Will Power vs. Won’t Power

brownie with nutsMy uncle has always been a large man, the kind that has to duck to go through many doorways. He is used to respect and likes being in control. He is also full of advice, wanting to share with people the things that he has learned throughout his life. I am sure when he was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago, it took some time for him to adjust because this was uncharted territory, not something he knew already or knew how to control. He has learned how to manage his diet and glucose levels. He has even learned how to indulge in small portions of favorite desserts without causing any health issues. As a result his disease is not at a severe level.

At family gatherings, it seems perfectly natural how he passes on some desserts and indulges a bit in others; if we did not know about his diagnosis, we might not have guessed. A recent gathering included brownies, made from scratch by another older relative. He passed on trying the brownies, by saying “I have a lot of will power, but not a lot of won’t power.” I have watched him control his portions and the foods he chooses, so my guess is that he knows that certain foods are more difficult to avoid.

Is it easier for you to avoid over-eating by avoiding a food entirely or to indulge in a very small portion? Do you have more will power to avoid or more won’t power to stop? I think the key component to my uncle’s thinking was maintaining a positive self-image. He felt more in control in this situation with total avoidance. He applied his will power to remaining in control rather than applying won’t power against over-indulgence. Such quips are used for entertainment and to make one think. In this case, it may be an easy phrase to keep in mind to empower you to sticking with your food plan.

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