Willpower: A flaky friend when it comes to weight loss (or changing habits)
Have you found yourself saying some of these things? Or perhaps pumpkin pie is not your favorite, but you get tripped up by the box of chocolates you were given as a gift…?
If you battle with so-called “weak willpower”, then you’re not alone. It’s a problem that many of my clients report when they start their journeys with me. In fact, it’s a problem that I had myself when I first started trying to quit sugar.
But then, I learned something that changed my life:
Willpower is useless.
Yes, when you’re trying to change a habit – especially a habit that’s been a part of your life for years – then relying on willpower alone is a shaky strategy at best.
To illustrate, imagine you’re trying to store water in a bucket, but then someone comes along and starts drilling holes into your bucket. You try to plug the holes, but there are just too many, and very quickly, all the water has drained from your bucket.
The same thing happens in the brain. The area of the brain that governs willpower also governs many other things, and so it gets depleted very quickly. So, when you’re stressed at work, driving home in heavy traffic, or experiencing overwhelming emotions, you’re probably not going to have any willpower left to help you with implementing healthy habits.
When I was trying to quit sugar and willpower was the only tool in my arsenal, I would experience failure regularly – often on a daily basis. This left me feeling disappointed in myself, which would further deplete the willpower center of my brain. In other words, there was a vicious cycle of failure, strong emotions, and willpower drain going on in my head.
So, if you want to lose weight successfully and permanently, then DON’T COUNT ON WILLPOWER. It’s a very flaky friend when it comes to changing habits.
And during the holiday season when stress levels are particularly high, and emotions particularly strong, willpower is definitely going to be in short supply.
If not willpower, then what?
In my 5-day Challenge, starting on December 3, I’ll share more about why you shouldn’t count on willpower to help you survive the holidays (without gaining extra pounds or feeling bloated and downright awful after a holiday party).
I’ll also share some alternative strategies to willpower – strategies that’ll actually be reliable, because they’ll use the right areas of your brain. These strategies are particularly great for surviving the holidays, but you’ll see that they will unlock your true power and launch you to success throughout 2019 and beyond!
And I’ll give you a clue: these strategies DON’T involve deprivation or declining all party invitations for fear of temptation. No way! These are practical strategies, designed to fit in with all of your fun holiday activities, so that you can still have a fabulous time, but just ditch the weight gain, tummy troubles, and exhaustion (because who needs those, right?!).
I’d love to invite you to join the Holiday Survival Challenge, starting on Monday, December 3. You’ll get one email each day with a simple strategy you can use to survive the holidays. I’ll explain each strategy in a short, informative video, which you can also listen to as an audio-only. There’ll also be a private Facebook Group (Coach with Christi) for you to share your progress and ask me any questions you have as we’re going along.