Wednesday, October 17, 2007


This post may be something that some of you don't agree with, and that's OK, just please disagree with me respectfully!

I think willpower is a crock. I don't believe in this phenomenon. A lot of times people use the excuse "If only I had the willpower to do such and such" or "Ugh, I have no willpower to say no to bad food" Sometimes we even give willpower credit when we have successes. "I had the willpower to avoid chocolate this week" or "I had the willpower to stay on plan"

Who is in charge here???


Take credit for your strengths as well as your weaknesses. If you ate a pound of chocolate, it's not because you lacked something and it made you fail, it's because you chose not to stick to your plan. Same thing goes for having a good week. You didn't have a good week b/c you have this magic thing called willpower, you had a good week because you treated your body well.

Just food for thought... what do you think?


Jennifer said...

I never thought of it that way but you are right. I always blamed willpower but I need to blame myself! Thanks for this post

Trisaratops said...

That's what I consider to be willpower - exactly what you said me making good choices. And so I don't think that when someone says I don't have the willpower they are copping out, they may be saying - I don't have the strength to "will" myself to do the right thing. Like eat a bunch of bad food! I agree with you that no one can lose weight if they aren't honest with themselves.

Gibbons-Camp said...

I think I agree with trisaratops, in that I'm not sure I see the distinction. To me, will power just means strength of will. Like if i said, I can't pick up this tree, I don't have the strength, that wouldn't be a cop-out, it would be admitting that my own failure keeps me from being able to lift the tree. I could just as easlily say I can't lift that, that is impossible, or I can't lift that tree, God doesn't want me to. Those I would see as cop-outs, putting the blame on something outside of yourself.

So if I were to say, I couldn't stay on plan, the brownies were just too tempting, that might be the kind of copout that you are equating to willpower.

But then again, maybe I'm not understanding you. I agree that blaming external forces for your bad decisions is a landmine to any attempt to better yourself, I'm just not sure I would characterize willpower as an external force. Where else does it come from if not from yourself?

And there are a lot of external forces to blame. Genetics, environment, family, the big food companies and their insistance on putting HFCS into everything. But for me, taking responsibility is having the strength of character (if you don't like the term willpower) to say no, this is what I'm going to do, this is what I'm going to eat, this is how I'm going to live, despite those external factors.

Heather said...

I agree....its not that someone is lacking willpower and as a result overate, they are in full control. THEY decided to do that and knew the implications.

I share your mentality. When people act helpless to their own actions or like they cant control them irks me. Unless they have some sort of condition that makes them that way, we are in control of our own bodies to most extents. We decide what we put in them. We decide to exercise or not. I feel this way about "excuses". Just say you messed up...dont try to excuse yoru way out of it.

Great post. Definitely got me riled up!

Twix said...

We all have choices to make. Let's make good choices! :)

Lori said...

i've never thought of willpower as something separate from myself. i've always given myself credit for having the willpower or determination or whatever you wanna call it to get something done. i mean, i can see how you perceive it as something we give credit to, but i can't say that i've ever really thought of it like that. but i see what you're saying.

Angie All The Way said...

Oh I can smell Dr. Phil all over that one! Totally and completely the truth. Will power only goes so far and inevitably runs out, it's what you've got behind it that is really the teller.