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I Suck at Willpower!

If this journey was up to willpower alone, I'd be 400 pounds by now! There were a bunch of things I tried to do to lose weight. I tried not eating, eating diet meals, shakes, fads, and I thought of vomiting it back up too. I didn't.

I just don't have willpower.

Basically I am addict. I smoked too much, drank too much, and I ate too much. I couldn't fix any of that. I was lucky enough to enjoy sports until I was in college - then I switched to drugs and rock music.

Maybe that was just a generational thing. :)

I tried quitting all kinds of things I started. I just couldn't hold on for too long. I am pretty strong-willed, but that could not win. In the end, I failed miserably. I always quit quitting.

Even prayer didn't seem to work.

So how did I get out of the willpower trap? I became dedicated. Willpower says I won't _______. Dedication says I will _______. I identified the things that I should be doing instead of concentrating on what I shouldn't be doing.

I stopped making excuses. I stopped giving myself permission to fail.

Instead of dieting I dedicated my efforts to changing my lifestyle. I changed my relationship to food, drink and even exercise. Dedication is a commitment to doing. Willpower is a frail attempt to fight off cravings.

David's Top 10 list of things he is dedicated to:
1: Portion Control - I got a food scale, smaller plates and food tubs.
2: Reading Labels - even though I don't log daily anymore (I did for a long time), I read a lot.
3: Running - I run 3 days a week, sometimes 6. I do body weight strength training and stretch daily. (I am down due to a knee injury, but I will be back!)
4: No Cheat Days - There are enough holidays and special occasions to make for some tough choices.
5: No Junk Food - I do not keep anything junky in the house. If I go for a special occasion or treat, it's out, and it's over and it's done with.
6: Organic/Whole Foods - I eat mostly fresh fruit and veggies, lean red meat, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy, and do everything I can to stay away from food in a package except Ghirardelli dark chocolate. I still eat canned beans and an occasionally artichoke hearts and olives. Of course, low-fat dairy is still packaged.
7: Weigh In Weekly - No better ways to keep an eye on things.
8: Water - lots of water!
9: Bacon and Eggs - It's my favorite. A world without bacon is boring. Usually, I eat nitrate free from grass fed pigs.  I would add that a lot of protein has been essential to my weight loss journey.
10: Regular Check Ups - it seems that the doc is a solid partner for my weight loss and that helps keep me on track.

I do log in here every day to see what everyone is up to. I used to be dedicated to it, but now it is one of my daily routines.
 
Thanks for the votes and comments! 

95 votes + -

25 comments:

izzybelle2013 wrote 1 month ago:
David - I needed this blog today! I just stepped on my scale after avoiding it for several days, and have gained 3 lbs. I like what you said about dedication. It makes much more sense than trying to use willpower to avoid the things I crave, but know I should not eat. Thanks so much, your blogs are always so very helpful. P.S., I am so over eggs right now, but totally agree about bacon.
marlown wrote 1 month ago:
Sharing this with others (and myself:))!
sherry0614 wrote 1 month ago:
I'm addicted to sushi. Not a bad addiction you say? One roll has a full cup of rice and is equivalent to about 250 calories. And I can't eat just one....... I tried. My 30 lb weight gain is entirely due to sushi, merlot, a teensy dab of depression, and whole lot of menopause. I'm down 17 lbs, but I can't seem to get below this. and yes, it's because I sneak sushi when I have a tough day. I have absolutely NO WILL POWER when it comes to sushi!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going to glow with all of the mercury I'm eating :-( Thanks for the blog, because I do have to switch my mindset from "willpower" to "dedication".
aliciaaw wrote 1 month ago:
So true need to change mine mind set to DEDICATION. And get #5 out of the house
try2again wrote 1 month ago:
Like the idea of focusing more on the idea of what you want to do as opposed to the things you need to avoid. For another interesting take on the place of willpower in our health & fitness efforts, you might want to consider this thread: http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10613774/the-importance-of-willpower-for-weight-loss/p1
kdbulger wrote 1 month ago:
LOVE the focus on dedication. I have been trying to pinpoint what has changed for me this past few months versus the past 5 years, and I think this is it. I think I've become dedicated. Dedicated to fueling my body well with good food, dedicated to feeling well, dedicated to getting stronger and faster. The last time I was making such positive changes was before my first child when I was dedicated to dancing ballet. I was working out, eating well, and losing weight all for the love of dancing better.

By george, I think you've got it.
thehadster wrote 1 month ago:
Thank you!

I have no will power either - but I can be dedicated!
domesticlydiva wrote 1 month ago:
By your definition, Dedication is positive & Willpower is negative...HMMMMM!!! I really think you have something there. "I always Quit quitting" Hmmmm!! Interesting phrase...Thank you for your insight. You've truly given me some food for thought & hopefully a reason to be motivated. Thank you...
willdall2 wrote 1 month ago:
I gotta say this is how I am feeling today, no willpower. I want instant gratification, it's just the way I am, and I get discouraged too easily!
pizzafruit wrote 1 month ago:
Oh Dave, you have this ability to always post at the time so many of us face a particular challenge. Dedication is sorely lacking in my DNA. I did not log in or journal for several days, got careless, and justified every bad choice I made. The only thing I've gained in the last week is weight. I'm embarrassed and frustrated with myself. The responsibility for my mess falls on me and no one else. One would think at my age I would get it by now. Hope and dedication - spring eternal.
CarleneCochran1 wrote 1 month ago:
thank you so much you are absolutely right dedication to do it i lost 120 lbs in a year and kept it off for 7 years and now i gained it all back when i quit smoking and had 3 surgeries so that i am no longer active but pretty much a bump on my rump but food is 90% of weight loss we did a day without sugar/carbs on Monday and i could not believe how everything absolutely everything i eat is sugar/carb loaded trying harder praying for everyone struggling and working hard to become healthy and staying alive longer. cc
panzieeyes1953 wrote 1 month ago:
This was good, thanks I neded that!
Detritus_1965 wrote 1 month ago:
One of the universal truths: Dedication and Discipline beat Willpower and Motivation any time of the day.
EddieHaskell97 wrote 1 month ago:
1. How did rock music and drugs make you fat?

2a. Discipline is a synonym of willpower, look it up.

2b. Everything in your top ten you can chalk up to discipline and dedication. Still, that's willpower when you profess to "suck" at it...

This post is the blog equivalent of the David S. Pumpkins special. It's circular and nonsensical. One can't even make a semantics argument.
Thehardmakesitworthit wrote 1 month ago:
^^huh? Are you for real?

Dave, great food for thought as usual. Thank you!
ChampCrucial wrote 1 month ago:
Thank you sir. My willpower is crap. I needed this so bad. I am a personal trainer up 69lbs from where I was. It was achieved through manual labor and my original activity. On a quest to lose it again. I feel like I am a genu=ius when it comes to training but I can't test things if my diet keeps blocking me . You just changed my perspective for the better. This is only the 3rd blog post I have ever read here. Now that you changed my perspective I just have to go on and conquer. Thank you!
RCR63 wrote 1 month ago:
Two years ago March I too found myself in ICU. 52 years of neglecting and abusing my body cought up with me. Your story struck such a chord with me I had to reply.

After 11 months of hospital and nursing home stays and almost losing my life more times than I can count I finally got the memo. I only have 1 body. Take care of it.

Thanks for your story. Hopefully it will inspire others as it has inspired me.
Anonymous wrote 3 weeks ago:
Thanks RCR. It took me 8 months to recover. I was 53. Glad to be here with you.
countrypauls wrote 3 weeks ago:
Thanks for this! I love the idea of focusing on what I should do instead of what I shouldn't.
smantha32 wrote 3 weeks ago:
I think it's less about willpower and more about trying to figure out what you're feeling when you feel compelled to eat something and you know you're not hungry. I know it's not hunger when I'm doing it but can't seem to stop myself anyway.

CPTMonica wrote 3 weeks ago:
Thank you so much for your post !!!
I decided to live a better life today and get off the couch.

Inspiration
spool_68 wrote 3 weeks ago:
food is like crack to me.... I eat when stressed, or bored and it sucks.just started on here last week and have lost 7.5 lbs, and it feels good :)... I still have a long way to kick my food addiction but at my age (49) I have to do this.... thanks for writing this cause it made me realize I'm not the only one who struggles with food....
hoopshobbs wrote 3 weeks ago:
Sitting here at Thanksgiving. It's almost 2pm ET. Only had coffee and beef broth so far. Going to try and only eat turkey and veggies. Looking forward to weighing myself in the morning.
PervertedMonkZA wrote 1 week ago:
Starting today, using your blog as motivation to get my house in order.
wadado wrote 6 days ago:
Thanks! for the inspiration. It reminded me of my change of mind-set. I had this thought: "I DESERVE to treat myself better, I am worth it". I then started taking notice of what, how much, and when I was eating. I did not log anything, just mental notes; and asked myself "Do I really need this?" and "How will this affect/effect me, later?" I started making better choices and lost 60 pounds. Now, I just try to maintain.

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