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The Potential Of Willpower


“I start every diet with the best intentions but it goes to hell as soon as I sense blood in the water.”


This is an excerpt from the book titled Waistland: The (R)Evolutionary Science behind our Weight and Fitness Crisis .  The author, Deirdre Barrett, quotes an important statement about dieting and, generally, why we fail.  She also explains about the potential of will power and some measures to tackle it.

Moreover, she explains the pitfalls of surgeries to contain obesity, which I believe is cardinal to know.  On a similar note, we all assumed that, perhaps, these manipulative surgeries are helpful.  However, let’s discuss about the hiccups of such surgeries.  She says, “When we come to consider it reasonable, almost routine, for the obese to have part of their stomach removed to make over eating more difficult—despite a 40 percent rate of serious complications such as intestinal leakage, bowel obstruction, wound infection or nutritional deficiency—it’s time to think of will power training as a viable option.”   Rightly so.  Whenever I heard a story about expensive manipulative surgeries operated on obese people to tackle the menace, I sensed that something inherently is wrong.  Well, these scientific studies back my fears.  These surgeries not only create undesirable physiological changes but also a penumbra of psychological nonessential transformations.

However, the author also suggests about psychological research which has found that two techniques are the most effective in helping people to lose weight: cognitive—behavioral strategies, and hypnosis/imagery/visualization.  In general, they both emphasize will power enhancement.  In turn they both serve the goal to a new set of good habits.  I believe, primarily, if you think that will power is a feasible option thereafter you can consider taking the help of a psychotherapist.  I very well know that visiting a psychologist is  taboo here in India.  However, know that by doing so you are trying to help yourself and not please others.  The author briefs that if you think that overconsumption of unhealthy foods, lack of exercise, gambling and drugs is excess then perhaps self-control could be the most important medicine of our time.

The power of the mind—will is unknown.  We have yet to tap the innate potential of our willpower.


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