There have been studies showing that willpower depletes over periods of time. I experienced this on a day to day when my eating habits are harder to control at night and on a longer term stent when I started spending a lot after I paid off my debts.
The debate I find myself in is whether to completely cut things out (i.e. never buy ice cream) or if it’s ok to have ice cream in the house and practice your willpower.
Tonight I spent almost two hours meal prepping. Then I ate dinner, cleaned the kitchen, and was ready to unwind before bed. Thus begins the debate. Can I have a glass of wine? I already snacked a little before dinner. What about some gelato? I’ll only have a couple scoops.
I resolved to have some gelato and did only have four or five spoonfuls out of the container. I’ve had to develop that portion control and it’s still not easy. The only way I have developed it, though, is by having it in the house.
Scenario A: You are in the grocery store and remember that gelato you’ve been meaning to try. You don’t buy it because it’s expensive and unhealthy, and you go home. You’re home, you’re unwinding from your day, and you could really go for some gelato, but there is none! So you start eating other things. Pretzels, celery with peanut butter, apple…nothing quite like that cold, chocolate gelato. You go to bed with more calories than if you had gelato and end up buying gelato the next day.
Scenario B: You are in the grocery store and remember the gelato you’ve been meaning to try. You buy it, because you know it’ll bring you some temporary satisfaction later, it reminds you of Rome, and it’s something that you can afford because you work hard. You’re home, you’re unwinding from your day, and you go and eat a few spoonfuls of the gelato. You feel satisfied and head to bed.
I’ve been through both scenarios. I’ve found scenario B to be a lot more realistic and self-image improving than scenario A. In an ideal world, there will be a scenario C where I don’t even want gelato, but who knows when that day will be and it’s unrealistic for me to expect that until then. There’s also scenario A2 where I don’t buy the gelato and end up figuring out how to manage the craving/feeling without indulging. Sometimes that happens, and sometimes I figure it out. Ergo, internal debate.
This applies to many areas of my life, namely boys. I have deleted multiple boys’ numbers out of my phone so as to not text them because I couldn’t resist the urge when I’m my most vulnerable. I know they’re not right for me, but the loneliness gets to me sometimes. I know gelato isn’t right for me, but that sugar high gets to me. I did it tonight, deleted a number, and although I know I’ll get over it, it’s still hard.
With that I’ll leave you this quote from my favorite movie:
“I may dissect each little thing and put myself out there so much but at least that means that I still care. Oh! You’ve think you won because women are expendable to you. You may not get hurt or make an ass of yourself that way but you don’t fall in love that way either. You have not won. You’re alone. I may do a lot of stupid shit but I’m still a lot closer to love than you are.” Gigi