Willpower, Won't-power and WANTpower!

At last Tuesday night's Inspiration Meeting we discussed Willpower: Over the course of 2 hours, we discussed willpower's many challenges, it's dirty little secrets (pssst! your cravings are on drugs!) and the things we can do to strengthen our ability stick to our guns when we say, "I Will!"  "I Won't!"  and "I WANT!"  

The outline and notes from this talk will be posted in the password-protected area at the top of the Resources page as soon as I can figure out how to do that!  (New technology... y'know).  Everyone will receive the login as soon as it's been posted, so please keep an eye out.  This area will become our clearing house for unique and special content, workshop notes, new tips, tricks and advice *just* for you, so you may want to hang on to it!

Please don't share the login with friends outside of our clinic. This is special content just for my dear, loyal, wonderful clients. 

For now, I'll show you one of the videos we watched. See if any of this looks familiar in terms of how you sometimes feel about food... 

> The Marshmallow Test

Alarmingly, this child is on drugs!  The desire, angst and tension he's feeling is from the neurotransmitter, Dopamine, being triggered by the sight, smell and stimulation of an intensely sugary treat. As we learned in our meeting, Dopamine is an incredibly powerful neurochemical that drives desire-based behaviors of all kinds... It's responsible not only for good things, like our sense of motivation and drive in life, but also for things like the obsessiveness of a romantic crush, the torment of a food craving, the "jones" for drugs, or the compulsion to shop or gamble. 

When it comes right down to it, dopmanine, combined with it's sister-neurochemicals, serotonin and beta-endorphin are responsible for almost everything we want and enjoy. Dopamine drives us to pursue "happiness", and serotonin & beta-endorphin (the feel-good chemicals) give us a sweet, relaxed high when we ingest, obtain, consume or otherwise achieve what dopamine had us chasing... At least for a few minutes.

These neurochemicals are so strong, they can compel us to take our eyes off the big picture of what we want for our health and lives, and convince us to trade all that in for a short-term, zingy hit of instant gratification via brain chemicals.  But does dopamine deliver on the promise of happiness? I guess it depends on what you define as happiness. That where your "I WANT" willpower comes into play. If you know deeply enough what you WANT, you can override, avoid and lessen the effects of even these primal survival-ensuring brain chemicals.  Please read more in the Resources section, and I'd love to hear your thoughts and reflections here!

The majority of the content of our presentation was inspired by "The Willpower Instinct," by Kelly McGonigal. It's the best book I've read on the subject of willpower. I also pulled some inspiration from Radiant Recovery, and the concepts behind the book, "Potatoes not Prozac."