You know what drives me mad?
You’re shamed by others, you’re shamed by yourself if you don’t have it. It’s “all about willpower” according to so many experts. But personally? I think it’s WAY overrated.
YOU SHOULDN’T NEED “WILLPOWER” TO LIVE YOUR LIFE.
While a bit of discipline is necessary, especially in the beginning when you’re trying to discover what works best for you in regards to living healthier, if you’re tapping into massive amounts of willpower to get through your day, you’re going to drain yourself and become resentful of trying to be healthier.
Is it just me? Whenever I DO try to tap into my willpower to do something, for some reason I really tend to resist that. It’s like when you’re a kid, and someone says, “Don’t touch that,” what do you do? You wait until they turn their back, and you poke it. So when I tell myself, “That’s it! No more junk!” What does my inner child do? LAUGH AND TELL MY HEART IT NEEDS BROWNIES. And I won’t lie…… more often than not, I cave.
Over the past year, I’ve learned that willpower won’t get you where you want to be. You need to create a lifestyle that’s easy, balanced, and enjoyable.
I may sound like a hypocrite right now because I’m putting myself through a Paleo-based challenge that does require some willpower, but here’s the thing: I actually enjoy eating this way. I feel amazing, my husband loves all the recipes, and I don’t feel deprived at all. I find myself excited to plan out my menus and pack my lunches for work. It’s not a chore.
I’m also slowly teaching myself to wake up earlier. Yes, it requires some willpower (but mostly discipline) in the morning, but as soon as I roll out of bed, I feel amazing; I’m most productive, especially in my coaching & health biz, early in the morning. Then I have the rest of the day to myself, instead of being swamped with work ALL day because I can’t focus. I know that once it becomes a habit, I will begin to ENJOY my time even more than I do now.
Let’s talk about fitness. I was a Beachbody coach for a while (more on that coming soon), but the “Challenge Groups” and pressure to follow a set workout guide did NOT work for me. That inner rebellious child was saying NO to authority (AKA “willpower” as was preached) and my health actually derailed a bit because when I didn’t exercise, I was consumed with guilt. I let go of the pressure to workout, and began to do it because I was choosing whatever sounded enjoyable each day… and found myself working out way more than I did with a Beachbody Challenge Group. I love the BB workouts themselves, but the groups and the business set up did not work for me personally.
So, you want to live a healthier lifestyle… How do you get started and not hate it?
Dump your diet plans. Trash the magazines. Get off the internet. Your body holds all the wisdom you need to be successful. Of course you can cite other diets, plans, and lifestyles to get inspiration for what might work for you, but don’t pressure yourself to follow a specific plan just so that you can feel guilty when you get off track… God forbid you have a slice of cake on your birthday, right?! (*sarcasm*)
Pick a way of eating that sounds kind of FUN. For me, that was a Paleo-based diet: no grains or dairy, but ample amounts of fruits & veggies with high quality meats, nuts, and seeds. Maybe vegan sounds like a fun challenge for you, or trying a smoothie in the mornings sounds like something you enjoy, or Whole30 sounds like something you could get the whole family into. Don’t do something because it promised incredible results. Do something because the diet itself sounds do-able and like something you could do long term.
The same goes for fitness. While some people do need the structure of a fitness program, I suggest to just commit to being ACTIVE for 30 min to an hour each day. When that time rolls around, ask yourself what sounds like FUN. Maybe it’s Saturday and you feel like going out dancing tonight. Maybe it’s a beautiful day, and you could go kayaking. Maybe you feel like a lump on a log and think exercise sounds awful… take yourself out for a 10 minute slow walk, and then see how you feel (99% of the time it’s much better). Maybe you and your S.O. have a gym date planned, and you get excited just for the car ride there to spend some quality time with them. You don’t need a 60 day high intensity training program to change your life; I promise, doing something FUN while being active will change your life.
Oh, and a health coach can help you do ALL of these things. Sorry, had to promote myself there 😉 I’ve helped others before, and I can help you, too!
What’s your willpower story? Feel free to share!
Always with love,