I Have None
All around we see products advertised to help us lose weight. It seems there's a new fad diet every week. The Low-Carb diet. The No-Carb diet. The Pineapple diet. The Atkins diet. The Fruit-Only diet. A couple of days ago I saw the Baby-Food diet is vogue in Hollywood. How silly.
Why is it people have so much trouble losing weight. Surely, its just a case of getting on the diet and sticking with it. The diet does the rest. I got thinking about this in the light of my recent experience.
Why do people keep chasing the latest fad diet? Is the newest fad better than the last one? Reflecting on this I realised its not the diet that fails, its the dieter.
I saw a TV ad the other night, part of the Government drive to get people to quit smoking. Bottom of the screen in small print said: "Willpower required". There's the rub. You hit the same problem whether you give up smoking, give up food (ie go on a diet), give up sweets, give up drugs, give up computer games. Giving up any of these activities "Requires willpower".
Lets talk about dieting for a moment (though this applies to other things). Most diets fail in the first few days. This is when we experience the greatest onslaught of desire. It comes at you in waves, overwhelms you and the dieter throws in the towel. A person may start a diet with great conviction, desire and will to succeed, but after a couple of days, their willpower disappears like the darkness of night before the morning sun.
The hardest part is when the desire to eat hits you. No diet can give you this willpower, you have to get it yourself, or at least cultivate it. When the desire hits, you need to grit your teeth and hang in there. Abandoning your existing diet or changing to a diet you believe will be more successful, misses the point. Your gonna come head-to-head with your desires whichever diet your on.
Its funny. I've heard people say: "I tried xxxxx diet and it didn't work". What they mean: "I tried xxxxx diet and I caved in when the hunger pangs and the craving started. I just couldn't take it, cos I have little or no willpower".
Its the same for smokers. People decide to quit smoking, smoke their last cigarette. Throw away the pack with whatever cigarettes are left. Give away their lighter. Next day its Cold Turkey. All the resolve and willpower they had when they quit has disappeared. Its deserted them. They chew gum, eat sweets, use patches, smoke plastic cigarettes. Pace the floor till they can't take it anymore, then light up. "I'll give up next week".
Willpower is not a commodity you can buy. Its not for sale in supermarkets. You don't get it in diet books. It's an individual characteristic and a personal quality. If you don't have willpower and wish to quit smoking or go on a diet, you got problems. No diet can give you willpower. No nicotine patch can give you willpower. You have to supply willpower yourself. But most people don't know how.
If you don't have willpower, how do you get it?