By the Power of Will

Ack, damn attention deficit disorder. My brain has just skipped from the title of the post to a distant childhood memory of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. I had a few of those toys when I was younger including He-Man himself, who had a built-in spring for his “power punch”, and … eh… the bird thing with “lifelike” flappy wings.. and .. yeah that’s about all I can remember. Ohh that wee stocky guy who liked to dive head first into doors, and the lion.. tiger… big cat that He-Man rode when he was in a hurry.

You know I’m sure I had something in mind when I sat down and started typing. I USUALLY start with some vague notion in my head, something that I will train my huge intellect on and reduce to a quivering mass of hypotheses. Or I’ll just ramble on and see what spews forth.

Ahh ha! I remember.

Willpower, and more specifically, the lack of any on my part.

It’s a topic I’ve touched on a few times in the past, and one that I’ve never really been able to nail down. What is it, where does it come from? Strictly speaking, willpower is the ability to extert your will on your self, but it’s more universally recognised as the ability to withstand temptation, the ability to stick to a diet, and I guess the ability to self-motivate one’s self into action (is it just me or is that whole “self” thing bloody hard to word in a sentence? Just me? Right then, as you were).

Yes, that’s right folks, I’m talking diets, jogging and trying, yet again, to develop good habits in those areas.

Or rather, I’m not.

You see one of the tactics I’m currently trying is to ignore these issues altogether. Obviously not completely, or I’d end up stuffing myself solid and developing a Homer-esque butt print in the sofa (actually there is one already there from when I broke my foot and spent a few weeks just sitting there watching TV). No, I’m ignoring them because I’m beginning to believe that if I spend less time pondering these things, and just tackle them as and when they come up, it’ll be easier to handle and therefore more successful.

That’s the theory, at least.

Admittedly this new regime is relying on some rather shakey methods mostly derived from the “ohhh, just get on with it” school of thought. You know the one, it’s practised by the people who believe that anyone who is suffering from depression just needs to be told to “cheer up, it can’t be that bad”. Mind you, thinking about it, it is rather surprising that there are still so many practitioners of this school of thought. Surely, by now, they should all have been stabbed to death with rusty forks? I digress.

Needless to say I’m not entirely convinced that this approach to developing willpower will actually work and was kind of hoping that someone else might have a better suggestion. Or five. I mean, seriously, ANYTHING must be better than this… right?

So, feel free to rush to my comments and proffer forth your willpower related suggestions, techniques and general nuggets of information.


I’m desperate.

And not just because there’s a Double Decker sitting here, demanding to be eaten!


  1. Battlecat, it was called Battlecat. Or “Cringer” when not in He-man fully-armoured mode.

    Oh GOD I need to get out more.

    Now let me go and read the rest of the post, damn you!

  2. If you have any top tips, send ’em my way, as I need to stop smoking before I can have my very expensive dental implant fitted. I know smoking is anti-social, bad, ugly, unhealthy and wrinkle inducing, so theoretically giving up should be a pleasure. But I enjoy smoking. So I suspect it will be hard.

  3. I don’t suppose me saying “Mmmm… Double Decker” is going to help in the slightest, is it?

    Mmmm… Smoking…

  4. A wee woman in the shops said to me whilst picking up a small chocolate bar…’this is my wee treat before my dialisis on Monday, I shouldnt, but its hard…’

    So there you go, your life any worse? If so one word…

    Lithium .

    Mmmmm cadbury easter egg ‘crunchie’…..

    As for smoking, its just too expensive.

  5. ‘Borrow’ a small spiral bound notebook from work and write down in it every time you run or jog. Just the basics: when, for how long and whether you took it easy or stretched your legs out and put in that extra spurt of effort.

    Just a very basic exercise journal will come in handy – I have been keeping one since last December – its very positive to look at, a very visual reminder that you can get your butt out of the chair. Of course there never will be as many entries as you would like to see; but never-the-less it becomes a list of all the times you did manage to keep a good habit.

    Happy exercising…

  6. By all means write things down but make sure and include the thing that you’re striving towards; the end goal, the reason you’re doing all this, the ‘why’. If you don’t have a clear picture of this – and by clear I mean SO vivid that you can picture, touch, smell, taste IT – then your brain’s going to concentrate on the process of getting there and find ways (give you excuses?) to not do it.

    I’ve done some work and training in this field (jeez, I sound like f’n Freud) so email, call, blogmeet me for more info if you like.

    And I know this’ll sound flippant but did the Double Decker drop by of it’s own accord because it doesn’t have Sky Sports and there was some really good football on this weekend? If not, how on earth could it have got there?

  7. For me, the whole point of running is so that I don’t have to feel guilty about having the odd treat now and again. What’s life if you can’t have an iddy-biddy double decker once in a while?

    If you are concerned, though, you do need to have a goal to work towards – perhaps doing a 10k in a certain challenging time. If you already have a goal and it doesn’t seem to help your motivation, you probably need to rethink that goal…

  8. Thanks all for the comments/advice. I’ll follow up with a blog post later today methinks as there is a little too much to discuss here in’t comments.

  9. Don’t knock yourself out! Jogging is for losers. I lost 5 stone walking. Walk to work or if you live far from your workplace park a mile from work and walk in and back to car at night. It took me a yr but it works. A pound of lard is equivalent to 3500 calories i.e. 14 doubledeckers. If you ate a doubledecker a day for a year which added an extra 250 cals over your daily calorie needs, by the end of the year you would have put on 24 lbs. On the other hand if instead of eating that double decker you walked for an hr a day (at a medium pace) within a year you would lose that 24 lbs without going on fad diets or busting a gut jogging or in a gym. If you also watched what you ate that daily walk would contribute to even more weight loss i.e. my 5 stone.
    The trick about diets is never to eat crap. If you’re hungry and want to eat remember a bowl of porridge or cereal will fill that space as well (and probably better than) a double decker. And if you need a blow out do it! Just make sure it’s worthwhile breaking your eating regime for i.e. a T-bone steak or lobster it in style!

  10. Jogging IS for losers, whatever was I thinking!!

    Gareth, I’d argue that a pound of lard has worse impact on your body than simple calories, and that walking at moderate pace doesn’t raise the heartrate enough to gain much benefit. Yes any daily exercise will help lose weight, but people exercise to get and stay fit too.

    As for the “never eat crap” comment, I’ll leave that one alone. Suffice to say that your comment manages to outline your thought processes far better than I.

    Thank you for your disdain, however heartfelt it might be.

    *rolls eyes*

  11. As I only nipped in and out of your blog, only pausing momentarily to give you a hard time about your double decker habit, I didn’t realise that you were traing for a 10k run. But my comment still is valid. You see the strange thing is that I took Gavin Hastings words to heart – literally. On his keep fit/healthy advert on the telly a few yrs ago he said that walking at a decent pace was as effective as running over the same distance. I hate running so took his advice and ended up fitter at 39 than I was at 18 (ok, possibly I was a very unfit 18 yr old). I felt great and if you are having problems sticking to your running regime intersperse it with walking if you have the time. Incorporating it into your journey to and from work makes it painless exercise. I know people think they need to suffer in oder to get fit but no pain no gain isn’t always the case.

    By the way I have to confess I’ve put 3 of those 5 stones back on but have started my walking regime (4 miles per day) again and am determined to get my fitness back up to scratch and back down to my fighting weight.

    Good luck.

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