Willpower or will power, however you spell it www.dictionary.com has it as
will power - -noun control of one's impulses and actions; self-control.
will·pow·er or will pow·er
n. The strength of will to carry out one's decisions, wishes, or plans.
willpower - noun the trait of resolutely controlling your own behavior [syn:
I have learned a few things about myself in the last five or six years of lifting weights and doing cardio (when I do it). I have willpower. It's there. I know it. Otherwise I wouldn't be in the gym on a regular basis and I wouldn't be trying to teach others about a healthy lifestyle. It's because of my willpower I have taken the steps to become a trainer and hopefully spread the news about healthy living.
However, I suffer when it comes to 'just one.' Be it beer, cookies or pizza. I know they won't help me achieve my goals, and I know 'just one' can be the downfall of just about anything.
It's like uncorking a bottle of shaken champagne. POW!!! The floodgates
I have experienced the 'just one' syndrome leading to more than 'just one' in the last few weeks. "Oh," I say to myself, "just one Rice Crispy square won't do me any harm." Maybe not, but 'just one' seems to turn into 'just one more.'
There's that bottle of champagne again.
I don't like that.
Example, someone brought some Rice Crispy squares to work one day. Oh I knew they weren't a good choice for me. So I started with the 'I'll just have half of one.' Boy, it was good. See what's coming here? You know it, that one half turned into TWO whole pieces. TWO! I remember the words bouncing around in my head 'just one more.' Ya, Whatever. It was harder to stop at two than it would have been to not even have started in the first place.
Just walk away. It would have been that simple.
I noticed I justified my unhealthy choice. "Well," I say to myself, "at least I'm not continually beating a path the vending machine." Like that makes it any better. It sure doesn't make me any better.
So, I've identified a challenge and I think I'm going to try and hit it head on. I will try to not have the 'just one.' Avoid the 'just one' and it will not become 'just one more' which inevitably leads to 'too many.'
That leads to guilt. I've found that guilt feels much worse than just saying 'no' in the first place. In fact, it almost feels triumphant when you conquer the 'no' and avoid the 'just one.' You can almost hear the
horns blaring, the streamers floating down and the crowd cheering as you took one more step toward reaching your goal; a healthy lifestyle.
I was once offered something that was not conducive to a healthy diet. I said to the person, 'it will not help me achieve my goal.' The response was basically asking what my goal was. "To not be round" was my response.
What's that sound? Is it horns, streamers and a crowd of thousands? Maybe in my head, but dammit, they are there.
Sure, at the office I've been looked at as some sort of 'health nut' even a freak, but I'm just trying to live healthier. And that begs the question, how does that make me nuts? I try not to eat junk or at least
very little and I'm almost treated as an outsider. But that is a discussion for another day.
I am aware there will be challenges and I will slip off the wagon, but now I am more conscious of what it is I'm putting in my mouth and make sure the 'just one' ends there.
Instead, perhaps I should shift my thinking of the 'just one more' phrase. Why not 'just one more' rep, or 'just one more' burpee or 'just one more' minute on the treadmill. All that leads to 'just one more' pound of fat gone or 'just one more' pound of muscle added.
Beats the heck out of 'just one more' cookie.
So, I know the willpower is there. I know I can do it as I've seen my body fat cut in half in the last five years to something much healthier than it was half a dozen years ago.
I just need to harness it for good and not evil.
The challenge in that is realizing the evil is short-term joy versus long term gain or, the good. Ya, that cookie or Rice Crispy is going to taste dynamite. You know it, I know it. We just need to realize the long-term goal is what we are after. You don't think Dave Draper or Larry Scott or Vince Gironda got to look like they did by eating a cookie and then trying to burn it off. That's one step forward and two steps back. Especially if you have 'just one more.'
What? You don't want to be Mr. Universe? That's okay, neither do I, but I'll bet you do want to lose the last ten pounds.
You're not going to do that with 'just one more.'
Build the willpower, chant a mantra, avoid the lunchroom. Do whatever it may take to not have the junk and useless things that won't help you achieve your goals.
For example, today, I had the pleasure of delivering a steaming warm, fresh box of cinnamon buns to our lunchroom. Oh, I wanted one. "Just one." But I knew it would to just one more. Not good.
I did my best to kick that little devil from off my shoulder. Not going to happen today little red dude. I've got better things to put into my stomach than the oozy goodness of sugar, icing and cinnamon. Which, by the way, was dripping from each morsel of rolled, baked dough.
So, while other folk (the apparent non-freaks) were gathered in the pit of horror (known as the lunchroom), I wandered to my office and took out my container of broccoli and cauliflower, covered it in some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some garlic salt and proceeded to devour it. I followed that with some cottage cheese and a few almonds. Delish, in fact.
It is also in one's best interest to surround yourself with like-minded people. You'll note the like-minded cinnamon bun folk (the non-freaks) were the pit of horror. I found myself after my veggie delight hanging with a co-worker who also avoided the plague of dough. She is trying to maintain a level of health which would have been sabotaged by a bun.
It isn't easy to do, having the willpower to avoid the pit of horror and all it's potential pitfalls, but if you keep solid goals in mind, it can be done.
Not having a cinnamon bun today was a step in the right direction. I think I likely felt better not eating it, than had I ate it and dealt with the guilt of eating it in the first place.
I tackled it and won. I had the willpower, the "control of one's impulses and actions" and made the correct decision. It won't happen all the time, but I know for darn sure it didn't happen this time.
Until next time,