Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Some thoughts on willpower.

I'll admit, the start of a new year is pretty inspiring.

Which is why we're inundated with diet commercials, flooded with suggestions of cleanses, sold on the idea of cutting carbs for weeks at a time. At the beginning of the year, you name it, we're open to it.

So I was thinking: how much willpower does it take to follow a juice cleanse for a week? To limit yourself to cereal for two of your three meals each day? To commit to cutting out fruit, whole grains, potatoes, and all other forms of carbohydrates for weeks?

To me, all of those things sound absolutely miserable (and, coming from personal experience, some of those things definitely are ABSOLUTELY miserable). And yet, at the start of the new year, people somehow find the willpower to tackle these dietary restrictions, and they probably are successful at losing weight.

Which begs the question: if we're able to have the willpower to strictly follow crazy diet restrictions in the beginning of the year, why can't we find the willpower to make (much less restrictive) lifestyle changes during the rest of the year?

Isn't it much easier to, say, commit to limiting dessert three times a week than it is to commit to eating only vegetables or cereal for a whole week? Or to focus on what you can eat rather than what you can't?

What's the craziest diet you've ever attempted? Did you get the results you wanted? Did they last?
One time, I did Nutrisystem. The food was disgusting, and I lost the weight I wanted to lose for a hot second, but it all came back once I started eating real (non-packaged-and-preserved) food again. Plus, it took all the fun out of eating. Lamesauce.


  1. My Dad did Nutrisystem. Worked wonders... until he stopped. Gained all the weight back.

    I did South Beach back in high school and it worked REALLY well for me. It wasn't a crazy diet. They had frozen meals, protein bars, and even little pre-packaged bags of 100 calorie snacks. I enjoyed most of what I ate. Then I got to college... and all that weight came back. Sad day.

  2. Hey Jen!

    I love the experience of creating food and eating it with people way too much to give up anything.

    My three diet rules are:
    -use real butter because margarine is terrible for you
    -eat visually and soulfully
    -work out 6+ times a week between 30 min and an hour with a mix of cardio and weights

    Happy New Year.


    1. Agree with the butter! It's all about moderation and you don't necessarily need to use that much. Same with fuller fat dairy, it keeps me fuller longer when eaten within reason and I'm more satisfied with creamier yogurt, for example.

  3. I tried Jillian Michael's Detox Water, the one with cranberry and lemon juice and dandelion root tea. Waste of time and money. It's basically a diuretic, so while I started to feel less bloated, I felt too dehydrated to workout, and as soon as I stopped it all came back. Love her, disappointed that she would endorse this.

  4. Can I just say I'm super impressed with the way you simply tossed the word "inundated" in that second sentence like it was a word people used every day?

    In other news, I think getting healthy & fit is more about having a friend/loved one to keep you honest. It's easy to make excuses for yourself, tougher to make excuses to someone else. Support systems are super important.