On the show, we continue our conversation about restoring willpower for better health, but we’re taking it a step forward and applying it to out habits.
You might remember the series we started a few months back called, “You Don’t Have As Much Willpower As You Think” (parts 1 and 2). In case you’d like to go back and listen to those first, I’ll put links below to each of the previous shows.
But, we also need to understand that willpower depletion can be a result of its overuse. Thankfully, there are ways to eliminate that from happening, or at least to lessen the impact. Joining me on the show today to help us understand all this is my lovely wife and the leader of our Restore program, Heather LoCurto!
What you’ll discover today is that willpower is a limited resource. It’s not something that’s constantly there, so you can’t continuously pull from it and then never run out of it. When we understand that, we can begin to do things that will replenish our supply and keep us making healthy choices and investing in healthy practices and habits.
I hope this is helpful today – and be sure to check out these related resources too!
419 | Restoring Willpower for Better Health
eat, willpower, sugar, struggling, people, day, feel, brain, plan, control, decisions, cake, happening, body, life, put, temptation, health, process, step
Heather LoCurto, Brian A, Chris LoCurto
Chris LoCurto 00:00
On today's show we continue our conversation on willpower, but we're going to apply it to health and habits. That is coming up next.
Chris LoCurto 00:19
Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show, where we discuss leadership and life, and discover that business is what you do, not who you are. Welcome to the show, folks. Today we have a special guest in the studio. Hi, baby.
Heather LoCurto 00:38
Chris LoCurto 00:39
My wife is joining us today the great Heather LoCurto, is in studio because we are talking health. Woohoo! We are continuing on, we've done two episodes-if you've not listened to episodes 405, 408 titled, "You don't have as much willpower as you think" part one and two, you're gonna want to go back and listen to those.
Heather LoCurto 01:04
We're really creative with our titles.
Chris LoCurto 01:05
It's amazing. We are impressive. I'm impressing myself right now. Okay. So today we are talking about willpower as it comes to health. Now we do a lot, we work with, you know, we have the life side, which includes Next Level Life, we have the health side, that includes the Restore program, and includes restore vitality, which is that one-on-one coaching side as well. You know, so a big part of what we do is trying to help people in all areas of their life, their leadership, their business. And this is a great opportunity for us to help folks to understand, what does it look like when it comes to health and willpower? Now, we will say that willpower is like a muscle it is that we're telling people through these three episodes, willpower is limited. It's not something that is constantly there, you can just always pull from it, you never run out of it. The truth is, and we've been using a great group of studies, a bunch of research that's been pointing to exactly what willpower looks like, and how its utilized in your brain, all that kind of fun stuff. And so I just want to kind of hit that before we get into all of this great information that we're going to talk about today.
Chris LoCurto 02:28
When it comes to willpower, the definition of willpower is delayed gratification. This is the concept: Why do I need self control? I am controlling myself from not going after this thing. Whatever it is, whether it is spending money, whether it is eating something, any kind of thing, it could be something that's not good for me, it could be something that's, you know, good for me, it doesn't matter what it is, the concept is that I'm holding back for a delayed gratification, which means that I will get gratification, it's just not gonna happen right now. Studies show, and again, go back to the other episodes, we go through a bunch of the research on it. I mean, a lot, like I've never put that much on the show before. As far as just reading through research. What studies show is that if I grow up with a good amount of self control, if I grow up with a good amount of willpower, then I tend to make great decisions throughout my life. If I do not grow up, so if in my adolescence, I don't have strong willpower, then I tend to make bad decisions all through life and even potentially addictive decisions as well. So one of the things that as we go through the research, it's fantastic to show how things work and point things out. But there's one big hole. And that is, how I solve this stuff. That's where we come in. Because the stuff that we teach is how to overcome willpower, lack of willpower, how to overcome lack of self-control, by pointing to the right things, by pointing to how your brain works, how your decisions are made, and how much of this is coming down to a massive lack of worth because we look to people for our worth, people, situations, all that kind of stuff. I know so much that I'm explaining still-go back and listen to the other episodes. One last piece I want to throw in there, in the prefrontal cortex, what happens in your brain when it comes to self control and willpower is that when you have good self-control, when you have plenty of self-control, enough self-control, then the area of your decision making in the prefrontal cortex is what gets lit up, we can see that when somebody has self-control, they're actually focusing on good decision making. What's the decision I'm going to make here? When somebody does not have good self-control, good willpower, the area of desire and reward lights up. That's called ego deflation. So think about this for a second. When I'm not having good self-control, I'm focused more on my desires, and an immediate reward. I'm definitely not focused on delayed gratification. I don't even care about what's to come. I'm focused on, what do I get out of this? When that happens, your brain starts sucking up glucose, like you would not believe, when you were struggling with self-control, then your brain starts consuming glucose and the more you struggle with it, it consumes glucose at a rate that you cannot replenish fast enough. So your your body starts draining of glucose. Well, what do we do when we're struggling? What do we do when we're not doing well with self-control? Heather Anne, what is the area that we usually go to when we are struggling with self control and willpower and losing worth? What is the one thing people usually will turn to quickly?
Heather LoCurto 06:23
Chris LoCurto 06:24
Sugar. And why is that?
Heather LoCurto 06:27
It's so easy.
Chris LoCurto 06:30
It's not only so easy, but it lights up the pleasure centers, right?
Heather LoCurto 06:33
Yeah it creates that false reality that, you know, hey, I'm okay. All is good.
Chris LoCurto 06:40
And the truth is, we know that we're struggling, it lights up the pleasure centers of our brain, it helps us to restore the glucose that our lack of willpower and lack of self-control is just demolishing. But we convince ourselves that everything is okay. When the whole time if we were more focused on making better decisions, it would be a completely different story.
Heather LoCurto 07:03
So what I hear when I hear you say, in a nutshell, is we need to remove our microwaves, and learn to cook in the oven again.
Chris LoCurto 07:11
That's exactly what I'm saying.
Heather LoCurto 07:13
Like no more microwaves.
Chris LoCurto 07:14
That's exactly it. Absolutely.
Heather LoCurto 07:16
Okay, that's it. Problem solved.
Chris LoCurto 07:21
Remove your microwave, then everything's gonna be great. I so thought you were gonna go, "remove sugar" but no, it's the microwaves that we got to get rid of.
Heather LoCurto 07:28
It's the instant gratification, right? I can't wait 30 minutes to bake something. Just throw it in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Chris LoCurto 07:35
My pop tart? What-no. What are those things that they? What is the pocket thing?
Brian A 07:39
Chris LoCurto 07:41
Hot pockets, thank you Brian, for joining us on the show there. That was Brian Alex, ladies and gentlemen, chiming in with the hot pockets song. Alright. We're gonna talk all about that stuff. And we're going to be talking to our in house expert on health, on things that we can do, what does this look like? Why am I making such bad decisions? Why am I struggling? All that kind of fun stuff. When we come back right after this.
Chris LoCurto 08:08
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Chris LoCurto 09:06
Alright, we are back and we are talking about willpower when it comes to health and stuff. Now, Heather, we talk a lot about the training here we talk a lot about in like Next Level Life and stuff how so many surface level responses, so many decisions, all these things are a part of training, what does it look like when it comes to like willpower and health, in someone's life, like does omebody just get to 30 years old and then decide I'm actually going to just screw up my diet like crazy, I'm going to screw up the way that I eat completely shift, or is there a different process to this?
Heather LoCurto 09:46
Yeah. Well, you mentioned earlier about you know, willpower is a muscle and it really is and so like with any other muscle you have to train it so that you can respond correctly. And so it's a process it just doesn't happen overnight, you don't just decide, hey, I'm gonna have willpower in this area, there's certain things and you have to stretch that muscle and learn where your weaknesses are and where you're vulnerable and how to put in some healthy boundaries and some tools to strengthen that muscle so that, you know, the further along you go, the more self-control you you have in that area.
Chris LoCurto 10:31
What does that look like in the ways of health? Like, what are some of the things that, you're teaching clients, you're walking clients through, as far as guard rails as far as, you know, smart decision making, as far as accountability, any of those things?
Heather LoCurto 10:48
Yeah, one of the biggest things is, know your weaknesses, you know, you have to know where you're weak, and where you're vulnerable,
Chris LoCurto 10:55
Where am I weak?
Heather LoCurto 10:59
Come here, let me show you.
Heather LoCurto 11:02
You know, it's just like the concept where an alcoholic doesn't go into a bar, they stay away from the bar, because they know their weakness, they know their vulnerability, it's that same thing when it comes to your health, you know, you have to look at and everybody's different. You have to look at what are the areas that I'm weak at? Where do I fail when it comes to my health? Where am I you know, not putting in healthy boundaries or guardrails? That's throwing me off, where am I getting off track?
Chris LoCurto 11:35
Yeah. So like, you just use that example, which is such a fantastic one of saying, you know, if I'm a former alcoholic, or if I consider myself to still be an alcoholic, but I'm not been drinking, if I go to a bar and convince myself, I got this, it's not going to be a problem, then what we're creating is this temptation, we're putting a temptation in place, and we're tempting our self-control our willpower, we're tempting our willpower, well, what a studies show us? That we might even make it, we might make it that first time in the bar, we might be able to hang out with people, we might have a good time drinking soda water, we might even be able to get through. Heck, we might even make it a second time. But here's what study shows, if we struggle with self-control, than that consistent temptation will eventually crash it, it will tax it too far. Because we don't have a better tool. Now again, this is the difference between what we're using as the research, which is fantastic research, and actually putting good tools in place, two different things, just showing that this is what exists. But it doesn't mean that this is the way it's got to be. You can put in tools to solve this problem. But you use a great example of the mom that's at home, who is buying the cookies, like no, I am not going to eat the cookies. But my kids like them.
Heather LoCurto 13:02
Right, you go on this special diet, I and I hear this a lot, you know, hey, I'm going to run this program, or I'm going to do this program. But I'm still going to go ahead and buy the cookies for the kids. Because you know, they're used to eating that way. And I don't want to deprive them of that. But I'll be fine. How many days are you going to open that cover before you go, "Okay, it's just, it's just one cookie, right, the kids are eating it. Let me let me nibble on a bite, and then nibble on two." And you know, it's that same concept. Now, if you're doing a program and you've created that self-control, we can keep cookies in the cupboard. And they don't tempt us anymore. Because it's not a thing for us because we've built that muscle. So it's the same thing if you're starting out. And you know that cookies are a weakness, get them out of the cupboard, the kids will survive, I promise.
Chris LoCurto 13:54
Absolutely. And here's the funny thing. You know, we teach so much that a lot of this is trained behavior, self-control, and willpower, a lot of it is actually trained. So the mom who's convincing herself I'm going to keep the cookies because my kids like them is missing out on a very important piece. Where is your kids self-control? Where is that? What are you training your kids by stockpiling cookies, or a really bad greasy, transfat chip in the you know, in the cupboards if you're putting, you know all kinds of processed foods in there. One of the things I love is that when we grew up, my mom- sugar was not a thing in our house. It sugar only came around really one time a year and that was when we went out for Halloween. But we would have ice cream like you know, maybe a couple times a month and that was our sugar. We didn't have sugary foods. We didn't have sugary cereals. It was strange for me to hear later on in life, you know my peers and all of the crappy cereals that they ate, and all the sugar and how like, oh, I'm just addicted to this. And you might have one of those favorite cereals.
Heather LoCurto 15:10
Chris LoCurto 15:11
In the past little chocolate goodness. But for us, we were it's so funny, we were raised on the puffed wheat. You know, now we were also struggling with finances. But here's an interesting thing. I don't desire sugar like crazy. It's not an issue for me, I can back off of eating sugar, it's not something that I go crazy about. To the point that like, even when we would get to Halloween, I just learned this about 10 years ago from my mother, I always thought it was my brother who was doing this. But we would go out and we would get, we'd load up a you know, a bag or a, you know, orange bucket, or later on, we would take pillowcases, and try and get as much candy as we possibly could in the kidney would be gone. In no time. Like within a week, the candy is pretty much gone. And I would always say, my brother is stealing my candy. I know my brother's stealing-come to find out it was my mother. So what she would do in the middle of the night, when we were asleep, she would come into our room, grab a handful and throw it in the trash. And she was making sure we did not have that sugar and it's so funny because I look back and I'm so thankful that sugar is not something that I've struggled with, right? That's not something that is a big issue for me. So what does it look like to that mom, who thinks, well, I'm going to tax myself control by buying the kids cookies. What is it looking like for the kids though?
Heather LoCurto 16:43
Yeah, well, they are going to see that process, you know, they're going to see the process of, well, mom's doing this thing. And yet the cookies are in the cupboard we can have them whenever we want. But then we see mom fail over and over again. So you're training them to repeat patterns, repeat behavior. You know, I remember when I first started clean eating, and I went through my cupboards and Kaylee was eight, I think at the time, and she threw a fit, she threw a fit, she thought I was the worst mom in the world, we couldn't have sugar and-but now she's 21 you know, and she doesn't like the sugar, she makes healthier choices. And I feel like it's because it was-again, it's that trained behavior of we don't go to sugar, when we're having an issue or we don't go to whatever that weakness is for you. When I'm feeling weak or or I have an issue, you know, we make healthier choices, that changes the way you make decisions,
Chris LoCurto 18:01
And it actually teaches them to have good self-control in that process right? So an interesting thing is it's been funny to watch her where she's had moments of, I'm going to go eat this sugary thing. Go to you know, the the bad coffee company with the 14 pounds of sugar in there multicolored drink-
Heather LoCurto 18:21
And then feeling awful, and then she goes, why did I do that?
Chris LoCurto 18:25
She feels terrible then next thing you know she's like, Mom, where can I go get a salad? And she, you know, thinking that, Oh, this is going to be okay, this is no big deal. And then experiencing how horrible she feels afterwards and then she makes fantastic decisions, right?
Heather LoCurto 18:41
Yeah. And I'm not saying don't eat the cookies. You know, one of the things that we teach in the program is, it's okay to eat the cake. You know, it's okay, to eat your wedding cake. It's okay to if you're celebrating a birthday to have a slice of cake. Just don't do it every day. And that's something that happens-
Chris LoCurto 19:02
Every other day.
Heather LoCurto 19:03
Yeah, no. But it's something that has to be trained. And so in the beginning, when you're flexing those muscles, you have to know I'm going to be tempted. And so what guard rails do I need to put in place that are going to keep me from eating that cake when I can't have it right now? You know, maybe that's calling on a friend that's going to be at that party and letting her know ahead of time, hey, I don't want to eat the cake. So if you see this, you know, hold me accountable. Or maybe it's eating before you go to the party so that you're not tempted while you're there. Or maybe it's creating a healthy snack or making a healthy snack and bringing it with you so that you can eat something at the party, whatever it is, and everybody's different. You know, that guardrail, and those guidelines are going to be different depending on what you're struggling with. But it's so important to learning and flexing that muscle because eventually you can go, you can enjoy the moment because that's what it's for, its celebration, we're meant to enjoy those moments. And you can have a sliver of a cake or a small slice of cake, and be okay with it.
Chris LoCurto 20:28
Yeah. And here's the funny thing, once again, when you do cut it out, you actually desire less, right? When you will actually make better decisions, it's something that goes away. It's something that you and I know in two seconds, like, if we take a bite of something, and there's a large amount of sugar you and I, it's like, our bodies are just going off with all kinds of, hey, stop now. Because I know me, I can't eat processed sugar. If I do, my sinuses will just go ballistic. It's not good. But I also know that it will make me sick for days, you know that it will make you sick for days, we just don't do well with sugar, that our bodies rejected like crazy. But you also teach this concept of go ahead and have the reward for a reason that aligns exactly with the research talk about that.
Heather LoCurto 21:21
Yes, so I would call it willpower fatigue. You know, just like, if you work your muscles out too hard, you know, you're going to fatigue them. Well, what happens when you constantly tempt that temptation, or you have that temptation over and over and over again, you start to weaken, and you end up, what I see a lot of times happening is, you don't do it, you don't do it, you don't do it, and it's there, it's there, it's there, it's there. And then all of a sudden, you just binge, you know, you just go off the deep end, because you just give up. You're so exhausted from withholding from that temptation. And so it's better to have a small piece, a small reward. And give yourself like I said, Give yourself guardrails. When am I going to have that reward? You know, I always will walk through-
Chris LoCurto 22:16
Will you have people stretch what they can do, like, when do you tell them when to put in the reward?
Heather LoCurto 22:22
Yeah, well, it's, again, it's different for every person, if they're struggling heavy with it, then I'm going to just tell them remove themselves from any temptation, you know, if that's a temptation, just don't, don't go near it, don't do it. So get it out of your, get it out of your cupboards. But, then as they get stronger as they learn, we spend a lot of time on becoming self-aware and how our body responds to food. So as they learn that technique, and that strategy, and they strengthen that muscle, then it's easier to go Okay, you know, what's on your plate this month? Well, I have a birthday. Okay, well, let's, let's go ahead and plan, we do the if this, then that method, you know, okay, so let's walk through all case scenarios at the birthday party. If this happens, what are you going to do? Then if this happens,
Chris LoCurto 23:15
That's a whole heck of a lot like going to your family's for the holidays, and somebody starts to become controlling. If this happens, then what are you doing? What's the healthy boundary?
Heather LoCurto 23:23
Right? And here, because what happens is they get in the situation, and they panic. It's like, oh, shoot, there's the chocolate cake. And I haven't had cake and forever, and I don't know what to do. And I know, and I'm gonna feel guilty, and I'm not supposed to have it, but I really want a piece. And I feel bad because I'm not participating. And there's all these things and, and our minds, just go crazy. And so we freak, and then we go off the deep end. But if I go into this birthday party, and I know the "if, then" situations, and I know if this happens, then here's what I'm gonna do. Or if this happens, then here's what I'm gonna do. I go in feeling in control, feeling confident, and knowing, okay, here's my go to, here's the scenario. This is how I'm going to respond. It takes that the fatigue out of the willpower, so to speak, you know, you're not having to then restrain yourself, because you're going in prepared. And so you're not fatiguing that muscle.
Chris LoCurto 24:26
And I know one of the things that I love that you've suggested, there's a specific-we're not big protein bar people, but if we keep them you know, in case we need something, if we're going somewhere, I always keep them in my backpack if we're traveling or something like when we go to see the girls on the west coast. There'll in the backpack so that we're not eating crappy airport food, you know we actually take, we're prepared. We're going to talk about this in a little bit actually. But we're prepared and the funny thing is, is again, while we're not big sugar people, we have the specific quest bar you probably gonna have to help me it's like the pecan carmel chocolate some weird, I don't know, it's called the hero bar or something, we've tried all kinds of bars and they all taste like cardboard, except for this one quest bar. What is it? What is it? Do you remember?
Heather LoCurto 25:21
I don't remember, but I think it's called the hero bar.
Chris LoCurto 25:25
And it has one carb or one gram of sugar. I think because it uses like, like swerve or something. I'm screwing that up right there. But it uses like a tree sugar instead of bad sugars or any of that kind of crap. And the amazing thing is, is that when we tried it, it was like, oh, okay, well, good thing is that it doesn't have the sugar. But this is actually kind of sweet. And I know you have actually coached your clients that if they're going to a party, take one of these things. Yeah, cut it in half, cut it in fourths, do whatever. And if you're going to a party and sugar is your problem. Pop one of these. Yeah, throw this thing in. It's actually healthy. It's got good proteins. It's got good stuff in it. And it tastes sweet. And so all of a sudden, that sweet tooth-
Heather LoCurto 26:18
And you feel like you're getting the enjoyment. You know, you feel like you're partaking and getting the enjoyment out of that, again, you're not feeling like you're being deprived. You're getting your sweet tooth.
Chris LoCurto 26:34
And so if we look at the science, what is the science saying? If I step into a party I have, I'm not a person who struggles stepping into a party looking at the 47 cakes and pies, as long as there's not a blueberry pie, alright, that might be something that I would jump in on. I'm not somebody who goes through and goes home, oh my gosh, I'm in trouble. That's me. I wasn't raised on sugar. Sugar has never been a great temptation of mine. I don't drink sodas. It's what we call the La croix's that we drink, the sparkling water, that's our soda. It's just not a thing, right? So that's not my struggle. My struggle is, is if you've got like a, you know, buffet table of French food, I'm going to eat everything on that thing, right? I'm going to go through and eat all of this rich, great fat stuff that I absolutely love. And I will overdo, you know, that's, that's where my temptation would kick in. The key is the training of the willpower. What is the struggle that I'm experiencing in this moment? And so many of the folks that are struggling on the sugar side are stepping in and are they seeing punishment? Are they seeing, you know, I'm not a good enough person, everybody else gets to like- what are they seeing when they step in?
Heather LoCurto 27:57
Yeah, I think the biggest thing that happens when you're changing your lifestyle, and you're changing the way that you eat, and the way that you move, it can feel what they would say as restrictive or feel like they're being punished, that everybody else can eat this way, you know, everybody else can eat a stack of pancakes with maple syrup, and everybody else can have the cake, but I can't, and it becomes this in a sense of victim mentality is what what happens and what
Chris LoCurto 28:28
Well talking about the science, it becomes that desire reward as opposed to the good decision making right?
Heather LoCurto 28:32
Right. And, you know, it's it's just that wrong mindset of how am I looking at this instead of, you know, this is happening to me, instead of I'm taking these steps to better my health, I'm doing the right thing, your decision making process changes because you're not getting that instant gratification and you're feeling frustrated. And in a sense, demotivated-
Chris LoCurto 29:05
Yeah, this is where science doesn't provide the solution. Right? We have great studies on what's actually happening in your brain. But their job is to report what's happening in your brain. Our job is to say, here's the tools. Here's the thing, you have to understand what's happening in your head when you step in, Negative self-talk. Loss of worth, not feeling good enough. Feeling punished, victim mentality. All of these surface level responses are happening inside your brain. The lies that you're telling yourself. Everybody else can eat a stack of pancakes, but I can't well, that's a complete lie. We know that's not true. Because we see that people can't do that. Who can do that? 14 year old girls and boys with a metabolism that is phenominal right? What's his name that Micheal Phelps, thats who can eat that. But not everybody can do that. Even folks that are skinny that eat a bunch of that stuff, they've been able to do MRIs and things on them and show that their fat percentage is still way high, comparatively, so that even though they're their body doesn't look-
Heather LoCurto 30:18
Their exterior doesn't look bad-
Chris LoCurto 30:20
Tthe interior is actually just as bad as somebody who's put on the weight, right? So that negative self-talk those lies, those things, one of the things you do is the thing that we teach here is you help people to understand the tools to overcome what they're saying in their brain the lies that they're telling themselves, the negative self-talk so that when they step into those situations, they get to overcome the struggle so that their brain stays in-the willpower is there so that the brain stays in the decision making, I'm not going to do this, I'm going to delay gratification, the willpower area, I'm going to delay gratification, instead of allowing those things, those negative things in their brain to win and they go straight for the desire reward. What are some of the things that you're coaching people on when they are stepping into those, like you say, know, your weakness, know your vulnerability, what are some of the things you're helping them on from that worth perspective, when they step into situations like that?
Heather LoCurto 31:25
Well, I think you have to know the lies that you're telling yourself, you know, like, what are you telling yourself in that moment, I'm a failure. I don't get to do this. I'm being punished. It's all those lies, and you have to know what the root of those lies are and be able to go, what's the real why that we're doing this? "Well, it's for my health, it's so that I don't end up like my parents. It's so that I have more energy for my kids. It's so..." and so we have to go back to why are you doing this? And are you truly being deprived? You know, because when you eat the cake, what happens? Oh, I feel awful. 48 hours later, or right afterwards. Okay. So is it good for you? No? Okay. So you have to go back to what is, you know, what is truth, and when you're in those moments, being able to recall, hey, this is a lie I'm telling myself, no, what's the truth?
Chris LoCurto 32:29
Yeah, we talked about, so that in essence, in Next Level Life, one of the things we talked through is that self sabotage, which is exactly what you're coaching on is the hey, when you step into this place, don't self-sabotage. Make sure you're saying the right thing. Make sure you're utilizing the tools that we teach. So you step in and you don't self-sabotage. And I think it was Episode 408 we talked through like even what happens to the brain for those that are, you know, soaking up pornography, that it actually reverts their brain to a juvenile state. But here's the amazing thing. And I don't think I mentioned this on that episode, so I'll mention it here. Every time, if you were to sit down and it used to be 100% guys, but women are there now too, when you sit down with them and you say how do you feel? Like what do you tell yourself going into this? It's always the same thing: I deserve this. You know what, my boss was a jerk to me. My wife is being mean, I'm a victim. I'm being punished in life. I deserve this. What they consider what they consider to be an enjoyment. Right? And then you ask the same question. How do you feel afterwards? Horrid. Horrible.
Heather LoCurto 33:47
Yeah, what do you think about that decision making process?
Chris LoCurto 33:50
And that is exactly it. It's easy for us to look at that in the situation of something like pornography. "Well, that's just disgusting. It's filthy. It's horrible." Yeah, sure. But what you doing to yourself health wise, when you go when you step into a situation where you know you're vulnerable, and you're allowing all the lies, all of the things to overcome and then you self-sabotage as you go through the cake aisle, you know of stuff eating all this telling yourself all of this is good. This is, I deserve this. You know what? I've been working hard. I deserve this. And then how do you feel afterwards? Horrible, then the negative self-talk really kicks in. You're not good enough. You're not worthy. You can't even protect yourself from a cake, you know, all that stuff continues correct?
Heather LoCurto 34:39
Yeah. And it all goes back to that self-sabotage can stop when you put those guardrails in place, and when you work that if then process you know, if I start saying this, then I know to call Joe and and talk to Joe because he's gonna shoot me the truth. You know, it's that whole process. That will help keep you from self-sabotaging in the beginning. I mean, ideally, you want to be able to flex that muscle, you know, and once you get going-
Chris LoCurto 35:09
But without the tools..
Heather LoCurto 35:11
But without the tools, you're gonna fail. And so we don't want to fatigue like I said, we don't want that willpower to deplete and so those guardrails and that if then process is essential, and it changes over time, it changes as you get stronger.
Chris LoCurto 35:27
Yeah, it's not enough to know what's going on, you have to have those tools. And you happen to have a tool that you're giving away to all of our listeners for free, talk about that.
Heather LoCurto 35:37
Yeah, I have put together a pretty fun download that has just some strategies and tricks and tips when it comes to, you know, living a healthy lifestyle. And so there's tons of recipes and motivation and inspiration and ideas to get you guys on the right path. And so you can, if you're listening to this show-
Chris LoCurto 36:00
Which you are.
Heather LoCurto 36:01
Which you are, depending on where you're listening, hopefully you can see in the description, like if you're an iTunes, if you scroll down in the description, there should be a link to click there. Otherwise, you can go to chrislocurto.com/help, and you can get the download there.
Chris LoCurto 36:19
Fantastic. Alright, we're going to talk about a critical part of the puzzle that you've got control over, when we come back right after this.
Chris LoCurto 36:32
Hey, folks, if you're feeling stuck, anxious, not good enough, or held back in life, then you need to go through our Next Level Life. That's why we created this two day event process. The power of Next Level Life is that it helps you discover your specific root system, why you believe what you do, how you make decisions, and why you are where you are in life, you'll learn the things that are holding you back in life and how to overcome them. You'll come away having found healing, and ready to start living with purpose and authenticity. So if you're ready to stop struggling, if you're ready to find greater peace, then head over to chrislocurto.com/nextlevellife, and Next Level Life is waiting for you. That's chrislocurto.com/nextlevellife today. We're back and we're talking about a critical part of the puzzle that every single person has control over, right? Tell us, what can we do, what is the thing that we have control over that can help us in this process?
Heather LoCurto 37:37
Number one thing: plan, plan and plan.
Chris LoCurto 37:41
I think it's three things. But yes. What does that mean?
Heather LoCurto 37:44
Oh my gosh, it's such a big piece. It really is. And it's where I see people fail.
Chris LoCurto 37:51
All the time.
Heather LoCurto 37:52
Right. Benjamin Franklin said what, "If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail." Right? I love using that line. Because it's so true. What happens? Well, we know we don't plan our week, you know, when you're looking at it from a health standpoint, you don't plan your meals out, you don't plan your workouts out and your goal is, hey, I'm going to work out three days a week, and I'm going to eat healthy. But then you don't plan and then it gets to the end of the week. And you wonder why in the world you didn't work out, and you're feeling crappy because you ate like crap and went to McDonald's because you didn't plan.
Chris LoCurto 38:26
You didn't, you didn't get any exercise.
Heather LoCurto 38:29
So it's the first thing that we walk through. It's one of the first things that we walk through when you're learning. Hey, how do I have self-control? How do I walk through this process of having a healthy lifestyle? And going through this lifestyle change?
Chris LoCurto 38:45
Now Heather. What is this planning that I've got to do?
Heather LoCurto 38:49
I know. It sounds like so much work.
Chris LoCurto 38:51
Oh, gosh, it sounds like you're throwing so much on me.
Heather LoCurto 38:54
Yeah. Well, it's either you plan now or you, you plan? Well, that didn't work. Okay. So either you plan to take care of your health now, or what's going to happen is your health is going to end up being on the forefront or, you know, I don't even know where I'm going at this point.
Heather LoCurto 39:24
Thank you. It's either you plan now to take care of your health or you're going to have to take care of your health later and that's doctor's visits and prescription medications. And it's everything that we don't want to have to deal with. So-
Chris LoCurto 39:38
But it's so much easier if I don't have to pre-plan stuff and schedule stuff though Heather.
Heather LoCurto 39:46
Is it easier? Would you say it's easier when you get to noon and you don't know what to eat until you're scrambling and the only thing you have is McDonald's?
Chris LoCurto 39:57
Here's the funny thing. And we all do this, right? It's like, oh, gosh, I don't have the time Heather to put together the meals to put together the workout plans, all that stuff. And really, what happens is is just what you just said, we get to the end of our week, and we're like, oh, I'm a failure again. I'll start Monday. I'll start Monday, I'm going to start up, and then we don't. And the crazy thing is the stuff that you teach is way easy. It's not as complicated as it sounds, you've got to plan out your whole week, it's actually not that difficult. It's stuff you and I do all the time. You know, we've especially because, you know, we we've both traveled for many, many years. And one of the things you learn is if you don't, it's that delayed gratification, it's that better decision making process, it's that prefrontal cortex, you've got to decide where you're going to be. If I want to not ruin my health immensely, and I'm somebody who's had a ton of health issues with having so much lead in my body. And no, I didn't eat paint chips as a kid, which everybody asked me, which is so funny. You know, having so many struggles on that, that I've had no choice, I've had to do stuff. But it becomes second nature, it becomes a thing that I don't ever leave, like we went-so we have the great blizzard in Tennessee, where my mom's heat went out. And so there is all kinds of ice and snow on the road. And she is normally if I was driving my normal speed, 35 minutes away with the snow and everything. Okay, I still drove pretty darn fast. So it was about 45 minutes away. But we packed up we both grew up in snow country. So we had we packed a cooler, we packed jackets, gloves, we packed all the stuff that we're probably not even going to use if everything goes right. But if we get on the freeway, and we saw this coming in this morning, with two Jackknife trucks, one covering up the whole freeway, those people are out there for hours now, they're going to be out there for hours. And so even something so simple as driving 45 minutes to my mom's, well, first, we went and picked up some heaters and drove to my mom's because the company wasn't going to be able to get out there and fix it for a few hours. But we wanted her to have heat and all that. So what we did is we packed everything as if a worst case scenario was going to happen if we're sitting on the side of the freeway for six hours, and we get hungry, or we need water or whatever. We did all that ran down there, got the heaters got the moms took care of mom, turnaround came home before it got too cold and dark. Came back home didn't use any of it. But it was so easy to just plan and prepare. Why do people struggle with this step?
Heather LoCurto 43:02
Well, because just exactly what you said it seems like so much work on the front end. And it really isn't. It's one of the things that we focus on in the first 30 days in restore. Because it's a big switch. It's a big lifestyle switch. And so, you know, they get all the meals, they get a grocery list every week. And then they get a sheet of, hey, here's the things that you need to make meal prep for the week. And it's super easy. It's like you cook a bunch of chicken, you boil some eggs, you know, you roast tons of veggies, and you put them all on the fridge. Why? Because when you get home from work, what's the last thing you want to do? try and figure out what to have for dinner, right? And so it's so much easier. And all the recipes that are in there are 30 minutes or less to cook. So it's so much easier to pull a few things out of the fridge, whip it up and you know, in 15, 30 minutes, you're good to go. From taking a couple hours on a Sunday. And prepping.
Chris LoCurto 44:01
Yeah, or even just doing it in pieces throughout the week.
Heather LoCurto 44:05
So instead of cooking for an hour every night, I'm prepping for two hours on Sunday, and I'm cutting my cook time every night in half. It's things like that. It's you know, I had a client that was going to a conference. And she reached out to me and she's like, I'm really concerned. You know, I don't want to fall off the plan and what do I do? And so there's so many things you can do to plan. So when you call the facility hey, what's on the menu? You know, if you're going to a birthday party, you can call the hostess and say, you know, can I bring a dish? You know, can you tell me what's on the menu so that you can plan. And so then you go okay, well, the snacks aren't really healthy there. So let's go ahead and let's put some nuts and seeds and some fresh berries. All that stuff can be put in your purse or your bag. You know they don't have to be refrigerated. You can keep them for hours. And so you plan ahead with, what can I do? When I get in this situation? You know, if you're going to a restaurant, I always tell people look up the menu online, because here's why. We get to a restaurant. If we don't look up the menu, we get to a restaurant and we go, Oh, that looks good. Ooh, that looks good. Ooh, that looks good. And what are you having, and we do not stick to the plan. But if you're out of the situation, you look at the menu ahead of time, and you go, what's the healthiest choice for me? Here it is. When you walk into the restaurant, you already know ahead of time, what you're going to order, it takes away that pressure, it takes away you know, the mindset, it's that mindset switch, you know, you're walking in there confidently, you're going to enjoy yourself, you already know what you're going to have, and you don't feel guilty because you know that you've made a healthy choice ahead of time.
Chris LoCurto 45:57
Yeah, everybody has experienced what you just said, we go somewhere and we don't plan we don't prepare. And then we go through, like, if we're going to a conference, you know, it's a long difficult, you know, you're learning you're taxing your brain, you've got all this stuff here, you get to this point of the day where you now have to go eat, you now have to go find a restaurant, you get to the restaurant. Oh, forget it. I'm just gonna eat the crappy pasta, I'm just going to eat the, you know, I'm going to eat the thing that I should not be eating right now. Yes, give me the whole basket of rolls. I'm gonna eat them all. And we've all been there, we've all experienced that. But what you're speaking to, again, goes to the science, if I prepare ahead of time, if I am using self-control, if I'm using willpower, if I'm delaying gratification, if I know that if I eat well, while I'm at that conference, I'm gonna look better and feel better come Monday. I'm going to feel better next week. If I don't do well, then I'm gonna feel like crap. If I delay the gratification, and I plan, then when I get there, I still go with my choice. My choice is good. There's no stress, there's no struggle. I'm not focused on the desire reward center of my brain. I pick my choice, I move on. And we have done that a bajillion times, looking at places that we're in, in fact, there's been many times part of our planning is what restaurant has the food that we want to eat, you know that the healthy stuff that we want to eat? So speaking of eating, there's another thing, there's elements that we can control, you have tools that you help people to control in this process. Talk about the foods that you eat.
Heather LoCurto 47:49
Yeah, well, food is huge. You know, we know that if we don't eat, you know, for a long period of time, if you've ever gotten up, you're running late for work, you grab a cup of coffee, you get to work and you know, you're plugging away, and then you look up at three o'clock and you haven't eaten at all, well-
Chris LoCurto 48:06
You're usually in a really bad mood at this point.
Heather LoCurto 48:08
Yeah, you're probably pretty miserable. And you're pretty hangry, righ?. So you grab anything you can get your hands on. And usually our decision making process is not the best when we've allowed the blood glucose levels in our our body to drop.
Chris LoCurto 48:27
It's so funny. There's a commercial, I will not mention the candy bar. But everybody knows this commercial where it's showing somebody in a really bad mood. And they're usually a different, you know, they're they're showing as a actor or somebody like that. And they're angry and all this stuff, and somebody goes, Hey, you need to eat this. Why? Because when you get this way, you become a prima donna or, you know, something like that. And then they eat this candy bar. And they're back to self.
Heather LoCurto 48:56
For about 30 minutes until they crash right from the sugar.
Chris LoCurto 48:59
But what's happened? Just what you just talked about, everybody can relate to this. Yeah, I've gone or I didn't make a good choice and eat and next thing, you know, my mood is jacked up. But an interesting thing. When I put tons of sugar inside of my body, what happens? The pleasure centers in my brain light up. I literally start putting that glucose back in that my brain has been consuming like crazy. Right? And so now I feel like I made a great decision and that I refueled but instead of just now compounded the problem. Because now I've put something in that's actually destroying my stomach. It's destroying so much of my body. But because my mood changes quickly, I feel like I've solved the problem, right? Everybody's experienced that.
Heather LoCurto 49:52
Yeah, and you burn through it fast. And so you know, it's not a sprint. The day is a marathon and so we need feel like we're in a marathon. And the biggest thing that you can do is to eat the right foods, you know? Don't be cramming and sugar and carbs and processed foods. Just eat regular meals, you know, you want to be eating things that are going to keep your blood glucose level stable, you know, things like nuts and berries and avocados all those help, you know the healthy fats, those are all foods that-
Chris LoCurto 50:29
Sugar that come with fiber not crappy sugars.
Heather LoCurto 50:31
Right? So that your body can process them not crappy sugar, like you said. And so you want to be eating those things. And the other thing that I tell people God made us so amazingly well that we have these nice little hunger hormones. That happened for a reason to tell us that we're hungry. And so you don't need to be snacking all day long. You don't need to be grazing all day long. The way that I tell people-
Chris LoCurto 51:01
Now hold up there, Heather, because-
Heather LoCurto 51:03
Hold on a minute.
Chris LoCurto 51:05
Because for years, we've been telling people that you-
Heather LoCurto 51:10
Every three hours you should eat.
Chris LoCurto 51:12
You should eat six meals a day, five meals a day. What has research found?
Heather LoCurto 51:17
Well, and listen it again. It depends, it really does depend on what you're doing. So if I am outside all day, and I'm hiking mountains, and I'm biking, and I'm doing these things, Yes, I need to refuel those stores. But the majority of the population is not, we're sitting at desks eight hours a day, and we're eating as if we're running, you know, a 50 mile sprint, whatever, you know, and it just doesn't work for our bodies. And so go back to the concept of eat when you're hungry-
Chris LoCurto 51:51
Unless you're like Steph.
Heather LoCurto 51:53
Where she's just got an endless pit that girl. We love you Steph.
Chris LoCurto 51:59
Who's part of one our team, she contracts with us now. And man that girl can eat. I'm so jealous of her metabolism. That girl can eat non stop, but she has the metabolism. Here's the big key, the thing that research is showing is not the metabolism being the issue. It's the digestion, right? What happens when we keep putting food in on a consistent basis? And we don't burn through that food like a Steph would?
Heather LoCurto 52:31
Yeah, your body will store it, you know, it's not going to process through it. It has no reason for it. And so therefore, it's going to say Let me hold on to this, because I'm going to need it later. And so we start packing on the weight and the and the fat.
Chris LoCurto 52:49
Because your digestive system isn't getting a break. Our body was made to actually process the food, and then stop, have a break in between meals, you're not hungry. But we've been teaching people eat five, six meals a day, as though everybody you know that's going to really have smaller meals is going to make it better. And when it really doesn't, because it doesn't allow your- unless you're the Michael Phelps, unless you're the Stephs out there, that your body literally burns through it all really fast. For the rest of us, it's actually keeping that digestive process going. And it doesn't have the break and it's not allowing itself to recreate growth hormones, which means just like you said, since it doesn't get its break, it starts storing things. That's a bad idea. So how many times a day should I eat? How often should I eat?
Chris LoCurto 53:44
Yeah, so I'm gonna say three meals a day, you know, go back to the old breakfast, lunch and dinner, but just my thing is is eat when you're hungry. So if you're not hungry in the morning, it's totally okay to just maybe have something small like an apple, you know, you don't need a huge breakfast with eggs and pancakes and, and all the fixings you know, just eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. And if you're hungry in between those three meals. Yeah, it's okay to snack but snack on healthy choices, you know, snack on some nuts and seeds or berries or fruit that that has the skin on it so that you get the fiber. Make good snack choices, not potato chips and soda pop and processed foods.
Chris LoCurto 54:36
Yeah, it's amazing how we- so we eat a ton of healthy fat. We eat a lot of healthy fat we didn't we try and stay as far away from, you know, our stuff is grass fed. It's pasture raised. We don't always succeed at this, but we try and stay away from bad fats. We definitely don't do trans fats, any of that kind of stuff. We eat a lot have, you know olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, grass fed stuff, we do a lot of bison, a lot of lamb. We do a lot of that stuff. And so when you do that, you tend to be more satiated in the process. Our first thing in the morning is we do coconut oil, with a little bit of pasture raised, you know, not fully pasteurized cream, we put that in there, we usually do a little bit of collegen protein, and a splash of vanilla, and some cinnamon. So that's our that's our morning coffee. And interestingly, what you and I have discovered over time is that we have days that our bodies aren't really moving, we're stuck to the desks, where you know, it's just a long administrative day. And so we don't actually get moving a lot. And then some days, it's 10,000 steps, you know, we've gotten four miles and we didn't even realize it because we've been up and moving and all over the place. And some of those days when we don't leave the desk, when we get home. We're just like, are you hungry? No, I'm not really hungry either. Okay.
Heather LoCurto 56:05
And it's okay.
Chris LoCurto 56:08
Don't put food in right? You don't need it, right? But everybody thinks No, I've got to, and so we will have had our coffee will have had a breakfast, we will have had a lunch. But we're really probably not eating anything late at night, or at night on those days. And then there's some days, we could go in. And man, I can't make it all the way to lunch. You know, we're busting it moving. It's like all of a sudden, I'm like, I've got to put something in. It's paying attention to what your body's saying not what some suppose that expert is saying. We've done that we've given the bad advice as well. But not what somebody's saying you need to do this. Now you need to do what your body's telling you. Right?
Heather LoCurto 56:50
Yeah, there's no hard rule. And that's what I would stress is there is no hard rule, your hunger hormone that hunger, pain in your stomach is there for a reason to tell you that you're hungry. So just watch for it. You know, go ahead and eat, don't eat until you're stuffed, you want to stop a few minutes before you feel stuffed. Just enough to be satiated and content.
Chris LoCurto 57:18
Yeah, now there is a special exemption to this process here at our company and that's on Next Level Life day when Catherine has made bread then everybody in the building runs to the kitchen when the warm sourdough-
Heather LoCurto 57:35
Well we have to taste it to make sure that it's good for our client. Quality control is what we like to call it.
Chris LoCurto 57:44
Yeah, we only eat einkorn we stay away from American wheats we only eat and we don't eat stuff that's been hybridized we don't need stuff that's been genetically altered. Einkorn is that, you know, original God made wheat that's never been hybridized never been in genetically altered and it processes so incredibly well in your body. But man when she makes that sourdough and I love it that you you're making it now, that einkorn sourdough bread. It is like, oh, quickly slap on some raw butter, some salt, and oh, so we do actually have that in between meals. So that's the that's the special exemption. Okay, there's one last thing that is vitally important. And again, it sounds like a well, no duh type of thing. However, sometimes I don't think we take this seriously enough. But what does that other piece that we can control?
Heather LoCurto 58:36
Yeah, it is movement. Movement is so huge. And I think you talked earlier on another episode about the connection between your mood and your self-control and willpower. So when your mood is lifted, you have greater you know, self-control and willpower, right? Well, what better way to lift your mood than working out? Like, I don't know about you. But every time I go and work out even if I'm dragging my feet to the gym, and I get there and I get that workout in afterwards, I feel pumped. I feel energized. My mood is different. And so it's so important. Even if it's you know, I tell people 30 minutes a day, it doesn't take much for our body just wants to move we were born to move. Otherwise, we would just have straight legs and arms and no joints. Right? We would just know the straight leg.
Chris LoCurto 59:40
So for that example, Brian, that looks fantastic. I wish everybody could see that right there.
Heather LoCurto 59:46
So 30 minutes, it's not a lot, right? And so just be moving. It's going to help you lift your mood, it's going to help you stay focus, it's going to help with that willpower and that self-control. It's a no brainer, and it's so easy to do.
Chris LoCurto 1:00:00
Mood is so important. Here's one of the things that people use as an excuse all the time, I overeat because I have a bad mood. Right? I bet you you hear that from time to time, oh, if I'm not having a good day, then that's when I choose bad food. However, the emotional eating. However, I used to be an emotional eater back in the day, you know, my younger years, pasta was my emotional eating. I mean, if I was struggling with something, you know, I always say the first half of my life I was quite a people pleaser, right. And so if things weren't working out, man, a bowl of pasta at nighttime was my favorite. That's the thing I went to I didn't go to the sugar, I went to the process carbs, right. And so here's an amazing thing that they did with this research. They loaded up a movie theater was full of, I believe it was actually teenagers. Maybe it was adults, I don't remember. They put a bunch of people in a movie theater was a sad movie. Half of the people they said, don't hold back, don't restrain your emotions, whatever you feel during the movie, you're golden, right? The other half of people, they told restrict your emotions do not allow your emotions to you know, to don't feel the emotions you would normally have to this sad movie restrict those things. Then they gave everybody ice cream afterwards. Interestingly, the thing that that happened was the ones that get to feel their emotions didn't go ballistic on the ice cream, the ones that had to restrain those that had good self-control, good willpower, and they restrained their emotions, still, like normal amount of ice cream, those that did not have good willpower ate twice the amount of ice cream as everybody else. So when people say, well, it's because I'm emotional. No, it's not because you're emotional. It's because your willpower is tanked. So you're not using the right tools. You're not doing the right things. You know, putting those things in place will help you to overcome and like you just shared, if you want to get out of the funky mood, and you want to have the happy hormones flowing through your body actually move. Get out and do something because even if you feel like crap, even if you feel like not doing it, I've seen you do that so many times where you might be struggling with something he's like, I just gotta go. I gotta go workout. I've got to go for a walk. If you're somebody is like, I gotta go punch a bag. I gotta do something. I gotta get my body moving.
Heather LoCurto 1:02:29
I need to throw a couch out the airstream.
Chris LoCurto 1:02:33
Yes, yes. As you were redoing an Airstream right now for the fun of it. Chucking a big ol honkin couch out of there. Yeah, yeah, it gets you back in check, it gets your mood back in check. And it keeps you in a place where you just made a good decision to do something, as opposed to the bad decision would be, don't move, go for the ice cream. Instead, you're like, nope, I'm gonna go work out. I'm gonna go kick my mood up. This is gonna help me. So fantastic stuff. Heather, this is all so great. How do people get more about this? And I want to again, I want to hit that the the download, but how do they get more?
Heather LoCurto 1:03:15
Yeah, well, the download is available. Like I said, it has fun, you know, strategies and tricks and tips to live in a healthy lifestyle. And it is available at chrislocurto.com/help. But if you were on-
Heather LoCurto 1:03:35
Yes, there's a link in the description. But if you're not following me on Facebook, we're always posting, you know, just strategies and tips and recipes and just ways to help you guys live a healthy, balanced lifestyle. That's our goal. So you can check that out at Heather LoCurto.
Chris LoCurto 1:03:57
These are the tools folks get the download, get the download, like literally just get the download and start putting these things in place. It is not enough to think that you've got the willpower to overcome this. It's just not enough. That actually runs out if you don't utilize the tools to actually grow that willpower. And we didn't even mention through this process for those of us that are believers, immediately go to prayer, whenever you're struggling, whenever you need help immediately call on God immediately calling the Holy Spirit's power to help you through this process. Right. That's a very vital thing. But don't stop there. Put the tools, the tricks, all the stuff, utilize the recipes, utilize the the exercises, do these things, and it will change not only how you feel, not only how you look, you know it's like you ask the folks when they step on the scale and they're not supposed to and then they go straight to that punishing feeling I shouldn't be doing. Look, this isn't working. Because the number didn't change. What's the first thing you do?
Heather LoCurto 1:05:06
Yeah, we go to How are you feeling? Oh, I have more energy. Well, how are your clothes? My clothes are loose, and my face is cleared up. I'm, you know, I have this glow about me. People are complimenting me. Those are the pieces we're looking for not a weight on a scale.
Chris LoCurto 1:05:21
Don't worry about that. That should not be the thing you're gauging by right? focus on the things that are helping you. If you put these things in place, not only will you feel better, look better, lose weight, but guess what? You will be training your willpower so that you can have more the next time that temptation comes along, you will be able to last longer if we take a look at what James says, stand the longer you stand when the trials come, guess what? The next time you will be able to stand longer. Well, babe, I'm so glad you got to be on the show.
Heather LoCurto 1:06:00
Thank you for having me.
Chris LoCurto 1:06:01
Thank you for joining us. Folks, as always, you know our goal, our goal is to change your life. Our goal is to help you our goal is to you know change your family. Change your family tree, all of that, right? So take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.
Episode 405, You Don’t Have As Much Willpower As You Think (Part 1)
Episode 408, You Don’t Have As Much Willpower As You Think (Part 2):