Willpower has always been something I have had mixed emotions about. It is a term used most often when talking about weight loss and it seems those that have “it” are the ones most successful in their weight loss journeys. For me, “willpower” simply means gaining control of my habits and not spending 10 minutes justifying why it is OK to have that late night snack.
Over the past two weeks I have made a commitment to myself to gain control. I never realized just how important it is to be in control of not only my actions towards others, but the way I am treating myself as well. I have always taken comfort in food growing up and eating has always been a big part of my social life. Going out to dinner is an easy way to socialize, it’s what you do while watching movies, and there is a list of other activities food is integrated into.
I am learning how to separate some of these things from food and I count calories for the rest. It’s incredible how many calories you can consume in a single day and by forcing myself to keep track of everything I eat really puts that into perspective for me. This method is 100% effective for weight loss and counting calories is very simple, the hard part is actually doing it. I find myself some days almost lying to myself about how many calories are in something, this is where my growing ability to not try to justify things to myself comes into play.
The easiest way for me to count my calories has been an amazing app for my iPhone called Lose It! This app not only allows you to search for foods with existing nutritional information, you can also scan the barcode on just about any packaging to retrieve the information. This has been HUGE for me, I am doing a much better job tracking calories because scanning things is so much easier for me than searching.
You also fill out a short profile of yourself including your starting weight and target weight. Lose It! will then calculate the amount of calories you should take in each day to lose the amount of weight you want in a safe and healthy way (about 2lbs a week). You can also track all of your exercise and calories burned as well as your weight each day. The app is free and integrates into their online account (I have yet to explore this part).
Next on my self improvement to-do list is a more regular workout schedule. I actually went to the gym last night and consistently ran my fastest mile yet. While it felt great and was inspiring I know that I have a long way to go and that with a bit of “willpower” I can make it happen!