What is willpower? And an easy Chicken Bacon Broccoli recipe!
Hey there and Happy Wednesday! Anyone else struggling this week, or is it just me? K, cool.
A couple updates:
- Chicken Bacon Broccoli Bake recipe below!
- Michelle Hoover, NTP from Unbound Wellness will be joining me on the podcast for an episode focused on the Auto Immune Protocol (AIP). You need to listen. She’s awesome.
- I need questions! I’m collecting for a “Listener’s Questions” episode. Submit them here.
- New recipe coming soon, but here’s a sneak peek:
I want to jump right into it. And the it is willpower.
People always comment on “how they wished they had my willpower” and I’m going to be honest right now, my willpower kind of sucks.
Willpower. The magic wand. I would be rich if someone gave me a penny anytime someone said, “If I just had the willpower…” in reference to some type of desired action. But is willpower really the magic potion we deem it to be? Maybe.
In conversations with Mark and articles I’ve been reading, it’s safe to say that willpower will only get you so far – because expressing willpower over many things in life, makes cause for burnout. You can’t exhibit willpower over everything and expect to be successful at it all.
For example, take this study. The summary: two groups of people were used. Group 1 was placed at a table with a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies and a plate of radishes and were asked to only eat the radishes. Group 2 was also placed at a table with a plate of cookies and a plate of radishes and were asked to eat the cookies.
…this is where it gets interesting.
Both groups were then given a puzzle to complete (unknown to them, the puzzle was unsolvable).
Group 1 (the radish eating group), gave up, thought the study was dumb and became frustrated. Group 2 on the other hand, tried to deliberately complete the puzzle and discussed possible strategies and solutions.
The conclusion? The radish eating group had used up all their willpower to resist eating the cookies, so that when it came to exhibit more willpower towards a very difficult puzzle, they had none left.
Willpower is a limited source.
By definition, willpower is the control exerted to restrain impulses. And what’re impulses? An urge or compulsion. Compulsion. That dirty word. Most of you may not know this about me, but I have some serious OCD tendencies. I count things, tap things, double check, triple check things. It’s weird, annoying and in an otherwise, controlled-lifestyle, much uncontrolled. Or you could ask Mark what happens when I make say, an apple pie. Again, zero willpower. That pie is gone in a day. So by true definition, my willpower sucks, and to those who “wished” they had my willpower, I try to politely correct them. It’s not willpower you’re looking for.
Then what is it?
I think it can be broken down into three characteristics that innately, we all possess.
The problem with willpower is that it’s really no help once a decision has been made. Willpower is a pre-determined, thought-out decision to restrain from an action. And for the most of us, the issue often times lies when the decision has already been made. The “What do we do now?” “Where do we go from here?” conundrum.
As humans, we’re going to be faced with slip-ups, poor choices and situations we exhibit zero control over. In these situations, willpower may not be the answer. But resolve will be. A solution, a course of action, determination – to get back to where you need to be, where you should be. By knowing we’re strong enough to bounce back is an easier concept to employ in comparison to exhibiting total control over any impulse that could make us waiver.
It’s not to say, fail and see what happens. It’s saying, stay determined, stay the course.
Side-steps and setbacks will happen regularly (like I said, we’re human) and that’s where resilience comes in. To recover quickly, to spring back, to be flexible and tough in situations that can be frustrating, chaotic or not exactly on plan.
Failure happens due to lack of flexibility or the inability to recover quickly after minor setbacks.
“…human beings are blessed with an inborn and automatic power to be resilient. Those who know this thrive; those who don’t, falter—come what may.”
So, we have resolve and can stay determined and find solutions to our problems and maybe we also have resilience and can bounce back quickly and get back on plan.
But isn’t there a glaring hole in this equation? Absolutely. And that hole should be filled with a sense of commitment. Something we’ve lost touch with. Commitment can seem so lofty, so unattainable – and I blame modern society for that. How can we be committed to anything?
To stay the course, yes we need resolve; yes we need resilience; but we also need a deep desire to be committed. To have a cause, a reason, a responsibility to ourselves and to the ones we love. When we look at it like that, doesn’t it scream important? Yes, as it should.
However, if we have trouble understanding commitment as it pertains to our goals or beliefs, this is where we can go off-course most easily.
How does one stay committed in a society detached from responsibility?
- The belief that something is truly important to you
- The understanding of why it’s important to you (and/or ones you care about)
- The acceptance that there will be highs and lows, ease and hardship
It’s cyclical.Starting with commitment – understanding the importance of our goal, plan or belief and accepting there will be highs and lows. And when there is, our innate ability to employ resolve and find a solution, and resilience to stay the course.We have all these characteristics within us. The answer is not whether or not we have “willpower;” but can we simply exercise these characteristics and be mindful of their purpose and actions as it pertains to what’s important to us?
Be well (and eat well), friends.
Easy Chicken Bacon Broccoli Bake
Keto-approved. No easier way to get your protein and veggies!
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- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 heads of broccoli
- 6 pieces of bacon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tbs coconut oil
- 1/2 cup organic cheddar cheese (optional)
- 1/4 cup organic mozzarella cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- In a baking dish, coat chicken breasts with 1 tbs coconut oil and seasoning evenly with salt and pepper.
- Place chicken in oven for 30 minutes.
- In a separate dish cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces, coat with 1 tbs coconut oil and seasoning evenly with salt and pepper.
- Place in oven for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon until crispy on stove top. Set aside.
- Once chicken is cooked through, remove from oven and let cool.
- Slice chicken into bite-sized pieces and place back into baking dish.
- Mix in cooked broccoli.
- Sprinkle in cooked bacon
- Sprinkle cheese mixture over top (optional).
- Place back into oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.
- If you don't do dairy, substitute with cashew sauce (blend together: 1/4 cup cashew butter, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/3 tsp salt and 1/3 tsp. garlic powder - pour over top).