Dr. Roy Baumeister says that people only have so much will power. It’s like have $20 for the week and when the money runs out, that’s it, willpower no mas. It doesn’t matter if you spent it on movies, lunch, wine or got robbed by a crackhead in an alley. I was not to thrilled to head this news, since these days it seems as though I’ve had about zero dollars of will power.
I used to be so rich with willpower (albeit, years ago). I stuck to a strict diet, no exceptions. Even my self prescribed cheat days were thwarted in favor of being a meal or a day closer to my goals. It’s like I am some trust fund kid who blew all my money by 22 and now I’m a beggar harassing passerby’s to throw some change in my empty coffee cup. I need a raise.
This interview initially made me SadPants. I thought I’d be willpower poor for the rest of my life! MY LIFE! Can you imagine how suggestible I’d be?! Not only would I be fat. I’d be drunk 60% of the time and the rest of the time I’d be sleeping. That’s a lot of hangover that I’m ill equipped to endure. Did I have to go on a willpower budget? Ration my willpower tokens by priority?
Whilst I was conspiring to get my hands on some adderall or some kind of drug to get my appetite in chickety check and keep my brain focused at work the doctor had some good news. Willpower raises exist! Apparently the more you do it you can build up your income! There is hope! And just like it doesn’t matter whether you spend your willpower on cookies or clothes, it doesn’t matter if your build it up resisting a cookie or forcing yourself to do laundry. The sample increase willpower exercise that the doctor uses is just working on posture. He does a study week after week that the subjects work on sitting and standing up straight that their willpower improved in other unrelated areas. So you can get a willpower raise by doing something simple!
I tend to be a polar thinker; not unlike many EDer’s and an ambitious one at that. I always want to take it all on at once: keep my room clean, exercise, restrict, make my lunches, be on a budget…etc, and all of said things are things that I’ve consistently been inconsistent with. In my brain, however, one MAGICAL proclamation (usually after a particular bad day involving food or jeans) all of these things are going to come into alignment. Like magic. Unfortunately, I’m not a magician or a wizard or a unicorn or some other magical magic person and my spells and potions leave me at another bad day. (If you are a magician, call me. I’ve got some healthying I need tending to.)
The doctor also says that people with more willpower are more successful in life and junk. It makes sense, resist all those temptations that conflict with an overall goal and you will end up with a lot more successes than failures. I’m hoping that having good weekdays is building my willpower somewhat (I was nomvomming daily at one point) (okay, several points…whatevs). I have a lot of catching up to do since my willpower has been on the steady decline. (And by “steady” I mean “rapid.)
I’m steadily going to increase my willpower salary. Not bingey style, slow and steady. This week is exercise. Yesterday I went on a short jog walk and did light yoga stretches. Today I did a simple yoga podcast (on my tv).