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Dedication is Not 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 lose weight. I tried not eating, eating diet meals, shakes, fads, and I thought of vomiting it back up too.

I just don't have willpower.

Basically I am addict. I smoked too much, drank too much and 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. And I am pretty strong-willed. 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 3 years), I read a lot.
3: Running - I run 3 days a week, sometimes 6. I do body weight strength training and stretch daily.
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 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. 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. So 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.

105 votes + -

20 comments:

Time2LoseWeightNOW wrote 83 months ago:
Another Great Read , David!! I love your the top 10 list ,it will help me with tips ....to be as good as you when I grow up!
Look_at_me wrote 83 months ago:
I don't think it's about will power at all. It's a choice. If you want something bad enough you go for it.

Adc7225 wrote 83 months ago:
I agree ... a world without bacon would be sad, boring and depressed! Great post, I to have little to no willpower but can and will dedicate myself a long list of things to me bring some health and happiness into my life.
holliwood322 wrote 83 months ago:
great blog. dedication is a better word to use! thanks for the inspiration.
srp2011 wrote 83 months ago:
Love the distinction between dedication and willpower. I've struggled with (lack of) willpower in lots of areas of my life - I think I will try reframing things positively and give dedication a try!
JoanneLynn wrote 83 months ago:
Great post! Yes, dedication!
tonybalony01 wrote 83 months ago:
Like how you distinguished between will power and dedication. It makes you rethink how you look at this.
After I had lost a bunch of weight, somebody told me they admired my commitment. I told them that crazy people are committed. Strong people are dedicated. It took them a second, but they got it.
californiagirl2012 wrote 83 months ago:
You are so right! None of us can do this on willpower alone.

Dedication and habits, and allowing ourselves to be human with some failures.

Right on.
cbmcphillips wrote 83 months ago:
What Gail (time 2) said...

Carol
mydogtrisha wrote 83 months ago:
David,

I think you have put together an excellent TO-DO list.
It's also a nice, positive way to make the same change.

The two 'Nos' - 'No Cheat Days', 'No junk food', could be potentially turned into positives.. because these two 'nos' are pretty tough to deal with and often deal breakers.
jmnicholas wrote 83 months ago:
We've been looking at 'Passionate Commitment' today in my homegroup. We felt a good definition was deciding to do something and following through, even when the feelings aren't there. Dedication, and your definition fits the bill too! God bless.
katscoots wrote 83 months ago:
Dedication is a commitment to doing. Willpower is a frail attempt to fight off cravings.


This is a great quote and spot on and I'm stealing it from you. don't worry...I'll give you credit.
scubasuenc wrote 83 months ago:
Dedication is focusing on the process, not the goal. It is doing those things even when the scale isn't moving... because you know that eventually the scales will move in the right direction.
Hoppymom wrote 83 months ago:
Wow David! You hit the nail on the head. I am just stunned by how you created such a clear definition of how to succeed. Dedication says I will.... Thank you.
Rope19 wrote 83 months ago:
Excellent summary, very good advice, I couldn't agree more and have nothing to add. Thank you for sharing!
lemons1995 wrote 83 months ago:
I loved this!
nolajmac wrote 83 months ago:
Thank you! I needed to read this today!
Castboat6 wrote 83 months ago:
Thank you, David. What a wonderful top 10 list.It really makes sense. Now at 71 years, I'm living alone for the first time, and there is no excuse for bringing junk food into the house. Bacon, what can I say. The world would be a very bland place if there was no bacon. So being able to have some treats once a week like bacon or a glass of wine really helps with sticking to a healthy food plan. Thank you!!!
dbdmom2many wrote 83 months ago:
I enjoyed your perspective on this. I, too, have never had enough will to consistently do what I knew I needed to do. I do believe that it takes a radical change in thinking, and perhaps that's different for each person. For some, it is enough to know that they need to make a change for improved health. For some it is enough to know that a change is needed to look better. And perhaps the motivation to be dedicated is a an easier matter for some folks to find than others. After years of struggling with my own will, I finally found out that, what was gonna work for me, was to promise God that I would stick to my plan. I didn't want to. I put it off. I avoided it. But finally did it. And it was--miraculous. I guess that was what I needed to do for me to become dedicated. And, you're right. It changed from being about *me* having enough *will* to stay on track. It just became about doing what I needed (and am determined) to do. It was actually liberating. It's still *work*, so I won't say it's easy, but it's no longer a mental battle for me.
itzWicks wrote 83 months ago:
I think that your heartfelt entry speaks volumes and great truths for the rest of us. Thanks for posting this, and continued success on your journey!

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