Friday, July 31, 2009

Losing weight isn't about willpower

I used to think losing weight was all about willpower. I figured if I had enough willpower, I would be able to stick to a diet, resist fattening foods and eventually slim down.

But time and again I didn't have the willpower, and I did eat the foods I wasn't supposed to. It didn't matter what diet I was on, if it was just one of my own creations or something I was following out of a book.

It was pretty demoralizing. I would make a new starts at losing weight with a strict resolutions of no 'cheating'. Then when I would break my diet and splurge on foods that were off-limits I would feel guilty and a complete failure. I would mentally beat myself up about my pathetic lack of self-control. That sort of thinking doesn't exactly empower one's self esteem! I would end up in thinking place of: I am fat (therefore ugly) and useless.

All I can say is, thank goodness I didn't give up. Because eventually I found this way of losing weight (and actually maintaining!) where willpower just didn't come into it. It was only recently that it dawned on me of why this is.

Previous to this way of eating, it was quite common for me to really crave something sweet after lunch and dinner - chocolate, cookies, and cake were top of the list (potato chips weren't too far behind!)

The nutrition programme set out for me is one that feeds my body - it gives my body the fuel and nutrients it requires to function properly. In really basic terms: I eat the right food at the right time. Because my body is always fueled-up, I don't get cravings. When it is getting close to a meal or snack time, I am looking forward to my healthy food. And after I've had a meal, I feel satisfied and full. I don't feel like having anything sweet or munching on anything else. I can keep chocolate and cookies in the house and I don't feel like eating them - in fact, I don't even think about them.

I always thought that trying to eat this healthy all of the time would make me really want to eat treat foods. I thought I would feel so deprived that I would never last a week eating this way let alone 5 years! I can see the irony now that eating healthy actually makes me want to eat healthy! Losing weight is not about willpower at all - it is about fueling the body with the right food at the right time.

No comments:

Post a Comment