Does this sound like you?
You keep trying to lose weight, and a few weeks in, things are proceeding quite nicely. But then, something ‘happens’ and you quickly revert back to your old eating habits.
You begin saying things like
“I’m good during the day, but I self sabotage at night”
“I’m good during the week, but then it all goes to pot at the weekends”
“I always do well for a few weeks, only to completely relapse and end up worse off than when I started”
If this is you, you probably feel disappointed with yourself and frustrated regarding your inability to lose the weight yet again. Then you give up.
And every time you do, you’re telling yourself that you can’t do it, that you’re not destined to lose weight like others and you just don’t have what it takes.
BUT THAT’S THE THING-
You DO have what it takes.
You ARE capable of losing weight.
It’s the story you tell yourself that needs to change.
WHAT IS SELF SABOTAGE?
An example could be… your diet is going great and you are losing weight, then your significant other gives you a box of your favourite chocolates, which you devour within a day or two, only to feel guilty and like you’ve ‘failed’!
Another example could be, you have friends, coworkers, family members, etc. tempting you with food choices they know you are avoiding, while saying remarks like, “Just one bite won’t hurt you” or “You have come so far, you deserve to have just one!” “I made this, you have to try it.” or ”It is my birthday, you have to have cake!”
Or it could be something you do yourself, without any outside influence. Things like emotional eating, secret eating etc can creep up on you as a coping mechanism for life’s increasing demands.
This is so common, and something I myself have dealt with whilst trying to lose weight, as well as my clients.
By definition, sabotage means to destroy. When it comes to weight loss, this could be any deliberate or subconscious thought, feeling or behaviour that attempts to destroy your ability to achieve your weight loss goals.
You can either self-sabotage, or it can be assisted (for example from your partner or friends).
WHY DO WE SELF SABOTAGE?
Often, your own mind becomes your biggest enemy.
When we first start our weightless journey, you are often feeling motivated, pumped up and ready to tackle your goals.
But then, your negative thought patterns begin to affect your behaviours. And your ‘I can do this’ attitude starts being replaced by feelings of ‘I can’t do this’, or ‘this is too hard’ or ‘I’m unable to change’.
This harmful attitude towards yourself can cause you to subconsciously do everything in your power to stop yourself achieving your desired goal.
Then before you know it, even as you are begin consuming an unhealthy food you know you maybe should not be eating, but you just cannot stop.
There are several reasons why self-sabotage tends to linger in our lives. Most often, it is due to a lack of self-esteem, self-confidence, self-worth, and/or self-belief. This is all based on the stories we’ve been telling ourselves (sometimes since we were kids).
Negative thoughts about yourself and your ability to lose weight can undermine your weight loss efforts. The messages you give yourself through your conscious or unconscious self-talk have a powerful ability to affect your feelings, behaviours, and results.
SELF SABOTAGE DUE TO YOUR EMOTIONS
You can also suffer from self-sabotaging behaviour because you are unable to effectively manage your emotions.
This is known as emotional eating. For example, you rely on food to cope with stress, anger, sadness, boredom, loneliness, and/or any other negative emotion. Some people have this but with alcohol, drugs or cigarettes.
Interestingly, emotional eating is also triggered by positive emotions. This occurs when you eat in response to feeling happy and/or excited.
For some, self-sabotage becomes the go to technique for coping with challenging situations, the hassles of daily life, major life events, or unrealistic expectations of ourselves, which we subconsciously feel we are incapable of reaching.
Nevertheless, whatever emotions drive you to eat, the outcome is the same…your feelings return, and you likely bear the additional burden of guilt regarding sabotaging your weight-loss.
SELF SABOTAGE DUE TO FOMO/ FEELING DEPRIVED
Another reason for self-sabotage may be because you have a (conscious or unconscious) fear of being deprived. For example, you are hosting a birthday celebration and serving cake. You really want to stick to your healthy diet, but watching everyone else eat the goodies makes you feel left out and deprived. So, what do you do? Sabotage! You either indulge with your guests, or wait for them to leave and sneak into the kitchen and binge on the cake and other goodies in secret.
This could also happen when you go out for brunch with your girlfriends, of course you want to feel involved and ‘normal’, and you want to be able to eat and drink in the same way as everyone else. And to be honest, once in a blue moon this kind of thing won’t make much of a difference, but if you also suffer from a perfectionist mentality, this sort of thing could hurl you into a downward spiral of feeling guilty, sabotaging and overeating, feeling more guilty, restricting then bingeing again further down the line.
Also, with inevitable events like this, if you tell yourself this sort of thing is okay, because ‘BALANCE’, but it’s happening more often than not, your approach to a ‘balanced’ weight loss journey is just slightly too relaxed, and doesn’t have enough discipline to actually get to where you want to get to. Whilst I’m all for balance, and including your favourite foods and meals out into your journey, you can’t be doing it every day of the week. If nothing changes, nothing changes! And sometimes a little restriction is required to get to your goal.
REASONS YOU SELF SABOTAGE
- Negative thoughts – focussing only on the negative and ignoring what’s going well
- Fear of failure – therefore not even trying (a form of self protection from further trauma)
- Secret eating – wanting to be perfect in the eyes of others (your coach, partner, friends) but then eating in secret and sabotaging your hard work
- Negative self talk – beating yourself up ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’ll always be this way’
- Emotional eating – not being in control of your emotions and using food to comfort you
- Focusing on the past – ‘I’ve never been able to lose weight’ and therefore ‘I’m never going to be able to’
- Feeling like your goal is too big or too far in the future – ‘I just have so much to lose’ instead of breaking it down into small, achievable goals – How does someone eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
- Excuses – constantly making excuses as to why you aren’t losing weight ‘I’m too tired, busy, stressed, I have a slow metabolism’
Which one are you? Hit reply or comment and let me know!
The first step in overcoming self sabotage is to understand which behaviours you suffer from. Always remember, you are in control of your weight loss success. The stories you tell yourself have the biggest impact.
Check out our weight loss planners and journals by clicking here or find out more about 121 coaching by clicking here if you want a 121 coach to talk through your specific struggles and have the advice you need to overcome this and get results.