Where did someone come up with using the word “willpower” for dieting? For me, it isn’t about what I will eat, it is about what I won’t eat. I looked up the definition just to be clear on this. Willpower means “control of one’s impulses and actions; self-control.” Exactly my point! I am controlling my diet by what I WON”T eat.
Sure, I get it. I am exerting my will. I guess that’s what it means. But in reality, it always comes down to the same thing for me… what I won’t eat. Or don’t eat. Or try my hardest not to eat. Won’t power. Won’t, won’t, won’t. I won’t eat cookies. I won’t eat bagels. I won’t eat ice cream. I won’t. (Fingers crossed behind my back.)
WILLpower should be about those things I need to do, “will do,” not the things I need to avoid. I will eat more vegetables. I will drink more water. I will stick to my dinner plan. Willpower.
Maybe ‘will’ sounds more positive than ‘won’t.’ And ‘do’ sounds better than ‘don’t.’ But for me, the reality of dieting is really more about the things I need to avoid putting in my mouth than anything else. Because if I just stopped eating the stuff that I know I should stop eating, the rest would fall into place. And even when I do all the ‘will’ stuff like the veggies and water and lean protein, I can still manage to overeat other stuff. The ‘won’t’ stuff.
So I am trying to decide if I need to change my thinking or just my terminology. I guess I could say “I will eliminate junk from my diet,” and “I will stop eating too much bread at night,” and “I will walk away from the cookies on the counter.” But really it is just semantics. Will or won’t. Either way it still comes back to what I won’t put into my mouth. Because if I do, I won’t lose weight, and I won’t be healthy, and I won’t off my weight roller coaster once and for all.
Or maybe, as I read this back to myself, I just need to focus on the power part of the word. Power to eat what I should eat and power to avoid what I should avoid and power to exercise and power to be optimistic and power to like myself more. Power. I’m kinda liking it.