From Willpower To Habits
When we embark on our 𝘫𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦, whatever that change may be, things can be difficult. We are 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘺 trying to leave our old routines behind and develop new ones, something that requires a lot of 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 and enough active thought to discourage many.
𝗙𝗼𝗰𝘂𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝘂𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲!
You’ll only need 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 in the beginning. The longer you push through the uncomfortable zone, the easier things become as new habits develop.
𝗔𝗻 𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲 𝗲𝘅𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗱𝘂𝗮𝗹𝘀 𝗯𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗼𝗿𝗲𝘅𝗶𝗮 𝗻𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗼𝘀𝗮: these individuals are literally starving to death and are still able to overcome their biological drive to eat or be less active. Those with anorexia develop rigid rules that require willpower initially, but that start to function habitually over time.
In other words, food restriction is initially maintained by conscious effort and a realization of rewards (𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘢 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘭), which eventually becomes habit through classical conditioning (𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘳𝘦𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥’𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦).
Yes, people with anorexia have changes in brain chemistry that give them more willpower than the average person and give them a greater predisposition towards rigidity.
However, those changes in brain chemistry are not unique to individuals with anorexia; it just so happens that these individuals directed their attention towards disordered eating rather than other parts of their life.
Blog post mentioned in the video can be found here.
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