I go to a gym, which is crowded in January. Regulars know the early Happy-New-Year commitments to fitness will weaken sometime in February.
A pretty woman can loosen a man’s grip on his career--we hear these news stories from time to time as one political group takes aim at each other's leaders--men who failed at sexual self-control.
Fat shaming happens. The vulnerable targets are miserable, even depressed. We can almost hear their tears and feel their anger. Anger at self as well as the those who cast verbal stones. The perpetrators are merciless bullies hurling foul insults. The presumption is, we are in full control of our physical appearance, including body shape and weight.
The Willpower authors give us nine chapters worth of self-control information before indulging that common nemesis, dieting.
Baumeister and his colleagues inform us that willpower is like a muscle. Willpower can be strengthened through exercise. And after sustained use, we need a rest and refreshment because our capacity to exert additional willpower has been depleted.
In Baumeister's psychology lab, volunteers were divided into two groups. One group received chocolage-chip cookies. A second group was asked to avoid the cookies and eat radishes. Following the snacks, both groups were asked to work on geometry puzzles that were unsolvable. Which group worked longer? The cookie-eaters lasted 20 minutes but those fighting temptation only lasted 8 minutes--less than half as long. The point of many such studies is that willpower is a limited resource. After exerting willpower to resist temptation, people are worn down.
Control of eating —dieting—is tricky because our resolve weakens when we cut back on foods containing glucose! And glucose seems to be a key to helping us resist temptation. Glucose is brain food.
1. Never go on a diet.
3. Whether you’re judging yourself or judging others,
never equate being overweight with having weak willpower.
What can be done?
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