Updated: Aug 11, 2022
Is this you?
I can’t tell you the number of times I hear this: I’m just not strong enough or I don’t have the willpower to lose weight. I can't give up sugar because I have no willpower. I can't work out as I have no willpower.
Well, I call B.S. (with a lotta love) on that and I'll tell you why.
First, you don't need the willpower to lose weight or get in shape. Willpower is an excuse we choose to hide behind, in fact, you are probably holding on to a "belief" that willpower or lack of it is what's holding you back.
Just like the "belief" that you have an uncontrollable sweet tooth or that you just can’t wake up early in the morning to workout.
Our beliefs are so dear to us that we hold on to them with a death grip and beliefs about food and exercise can sometimes be so blinding that we don't see them as they are.
So let’s take an example and break it down:
"I don’t have the willpower to resist sweets."
Is that true?
I mean let’s say you were stranded on an island that had no sugar, would you die? I mean, eventually, you may die of starvation, loneliness, or being attacked by a wild animal, but it won’t happen because you couldn’t find dessert.
Or let’s say your doctor told you that you had severe diabetes and sugar could kill you. Would you go home and call it quits because you have no willpower to control your sugar or would you find a way to get rid of your sugar addiction?
Or let’s say you are on a reality tv show and they offered you a million dollars to give up sugar for a month, and that million dollars would change your family's life forever, would you still turn around and say, “I don’t have the will power?”
Yeah, I didn’t think so. We make time and put in an effort for what matters to us. Period.
In an attempt to blame something for our inner resistance, we tell ourselves all kinds of stories that turn into beliefs. These beliefs become stronger over the years and eventually become the chains that hold us back from succeeding.
Humans around the world have defied the odds and done the impossible over and over again. You may have heard of Ernestine Shepherd, the woman who decided to compete as a bodybuilder at the age of 71 and became the oldest bodybuilder in the world.
Or Artis Thompson III who challenged his excuses as he competed in the American Ninja Warrior show with one prosthetic leg.
Let's not forget about the oldest yoga teacher and oldest ballroom dance competitor Tao Porchon-Lynch
They didn't do it because they had willpower, they did it because they had a strong reason behind their desire to achieve those results, and that strong reason drove them to put in the work to get there.
So before you hear yourself saying that you need the willpower to get in shape, I challenge you to ask yourself 3 questions:
Where did that belief originate from?
How can I check myself every time I hear it coming out of my mouth?
Who do I need to be to breakthrough that belief?
I realized I was so bored and unfulfilled that I was subconsciously looking for joy, and my go-to source for dopamine was food. It was always around and it made me feel good instantly.
I answered the 3 questions above and realized that my old belief came from my Mom telling me that wasting food was bad, so I felt bad throwing out food from my children's plates. I checked my belief and realized that if I didn't want to waste food, I should give them in smaller quantities and not treat my belly as a garbage can.
I also enlisted the help of my children to break through those beliefs; I told them to throw out any leftovers as soon as they were done and I made sure I had a healthy, satisfying snack before they got home from school.
Finally, I made a list of a few things that brought me joy that was not food:
Meeting a friend for coffee
Going for a walk
Playing a board game with my kids or
Putting on a fun playlist and dancing to it
If you find yourself seeking joy through food, you don't need the willpower to resist it, you just need to challenge your old beliefs, find out where they originated, create new ones and reach out for support and accountability to keep you consistent.
What are some non-food sources of joy in your life? Let me know in the comments below.
Blogger bio: Chitra Rochlani is a NASM-certified weight loss and body transformation coach. Chitra empowers her clients to break free of the diet mentality and develop a high-speed metabolism using fitness, nutrition, and mindset tools. She believes that her weight loss transformation and work with hundreds of clients give her a unique perspective in an industry focused on quick fixes and gimmicks. She uses her "Fit Warrior" method to combine nutrition, fitness, and mindset to help her clients look, feel and perform at their best. Learn more about her signature program, Mpowered Warrior Challenge here