Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Where there's a will, there's a way.

Will power.

What does those words mean to you? 

Most people will automatically think of food. Desserts, specifically. Yummy ice cream. Sweet, frosted cupcakes. Moist delicious cakes. 

"Oh, I can't eat healthfully, I have no will power."

"My will power is so bad, I can never say no, I love food too much!"

Well, no shit. Who doesn't love food? Ask anyone who really knows me; I LOVE good food. I have always been very appreciative of a very well made meal, regardless of how healthy it was or not. Lasagna, clam chowder, apple pie, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese. These are a few of my favorite thiiiiiiiiiiiiings!!

I've come up with a new definition for will-power. (Well, it's new to me.)

Will-power = Desire + Determination

Basically, you won't do something if you don't want to. That's the desire part. No matter how often Dr. Oz tells you that you need to eat green leafy veggies and cut out the sweets, you're not going to actually do it unless you want to. Intellectually, you know that you should be eating kale instead of tater tots. But you're going to do what you want regardless. 

Once you've made up your mind to do something, you've actually gotta be determined to see it through. You've made up your mind to eat more healthfully, but when push comes to shove are you really willing to eat the bison steak and baby spinach, or are you going to make chicken alfredo? People will say lot's of things to make themselves feel better. 

The human mind is an amazing machine, it can literally work wonders. Yet, some of the smartest people I know claim to not be strong enough to avoid ice cream and chicken parmesan. How is that possible? I think it's really just because they don't see the benefit yet, so they don't want to try. A lot of people have never seen the physical success that a clean diet and exercise program can bring. Especially younger people who have yet to gain the extra poundage that a few years behind a desk and at happy hour can add on.

Will power doesn't just refer to food, either. Everything takes determination. The determination to NOT go to a bar on a weeknight. The determination to turn off your TV and do your homework. The determination to get out of bed 15 minutes earlier so that you have time to eat a real breakfast. These are all things that you won't do unless you want to do them. 

What it comes down to, is I don't think will power is an intrinsic behavior, it's learned. Think of the people you know with "great" will power.  These people just want it more. Whatever the goal is, these people want it, and are wiling to do what they need to achieve it. I have pretty good will power, I know how to avoid things that tempt me. Why is it worth it to me to avoid these things? Because I know that in the long run, it will be better for me. I'm able to see the big picture. Now, if we could just get everybody to see that picture. 

Even if you can't see that picture yet, take my word for it. Go lift something heavy and eat some kale. 


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