What is willpower?
When I think of the word ‘willpower’ I think of strong determination. I think it is about trying very hard to not do something that you actually really want to do. How many times have you decided, ‘I’m just not going to do that any more!’ and then you end up doing it? Willpower is about short term change, not long term gain. So, when you think about the decisions that you have made based upon getting into your willpower, the first thing that you need to be able to reflect on is, how did you feel in that moment when you decided to make that change?
The feeling is actually not going to be positive. This is a time in which a decision is being made because you feel that you are being held back, or that what you have been doing is a challenge in your life. This means that you are actually getting into your pain, only the difficulty is, that a few days or weeks later the concern that made you make the change has now dropped and your desire to eat has now increased because what led you to this decision is long gone and as events and celebrations approach, you start thinking about all of the fun that you will have by eating and all the fun you won’t have if you ‘are not allowed’ to eat. No matter how strong your willpower is, when there is a greater pain associated with not eating then there is with eating what you want, you will eventually give in to your desire.
Unless you have been able to deal with your emotions which, is what you are doing through the Emotionally Focussed Eating program, willpower will not get you far. Willpower can definitely help start the process in order to make significant short term changes but, without doing the emotional work (which is the deeper work) willpower alone will never get you there.
Willpower is limited. A key difference between willpower and success is to do with what you believe. If you believe eating healthy=pleasure and that not eating healthily=inflammation, pain, and illness, then you have been able to set yourself up on the inside, psychologically and emotionally for success.
The truth is, when you go from not eating healthy to eating healthy there actually is pain involved. The pain is to do with change, you have to be able to come to terms with eating foods that you might not like as much, having to learn new behaviours like how to prepare new meals, how to cook, how to shop appropriately, and dealing with the pain of eating differently in front of the TV, the pain of limiting your celebrations, the pain of going to a restaurant and choosing healthy choices unlike everyone else, the pain of eating repetitively.
In these circumstances will power is essential. Long term success on the other hand comes from truly changing your belief system and changing your emotions at a deeper level. Those who have successfully completed the transformation through their participation in the Emotionally Focussed Eating program learn how eating healthy, eventually equals ultimate pleasure.
On the quest to lose 50 pounds in a year. Can she do it? Only time will tell....with the help of this blog.