

This post may contain a little bit TMI for some folks out there. No…I won’t be talking about Sonny and Cher, but about digestion and my…wait for it…poop. And more specifically how long it takes my body to process food, between the time I eat it and the time it’s outta my system and into […]

The post And the Beet Goes On…For 4 Days! appeared first on Gluten Dude.

How to get healthy without dieting | Darya Rose | TEDxSalem

 My TEDxSalem talk is live! In it I describe what I believe are the three most essential psychological strategies you need to build better habits and stop dieting for good. And since I know you’re curious, I was 8 months pregnant and this was shot just days before the eternal misery of the third […]

Leave a Reply