Years ago, I do think that a big part of the problem was education - people didn't know what to eat and they didn't know the approximate nutritional value or caloric content in foods. Mass media has pretty much taken care of that and we know what we "should" eat...but many times, we don't. So that must leave willpower, right? Not so fast. I don't believe that you can "will" yourself to do something that you're not equipped to do. So how do you get equipped to finally lose that weight? In my mind, the answer is to think about your diet fouls and set up supportive structures to get you on your path.
The first step is to identify your own barriers to success. For me, one of my biggest was (and is) a mindset. My training workout plan has me exercising quite a bit, so that little voice in my head often says, "You deserve a treat for working out so hard", or "You worked off the calories, so you can afford to eat more." I have to challenge that voice in my head and overrule it with, "I worked out hard and those are calories in the bank toward my weight loss, so I can't blow it by eating that cookie." Now, I'm a big proponent of moderation of all things including moderation, so an occasional cookie IS in the plan, but it shouldn't be the norm for me to reach my goals.
Another one of my diet fouls is that I often tie watching TV to snacking...so I try to read a little more or do something to keep my mind otherwise occupied while watching TV, like working on that puzzle I talked about in my earlier blog. Distraction is a great tool.
One of my other fouls is that when I'm tired after a long work day, I drink too much caffeine and am on a constant search for sugar...and chocolate. Having identified this is a challenge for me, if I arrive home tired from a crazy day, I take 10 minutes to relax with my eyes closed and doze. I keep it to 10 minutes, but it does refresh me for the evening without interfering with my sleep.
Ok, enough examples, now it's your turn... If you take the time to really identify what is keeping you from reaching any goal, you can set forth a plan to tackle ANY of your project fouls, including losing weight. Really identifying your barriers and how you might overcome them is the key to success. And I might add that, in many areas, success is a journey, not a destination! So get on your path today...