I had a conversation with someone today about willpower.
I believe willpower is a myth.
It is all about making decisions. My first Slimming World leader, Claire Album used to call it “choice power”.
The trick is making the decision when it is easy. That‘s when the food isn’t in front of you.
Take today as an example. Today my lovely parents hosted a family get together. I knew there would be a table full of things and I knew that there would be both healthy and unhealthy options. I had already decided before I got there that I simply wasn’t going to have the doughnuts or whatever. So when I got there and in addition to the open sandwiches, cut up vegetables and fruit, saw the doughnuts, cakes, biscuits etc, it wasn’t a challenge at all, because my decision was already made.
Another example this week, I took my children to buy doughnuts for Chanukah. Before I left the house with them I had decided that I was not going to buy one for me. So when I got to the shop, I didn’t buy one for me. That wasn’t the plan, and I bought for the kids, didn’t buy for me, and so didn’t eat a doughnut because there wasn’t one for me. I didn’t feel deprived, I felt in control of what I was eating instead of controlled.
It’s about decisions. Faced with a delicious looking unhealthy food and no particular plan in mind, it’s so easy to just eat things which are bad for us.
The decision, “I’m going to lose weight” isn’t specific enough. It’s, “For breakfast I’m going to have less than 400 kcal” or “this week I’m going to make sure to do at least half an hour of exercise” it needs to be a specific decision to have made.
What decision are you making for tomorrow?
My decision is that tomorrow’s lunch and supper will be at least half vegetables.
Today’s food diary
Breakfast – 2 slices wholemeal toast, 2 eggs, baked beans
Snack – banana, plain yoghurt
Lunch -melted tuna sandwich (2 slices wholemeal bread, half a tin tuna, very light mayo, pickles, double Gloucester cheese), mixed seeds
Afternoon party – open sandwiches with egg mayo and tuna mayo, carrots, grapes, one peanut
Supper – chicken soup with lots of onion and carrot.