I Use Willpower to Combat My Lack of Willpower

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I Use Willpower to Combat My Lack of Willpower

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The other day I attended an ice cream social. I armed myself with a bottle of seltzer water, which I drank while everyone else made themselves ice cream sundaes. A woman said, “You have such willpower!”

Not true – I have almost no willpower.

I know that sounds illogical, but here’s how it works:

I acknowledge the slippery slopes of my diet life. I LOVE ice cream in any form. Without a doubt – had I caved at that ice cream social, I would not only have eaten several dishes of ice cream. Then – once triggered – I would have volunteered to take home any leftover ice cream (and fudge sauce). And I would have consumed it all in one night (and then destroyed the evidence).

In that brief moment of temptation (“have some ice cream”), I had the willpower to say “no.”

I believe that we can sometimes have more willpower to not start, than the willpower to stop.

I hate saying “no thanks” to fattening foods, but … what is the alternative? I could go back to my 300 pounds of the 1990s. I could drop 120 of those 300 pounds and then soar back up to 260 pounds as I did in 2005. No, No, NO! One dish of ice cream, which will trigger an entire half-gallon of ice cream is NOT WORTH starting over on my lifetime of dieting.

Of course there are many people who can have a dish of ice cream and be totally satisfied. Those would be the same people who can eat one potato chip or just a sliver of fudge.

That’s definitely not me – my life has never been “having just a taste” and be satisfied. My reality is all or nothing – and then more.

The secret is knowing yourself. If you have spent a lifetime kidding yourself about your willpower, it’s time to be honest. If you want ice cream – by all means go for it. However, if history and your weight reveal that you lack the willpower to stop once started, consider the “NO” word.

It’s much easier to draw on your inner strength and say “no” to one dish of ice cream than it is to find the willpower to stop a binge in full throttle.