Willpower isn't helpful
Est 4 min read
When it comes to health, willpower is not helpful. It is not a good way to try to change your relationship with food and your body. Here's why…
Willpower isn't helpful because when your attempts at change don't work, you will tend to think things like…why can’t I stick with it? I know what I should be eating, I know what I should do, I just don't have any willpower. It reinforces this idea that there's something bad or wrong with you because you're not eating perfectly or following the “plan”. It sets you up for failure, like somehow you're defective because you don't have enough willpower. That mindset increases shame.
I just wrote a blog about shame and how shame based motivation does not work. In fact, it works against you in your relationship with food and your body. When you tell yourself that you need to have more willpower, that is saying, there's something wrong, I don't have enough, I'm somehow deficient and that increases feelings of shame. It increases preoccupation, anxiety or anxiousness about your relationship with food and your body, and it causes you to try to control, manage or fix. Those just don't work. You cannot control your way to balance, peace, ease, joy or satisfaction and you cannot control or manage your way to a secure attachment with food and your body.
Est 5 min read
In the diet culture world, there are so many mantras like ‘no pain, no gain’. They are designed to give you the false idea that to finally accept yourself, all you have to do is try harder, push more, have more willpower, push through, or keep going (at all costs).
Unfortunately, that messaging increases preoccupation and anxiety around food in your body. Pushing harder will never lead to balance, healing, joy, satisfaction, or ease in your relationship with food and your body. Control will never lead to peace. What works is moving toward secure attachment, being in relationship with food and being in relationship with your body.
When people come to work with me, they are very worried that they don't have the bandwidth, willpower, or that they don't have what it takes to do this, because they've tried so many things in the past and none of them have worked. They've internalized those diet culture messages that tell you that if it's not working something is wrong with you and that it's your fault.
First off, let's redefine what works. To me, the most important thing is how you feel about your relationship with food and your relationship with your body. Is your relationship built on connection and trust? Is it nurturing and supportive of you- where you're at in any given moment? It needs to be flexible and fluid because different things are going to feel nurturing at different times in your life.
It's time to redefine success to having a good relationship with food and your body versus thinking that weight loss equals success.
Download your free hunger scale now!
The first step to healing your relationship with food is reconnecting with the signals your body gives you. One of the ways to do that is by checking in with your hunger before you eat. Here's my spin on the traditional hunger scale..