Today's topic is one that is really close to my heart. One thing I know for certain is that living a purpose driven life is fullfilling, rewarding and fun.
And having a genuine purpose is the driving force in our lives no matter who we are or what we are wanting to accomplish.
Often when we are trying to lose weight, adopt a healthier lifestyle, make better food choices and stick to a workout routine we chalk up our lack of success to a lack of will power.
We say things like:
"I gave in to the cookies/pizza/fries because I have no self-discipline."
"I have no willpower when it comes to food."
"I don't have enough motivation to get to the gym when I am tired or not feeling like it."
What if I told you that it had absolutely nothing to do with willpower, self-discpline and motivation?
I know its a radical statement, but hear me out. Because its something else, I promise.
There is No Such Thing as a Lack of Willpower
Will power by definition is the "control exerted to do something or restrain impulses," so I completely get why
we blame our lack of it when we eat foods we said we didn't want to eat, or foods that don't support our weight loss goals or why we hit the couch after work instead of the gym.
Trust me, its a cop out and we are letting our ego get in the way.
There is no such thing as a person without willpower.
There is no such thing as a person without self-discipline.
And there is no such thing as an un-motivated person.
All there is are our commitments, values, our purpose and the context we create for wanting to make changes in our lives and for doing the things we said we want do.
Look at it this way. If you are in a relationship and your partner cheats on you then your partner is telling you with their actions that they value something other then the relationship. They are telling you that something is more important and their commitments lie elsewhere. Maybe its validation through sex, power over people or giving into their impulses.
The same thing is true if you keep finding yourself in a situation where you "lack willpower" with food or getting to the gym or drinking water instead of soda.
****DISCLAIMER: I get that there are food addictions, eating disorders and emotional eating. Those are serious and more is at play but this is in relationship to less chemical and psychological battles we might be having with adopting a healthier lifestyle.
If you say that you are going to get to the gym after work but are tired so you dont go, its not because you lack will power.
Maybe you value giving into your feelings and letting them rule your life. Maybe you dont really value the reason why you said you want to work out in the first place.
If our reasons for wanting to change up our life are a form of punishment for past behavior for not treating our body with care then we are going up against ourself. At war with ourself so to speak. Of course it will be difficult to get to our workouts and eat healthier if our reason is to punish ourself. If its about deprevation no wonder we struggle with willpower. The context isnt about self love.
When we want to make these changes we need to come from an inspiring, loving place of possibility.
We have to think about the bigger picture.
What will being healthier, treating our body with love and care, eating life force giving foods do for us? What will it allow us to create and who will we get to be if we honored our body?
When we embark on a journey to change our ways we have to be really authentic with why we are wanting to do these things.
When taking care of ourselves becomes an act of love for ourselves we wont have to struggle or fight with will power. All we will have to do is stay connected to our higher purpose and reason for why these changes will serve us and our greater vision.
It will be about creating not restricting.
When we keep slipping up we have to look at our values straight in the face and ask ourselves why are really wanting to do these things.
Mindset and purpose is everything.
Exercise is not a punishment for what you ate. Its a celebration of what your body can do. (see the difference)
Skipping cake is not about depriving yourself of the things you love because you are fat. Its honoring your body and its nutritional needs.
And when the WHY is powerful and connected to our larger vision of our life we won't need willpower, we just need to stay focused on our vision. Our purpose. Our values. We will only need to continue to exercise self love.
But I Want a Hot Body
Imagine that you said you wanted to work out and lose weight so that you could fit into a bikini and score the man of your dreams?
Now Imagine that you said you wanted to workout and lose weight so that you could have less anxiety, be more creative and radiate positive vibes and confidence so you could attract a like minded tribe?
The first reason is not invalid or wrong but its not as powerful as the second one. The first reason is external and surface level. It implies that in order to find your dream man you have to look a certain way and this is simply not true. It implies that there is something wrong with you (your weight and body) that needs fixing. Also not true.
The second reason is about the person you want to be in the world. When you work out you are less anxious, more creative and a happier more radiant person. It implies that working out supports the type of person you want to be internally not externally. Thats an inspiring commitment and an inspiring reason not to skip the gym/yoga/spin whatever is your thing. Its an act of self love.
The same goes with food. I find that just wanting to lose weight to be a certian size isn't enough to keep us from making unhealthy choices when temptation or cravings hit.
Skipping the junk is not about restriction. Its about fueling your body with nutritious food that gives you energy, fights sickness and makes you feel good. If you focus on the positives and not the negatives you will feel empowered and exciting to stick to your healthy habits.
"change happens when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change." - Tony Robbins
When we have a commitment to make changes in our eating becasuse not changing is keeping us from reaching our potential or living the life of our dreams or making the difference we want to make in life it will be easy for us to form new habits and really stick to our guns.
Its what we are committed to and our reason WHY that has us not fall off the railing. Its NOT willpower. Its what you value and the context for why.
How to Find your Commitments, Purpose and Big Reason(s) Why
Think about why you want to make these changes. Ask youself what you value, how these changes will impact your life and the people you love.
What impact will you be able to make if you take better care of yourself and treat your body with love and respect?
Ask yourself if your reasons have been about punishing yourself or making yourself wrong for the past? Have your reason been about fixing yourself? Have your reasons been superficial, ego based or fear based?
How could you rehsape your context, commitments and vlaues so they inspire you and truly serve you?
When I work with clients this is one of the first things we tackle together. We uncover what is at the core of their motivation and how getting their health in order is a piece to a MUCH LARGER puzzel in their life. If you are feeling stuck in your ways, ready to ditch the diet drama, emotional eating and live a healthier life, for the rest of your life, contact me through my contact page. I offer free phone consulations to everyone.
You deserve to know yourself as someone who can do the things they said they would do and experience freedom from food and weight.
sending love, C