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There's No Such Thing as a Lack of Willpower

Aug 17, 2007
Many dieters fail to follow through on their food plans and inevitably blame one culprit - willpower. Some will argue that there's no such thing - you either make a choice and stick to it, or you don't.

Others feel willpower is a mystical component of ourselves which is guiding us in the choices we make. You might not have an opinion about willpower, but feel comfortable using it as your excuse whenever you make the wrong choice about what you should be eating.

When you're digging around in the refrigerator at 2 o'clock in the morning and wind up devouring an entire chocolate pie, it's not willpower's fault - it's a decision you made and need to be responsible for.

You also shouldn't attach any guilt to that decision. Just because you hold yourself responsible for a dieting mishap, it isn't any reason to beat yourself up and label yourself a failure. There will be plenty more opportunities to prove yourself in the near future.

From now on, when you're dealing with an inner battle between caving in and quitting and staying the perfect path to success, stop and realize that there's a solid middle ground you can adhere to.

You desperately desire that chocolate pie, but the diet says you're not supposed to have any form of sweets at all. Instead of using the dieter's excuse of no willpower and eating the entire pie in just under two minutes flat, give yourself permission to indulge just a little bit. Even if it's a full slice it would be better than eight slices.

Take preventative action by giving yourself permission to learn and make mistakes and recover. Dieting and learning how to eat healthy takes time - it's not a skill you'll master overnight.

Make sure that before you make any decisions (even those which mean you'll steer off the dieting path temporarily), you take ample time to consider the consequences. Don't rush into anything.

Even giving pause to your good eating habits will only help to instill them into your daily routine. We're not programmed to think before we eat in today's world. We're usually on the go, in a hurry, or mindlessly doing other activities while we make eating decisions.

Don't let willpower (or lack thereof) get the better of you. There's no reason to fear failure if you're willing to take responsibility and learn from your mistakes as much as you celebrate your successes.
About the Author
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