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Self-Sabotage Behaviour In Weight Loss And How To Deal With It

You want to lose weight SO BADLY…and then you put the weight back on…and it’s not the first time this has happened. It’s the same pattern over and over and over again…the pattern to failure!  So then why on earth do we keep repeating this same old pattern when it’s ultimately going to result in the same thing, FAILURE?

Well…that’s self-sabotage for you.

Self sabotage means any behaviour, thought, emotion or action that holds you back from what you CONSCIOUSLY want.

And it’s got to do with your UNCONSCIOUS mind trying to protect you from disappointment by keeping you in your comfort zone – the zone of familiarity regardless of whether this zone is not necessarily a good thing. Your unconscious doesn’t like surprises. I mean can you imagine you did everything right, you gave it 100% for months and months and months and you didn’t lose weight? How devastating that would be? That’s what your subconscious is trying to protect you from.

So it keeps you in your comfort zone even though CONSCIOUSLY it’s not what you want…at least it’s an expected, familiar outcome.

Now there’s a lot of METHODS that we use to sabotage our own success. Working in health, fitness and weight loss, I’ve identified several that pop up time and time again during my Body Transform Challenges.

Today, let’s talk about the Top 5 Methods Of Self-Sabotage:

  1. Fear Of Failure – every single challenge….”Oh I don’t want to tell anyone, can’t I just keep it to myself?”, “I don’t like my work colleagues to know about my private issues”, “I don’t want anyone to see my photos”. What you are actually doing is creating a failure safety net – if no-one is witness to my failure, then it doesn’t matter, because I can just keep my failure to myself and pretend it never happened.
  2. Inability To Plan Ahead – I always say this: Preparation, Planning, Organisation is key to your success. If you don’t plan…then you plan to fail it’s as simple as that. The reason being if you don’t plan you will not be ready for life’s curveballs. You won’t have a backup when you need it the most. Instead you will end up in a cafe somewhere eating something that is not right for our purposes, even worse it erodes your resolve and you take a step backwards, closer to your old habits.
  3. Procrastination – we all know this one. “I’m just not ready”, “I’m just too busy”, ‘I’ll lose weight after Christmas, after New Year, after Australia Day, after Easter, after winter….bloody when! One day you’ll wake up and realise how many years you’ve lost being unhappy with the way you look…and that if you’d just started sooner you would’ve been happy and confident and free from the monkey on your back years ago…and now…although it’s never too late… it gets harder to achieve.
  4. Perfectionism – It’s got to be perfect timing, the challenge has to fit perfectly around my busy life, the appointments have to be at a convenient time, I need to be perfect and lose weight in the perfect manner and lose a certain amount of weight every single week….and the list goes on. if we can’t be perfect i.e. the perfect time and circumstances to lose weight or the perfect process to lose weight…things would never get done. It’s why I do live videos. If I pre-recorded them, I’d hate them and then I’d spend all day on a video and in the end I wouldn’t release it. There’s never a perfect time. Perfectionism reduces your ability to be productive whether it’s work stuff, or weight loss.
  5. Making Excuses – my God don’t we have an excuse for everything! Like “Just one won’t hurt”, “I’ve had a bad day so I deserve a glass of wine…or 3”, “I’ve stuffed up my ‘diet’ so I may as well just go the whole hog!” That’s your unconscious saying…danger, danger possibility of failure…here let me make it a little easier for you…with false rationalisations to make you succumb!

OK so what do we do to stop this:

Tip #1
Recognise the self-sabotage behaviour and identify the trigger that causes it. For example mindless eating is the self-sabotage behaviour and the trigger is stress. Come up with replacement behaviour. Here’s some examples:

  • If you have a fear of failure (trigger) making you want to keep your weight loss efforts to yourself (self-sabotage behaviour) then do the exact opposite (replacement behaviour). When you begin a Body Transform Challenge, you don’t go into it hoping for the best and expecting the worst. You go into it with success being a foregone conclusion. So tell everyone you know, shout it from the rooftops, show them your photos…anything to make your unconscious sweat a little and to put the pressure on so you actually do what needs to be done to guarantee success.
  • If you’re stressed (trigger) instead of reaching for the packet of Tim Tams (self-sabotage behaviour) the replacement behaviour is to have some healthy vegetable sticks on hand. They take lots of time to eat and have a satisfying crunch…and keeps your mouth busy which has a pacifying effect during stressful times.
  • If you’ve had a bad day at work (trigger) instead of reaching for the wine bottle (self-sabotage behaviour), go for a walk (replacement behaviour) to clear your head and allow you to refocus and take charge of the situation.

Tip #2
Make Your Excuses Invalid by making exercise and healthy eating non-negotiable. Diarise and prioritise your exercise. Don’t think too hard about it, just turn up…the way you would to a doctor’s appointment or to a scheduled meeting with your accountant. Don’t make a big deal about it. Remove temptation foods from the house. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it. If you hear yourself making excuses to relax your healthy eating or to not train, but a big red stop sign up in your head and say NO! Remember all the reasons why you are working hard to achieve your goals and how far you’ve come.

Tip #3
Create A Support Group Around You.
This could be your family, friends and colleagues at work – people who would support you every step of the way and help you stay on the straight and narrow. When self-sabotage behaviour is about to kick in, call on them for support. Sometimes a quick, reassuring chat in person or on the phone is enough to help you get back in control.

Tip #4
Practise, Practise, Practise
…that’s why we have 8 weeks! Beyond the challenge keep practising…reflect and write notes in your diary to help you. Use your Affirmations, Vision board and other tools we’ve learned to use during the course of the program.

Tip #5
Accept That Things Will NEVER Be Perfect. The timing of a challenge won’t be perfect, the classes aren’t quite at the times you’d like them to be, it’s a bit of a squeeze to get your appointments in, one week you lose 1kg and the next week it’s 300gm. There is never a perfect time and things will never go perfectly. Perfectionism reduces your ability to take action and move forward. Forget being perfect and go for getting things done. Done is better than perfect because you are MOVING in the right direction instead of being stalled while you wait for perfect. A 300gm loss is still moving in the right direction!

Tip #6
Whatever you do, Don’t Punish yourself if you fall off the bandwagon temporarily. Punishing yourself by saying “I have no willpower”, “I’m just hopeless”, “I’ll never be any good at this” … etc will only keep you in the vicious cycle and reinforce to your unconscious mind why it needs to keep sabotaging you. Instead just move on, keep going. Remember how you look is the sum of what you do consistently, not what you do occasionally. Consistently means months and years…not days.

In this video, I’ve summarised the key points of self-sabotage:

Do you need help losing weight? If you’re ready to let go of your self-sabotaging patterns, ready to lose the monkey on your back and finally move towards happiness in your own skin and in your life, then it’s time. Click the link below and let me know you’re ready to not only transform your body but your life as well:

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