Monday, August 24, 2009

It's Not About Will Power

When I relate my weight loss story, generally the response is "wow, you must have a lot of will power".

I've found though, that this journey has very little to do with will power. It's about so much more than that. If I relied on my own will power and fortitude to pull me through this fight, I'd surely have failed. There have been days when my will power and motivation were so low that I did go off plan.

Going off plan for me, is like opening the flood gates. If I cheat a little ... even just a crumb of a cheat ... then I'm most likely going to cheat a lot. That's the perfectionist side of me coming out. I feel that if I can't do something perfectly, I should just throw in the towel and go for perfectly imperfect instead.

I didn't even realize that my perfectionist side drove me so much until I sat with Glenda at a weigh in and she explained this whole thing to me. When I understood it (I made her repeat it a few times and asked her to talk really slowly so that it sunk in eventually), I realized that this thinking was slowly but surely my way of self-sabotaging my own efforts.

I say all of this because I think it's important to note that we all have weaknesses, hard times, and bad days. It's truly our ability to reach out for help that sets us apart and helps us break the hurtful cycles that we're putting ourselves into.

Food addicts are addicts. We need sponsors, friends, supporters, cheerleaders, and people in our corner.

I'm lucky to have some good friends and an awesome sister that serve all these roles for me. In addition, THW has a great staff that points me in the right direction and helps to lift me when I'm falling.

I do have will power ... sometimes. I also have quite a bit of motivation ... on a good day.

My point is, and what I generally tell people when they say I have a lot of will power is that, will power is fleeting. Motivation fades. But when that starts to happen, reaching out to my support system pulls me through.

I hope you have a great support system too. In my humble opinion, it's the most important key to weight loss success.


  1. I agree, it is a lot more than will power, I got quite irritated when someone said the other day, oh, I wish I had your willpower.

    Where the heck has that willpower been these last 18 years if it so marvellous, then?

    I think I too have benefitted from a sense of desperation and fear (LOL) as well as great supportive work colleagues and family as well as friends and bloggers. Being able to talk through those difficult times and to get encouragement really does help.


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