Does this sound familiar?
You start your day with the best intentions and the right foot: You wake up and think of some positive affirmations for the day ahead, drink a BIG glass of clean water, take your probiotic, then get outside in the natural light for a brief walk followed by a healthy breakfast packed with quality protein and natural fats, but soon after you get a persistent (and annoying!) craving for something sweet -oh no! What do you do?
It’s common to start with a handful of carrots, then move on to a few pieces of string cheese, and the next thing you know, you’re elbow-deep in a pint of ice cream!
You might ask yourself: “Why do I keep doing this?” You feel disappointed and mad by your self-sabotaging attitude and you think that you lack will power.
“Self-Sabotage” is just a way of saying that you’re making poor choices that undermine your values and goals. You may not even be aware of it, and your decision to detour may even seem like the only choice you had in the heat of a stressful or emotional moment. I LOVE this topic because I am passionate about helping people realize the way they might be unintentionally undermining themselves in spite of the best intentions. I mean, if you are going to make the effort, you should get the results, right??!
Examples of Self-Sabotage Include:
- Going for to that calorie-packed cookie to drown out a stressful day even though you know it’s not in your best interest at all. (Emotional Eating!!, yup, been there!)
- Having the all-or-nothing eating attitude about your diet so that you’re bound to be “unsuccessful” and have an excuse to give in. (Very common – I see this ALL the time!)
- Craving change, but wanting to be comfortable even more. (When you think about it, BOTH are painful, so I say, “pick the pain that better serves you!”)
One of the biggest challenges to making good choices is that we fail to see the compounded outcome of our individual daily decisions. Small wins add up to big wins so don’t underestimate the power of baby steps! Self-control is a skill that helps with self-sabotage effectively, but is developed with HARD WORK and PERSISTENCE, it does not happen overnight. We need to create healthy habits to make healthy eating easier and more enjoyable overall.
Healthy habits develop over time and then that becomes your “life” or lifestyle. If we did a certain behavior yesterday and the 30 days prior– there is a very good chance that we will do it again today and tomorrow. Right?
Often my work involves first making people more aware of self-sabotaging behaviors (like the “Amy, I eat healthy but I can’t lose weight, don’t have any energy, can’t get motivated, am on medication for XYZ”, etc.) and to help people break bad habits and create better ones by making them realize that there are always greater choices and possibilities for them.
So my recommendation for you is:
- Get to know yourself.
Become aware of your self-sabotaging triggers. If you find that you struggle with emotional eating, challenge yourself to take a realistic view of the situation that is difficult for you. Tell yourself that it’s OK to feel sad, mad, scared, tired — you name it. Welcome your negative emotions with kindness and curiosity, and ask them what they want from you. Plus, through listening to your emotions, you’ll discover what it is you truly want, and can create new strategies for deeper satisfaction.
- Listen to your excuses for self-sabotaging.
What lies are you telling yourself and what is the truth? Look for those times you glaze over what matters most, so that you can now make a decision you’re proud of. Be sure, you won’t do it perfectly. But, each and every time you take your high road; you’re breaking old patterns and exercising those new lifestyle muscles you’re looking to build.
- Ask yourself…
“Am I OK with making this choice every day for the next 30 or more days?” Ask it before, during, or after your diet sabotage and take a mental note. Some days you may choose to adhere to your long-term goals, other days you may not.
Don’t get caught up in the details or the days you gave into that persistent craving. Those are only distractions that can keep you from moving forward! THINK AHEAD, NOT BEHIND! You can control NOW not yesterday. 🙂
My work is to teach my clients and students to ease their own self-sabotaging tendencies by teaching self-care practices. Want to start? Get coaching with ME or join my club and learn all my personal tricks, tips and tools that I do to stay healthy, happy, fit, and ageless!