Willpower Depletion

This week, I got asked a question about willpower that I’ve never been asked before. It made me consider—and articulate—an answer that I think you’ll find interesting. Watch this week’s VLOG to hear the question and what I had to say about it.

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  1. Ingrid Thaker

    I have a question about body sizes and activity levels. If I am 5’8” and run Half Marathons do I still eat exactly what is on the program. I do add an extra protein and carb on my 20 km runs and a protein on my other training run days of 9 km of hills and 6 km fast runs . Is that ok?

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  2. Trish

    I so relate to this tonight: end of a long travel day, flew to Spain from UK and joined family celebration in a Spanish bar! I packed and brought all my meals and was able to navigate airport enticements, journey fatigue and then being surrounded by alcohol (and accompanying my husband to a pizza snack bar) . Walking back to holiday apartment we did some late night shopping and I could barely decide which proteins and which fruits to buy. I was so out of decision- making capacity! Will power depletion and the science of that is SO helpful. Am glad to know that, in the long term, I am resourcing my brain and helping to keep the new tracks strong and true. Sending love to the tribe and infinite gratitude to Susan

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  3. Buffie

    Even Baumeister, in his book on willpower, didn’t explain this so clearly. My daughter and I had recently been discussing the phenomenon of what we call “rebound eating” after exerting ourselves to stick to our bright lines in a social setting — and by synchronicity here is the answer in this vlog. Thank you ever so much!

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  4. Sharon Foulk

    Very, very interesting! It is so wonderful to have your expert scientific explaination! Also, it underscores how important it is to control our thoughts. I used to think I could not control them, that they just happen. But that isn’t 100% true. I just have to recognize them and then I can start to redirect them. Thank you for your VLOGS! They are helpful!!!!

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  5. Cathy Bell

    I have been dealing with this lately and didn’t understand that it was an issue with my brain. I just thought I was weak and out of control. Nice to know how to approach such situations and avoid breaking Bright Lines in the future.

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  6. riadh ghanma

    thank you

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  7. Lauren

    Loved the analogy of the crayons on the table, and how that doesn’t do it for me…and it can become that same way with NMF/D through automaticity – it’s there, but not meant for me, not my thing. Very cool!

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  8. Pamela Reynolds

    Many years ago, around 25, I was helped immeasely by Neuo Linguistic Programing NLP and what you talked about in the ‘tracks’ in our brain brought a lot of that therapy back to life for me. I learned that the sentexts are like grooves in the brain and those have to be erased and new ones put in place to achieve the healing that we need… I am aware that some of my words here are misspelled but not sure how to fix that…however, I know today that while I was not sure that I was to come again on board with the BLE and reading all the posts in the Food Fest FB page that this IS the way for me to go…I have struggled so much with this and am just tired of the battle with myself…so I am committing again to begin again… I need this and I need all these wonderful people who have been where I am and can understand…it helps me forgive myself and move on!

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  9. Linda Steele

    Fascinating info on this topic, Susan Pierce Thomoson! Thank you for all that you do to help us with our self-awareness and resolve, and insights into how our brains can adapt new pathways and behaviors!!

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  10. Jack Olsen

    Thank you for introducing me to BLE . even though I don’t follow as close as I should I’ve gotten to my target weight. I still have a lot of fat . Should I reaim for a lower target or concentrate on exercize to turn the fat to muscle ?
    I’ve changed my waist fron 40 inches under my gut to 36 inches over my stomach.

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  11. Sandra Christiano

    I love the explanation she offers and distinguishes between fantasizing about it and having the thought and just brushing it aside. Thankfully, I’m currently in the brushing the food thoughts aside. Phew. This plan continues to amaze me. Thank you, thank you Susan!

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  12. amr elsa

    Thanks, it is great post , I used the simple method you’re about to learn and dropped 32 pounds, which gave her the boost of self-esteem she needed to apply for and receive a big promotion at her law firm. For more Click the link https://bit.ly/2wB8yUz

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  14. Tamara Kenner

    Thank you so much Susan. A great topic for this week’s vlog. Great information to keep me moving forward!!

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  15. Barbara Dulong

    What hit home for me in this vlog is staying away from the fantasies of eating NMF. I have been in fantasy mode for a long time now…going so far as to planning what I would eat if it were my last meal. I didn’t realize how dangerous a practice this was, or maybe I did, but listening to this vlog emphasized for me the danger of what I was doing. In AA, it is said to ‘play the tape through’ if thinking about drinking…not just the ‘pleasure’ or ‘relief’ from the drink, but where that drink would lead…I do NOT want to relapse with BLE….I know rezooming is always talked about, but I have a deep fear that I would not be able to. I am staying clear from NMF fantasies!

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    1. Sarah

      Very good thought to play the tape through. Thanks

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  16. Traci

    This was very timely.
    I sure do thank you for taking the time to do this specific vlog.

    I’ve fallen away from BLE. And I was feeling like I just lost hope in me. And that was a very scary place to be mentally. Very.
    When you described how we can be incredibly depleted mentally/emotionally, like it takes all the energy and decision-making that is in us to win over the NMF/NMD situation, I felt a lightbulb go off. I haven’t felt hope in a long while. Thank you!
    I have felt SO incredibly alone and shamed since I have begun eating poorly again.
    But this vlog has helped my mind. In many ways.
    Thank you so very much for sharing and also for teaching us how we create new tracks in the mind as time progresses where we can more easily bypass these cravings in the future. Which leads to stability and continued hope.
    Your vlogs are very important. Thank you greatly for them…..

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  17. Deborah Neher

    I love when you talk about brain stuff in such a detailed way! There are such great takeaway tidbits from each vlog to store away and pull out when needed 🙂 Just this morning I attended a meeting and the host put out a plate of baked goodies. I had had a good BLE breakfast so I had a glass of water during the meeting and barely even registered the baked things. I love your analogy of not engaging with things on the table that are irrelevant to us. It’s great to have “NMF” to pull out, and even greater to have an occasion where the automaticity is so strong you don’t even need the NMF prompt 🙂

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  18. Greg Hill

    That got me to thinking, isn’t our psychological state often impacted by our physiological state? Isn’t our physiological state impacted by our nutritional state? And isn’t our nutritional state impacted by exactly where we choose to draw our bright lines? For example, if my body needs/wants more salt than I’ve recently been getting in my regular diet, wouldn’t that make it harder for me to resist grabbing “just one pretzel” (as if it would actually be possible for me to eat just one)? After I quit eating all that too-salty junk food, I had to buy a salt shaker and keep it in plain sight on my dinner table so I would remember to use it and not let myself become sodium deficient and craving salty snacks all the time.

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  19. Flor Zilka

    Great vlog. Thank you for addressing a situation that often occurs as we try to practice BLE in various situations and environments!

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  20. Michelle

    It’s all in my head! If I give way to thinking about the “bad” food, I’m done. I have to “turn the channel” IMMEDIATELY when those thoughts appear and not allow myself to dwell there if I want to be victorious!

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  21. Alice Taylor

    This was an outstanding vlog. I have never thought of the possibility of building and depleting willpower simultaneously. I always thought it was one or the other. Next time I find myself in a similar situation I now have the tools to handle it before, during, and after. Thank you, Susan!!!

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  22. Bonni

    Very helpful ideas. It reinforces the thinking (i.e., short term – ‘not that person that eats that food; not a person that eats in that context; and increase my long term ‘automaticity’) in response to these situations. Thanks!

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