The Myth of Willpower
From time to time, I find myself at parties, events, or functions where there are mounds of delicious cookies, cakes, brownies, and ice creams being served, much to the delight of all the people. The partygoers partake of the sugary goodness and a wonderful time is had by all.
However, someone often notices when I don't have any desserts, and the first thing they say to me is, "Wow, you have a lot of willpower to not have any of this cake! I sure couldn't do that! No wonder you're in great shape!"
I usually just smile and accept the well-intended compliment, but today I'm gonna let you all in on a little secret: I absolutely DO NOT have that much willpower!
I love a good cookie probably as much as the cookie monster, so how is it that when they're in front of me, I restrain myself from ravenously gobbling down the whole plate?
Let me ask you a question. If I walked you to a busy freeway and told you to run across all the lanes to the other side, how much willpower would it take you to not do it?
If your answer is anything other than pretty much no willpower at all, I am in no way the right guy to help you with anything.
Of course you wouldn't run across the freeway, you'd know right off the bat how dangerous that is to your well-being and you'd tell me I'm crazy for even suggesting it.
Now, when we eat junk food, we don't immediately see how it affects our bodies, but imagine if every time you had a piece of cake, an inch of body fat was added to your waistline as soon as you finished chewing. You'd never even look at sweets again.
And that is all I do when I'm offered something that isn't good for my fitness goals. In the same way you'd immediately see yourself getting destroyed by a car if you tried to cross the freeway, you must also see the end result of five slices of pie on your body.
For me, I think of being too shy to take my shirt off at the beach, or physically not being able to live an adventurous life, or being in such poor health I can't spend time with my family, and that's all the "power" I need to pass on a sugar feast.
That simple mind-shift is all it takes to be able to say no when you have to. So please don't ever think of me as some kind of superhuman for declining to eat some cookies because believe me, I'm taking the EASY way out.
And isn't doing things the easy way so much better? :)
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