Today we’re going to talk about something everyone has probably felt lacking in at some point- will power. In the past people have told me, “Man you must have excellent willpower,” if I turn down a cinnamon roll or if I turn down something that would be tempting to them. I think this is a common struggle for anyone who has tried to eat healthier. So that’s what we will be diving into today, willpower and how to combat weak willpower.
What is Willpower?
First, let’s talk a little deeper into what it is. Willpower is putting us at a point of being a victim or being very vulnerable. Basically in the past, we’ve probably caved, right? Which tells us that we have bad willpower. But truthfully, it’s more so your subconscious. And I know I’ve talked about your subconscious in the past, but today we’re going to talk about it as disconnecting it from your willpower. So your subconscious is basically like a little version of you. Imagine it being a toddler since it fights you back on things that you know you should or shouldn’t do. It kind of leads you to believe one thing and you have to argue back and forth. It’s a pretty cliche version of a toddler. So your subconscious is doing exactly what you’ve trained it to do over the years and you’ve trained it to do things by different experiences in your life. So that’s why we all have different voices in our heads. Now the cool thing about comparing the subconscious to a child is that it can be retrained. But we don’t think of it that way. We think of it as if it’s our willpower and then our willpower is bad if we succumb to what we should or shouldn’t do. So now we’re going to take a break from that way of thinking.
Taming our Subconscious
The first step is to give it a name. For example, Suzzy. Then talk logically to it as if it were a toddler. You could say, “ You know what Suzzy? I know what you’re doing. You’re trying to get me to stress eat, emotionally eat, or comfort eat because that’s what I’ve told you to do over the last many years. But actually, I’m not going to so stand down.”
Then visualize yourself stepping up on a pedestal because you don’t deserve to settle. You deserve to step up on that pedestal and put yourself first. Get out of that mode of serving others all the time. Explain to Suzzy that you’re going to pass because you know what’s best for you. Just like you know what’s best for your child, like not allowing them to eat three cookies before dinner because you want them to eat their substantial food first, you are telling your subconscious what’s best for you. Your subconscious doesn’t always know. Your subconscious is going to lead you into the action of what you’ve been telling it to do. If you stress eat every time you are stressed, then that tells you’re subconscious that was the correct thing to do. Each time you do it, that tells your subconscious that was the right thing to do so then that’s what you should do every time. And so now by changing it up, your subconscious is going to fight back, but you’re going to be the person making the decisions. Then once you’re conscious, grasp onto that, and you won’t have to fight so hard every time.
Creating a Healthier Relationship with Food
So that’s one way you can start to build a healthier relationship with food because ultimately food isn’t the problem. It’s how we think about food, or how we treat food that is the problem. We treat it ungrateful when we overeat it. We treat it disrespectfully when we use it as a crutch. But you can respect food in a way that shows that you’re grateful for it to nourish you and fuel your body. Now, have I ever not turned down a cinnamon roll? I love bakery and I love cinnamon rolls, but I don’t eat it in a state of stress and discomfort because then am I listening to my subconscious or am I just enjoying the cinnamon roll for the experience it’s giving me? So yeah, I guess I challenge you this week to think of a name for your subconscious. So when it’s fighting back with you, you have the upper hand in the relationship. I don’t know, have a little fun with it because it is about enjoying the journey rather than continually feeling like a victim to your eating habits.
Okay, everybody, I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Feel free to email me with any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org) or check out the membership page to learn more about the membership!
Always enjoy the journey,
Hannah Koschak, RDN, CD
Wholesome Endeavors LLC