Mindfulness,  Mindset

Struggle to lose weight: Why does our willpower suck?

If you’ve found yourself on this post, I’m sure we’ve got similar stories when it comes to the struggle to lose weight.

We’ve been on several diets and have tried “everything” to lose weight. But can’t seem to stick to anything long enough to finally achieve our desired weight. 

We have joined gyms, meal prepped, actually went to the gym, ate our prepped meals, and started off doing alright. We’ve maybe even lost some weight and can tell we’re slimming down some.

Hot girl summer (people still say that?) starts looking promising. 

Then something happens and we cheat. It could be a long day, a bad day, a “weird” day. It could be a yucky situation at work or something else emotionally taxing. Or things have gotten really busy and snacks are looking way more “accessible” than meal prep. 

“Just this one time,” we tell ourselves. 

That one time morphs into weeks and months eating food we know we have no business eating and weight we know we have no business gaining. We eat, gain weight, and fight the weight gain until we’re restarting another diet. And the cycle starts again. 


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The dilemma

Now, if we’re completely honest with ourselves, not even the best way to lose weight will end our struggle to lose weight.

When it comes to weight loss, our willpower sucks and we lack the self-discipline to stick to anything, really. Not even what we KNOW works for us. 

I’ve had to tell myself this harsh truth too. Especially after I lost 45-lbs on a healthy diet that worked really good and regained 30-lbs back trying to stick to healthy habits. I had to realize it wasn’t the diet at that point, it was my mindset. It might be yours too. 

I want to share some mindset lessons I’ve learned about why our willpower sucks and why we self-sabotage our efforts. There are also a few things we can do about that to strengthen our willpower long enough to cultivate solid self-discipline and consistency. 

I’ve found by becoming aware of what’s going on with our mindset and implementing daily practices for getting our mindsets in alignment with our weight loss goals, we can begin seriously improving our self-discipline and consistency. 

Let’s get into it. 

Why is it so hard for you to lose weight? 

sometimes the weight you have to lose is on your mind end your struggle to lose weight

Does any of this sound familiar? 

You can’t stick to any diet long enough to achieve your weight loss transformation goals. Not even great results and the ease of the diet is enough to keep you disciplined. You still manage to fall off. 

Your life seems to make it really hard for you to stick to your weight loss routine and no amount of motivation seems to help you beat those temptations.

And you’ve been struggling to lose weight loss for so long it’s like the cycle of falling off is just part of your weight loss routine. 

Sound familiar? 

We allow it

What I’ve learned is these are actually what we allow to happen to our weight loss efforts when we are not tending to our mindsets.

When we have a mindset, beliefs, and thoughts that don’t support weight loss and healthy living, it is easy to talk ourselves into falling off. It is easy to allow life to throw us off.  

The right mindset will encourage you to keep going and stick with your plan no matter what goes on in life. Your mindset helps your diet become your lifestyle that’ll stick. But it can also make your willpower suck. 

The first way our mindsets around weight loss makes our willpower suck is not taking seriously how powerful our “now” is.

Unaware of the power of “NOW” causing the struggle to lose weight moment by moment

end your struggle to lose weight by taking control of now

I was reminded of the importance of “now” while reading Elizabeth Benton’s book “Chasing Cupcakes: How One Broke Fat Girl Transformed Her Life (and How You Can Too)” and her struggle to lose weight.

She talks about the habit of putting off healthier decisions for a later time be it tomorrow, after the weekend is over, on Monday, or when the last box of Oreos is done. 

Elizabeth realized it was her habit of putting off better decisions that were essentially keeping her apart from what she wanted. How long have you been putting off what you want by saying you’ll do better later? 

This is definitely something I’ve struggled with when it comes to sticking to my diet during the party season. I have a habit of putting off healthy eating when we’ve got birthday parties, summer holidays, and Sunday “just because” bbqs. It’s an annoying habit. Can’t lose any weight like this. 

I “looked up” last year and realized a whole damn summer went by and I was still holding that 20 lbs I told myself I was going to lose when summer started. This is no way to live!

Putting off healthy decisions enough to rarely do them

Putting off healthy decisions that align with our goals also means we end up rarely doing things for our goals.

We postpone doing what we need to do for our goals. We postpone so often that we technically aren’t doing them. And definitely not enough to actually see results.

Your willpower will definitely suck in these conditions. How are you going to strengthen it when you’re putting off exercising it when it really counts? 

Now is really the only time we can actively make the changes we want to make. When you think about it, all the meaningful action that makes the real difference with our goals has to happen in the now, in the moment that it counts to be made.

If you want to be your fit self, you’ve got to resolve to get on that now with every chance you get a decision to do what’s best for your goals.

So how can we begin exercising awareness of our “now”?

You should definitely check out Elizabeth Benton’s, “Chasing Cupcakes” if you haven’t read it yet. You can listen to it for free on Audible with a free 14-day trial. It’ll be worth the listen. Trust. 

In addition to listening to Chasing Cupcakes, I’ve also found that being aware of the habit of putting off healthy decisions helps me get better at not putting off healthy decisions.

Practicing making healthy decisions each time you get a chance to make healthy decisions is what’ll make the changes you want to see. This is what’ll get your willpower in check.

A second way I’ve noticed our mindsets with weight loss ruins our willpower is by trying to lose weight on beliefs and thoughts that simply don’t work. 

Trying to lose weight on beliefs and thoughts that obviously haven’t been working 

end your struggle to lose weight by updating your beliefs and thoughts

Beliefs and thoughts that haven’t been working will talk you out of anything.

That’s how we know they haven’t been working. They’ve been talking us out of sticking to our weight loss goals, killing willpower, and ruining self-discipline. If they worked, they would have been talking us into sticking to our weight loss goals, ending our struggle with weight loss. 

Our beliefs and dominant thoughts are what determines the actions we take, the habits we have, and the results we get.

That habit we have to talk ourselves into eating off plan comes from a belief that we have. No need to get specific about what it is, but we do know it doesn’t align with our weight loss goals. If it did, we’d be our desired weight. Period. 

If we keep debating ourselves into actions that haven’t been working for us, it is our set of beliefs and thoughts that haven’t been working for us and need updating.

This is one of the first things we should do when in pursuit of transformation. Otherwise, we experience a lot of unnecessary suffering. 

When we don’t update what we’ve been thinking and believing, we’re trying to achieve transformation on the same thoughts and beliefs that caused what we’re looking to change.

This is why we fall back into old habits and regain weight we’ve lost

Our willpower can’t survive when we’ve got thoughts and beliefs that weaken it. 

What I’ve done to work on updating my thoughts and beliefs is listen to plenty of Abraham-Hicks material on telling my story the way I want it and practicing beliefs and thoughts that align with what I desire. 

Now, this stuff can be classified as “woo, woo” (hate that term), but guuuuuurl I’d be doing you a disservice not to share this stuff and how it has worked for me.

I used to be a non-believer that thought all that “it’s important to be happy” mess and “think only of what you want” stuff wasn’t really worth the effort. 

It is.

One major change I’ve experienced with telling my story the way I want it is now being able to maintain my personal care schedule.

I used to SUCK at making sure I did things like wash my hair regularly and following my morning and evening face routine. Telling myself that I can stick to these things has helped me stick to them. Go figure. 

Start paying attention to what you think about weight loss and what you’re telling yourself. You might find that you’ve been believing and thinking things like “this sucks” that actually makes your willpower suck. 

Here are some thoughts and beliefs that might be ruining your willpower. I’ve thought about these too and have heard them from others. 

  • This is hard 
  • I’ve got to give up stuff I love 
  • I’ll never lose weight 
  • I can’t give that up 
  • I’ll start again on… 
  • But I love eating… 
  • Oh man, I can’t have nothing! 
  • Dang, what’s left to eat if I give up all that?! 
  • But, I’ll be missing out on… 
  • This is so restrictive! I can’t do nothing! 
  • This is torture. 
  • The struggle is real.
  • It’s so unfair that I can’t eat what I want. 
  • Look at that lucky, skinny bitch eating that Cinnabon without a care in the world. 

Any of these thoughts, and thoughts like them, will chew up your willpower and spit it out like cheap gum. Working to establish more helpful beliefs and thoughts will strengthen your willpower. 

Last thing I noticed with our mindsets ruining our willpower has to do with the belief that we’re suffering.

Having the mindset that your weight loss routine is an unwanted restriction you’re forced to do

your struggle to lose weight can be a mindset issue

Nothing will zap willpower faster and put your mind on defense quicker than feeling forced to do something you don’t want to do.

Your mind will help you get out of that “painful” weight loss routine real quick.

It’s much easier to stick to your weight loss routine if you like it or at least focus on its purpose and appreciate it for that. Your weight loss routine is here to help you, not hurt you. It’s not unfair, It’s your body.

Also, it’s much easier to stick to your weight loss routine if it becomes a lifestyle associated with a new you. Sounds cliche, I know. Being fit and tending to your health and wellness regularly is an entire lifestyle that requires you to show up differently, faithfully.

Wanna new body? Be a new you.

If you show up the same way you always have, with the same beliefs and thoughts you’ve always had, your willpower won’t last and you’ll get the same results. 

Find YOUR routine…

Find a routine that works best for weight loss and for you.

Think about the results you’re looking to achieve and resolve to like that process. Focus on the results coming your way and resolve to look forward to achieving those results. Your weight loss routine is getting you healthy, well, and on the path to better health.

Remember that.

It will be much easier to stick to when you focus on the great things it’s doing for you instead of what it is requiring you to change. Appreciate the transformation and the process.

Complaining will kill your willpower. Appreciating will strengthen it until your self-discipline is good enough to keep you consistent.

How do you get serious and end the struggle to lose weight?

Take your mindset seriously. Take seriously what you think and believe about weight loss, healthy eating, exercise, living healthy, and giving up unhealthy habits.

Start catching yourself being negative and nasty about your healthy choices. Change the negative thought to a positive one and remind yourself that this is for you. If you feel yourself debating to do something off-plan, stop the debate and don’t have it.

Ask yourself if how and what you think about weight loss is really helping you. If you’re reading this, and we can relate, I can guess they’re not. You’re causing your struggle to lose weight with your thoughts and beliefs.

Get serious by working on updating your mindset like you’re working on eating the right foods. 

Your willpower sucks because your mindset is old, but you can fix that  

What kills your willpower, self-discipline and consistency are how you mentally approach weight loss.

If you try to lose weight on the beliefs and thoughts that made you fat, your weight loss routine will fail. Your weight loss routine has proven to be no match to your mindset.

Make updates by working on your mindset daily, taking the opportunity to make the right decisions now instead of later, and instead of thinking of your diet as torture and stopping you from stuff you want, appreciate it.

Your willpower will get better in no time.

Have you struggled with sticking to your diet and entire weight loss routine? Do you think it’s your mindset? Let me know in the comments. Let’s talk about it. 

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