Confessions of a Willpower Junkie
For 2016, I vowed to be authentic (see post here).
<< Deep Breath >> So here we go...
Hi, my name is Kate and I WAS a Willpower Junkie.
Let me explain what that means...
Have you ever met someone who can sit at a party and not touch a single cookie or brownie? OR someone suuuuuuper disciplined: they wake up everyday in the wee hours to be at the gym to crush a workout while others are blissfully dreaming? Or someone who rigidly follows the rules TO A T whether or not if feels good to them?
Yep, that was me!
A combination of many attributes caused me to be a willpower-oholic: Type A personality. Perfectionist. Upholder.
Don't get me wrong...I LOVE these traits about myself now. I'm uber-productive, my to-do list is almost always checked off by the end of the day, I can stick to my goals easily...but there was a definitely a period of time in my past that I used these wonderful attributes as a way to punish and control my food, my actions, and my schedule.
Despite the fact that everything I was doing WAS "healthy" - eating "clean" and working out.
I somehow thought I was a better person...
(let me interject here...not a better person COMPARED to other people. I am actually very good at avoiding comparison despite the amount of time I naturally spend on social media for my job. I love to celebrate other people, so I never see other's accomplishments as a way to feel bad about myself. You are you, and I am me. BUT I used to compare myself to MY expectations...if that makes sense.)
So let me continue...I somehow thought I was a better person if I was super regimeted, had strong willpower, and always followed my plan. I felt I was less of a person if I fell off-plan....if I ate a cookie or indulged in treats. Or if I missed a workout. I would honestly be upset at myself and it would cause me to be in a bad mood and crabby with other people.
The sad part is I have seen POST AFTER POST of other folks (especially women) saying such similar things that I would say to myself after the holidays:
"I have been so off-track this holiday season..."
"Ugh, I am disgusted with myself and the amount of junk I have eaten this past month..."
"I just stepped on the scale and WOW I need to go on a diet..."
Let me promise you something: this mindset will NEVER get you where you want to be. I do understand that the holidays may have you feeling not-quite-yourself, but it breaks my heart to read how this deteriorates your self-worth.
Why was I a willpower junkie?
Because everything I did came from a place of self-hate or negativity. It came from a place of CONTROL. I used my willpower for everything. And everytime I said "no" or checked off something else, my willpower got a little stronger.
This is really a dangerous place to be.
How was I able to change? Because at the beginning I mentioned I WAS a willpower junkie.
I will start by saying it was not easy. I still relapse and have some of "those" days. It has been a LONG process...but I finally have more good days than bad, although it is not roses and smiles every day. And it was not just one thing that >> POOF << made everything change.
But here's a little glimpse of what I did:
I started to appreciate my body...and my LIFE! I ate nourishing food because I wanted to, not because I "had to." I ate food that gave me energy and a clear mind. I paid attention to how food made me feel. I cut out sugar. I let go of mine and other people's plans. I used my "superpowers" - as I like to call them now ;) - to my advantage. I moved in a way that felt good for that day and didn't stress if I missed a workout. I just LIVED.
Seriously...I started living.
I started to choose happiness despite some of life's challenges. I tried to let the unnecessary stress that I felt everyday fall to the wayside.
I enjoyed dessert when it felt right (which ended up being WAY less than it was whenever I said I "wasn't allowed to have any"....but respectfully I know everyone is different. See my post about being a moderator or abstainer).
I started pressing pause and looking around at my amazing life, family, friends, jobs, clients, ideas...all I have been blessed to enjoy every day.
I added a gratitude journal as a reminder of what I have. It is hard to be mad or stressed when you are staring of your blessings in black and white. And we all have many, no matter how dark your hole may seem...look for that light.
I share this post because of the point I made earlier: I FEEL for those of you that have disappointment in yourself or are punishing yourself for LIVING through the holidays! For enjoying the food that your family members cooked for you with love.
My hope is that you find peace and happiness in your body and life. If you are a willpower junkie, that you will start to learn to let go and just be. If you are constantly down on yourself, that you will begin a new mindset of forgiveness and appreciation.
Because you ARE worth it!
. . . . .
I am working on a program called The WELLpower Makeover (A play on willpower). Orginially, I was writing this program to be about pleasurable weight loss, because many clients and folks I work with come to me because they are trying to lose some weight.
As I reflect, I am beginning to think otherwise. I think weight loss happens permanently ONLY WITH self-love and self-acceptance (and of course learning to eat in a way that nourishes your body). I believe these MUST be the primary focus to living healthifully. What does this mean? I'm not sure yet ;-P But make sure you subscribe to my WELLpower Makeover list to be the first to hear about the program when it opens!