Do you sabotage your own weight-loss efforts? I seem to do it every time I start a weight-loss program. I go along well for a few weeks, and then I completely go off the rails.
Like this time. Everything seemed so easy. I lost 12 pounds in 4 weeks. And then… I don’t know… there were awards dinners, cakes at work for various occasions (can you really say no to eating the cake brought in especially for International Women’s Day?), tempting Starbucks breakfasts, and on and on.
But those are just excuses. The same types of event and of temptation were happening during the first four weeks, so why now am I completely off track? Do I not want to succeed? After gaining almost a pound last week and on track to gain more this week, I’ve been looking for answers on the internet.
Greatist.com tells us that self-sabotage may be due to a fear of success. “The best diet won’t matter… if a part of you wants to destroy progress toward your goals.” The fear can be of losing that easy escape from worries or that comforting way to suppress emotions. Or maybe there is something you plan to do when you lose weight that scares you or seems too difficult. Or you may not really believe that achieving your goal is going to make your life better. (Isn’t my life better when I’m eating that warm cheese croissant than when I’m eating salad?) The article suggests finding and getting beyond the root cause of the self-sabotage with the following:
- List five reasons you believe your life will be worse when you achieve your goal.
- Challenge your fears, by questioning your reasons and poking holes in their logic.
- Then, list five reasons you now believe your life will be better once you achieve your goal.
WebMD suggests that self-sabotage occurs when you set goals you can’t meet and when you refuse to give yourself the praise you deserve. Correcting that involves:
- Taking small steps toward a realistic goal (and setting smaller goals along the way), keeping yourself moving steadily forward.
- Celebrating each time you meet a small goal, with a treat that’s not about food.
- Beginning to face your fears, asking what you are afraid of that is making you not follow through.
- Slowly breaking away from old patterns by noticing the automatic thoughts you have, checking if they are actually based on facts, and changing them to more realistic thoughts.
Half of Gabby, in a post that looks to be an insightful pep-talk, informs us (with “adult language”) that there are two main reasons for self-sabotage:
- You are afraid of success and of change — change is always hard. And maybe you haven’t found a powerful enough reason.
- You don’t think you’re worth it and you need to examine why.
It looks like I have some work to do to try to figure out how to get myself back on track. Have any of you struggled with self-sabotage?