Replace Willpower with Willingness for Better Health
Have you ever:
1. said to someone, “I’m on a diet”?
2. typed this into Google “how to lose weight in 5 days..”
3. have you looked at Before and After photos and thought, “yeah, I want to try that workout.”?
4. have you wished you enjoyed working out or was more athletic like that girl back in high school?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of them, then we have something in common and in this post I want to share with you something that changed my life. Only 6 months ago, I was talking about the ‘7 reasons for being fit’. So this revelation is relatively new but profound and frankly, unlocked the secret to sustained health.
It’s literally throwing away setting ‘health goals’. It’s veering away from ‘I can do it’ with willpower. It’s replacing this model of being a ‘goal-kicking achiever’ to being ‘willing’. And then? No, ‘and then..’. Yup, that’s it. Just being ‘willing’.
This was how I started my talk at a recent workshop – Vision Casting & Life Strategies run by Fideliz Cruz.
I vividly recall the look in the audiences faces as I introduced this new concept of not having to ‘rely on your own willpower’ (not ALONE anyways) and replacing this concept with ‘faith’ and ‘willingness’. There were confused faces, skeptical faces and raised eyebrows. Until I showed them this….and then people were interested in what changed my life.
The left was when I was pregnant (I tried to find photos of post-pregnancy but I couldn’t find any. Surprise! And frankly it doesn’t make a difference because I looked practically the same) and the right was when my first born was 1 years old.
I was filled with willpower to lose my 25 kilos. And I did it. You see, I eat willpower for breakfast. In fact, it’s my biggest enemy. Because of this false sense of security, aka “willpower”, I have suffered from bulimia, anorexia, depression, anxiety and ended up in hospital many times in my life. But at least twice for suicidal attempts.
My experience has told me that ‘willpower’ and kicking ‘health goals’ doesn’t sit quite right. I’m sure some can relate, and others are like, “I kinda prefer to have your willpower.” And perhaps you sit on the other end of the spectrum, where you dream of your goals and never seem to be able to achieve them.
This is where I fault the system. Relying on willpower sucks.
Willingness, on the other hand, is powerful. It’s not judgemental. It’s kinder. It fits well for those who kick goals and those who don’t do so well with goals. Either ways, we’re trying. You can’t fail if you’re still trying, right?
Now, of course the questions is then, willingness to ‘what?’ I can’t answer that question for you but it must be something that is greater than your own being. It must be sustainable. Mothers can relate to this easily. You are willing to sacrifice your needs for your children.
For me, it’s surrendering my willpower to control, to change things, to do things in My plan, My time, My will ….to God. You saw it coming, didn’t you?
Yup, here I am preaching again. And get this. I do it not because there is any specific gain. It’s not a goal I’m kicking. I preach because my life has changed since I’ve really picked up the cross and followed Jesus. And I passionately feel it to share with you.
I’ve realised that He loves me in whatever shape, size or form I am. He loves me no matter how many goals I kick or not. There is no scoreboard. In fact, because He loves me so much, it doesn’t matter if I put on a kilo or two every now and then. He teaches me about balance and learning to love my body so that I am WILLING to treat my body with love and care. Bring on a juice detox and do it with joy! Bring on a degustation and eat it with joy! If you turn your eyes on Him, you’ll KNOW how important it is to stay healthy.
With this new lifestyle, I’m so thankful that my Vision is clear and my Lifestyle Strategy is rooted in a good place. Everything I do, I turn my eyes to God and really trust in His health plan for me. Not my own.
Today, if you’re wondering whether you could explore something different for your health goals, take time to ponder this verse from the Bible:
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” ~ Romans 17:14
Further to this, a genuine feeling of emptiness can sometimes be real and needs attention, too. Read more here.