Tuesday, February 12, 2013

the power of willpower

the power of willpower

The last couple weeks have been challenging for my wife and I. We've had evening meetings a few times - which means eating on the run while getting the kids taken care of. We've had meet-ups with friends for drinks, a friend's wedding shower (my wife), which required baking a few trays of brownies, a "boys afternoon" (me), which required a lot of snacks, and helping the kids cook Valentine's Day cookies.. Whew - what month so far..

snack food

On the other hand, is this really that unusual? It seems like there's always another practice, meeting, social event. Another reason to let ourselves down. To overeat, indulge, celebrate...

In the end, our success is up to us. We get to make a choice, everyday - multiple times per day actually. Do we want to be fit, or do we want to be fat?

That's not how the choice presents itself, though..

  • Do I want to sleep in, or get up and work out?
  • Do I want to go out to lunch with everybody, or eat the leftovers I brought?
  • Do I want to eat the brownies I just made, or wrap them up and put them away?
  • Do I want to eat one taco, or lick the combo plate clean?
  • Do I want to eat a Snickers in the afternoon, or drink a glass of water and pop a Tic Tac instead?

There are thousands of versions of that choice, and they all look like this:

  • Do something FUN, or do something hard?
  • Eat something YUMMY, or miss out on all that deliciousness?

But, if we take a step back and invoke a little willpower, the choice would look like this:

fat or fit

It doesn't matter what diet plan you follow - counting calories, high protein, vegetarian, whatever. And it doesn't matter what exercise regimen you've set up - cardio, cross-fit, long workouts, short workouts..

You are the only one who can make you successful.

Those choices will continue to present themselves, and it's up to you to make the right choice.

Take a deep breath. Count to ten. Think about the path you're on, the direction you're heading, and why.

Win that battle. That little, tiny, seemingly insignificant battle with your desire to pop a brownie in your mouth. Then celebrate that victory in your mind. Savor it. Know that you just took another step towards success. And then get ready to do it again later.

Long-term success is a matter of grinding out these short term victories. Success is a grind. Embrace the grind.

-Chris Butterworth

** image credits: sonic.com, mcdonalds.com, circlek.com, microsoft clipart, obesityaction.org.


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