Saturday, February 22, 2014
This week was even better than last week with consumption – I was more consistent about staying in my range and I averaged around 1500 calories a day. That’s been my general goal, and since I am burning around 2400 calories, I hope to see some results. Didn’t hop on the scale like I usually do on Saturday morning, but I feel like my jeans fit better than they did last week. If I don’t see any loss, I’ll adjust the calories down, but I have to say, I am feeling pretty good. And I think it’s because I was able to control my consumption. And that self control felt really good.
I wasn’t quite as disciplined about exercise. I did get all my training runs done – 21 miles in all – but I didn’t do any strength training. I did yoga once.
Next week I will exert the same self control over my exercise and activity as I did with my consumption this week.
I started reading a book about will power and it’s pretty interesting. The author maintains that while will power was a very popular concept in the Victorian era and thought to be a critical element of a healthy personality, the idea that we were actually in control of ourselves foundered in the 20th century in Western culture, with the advent of the behavioralists like B.F. Skinner who essentially believed that people could be trained to behave and perform in certain ways, regardless of their willingness to do so. This flew in the face of the idea of free will. Eventually, the idea of will power was replaced with the concept of self esteem and the culture readily accepted that idea. This fit in well with the 60’s ethos “if it feels good, do it” and “I’m ok, you’re ok."
I’m not sure I am willing to accept all of this. But I do think that in our education system, teaching will power and self control do not seem to be emphasized as highly as the promotion of self esteem. That’s always bothered me, since it seems backwards to me to promote self esteem as separate from accomplishments and values. You feel good about yourself because you’ve mastered a skill, achieved a goal, developed good values (kindness, fairness, etc.), rather than the reverse. And accomplishing and achieving have everything to do with discipline, self control and will power. Essentially, delaying immediate gratification for future rewards.
And I think this is a part of what many of us on Spark are here to do...support each other to develop self control and exercise our will power in order to achieve our goals. Definitely a running theme! This author believes that will power is like a muscle, which can be developed and strengthened, so I am looking forward to learning more.
Here's hoping all my Sparkling friends have a wonderful Sunday and a productive week!