Willpower Isn’t Enough To Lose Weight! Take THIS Approach Instead.

What is Willpower in Your Fitness Journey? And how is that going to keep you on the road ahead?

Now I’m going to read to you the Oxford Dictionary’s version of willpower, and I’m pretty sure this is something that many people would agree about.

Willpower: control exerted to do something or restrain impulses. Pretty straightforward and standard, right? Well, I want to open this up a little bit more for you on a deeper level.

Here on this channel, I talk about the four pillars of fitness: your physical fitness, your mental fitness, your emotional fitness, and your spiritual fitness. And I want to tie willpower into something that’s deeper than that surface definition I just gave you because a lot of that is rooted in just your mental fitness. But there’s a spiritual fitness aspect to this that once you start to unlock this, I think it’s going to change the way that you approach your fitness and the things that challenge you in an even greater way.

Willpower and Spiritual Fitness

I share with you guys that my journey in faith is coming from more of a Christian viewpoint, but anyone can take gems from what I have to say today. I’ve been reading a book called The Way, which was written by a Catholic priest by the name of Josemaria Escriva. It’s a gem of a book because it gives you little anecdotes and sayings and things to meditate upon, to just help you to live your life in a better way. To show up with integrity every single day. To show up with care for others and to be of service to those around you in a way that can impact everyone who crosses your path.

Now I want to connect it to your fitness by reading what he has to say about willpower. That really changed my entire perspective.

Josemaria Escriva’s Definition of Willpower

“Willpower, a very important quality. Don’t despise little things, for by continual practice of denying yourself again and again in such things which are never futile or trivial.


With God’s grace, you will add strength and resilience to your character in that way.


You will first become master of yourself and then a guide, a chief, a leader to compel and to urge and to inspire others with your word, with your example, with your knowledge, and with your power.”

Willpower as a Discipline

So in that respect, willpower just isn’t about denying yourself for the sake of being in control of things, but to deny yourself in a way to teach discipline.

In order to, in many cases, let go of things that do not serve you, that do not help you to live the life that you want, or to get to the next level in your fitness. In this case, as you want. And in learning how to master yourself against things that do not serve you, you become an example to others as well. Because how can you teach others or inspire others to greatness when you can’t even aspire to that within you? And to do so from a positive place?

You know, I’m so sick of the fitness industry making us our own enemies, constantly judging our own bodies, constantly judging ourselves against the facade that society has put in place. Making us fear food and eating the things that should be nourishing us, to give us the energy to do the things that we love, and to do what our calling here is on this planet.

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Planting seeds of self-doubt within us that we carry on from childhood to adulthood and even inadvertently teach our children when they observe how much we don’t love ourselves.

You can bet that they see that.

Think about what you’ve seen in your own parents, perhaps in your mother, when she was constantly on diets, and then turning her ire on you to keep your weight under control, thinking that she was helping you to be healthy, to not be ridiculed by society, but those seeds of self-doubt and self-hatred were planted in you instead.

Transforming Willpower

So I want you to take this idea of willpower and flip it on its head. That willpower is the discipline that you give yourself, the permission that you give yourself to make the choice to live better. To say no to the things that don’t serve you positively. To know that when you’re trying to establish this body as a temple for the goodness within you and your body as a pillar of strength physically, emotionally, mentally, and more, that it takes making decisions to do away with the things that do not serve you.

That is true willpower from a positive standpoint. That is true willpower that helps you to change your habits over the long term. And I think by you shifting your mindset towards that, it gives you a greater foundation to learn to accept yourself in this process of weight loss.

Practical Steps to Build Willpower

But the question you might have is, okay, Roxie, this sounds great, but how do I start to do that?

Number one, the first thing I always say to my clients is give yourself grace. Know that you’re not going to be perfect along the way of this journey of changing your body.

That you’re going to stumble now, that you’re going to have a plan, and that plan is going to change time and again. Sometimes you need to chuck that plan out the window and redo it again with where you are in the moment. But give yourself grace to fall and to get back up and learn from those lessons.

That is true willpower right there.

Because in knowing how that mistake that you might have made, maybe you ate something that was not on plan and you feel terrible about it. Now you’re trying to will yourself to never do it again. But instead, what I want you to do is look, hey, I ate that thing. This is how I felt after.

And I know that if I continue to go down that path, then I’m not going to see the results that I want. So instead of worrying myself in a negative way to never do that again, okay, I learned a lesson and here’s what I want. So let me set up the discipline. I need to not let that happen again.

Change Your Perspective On Your Approach

You need a lot of willpower when you have restricted everything off of your eating plan. You’re not allowed to eat fats, sugar, salt or fruits. At what point are you allowed to eat anything? You’re being so restrictive that you have completely obliterated any sense of having a meal plan that’s sustainable even after you reach your goals.

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And this is why so many people fall off the wagon.

This is why so many people, time and again, once they lose weight, gain that weight back, and then some because it’s too restrictive. They’re having this battle of the will in order to not do something, instead of seeing how can we be more inclusive about how we eat, how we can be more flexible and realistic and use moderation in how we approach our meal planning.

The Balance of Willpower and Flexibility

And this brings me to point number three. Moderation. When you’re looking at creating a meal plan or a training plan, it’s about finding a balance. It’s not about willpower in the sense of resisting every temptation all the time but rather understanding how to incorporate things that you enjoy in a way that still supports your goals. It’s about having a cookie here and there but knowing that it doesn’t mean eating the entire box.

Moderation also applies to your training. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym every single day to see results. In fact, that can often lead to burnout. It’s about finding a sustainable routine that you can stick with long term. Something that challenges you but is also enjoyable. This is where willpower comes in as a tool to maintain consistency and dedication, rather than as a constant source of struggle.

Building Resilience Through Small Wins

Lastly, willpower is built through small wins. It’s the small, consistent actions that add up over time to create significant change. When you set small, achievable goals and consistently meet them, you build confidence and momentum. This could be as simple as drinking an extra glass of water each day, adding an extra serving of vegetables to your meals, or committing to a 10-minute walk every evening.

Each small victory reinforces your ability to stick to your commitments and strengthens your willpower. Over time, these small actions become habits, and your willpower muscle becomes stronger, making it easier to tackle larger challenges.


In conclusion, willpower in your fitness journey is not just about sheer determination to resist temptations or force yourself through grueling workouts. It’s about understanding and harnessing your inner strength to make positive choices that support your overall well-being. It’s about giving yourself grace, finding balance and moderation, and celebrating small wins along the way.

By shifting your perspective on willpower, you can create a more sustainable and fulfilling fitness journey. Remember, it’s not about being perfect; it’s about making progress and enjoying the process. If you need support on this journey, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Let’s work together to unlock your true potential and achieve your fitness goals.