Thursday, 29 March 2012

Musings, ramblings - Will Power

I have been thinking a bit about willpower. Mainly my lack of it.
  • If I have chocolate in the house I will eat it with no restraint. Therefore I do not buy chocolate.
  • If I have sweets in the house I will eat them with no restraint. Therefore I do not buy sweets. Well rarely.
  • If I have nuts in the house I will eat them with no restraint. Nuts are good in small doses but I find it hard to stop scoffing them all in one go. Therefore I do not buy nuts very often.
  • If I have chips and sweet biscuits in the house I will eat them with almost no restraint. Therefore I do not buy chips and sweet biscuits.
  • If I have soft drink in the house I would probably drink it with no restraint. Actually I do occasionally buy soft drink, but it is too sweet for me.
  • Before I stopped smoking the only way that I could not smoke was to not buy cigarettes and not have them around me. After over 14 years I hope that I have broken that habit. I will never know because I will not buy cigarettes again. Ever.
  • I have alcohol in the house and it is too easy to pour a wine or open a beer in the evenings. Therefore I have rules like no alcohol before 5pm and self imposed alcohol free days. The temptation when at home is too break those rules.
  • Ben Cousins was arrested earlier this week carrying trafficking quantities of amphetamines. This is despite huge media publicity over the years, court cases, rehabilitation, drug addiction therapy and who knows what other support that he has had. He was apparently heading to another rehab clinic at the time.
  • I knew a person who called himself a chocaholic, he consumed 2 pieces of chocolate every night. A block of chocolate lasted for days for this person. chocaholic indeed, not by my appetite.
Will power is a strange thing. Mine is weak. I stay on the straight and narrow by avoiding temptation not by resisting temptation. It is easier to walk past the sweets in the supermarket aisle, than it is to walk past the sweets in the cupboard at home.
If you put a salad in front of me and a hamburger, guess which one would be eaten?
All this rambling came up because this week I have made a serious attempt to lose some weight. I could feel my stomach tightening and every day as I stepped on the scales I was heavier than the day before. It had to stop.
If you asked me, I would have said that I was dieting, pretty much continuously over the last 3 or 4 years. In that time my weight started at 86 Kg, I got it down as low as 76 Kg, man did I look good. But it has drifted back up to 82 and has been bouncing up to 86 and back to 83 for the last year or so depending on my level of commitment. Last week it raised over 86 and I began to feel fat. Man boobs forming, the works. It was time to get serious.
I looked at a couple of weight loss sites. According to one my correct weight for height is 69 Kg. I have not been close to that since about age 18. For many years I considered about 82 as my body's natural weight. It was easy to maintain at that level. It is now drifting up far too easily.
I wondered if some of these so called "super foods" would help. There are some scientific papers that indicate some foods do indeed suppress appetite. I was particularly attracted to Hoodia, which is allegedly eaten by South African tribes to reduce appetite and cure a couple of problems. But then I found that the research study was funded by a weight loss company and no double blind trial has actually occurred yet. Also if it does have an effect you cannot guarantee that the tablets or powder that you buy actually contains any Hoodia.
I have a view of the diets that rely on Acai Berry and a range of other foods. In my opinion if you followed their diets and substituted say, diced carrot, or blueberry, or pretty much any other vegetable, I think that you would achieve the same results and save a lot of money. The diet works because of the discipline and the placebo effect, not because the food itself is a wonder cure.
So this leads to the fact that I have to go back to traditional proven weight reduction regimes. Eat less and eat healthily. I.e  a diet that is low fat, low carb, high in vegetable, less protein than normal, and reduced portion size.
I am hungry a lot of the time. Trying to tweak the diet with foods that keep me feeling full for longer.
So The Bludger has had to exert will power but was showing 83 Kg on the scales this morning, down from 86. 


  1. I was thinking this too regarding chocolate. I do have some bars here right now as we bought some for Easter (instead of overpriced eggs), but I eat it a whole bar at a time! Most of the year I just don't buy chocolate as I can't do that just eat a little piece now and again. It has to be all or nothing!

  2. Well Easter is one of the times when people overindulge.
    Still hovering at that 83 level. I need to try harder.