SP Premium
100,000-149,999 SparkPoints 141,332

Back on track - now how to prevent willpower atrophy?

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Thank you for the empathic and thought provoking comments on my last blog, Spark Friends!

I accepted the fact that my months of near-perfect compliance caused willpower atrophy, and that the culinary challenges of summer vacation time were too difficult to cope with.

As I promised, I started to re-train my Resistance Muscle (Beck Diet Solution term for willpower): now I welcome challenging food situations as training opportunities.
If no challenging situation presents itself during the day, then I deliberately choose to eat my 2 squares of dark chocolate while watching a movie with husband - and resist the temptation to go for more when chocolate is finished and the movie continues.
A lot harder than eating it after dinner, then cleaning up after dinner and go watch the movie with husband, which is pretty automatic and easy.

On the other hand, I got back to my healthy habits:
-eat 3 meals only, nothing in between
-eat sitting down, slowly, mindfully
-eat what I planned for the day the night before, or before breakfast
-avoid sugar and flour - eat whole cooked grains instead

Structure makes it easy for me. I feel full and satisfied during and after meals, I feel no hunger nor cravings between meals, and I'm energetic and alert all day.
I don't think of food outside planning, preparing and eating my meals, so I have more time and energy for everything else.
Sound too easy to prevent willpower atrophy? Indeed it is, if I do it on autopilot.
But there are always small opportunities to exercise my resistance muscle, like really not putting anything into my mouth while standing up, not even raw carrots, and Eating Slowly and Mindfully also requires some attention and willpower.

The last 2 weeks of summer still hold challenges for me, 3 birthdays lunches and a family weekend by the lake... but now I can trust that my willpower / resistance muscle will be strong enough to deal with it. Also I'll have a plan and I'll stick to it, and I'll have a positive attitude towards the challenging aspect of food: it will make me stronger, and I'll be able to handle it.

Spending time with my family will be more fun if I don't have to struggle with cravings nor food coma, and certainly I will be more fun to be with too.

At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance Spark Team:

Beck Diet Solution Spark Team:

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • DIROB57
    For a period of time during my 2 years of maintenance, it seemed like I could eat whatever I wanted to and still maintain my weight. That helped make me lazy because I felt invincible which meant I didn't exercise my willpower much. I didn't go totally overboard but if I wanted something, I rarely told myself no. My willpower muscle is very weak right now and needs to be strengthened....which means my mind needs to be changed too. I think rereading the Beck book may be a good place for me to start. Thanks for the idea!
    102 days ago
    I agree. Eating slowly and mindfully is the Hardest thing on the list of Beck principals for me. I seem to always be in a hurry. I have no excuse. It was just a habit that I took to so long ago and so difficult to break. Love your posts and complete honesty in all your blogs.
    163 days ago
  • no profile photo CD22518161

    Thank you for this!
    And believe me, I don't wish struggle on you, yet it gives me an even greater sense of hope that I can "do this food and fitness thing for the rest of my life" when I read that even you, who I admire so much for your strength in every way, falls a tiny bit off course occasionally, and then rights herself.
    187 days ago
    emoticon You are emoticon
    190 days ago
  • LIS193
    190 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    190 days ago
    Good planning. I think it's helpful simply to KNOW that will power is exhaustible. I'm finding the intuitive eating thing is effective for me (most of the time): eating until almost full and stopping. What I eat is the familiar stuff I've been eating for years . . . soups, salads, eggwhite omelettes, berries and chopped fruit, lean protein, Greek yogourt.
    190 days ago
  • MARTHA324
    Read your blog this morning and have been pondering it all day! For some reason the last few weeks have been less structured and like you write it makes it harder to stick to our routines. I haven't really gained weight (thankfully) but my eating isn't as healthy as it has been.

    so important in maintenance to realize and remember what got us here and what we need to do to stay here.

    Thanks for this thought provoking blog.
    190 days ago
    Good for you for developing your plan. good luck. It is difficult during the summer since routines are not so in place in the summer.
    190 days ago
    It's good to read that you are back on target once again.
    190 days ago
    190 days ago
    Happy that you found your happy formula! emoticon
    191 days ago
    Structure supports me too, Kriszta. Good work, woman! You continue to learn and grow and are doing a fabulous job of maintaining your weight loss and sustaining the healthy lifestyle you've established. emoticon

    Although, I am a deeply sensitive and intuitive person and it's primarily a bodily felt sense that guides my food choices, it is the structure of knowing what I need to do after having learned what works and what doesn't that's supported the more intuitive approach for me. And, given the ongoing health challenges, continuing to track supports not only the structural framework, it serves to inform decisions and keeps me accountable. It seems like the tracking keeps me aware and prevents me from slipping into mindlessness.
    191 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    191 days ago
    I just read this blog and the previous one, and everything you said makes sense. I was doing well for a while, but then family issues cropped up,and I got away from my structured plan and regained 3 lbs.

    Our granddaughter starts school the first week of September, so we will look after her only a couple of days each week after school. A good opportunity for me to get back on track.

    Looking forward to your re-read of the Beck plan.

    191 days ago
    Kriszta, I agree with your comment about structure and how that frees you to then have more time and energy for life outside of meals and eating. Plan, plan and plan some more is my motto to get through the rough spots. emoticon
    191 days ago
    Excellent job 👍👏. Have a blessed day 🙏 😇
    191 days ago
    191 days ago
    191 days ago
    You are amazing! You're back on track and you can do it!
    191 days ago
    191 days ago
  • LOF7203
    Thanks for sharing
    191 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.