Help! I Have No Willpower
How to Deal with the Diet Willpower Issue
We say we don’t have enough willpower to lose weight.
But we’re just kidding ourselves. The truth is, we have all the willpower we need.
To prove my point, meet Janet and Bob from my weight loss files.
First, meet JANET.
Janet starts a diet on January 1st. To begin with, she does quite well. But after three weeks, disaster strikes. One afternoon, she gets so bored at work that she eats half a packet of cookies. Then, realizing what she’s done, she feels so bad that she eats the other half. Then, on her way home, she fills up the car with petrol and buys half a dozen fatty treats for herself, which she instantly demolishes Result? By the time she gets home she’s decided to quit dieting altogether!
But Janet is mistaken. You see, it wasn’t willpower that caused her downfall, it was boredom. Boredom plus lack of confidence. Boredom made her go off the rails to begin with and then lack of confidence finished her off. I mean, just because she had a bad day, she didn’t have to give up, did she? The reason she gave up was lack of confidence. As soon as she started pigging out, she thought: ‘That’s it! I’m a disaster – I can’t do it.’The following day she telephones her sister, who is dieting with her, to explain what happened. ‘I’m a disaster’ says Janet. ‘I want to be slim but I just don’t have the willpower.’
But the truth is, Janet has loads of willpower. You see, she has a child who needs very special care. Which means Janet is on the go from dawn to midnight, 365 days of the year. Now don’t tell me that a mother like that doesn’t have any willpower. Even to suggest such a thing is nonsense. The truth is, like most mothers, Janet has loads of willpower.
After all, it takes a lot of willpower to get up in the middle of the night to feed babies. It takes a lot of willpower to nurse, nanny, cook, clean, wash-up, chauffeur and clear up after a large family. It takes willpower to put up with unruly teenagers, cranky mothers-in-law and husbands who vanish whenever something needs doing. And if we have children or parents with special needs, we need even more willpower.
Janet eventually realized she had all the willpower she needed and
went on to lose nearly 60 pounds.
Now, meet BOB.
Bob used to be 265 pounds. Why? Because he ate all the wrong foods. He loved his fried breakfasts, his steaks, his fries and his rich sauces. And he adored cookies. The doctor was always telling him to lose weight but Bob just shrugged his shoulders. He couldn’t give up his food. He tried occasionally, but he never lasted long. As his wife used to say: ‘It’s no good talking to him. He won’t change. He doesn’t have the willpower.’
Then one day, Bob was rushed to hospital with pains in his chest. It was a mild heart attack and the specialist told him to lose weight or else he’d be dead in a year. And do you know what? From that moment on, Bob was a new man. There were no more excuses, no more moaning about not being able to eat properly. All of a sudden, he had no trouble.
Bob went on to lose 70 pounds and reduced his cholesterol by over 30 per cent.
See what I mean? When we want something badly enough, willpower is never a problem.
When Janet’s child needs help in the middle of the night, Janet has no trouble rousing herself. When Bob’s heart needs help, Bob has no trouble changing his diet. And when you really want to lose weight, you’ll have no problem either.
It’s not lack of willpower that causes us to give up dieting: it’s lack of desire.
We want fatty treats more than we want a slim figure.
So instead of worrying about lack of willpower, find a good incentive to get slim.
Because the better the incentive, the stronger your desire.
And the stronger your desire, the easier it will be.