April 3, 2013

Did you know that your willpower is an exhaustible resource?

If you’re trying to make change in one area of your life but you are in overwhelm (or sustained pressure) in another aspect of your life, your willpower for any change process can become exhausted

This can lead to failure or setbacks in the area where you wish to make change. If it’s weight loss, a set back may not be the fault of the weight loss program, but your difficulty to comply while you are challenged elsewhere.

So what do you do? Give up, blame yourself or say to yourself “I’ll try to lose weight another time.”  NO!

The best thing to do is to recognise that overwhelm in one area can affect your efforts in another area. Many find that the best word for reducing overwhelm is “NO”.

Recall when you have cleared out some clutter at your home or workplace. Suddenly you felt relieved as if a cloud lifted. You could think more clearly and felt a sense of accomplishment for having do the clearing out.

Just as we need to de-clutter our physical space, we also should consider of our time space is cluttered (too many conflicting agendas) and if our brain space is cluttered (too much on our minds). These pressures can affect your sleep quality which further weakens your willpower muscles.

We get tempted to ‘switch off’ with passive relaxation like TV, web surfing and use alcohol as an life-stress-anagesic. Late night screen time (TV or computer) and alcohol are both recognised as sleep disruptors.

So what to do?

Start with writing down the things that are really important to you – things you want in your life. What would you define as the life you wish to live. Then see if there are any opportunities to say “NO” to things that take up physical, time or brain space, that are not really on your list.

Then getting back to your weight and wellness goals, each little step in the right direction will help build your willpower muscles. They’ll also give you more energy and help your sleep.

Dealing with compromise…

Let’s say that you’re currently unable to reduce the pressure on your time. That means that you can only get into Healthy Inspirations just once a week. Here’s our advice: Focus on the eating side. Ask the team to book you in for one longer Check In just once a week to review your eating program and help plan out your week. If you have time, at least do one lap of the circuit.

Your weight loss comes from the eating plan, not your exercise. (Yes it’s true!) The good news is that as you get closer to your ideal weight, you’ll have more energy for exercise and other things in your life. It’s as if you are de-cluttering your body of excess weight.

If you would like to read more about willpower and diet, see the section in Wikipedia on Ego Depletion and go to the section on Dieting.

Have a healthy week!


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