Sabotage is defined as a deliberate action aimed at weakening a polity, effort, or organization through subversion, obstruction, disruption, or destruction. Pretty sinister stuff, huh? Now take a moment and think about your life, specifically your weight loss journey. After struggling to lose weight, going through all the required steps to have bariatric surgery and finally finding success…you fall prey to sabotage! The worst part? It’s self-inflicted!
You’re Not Alone
But don’t worry, you’re in good company. At some point, most weight loss patients will suffer from self-sabotage. And while these isolated incidents of sabotage can certainly undermine your success, the real problem is when it leads to a dismantling of the positive changes you made (which led to your success.)
Don’t Be the Roadblock
One of the most common forms of self-sabotage is self-defeating, negative self-talk. Being quick to criticize yourself reinforces negativity and leads to even more self-sabotage and becomes a difficult cycle to break. We like to tell our patients that weight loss is NOT about perfection, it’s about commitment. You’re going to have those days when you don’t eat well. There will be days when the mere thought of exercise makes you shut down. But that’s ok. That’s expected. That’s normal. It’s when you let that momentary slip up fester into negative thoughts of “I just can’t do this” or “I’m a failure”. This is when it becomes sabotage.
Food for Thought
Perhaps the biggest contributor to self-sabotage is the way you talk about food. Have you ever “rewarded” yourself with food? It might sound something like this – “I had a good workout so I deserve ice cream!” Or “Work was so stressful. I need a cheeseburger and milkshake.” Think about how much power you’re giving food with statements like that. Instead, really give some thought to the language you use about food. Is it reinforcing the right attitude? Is it motivating you towards reaching your goals?
Tips for Dealing with Self-Sabotage
At the end of the day, there are no fool-proof solutions for preventing self-sabotage; however, being honest and aware of your behaviors and habits can go a long way toward overcoming it. It’s a matter of maintaining a healthy mindset, adopting a consistent approach and most importantly, understanding that you won’t be perfect. Here are some helpful guidelines you can use to stay on track – and get you back on track when you don’t:
– You need to respect your body and that starts with self-compassion.
– Hold yourself accountable to others (peer and/or professional).
– Develop awareness of why you do what you do.
– Stay consistent in your approach.
– Find what’s working and focus on that, not what isn’t working.
– You’re not perfect. One mistake does NOT equal failure.
– Are my words helping or hurting?
– Be intentional with how you’re living.
We’re Here for You
Our tagline at Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas is You’ve Got This. We’ve Got You. But it’s much more than that. It truly is how we approach patient care. Nothing gives us greater joy than seeing a patient transform and start living the life they were meant for. But we understand that weight loss is a life-long journey. So even when you stumble or just can’t seem to find your stride, we’ll be here to help you. If you or someone you know, is struggling with obesity, please reach out to experience our no blame, no shame, compassionate care that gets results.