The ability to control one’s actions, emotions or urges. Thank you, Google.
We all have willpower. That magical thing that magically keeps our head above water? Yeah, that’s willpower. And guess what? That magical thing seriously dwindles throughout the day.
You need to make sure you get out of bed after the alarm (or three snoozes, amiright) to make sure you get to work on time. You need to make sure the little humans and dogs are fed before you walk out the door. You need to make sure you resist rolling your eyes at the millionth pointless meeting that could easily have been an email. You need to make sure you take a deep breath before you answer your husbands questions of ‘where is the extra toothpaste?’ when it’s been in the same place for the past four years.
These few examples happen thousands of times each day, in ways we don’t even realize.
What we also don’t realize, is that our willpower is slowly spreading thin as the day goes on.
What does willpower have to do with your diet?
Along with the normalcies each day, let’s think of rules around food that we try to follow while our already-spreading-thin willpower is trying to keep up with you.
You need to track every morsel eaten.
You love your coffee with a splash of cream, but DEAR GOD you must drink your coffee black because you would break your fast window.
You just went through a super tough workout and are starving, but you can’t eat because it’s not the correct timing of your eating windows.
We try to white knuckle through all of it. And what happens?
You have an important business meeting that is being catered and you can’t have your salad with fat free ranch dressing? Your kids playdate ran late and offered you to stay for dinner but they are having pizza?
Something has to give.
You go from next-level ‘perfect’ to throwing your hands up in the air ‘I do everything and try everything to eat absolutely perfect and look. I can’t even do this right.’ as you’re shoveling food to calm the anger/frustration/emotions you aren’t dealing with.
While your head is face first in a chicken parm stromboli right after the peanut butter pretzels, and hating yourself claiming you have zero willpower, please realize that isn’t the case.
You have plenty of willpower. You just don’t realize you’ve used it up already.
Instead of applying insane food & diet rules that feel impossible to follow especially after a long day, give yourself grace.
How do you do that? By not having food rules.
When your willpower is no longer existent by 4PM as your kids are punching each other in the backseat, you don’t need to add insult to injury by trying to eat dry tuna over spinach leaves.
When your willpower is no longer existent, you take care of yourself by eating what makes you feel good.
That may be marinated chicken and sweet potatoes. It may be greasy sausage pizza.
Whatever it is in that moment, that’s okay.
You then will internally question how you feel both physically and mentally – not per what any diet says, not per what your sister-in-law swears by, but how YOU feel. That information will be stored that in the back of your brain. So the next time you have no willpower? You will remember what made you feel good. That marinated chicken and potatoes made you feel energized, and that greasy sausage pizza made you feel sluggish.
Over time, you’ll continually make the best choices for yourself for when you have no willpower again.
Which will most likely be tomorrow.
Want more? Check out your signs if you have an unhealthy relationship with food – and what you can do about it!