Dieting and Self-Control

So I’m still going through this one book “Willpower”, and I’m almost done.

It’s really cool to see a lot of the philosophies that we talk about actually having great psych research that support them.

Here’s one that’s killer.

selfcontrolWhen it comes to self-control and self-discipline, diet ranks as the HARDEST thing to manage. Even those with impeccable work ethic fail miserably (think Oprah). So, with that being said, being overweight is often falsely associated with laziness.

People with great self-control have a LITTLE better success ratio, but it’s not overwhelming by any means.

Also, self-control is not the same as EMOTIONAL CONTROL.

With emotional control, you can just change the way you think about a situation (ie change perspective) or think about something else.

Self-control is based on desire.

Also, people found to have the best self-control actually SAVE their self-control for when they really need it. They create habits that automatically and unconsciously handle most self-control issues, so that they don’t think or decide what to do. Since it’s on autopilot, it doesn’t deplete willpower.

These same people utilize “precommittment”, which means they plan ahead for bumps in the road and work around them. Personal accountability is a big help. Journaling what you did, how you felt, and how you can improve increases self-control.

Oh, and going back to diet being abnormally tough on everyone, read the Venus¬† Factor reviews.¬† Sticking to diet has a more profound effect with self-control “leakage” to other areas of your life then virtually anything else. When you get control of your diet, other things naturally become easier to control even without thinking. (ie stop smoking, manage finances, exercise more)

And it actually works the other way around as well… just not as pronounced.

Creating a habit of exercise creates more self-control with diet.

Actually, the cool thing is that ANY one thing that you focus on improving and getting more control over spills over. This is one of the reasons it’s important to only focus on improving one thing in your life at a time… as the natural spillover helps in other areas.

I have found this to be true in my journey. When you are down pick one good thing like go to the gym. Then it feeds another positive thing and it snowballs. The same happens with negative things too. Each seems to feed on itself.
It drives me almost crazy how everyone admires my “willpower” regarding exercise and nutrition. I have the willpower and self-control of a rabid baboon! What I can do is know myself, predict my own feelings and actions and build positive traps for me so I will follow the path I have staked for myself. If I don’t do this I fail epically. I’m just very good at tricking myself into habits.

When I am fully satisfied and am taking good emotional and physical care of myself then I will not touch a bag of cookies that’s right in front of me. But that’s not willpower, that’s lack of desire.
I put my workout clothes for the following day in plain sight in my gym bag, which is bright green LOL so I have to walked past it and it will say – hey you, are going to train or what? I only go in certain sections of the food store too. When I get home from work I don’t stop in the kitchen but go straight upstairs, change clothes, etc. so that I don’t start munching. When I go to the barn (which is a haven for junk food) I clean the cat box first. LOL. Really it works, check out GF Post!

Then I make a deal with myself that after I ride Max and I will both get a “treat”. Usually by the time the ride is done I have forgotten about the cookies, candy or whatever is in the lounge. I don’t eat dinner with my guys. I used to when the kids were young but I just don’t do it now. Too much opportunity to chow down just like they are. If I’m really craving something I will make myself drink 10 gulps of water and then go do a “chore”.

If after that I’m still “hungry” I’ll re-evaluate. A lot of the stuff that I do is distracting my mind until something else takes the place of whatever I’m craving. I’ll get on here and surf, I’ll put a movie in and cuddle up in my bed…anything that lets me think about something other than whatever it is I think I “need”. It totally is not willpower it is just messing around in my own head and WITH my own head.