Whenever it came to trying to lose weight, my classic answer was always, “I simply have no willpower.” And until today, I believed it to be the case. Why else would I gain back the fifteen pounds I worked so hard to lose? Why else would I need to eat at least one piece of every cake at an event? It wasn’t really my fault. I just wasn’t able to stop myself.

At times I would decide I needed to change my eating habits, lose weight and get healthy again. But then hunger would strike, and there was no stopping me. And so I would rationalize that being a tad overweight wasn’t the worst thing. If eating makes me happy, did I really want to deprive myself over a few (okay, more than a few) pounds?

Was she actually suggesting that I was able to lose this weight and just didn’t want to?Recently I was complaining about having gained some extra weight and my inability to lose it, when someone responded that, clearly, it wasn’t important enough to me. If it was, she continued, I would have the self-control and focus needed. I was astounded. Was she actually suggesting that I was able to lose this weight and just didn’t want to? How dare she!

On Friday, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a weight-loss remedy I have heard about for some time. This fat blocker is FDA-approved, and is supposed to help increase the amount one loses. I hadn’t bought it in the past, because it is expensive, and I didn’t want to believe I actually needed it. You see, I was the teenager who couldn’t gain weight. I was one of those people that everyone hated, who didn’t break 100 pounds until college. Yes, the person who couldn’t buy regular clothes, because often a size zero was simply too big.

So you can imagine my difficulty, in looking at my BMI score, to discover that I am most definitely in that “overweight” category. And no, unfortunately, not too terribly close to the “normal” weight number either. (There, I said it!)

The thing I liked, though, about this weight-loss medication is that it has consequences. Eat too much, and you will suffer. Now that is something I need! After all, what better situation for someone with no self-control! No willpower! Perfect . . . a punishment for the wrong choice. It will no longer be whether or not I want the cake and don’t care if I gain the pound. But rather, if I eat the cake, that I will pay for it. In ways that I am not about to explain.

And yet, this morning, as I prepared to pop that first pill, there was a problem.

They were gel caps.

To explain, gel caps mean that there is gelatin in the cap, which renders it non-kosher. All the more so, since this is not a prescribed medication that I need, but rather one I am choosing to take. So I searched online, hoping I could simply open the cap and take the medication itself. It was then that I discovered that the banding ingredients contain pig products as well.

I had just spent $70, and in a matter of seconds I realized I would never pop a single pill into my mouth. They weren’t kosher. End of story.

And then it dawned on me. I have willpower! Serious willpower! Serious self-control! It hadn’t occurred to me that every time I went to a non-kosher event, no matter how good the food looked, no matter how hungry, it was not even a question. And yet, a kosher slice of cake. No ability to resist. Or so I thought.

It turns out that I have selective willpower and self-controlIt turns out that I have selective willpower and self-control. And I guess we all do. This must be what the woman meant who so assuredly declared that if it was important enough to me, I would lose the weight. Hate to admit it, but she was right.

I have been so busy excusing why I couldn’t or shouldn’t or didn’t need to do what I actually wanted to do, that I never invested the real time and effort into it. But I can. And I will. (I hope!)

And if I don’t, there is no one else to blame but myself. It is not lack of self-control, it is lack of the desire to assert my self-control. And so, I really have a choice to make. I can either accept and live with being overweight, and stop complaining about it. Or, I can accept that I do not want to be this way, and that the road to reaching my goal is going to be long, hard and taxing. I have to simply decide if I am ready to take it.

In the meantime, I have a $70 reminder on my desk of my willpower and self-control. So I guess these pills may end up helping me lose weight after all. Not by being ingested and doing their trick, but specifically by not being ingested, and reminding me of my ability to consciously choose in every decision I make.

Author Update: It’s been one month since I originally wrote this piece. During that time, I have lost eight pounds! Without any diet pills . . .