We all talk about will power. How we can limit or structure our actions to fit our goals. Mostly we talk about it in January or in the fall when we make new year resolutions. Not only does the Jewish new year begin in the fall, but school starts and it has always felt like a new beginning for me as I entered a new school year.
I use willpower well when I decided to walk around the lake after my yoga classes 5 monnings each week. The weather right now is perfect for a walk and I am encouraged by my new Fitbit device that sits on my wrist reminding me of the number of steps I need to walk to meet my daily goal.
I thought I was using willpower well as I attempt to reduce my food portions to lose the 5 pounds I gained during the winter months when I was not feeling well. When I had so little energy, I kept thinking I would feel more lively if I ate something. Only time made my lungs stronger, the extra food was mainly, I see now, for comfort along the way. It is so hard to lose those few pounds once again! I lose 2 and regain them the following day.
So now I am leaving on an educational group trip to Cuba where there will be little I will be able to eat--or want to eat. I am allergic to foods that contain milk and I never eat anything made with pork--or beef. Well, once in a while I have some form of brisket, either for a holiday meal or in the form of a half of a corned beef or pastrami sandwich! So I figured if I get myself used to eating less, I will be less hungry on this trip. No matter what the scale reads, I was doing so well, until....
My friend and I had lunch at a Persian restaurant yesterday. We ordered 2 dishes we shared. One was a vegetarian sampler and the other was a soup-like mixture with pieces of chicken. It was accompanied by delicious basmati rice. We left a third of the meal which my friend had boxed to go. I was happy. Then the waitress brought us to a lovely well decorated table with snacks displayed and annotated for the Persian New year celebration which just passed. And before I was even aware, a piece of caramel candy (tastes just like peanut brittle my friend said) was in my mouth getting stuck in my teeth!!
So much for will power.
We give in to urges of the moment with no thought involved. A piece of candy is not much for me to worry about, but others accept "just that one" drink or cigarette. I understand and I wish I had shared my intention with my friend. I could have asked her for help in keeping to my goals. And not trust "willpower."