Ditch The Idea of Willpower And Love Your Body Instead

Ditch The Idea of Willpower And Love Your Body Instead

Loving our bodies and making wise choices = RESILIENT LOVE in this week of hearts and flowers and chocolates! Let’s send a valentine to yourself – with love and kindness! Nourishing nutrition, sleep and movement  applied with PRESENCE is the key! Look what Cynthia Stadd, with Eat Empowered and a Pursuits Networker says:

One of the most common phrases I hear when it comes to food is:

“I have no willpower.”

Really?  How would you define willpower?

Perhaps you think of it as…

  • A magical force that infuses strength in a moment of weakness
  • A pattern of behavior you would like to cultivate – like a new skill
  • Or could it even be an intervention of energy from the divine that
    takes over for you?

My thought is that willpower is none of the above.  It is a human idea we all decided was necessary to try and master, or let’s say conquer, so we can put the “good” stamp on our forehead when we think we did it

The truth – You’ll be a lot happier when you forget to associate this word with your eating.

In the moment when you are faced with a dessert and must decide if you are going to down it or not, or when you arrive to a Valentine dinner this week and start scanning the multitude of rich and delicious foods, it is NOT willpower that is going to save you, help you or turn you into a good girl or boy for following a pre-decided food rule.

letter-boxesIt is something much more powerful than that that will guide you through this week’s eating experience – and every other eating experience down the road.

And the magic bullet is…. PRESENCE:  with all the aspects of your being that perhaps you are most familiar with operating in auto-pilot.  Imagine if we take those ways of being that are usually in auto-pilot, and instead pull them into full and complete PRESENCE. Here is what I mean.  It’s our most familiar state, our most normal and comfortable state, to go through the day in a dance of:  arrive, react – then move on to the next thing and arrive and react again.  This is what I would call the foundation of auto-pilot.

Now whether you eat the food in fear (like you’re shoving it down to get it over with because you have already decided it will have a negative effect on you) or you eat it with neutrality (like you barely even realize you are eating since you are not really tasting or deriving pleasure) probably depends most on what rules you have previously decided need to happen in that eating experience.  It is the act of pre-determining these rules that then sets you up for the big test of WILLPOWER later. In that moment, will you follow your rules?  (If it is yes, you win, you have willpower).  If it’s no, and you succumb to the arrive-react “eat fast and shove down” cycle, you lose and clearly you must have no willpower.

Well my suggestion is to forget this dance entirely.

Don’t make the rules to start with, so there is no container later for whether or not you have the magic “willpower.”  And don’t keep operating in auto-pilot on any level with your food, whether you are shoving it down or eating it “neutral.” Both are mindless. Both won’t cut it for long term health, joy or weight control.

Instead, let’s break the state of previously decided rules, and the arrive-react cycle, with PRESENCE.

This means we arrive in the moment and we do exactly what we can’t do on auto-pilot… we do the big CHECK-IN.

With our eating life, this means we expand out that stage of “arrive.”  You land at the party.  You take in the smells, sights people and food before you.  (You’re a blank slate – no previous rules swirling in your head that ultimately only set the stage for labeling yourself as good or bad later.)  Now you start the check-in with full presence…

Am I hungry?
What for?  Savory, sweet, tangy, gooey or crunchy?
What would feel best on my tongue right now?
What food was told to me is so great and I just must try it?

More presence….
Am I breathing?
Am I in connection with the humans around me?  Do I care?

And the most powerful thought to check in with that completely destroys the false need for willpower:

How much of this food that I am about to put in my mouth do I need to get the taste, pleasure and satisfaction out of it that I’m looking for in the first place?

Yum yum.  3 bites?  5 bites?  After a handful has been eaten, am I satisfied?

I guarantee you CAN do this… but only if the rules are ditched first.  And the false notion that you even need willpower has been tossed to the wind.

Enjoy every bite of your food this week.  And enjoy the freedom and peace that presence will bring to your table.  And if you eat something fabulous, share the recipe!!

Cynthia is a pioneering practitioner and educator with a ground-breaking model for showing people how to profoundly transform their relationship with food, thereby masterfully achieving their health and body goals.

If you would like some support with your eating, weight loss or body health journey, contact Cynthia today for a complementary phone chat.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Completely, completely agree! I hear the “I just need more willpower; I’m lazy” comment from my clients all the time. It is so freeing for them when they realize that it’s not about willpower.

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