I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time. ~ Herbert Bayard Swope
I want you to succeed in reaching your health, weight loss, and fitness goals and I’ve given you many articles on what has worked for me in the past and today, and what has motivated me to get moving. Besides looking at how to take positive action, it’s helpful is to look at the ways that you can sabotage yourself just to see if you might be doing any of these things now.
I originally wrote this post several months ago when I was struggling myself (remember my sugar addiction during the holidays) but didn’t finish it and post it. While the times that I engage in self-sabotage don’t help me achieve my goals, I at least feel like I’m making lemonade out of lemons by passing my mistakes along to you. If you see yourself in any of these self-sabotaging actions then it can at least help you become more aware so that you can make better choices for yourself.
1. Don’t journal your feelings. If you pick up your journal or a piece of paper as soon as you’re feeling a twinge of anxiety, upset, any kind of feeling that leads you to emotional eating, you can write about it and get it out on paper instead of turning to food over it.
If instead you ignore your feelings and take the easy way out (food) knowing in the back of your mind that food won’t solve a darned thing for you, you can end up in a binge and/or a cycle of unhealthy eating. For me at least, it’s just not “one time” or “one taste”; it always leads to more.
I mentioned recently that I haven’t been journaling very much so I spent time today doing that. It really helped me get out what was bothering me instead of using food.
2. Keep your trigger foods in the house. This is just a set-up for disaster. By keeping your trigger foods within reach, you make it so much easier for to just reach for them if you’re feeling bad. Why make it so easy?
If you have other adults in the house who aren’t interested in living a healthy lifestyle (we can’t change anyone else, only ourselves!), here’s something you could do: make an agreement that they will keep all of their food (the unhealthy stuff) in a separate cupboard or two. Sure, you can do some rearranging, it’s worth it. Make that cupboard off limits to you and never open it. It’s even better if you have a finished basement where you could have them put their food down there.
Sound ridiculous, especially if the other person is your spouse? Well, what is most important is your health and healing. Especially if you are a food addict, you won’t fare well if you have the sugared and floured (which is in most processed food) foods constantly around you.
Personally, I think it’s much better to have everyone in the house on board, but you need to work with what you’ve got. Here’s something else you can do: if you have BBC America, check out my favorite show, You Are What You Eat. Watch several episodes back to back with your family and see if that helps get you all on the healthy track.
3. Think negative thoughts. I believe that much of the weight loss battle occurs in the mind and it’s those negative thoughts that will succeed in bringing you down, thereby easily leading to emotional eating. If you instead make a conscious choice to go for the positive thought, you can affect an instant change in your mood and eventually get in the habit of positive thinking.
But isn’t it hard to think positively when you’re unhappy with being overweight? Yes, sometimes it can be, but where do you begin if you don’t start where you’re at? If you’re having a real struggle with this why not start loving yourself today exactly as you are? The more love you hold for yourself (real love, not vanity), the easier it will be to not only maintain a positive attitude, but the easier it will also be to get moving and take better care of yourself.
4. Give up on yourself because you slipped up one time. How many times can you think of that you had what was really a small slip up but it turned into a major derailment? Depending on where you’re at in creating a healthy relationship with yourself, your body, your weight, and food, sometimes those slips just don’t have to lead to a full blown binge. What do I mean? Well, if you’re addicted to sugar and flour like I am, I don’t advise seeking out those ingredients because it really is very hard to stop with one since they create a physiological change in the body.
However if you can stop with just one but your problem is the negative and guilty thinking that follows (thinking that since you’ve “blown it” you might as well eat everything you can find), you can instead choose to release your self-criticism and get right back on the healthy track. While eating cookies every day won’t give you quick results on the scale come Monday morning, if you do give in and eat one, just love yourself and move on.
5. Force yourself to lose weight by publicly declaring your intentions. You really need to know yourself to decide if telling other people about your weight loss goals will help you or hurt you. When I wrote this bullet point a few months ago I was angry with myself for declaring here at Fearless Fat Loss that I was going to lose weight and update you each week. I was feeling a lot of pressure and it essentially backfired on me.
Today I’m feeling fine with it but that’s more so because I’m really motivated and feeling good about my progress. Still though, I caution you to think about whether or not you want to tell others what you’re up to when you first start your healthy way of life. Dr. Wayne Dyer suggests that you do not tell anyone else about your goals because it dissipates the energy and I agree with that, depending on what the goal is. In the case of my blog here I’m sharing my goals with you so that you can say “hey, if she can do it so can I!”, but you just need to know yourself; knowing whether or not it’s going to be helpful for you to tell others.
What about you, do you have other ways that you’ve sabotaged your weight loss efforts before? If you’ve learned from them that’s all that matters and if you’d like to share please do in a comment. I bet that whatever you’ve done to sabotage yourself is something that others have also done. All we can do now though, is move on in the present moment and put our best foot forward; the past is the past.