Weight Loss Sabotage ~ Dr. Maryska
When you hear the word sabotage, you may automatically think about others and how they might be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. This can happen. Whether it’s comments like, “oh, you’re no fun anymore since you started eating healthy,” or “you don’t look like yourself anymore.” Perhaps it’s scenarios where loved ones try to pressure you to eat that big piece of cake. Or maybe your partner isn’t supportive and still wants you to eat potato chips with him or her every night in front of the TV. Sabotage happens and it can be tough!
Three reasons why others may sabotage your weight loss efforts:
1. Your success may be causing them to feel insecure and they’re in the uncomfortable position of feeling bad about their own weight.
2. They may be insecure or have anxiety that things may change with your weight loss. This can happen in your romantic relationships, especially when the other person feels threatened that, perhaps if you are slimmer, others will find you more attractive and you might leave the relationship.
3. Your family or friends feel it’s their job to help you feel confident about your size and think that by you losing weight you are not accepting yourself. They could be afraid your actions have unhealthy motives.
Regardless of what the circumstances may be, it is important to sit down with your loved ones and have an open dialogue about their fears or insecurities. Explaining to them that you are doing this out of love for yourself is important. Tell them being at a healthy weight and taking care of your body is about taking charge of your health and that you desire their support and love.
Self sabotage is also something to consider.
Self sabotage is somethings that happens when we are incongruent with our goals. Consciously, we may want to lose weight, but subconsciously there may be something that’s holding us back. Often the most common thing holding us back is fear. Deep down you may be afraid of what will happen if you do reach your goals. So when you start to see results you unconsciously sabotage yourself to keep yourself from succeeding. The motives of self sabotage go really deep and often, if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll find that we are afraid of being that slimmer future self because of fear of how the world might react to us.
Maybe we’ll receive more attention? Maybe a close loved one will be jealous? Maybe we’ll finally have no more reasons to beat ourselves up? Sometimes the extra weight can act like a barrier or cushion from the outside world that we perceive as ‘unsafe.’ So we literally hide behind an extra layer of ‘protection’ AKA extra body weight. The extra weight is a shield that keeps us from being too attractive, too out there in the world, and too noticeable. It’s a subconscious protective mechanism to keep you safe. But this is not true. An internal identity shift needs to happen to help you own your new self.
Three things you can do to stop self sabotage:
1.Identify your Red Flags: Why do you want to lose wight? Where is it that you may be sabotaging yourself? Is it mindless eating? Using food to self-soothe? Using food a reward? Is there always a ‘crisis’ that needs your attention and prevents your from getting to the gym? Identifying your red flags or the areas where you are sabotaging yourself is key. The best way to do this is to build your awareness as to what is really going on. Keeping a food, mood and activity journal — where you record everything — is a good way to track this and truly see what’s going on.
2. Identify Any Fear: Taking some time to reflect and look at the possibility that you fear losing weight is a valuable exercise. Ask yourself: Do you have permission to lose weight? Are you afraid of being slim? Is there negative consequences to achieving your health goals? If yes, then talking about these fears and overcoming them is key to your success.
3. Own your New Self: Taking the leap towards true self love and acceptance can be frightening, especially when that is accompanied by a physical transformation from healthy food and exercise. But having the courage to dig deep, live authentically and own your new mindset — one that reflects the real you — is key to a healthier, happier you. Don’t be afraid to upgrade your mindset. Losing weight is not just a physical transformation — it’s an emotional and mental one, too! Choosing to live in a way that nourishes your desire to be healthy and strong is one of the best ways you can love yourself and be who you were meant to be.