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Pump Up Your Willpower!!

Hey campers, ever wonder where willpower goes after the sun goes

down? Our morning “iron will” seems to deteriorate by evening, and we

start feeling defenseless against temptation right? You know what I

mean— that donut you didn’t think twice about at 9:00 a.m. tries to seduce

you at 9:00 p.m. Why does this happen?

I used to think that sticking to a fitness/figure regimen was just a matter of

wanting it badly enough, especially as a competitor. Yes, a strong desire

will help push you through tough workouts and restrain you from the

peanut butter jar (most days), but it isn’t always enough.

Most researchers agree that willpower is like a muscle. It can get depleted

from over work and can be strengthened with practice. One theory is that

willpower is depleted when one is forced to use it all day long. For

example, having to dodge donuts & cookies all day at work may lead you

to finally give in at the end of the day. Think about it like performing an

exercise until failure.

Another theory is that willpower is depleted from mental fatigue. If you are

making lots of decisions all day, you become mentally exhausted, making

it difficult to continue to make good choices.

Either way, knowing that willpower can be variable and exhausted on any

given day, there are a few things that I do and that you can do to

STRENGTHEN YOUR WILLPOWER:

Eat protein frequently. Research by social psychologist, Roy F.

Baumeister, concluded that willpower wanes when one’s blood glucose

levels are low. This leads to a contradiction for dieters: you need willpower

to restrain calories (i.e., diet), but you need to eat to have willpower. This is

yet another reason why having small meals containing protein (rather than

fasting) is one of the best long-term weight-loss goals and weight

maintenance strategies. My favorites are protein powder and egg whites;

they are quick and easy.

Set it & forget it. Considering that resisting temptation and making

decisions may deplete your daily willpower, have a specific plan that you

follow without question. This will minimize the opportunity to act

impulsively.

Make it fun. Researchers have found that when a goal is perceived as fun,

it’s much easier to consistently exercise willpower. Frame your goal as a

happy, amazing accomplishment and think of the path as an exciting, fun

challenge. Don’t allow yourself to focus on the pain and obstacles, as this

will deplete your willpower. Also, try infusing fun into your diet and boot

camp by inviting friends to boot camp with you, incorporating new

challenges into your program and making small tweaks to your diet (i.e.

switching up your salad toppers) to keep it interesting.

Stop looking for trouble. After you’re done eating, leave the kitchen. If it’s

not mealtime, stay out of the kitchen. If you poke around looking for that

one little thing to satisfy you, you’re just looking for trouble, as your

willpower may not hold up.

Refuel with rest and recreation. Mental fatigue drains your willpower, so

make sure you are giving yourself sufficient rest and relaxation every day.

This means 7-9 hours of sleep per night and short breaks throughout the

day to refuel your mind and body. From experience, keeping a consistent

frantic pace will catch up to you.

Watch your words. Believing you have willpower will help you manifest

more willpower. Creating this belief begins with our thoughts and is

reinforced by action. Repeating seemingly innocent comments like, “My

weakness is candy” or “I just can’t resist cookies” reinforces and keeps us

repeating bad habits. Instead, strengthen your willpower by saying

statements like: “I make decisions that align with my exciting goals.” This is

a great item to add to your goal sheets!

Push Toward Your Best
: As you continue to flex your willpower,

especially during those times when you feel like you have none, you are

strengthening your resolve and forming habits. Habits make sticking to a

fitness program feel like a necessary and natural part of your daily routine

like brushing your teeth. Once your goals become a series of habits, you’ll

free up your willpower for use in the pursuit of new and exciting goals.

Keep pushing— your best is waiting.

You can do it!

Coach C

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