People frequently compliment my willpower.
From friends in real life to social media companions I’m consistently on the receiving end of praise regarding my perceived restraint.
Emphasis (italics and more) on perceived.
Most recently I was at a dinner, placed my order (grilled salmon, brown rice, shrimp cocktail, steamed veggies and salad) and the comments began.
You have so much self-control! I wish I had your willpower! How do you do it??
I responded as I always do:
I possess no willpower.
It would be an indication I’m not happy with what I’m doing and no longer bolstered by how it makes me feel.
I have absolutely no ability to consistently (<—there’s that word again) make myself do ANYTHING I don’t wanna.
The child and I are alike that way.
Doppelgangers in looks & behavior?
I can muscle my way to making myself do anything short-term, but it wouldn’t be permanent, sustainable change.
Yesterday a new Oakland friend
found my blog (!) inquired how I started “being healthy” never slid back into old habits.
Initially, I slid pretty often (think Chutes & Ladders and you’ve an inkling.).
I slid because my “change” was sparked by reasons neither real nor lasting (boys, looks, spring break) as a result walking my path was temporary.
Vacation over? Boy’s attention snagged? Interview suit fit for day of interview? I swiftly returned to old habits and lifestyle changes I’d made vanished.
This yo-yoing of habits happened until being honest with myself was something I recommitted to daily.
- I got real with myself and uncovered the real reason I was out of shape/overweight.
- I spent time, did the work and discovered real motivation (more than bikinis & Jewish boys) for carving my healthy living path and remaining on it.
- I retrained my palate/slowly shifted the bulk (yes that is a high fiber diet joke) of my eating to real foods and away from processed, never perishing junk. Intuitively.
All of these seemingly tiny actions conspired to result in real and lasting change.
Change demands not willpower but the willingness to do what’s necessary to sustain the lifestyle change I love.
WILLING to do what it takes to keep up with Child & Charming.
Which leads me back to wondering about you.
Which captures your approach to healthy living: willPOWER or WILLINGness to do what life demands?