I’ve been learning a lot about willpower on this journey to quit nicotine. Learning about it I now understand why I had trouble with willpower around food when I was using nicotine, especially at night. My work schedule makes it impossible to use at regular intervals. On weekends I was vaping (or dosing myself) about every 45 minutes to an hour sometimes more often. This is probably the amount I needed to stay out of withdrawal. Of course, as I became more tolerate this continued to increase. Abstaining during the day was more than possible, however it required some willpower to keep myself in check, not lash out at someone in irritation. Plus I was anxious…
Why does this matter? Well one model of willpower is the Strength model. In this model there are four main ideas:
- Willpower is a mind-body response, not merely a mindset.
- Using willpower depletes resources in the body.
- Willpower is limited.
- Willpower is trainable.
So keeping myself in check most of the afternoon required a lot of effort. By the end of the day I was both craving nicotine and exhausted both mentally and physically. So when I would get to the grocery store after work and the husband would say, “Let’s buy cookies!” no willpower left CF says, “Let’s buy ALL the cookies.”
Not only did abstaining all afternoon tax my willpower, but working with my students can be equally taxing. Every time I don’t lose it on them when they are been idiotic I’m exercising willpower. Today was one of those days where my students were button pushing and by the end of the day, I was so tired. Walking out to my car, I felt exactly the same as if I had used nicotine at lunch and was on my way out for my first vape afterwork. The craving felt identical. If I had had any nicotine on me, it would have been game over.
I’ve been finding tiredness is a huge craving for me, especially mental fatigue. It will be something that I will need to look for in the coming weeks. If you are interested in learning more about willpower, read this: http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/science-willpower-0
Right now, I’m going to try to replenish my willpower reserves with a nap.