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Why Do We Sabotage Our Weight Loss Goals?

It’s Not What You Think

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We all do it.

We set a new goal with passion and enthusiasm.

We are fired up and all in.

Our motivation is high and we want it really bad.

I’m finally going to lose this weight!

Maybe we’ve been told by our doctor we need to lose weight to lower blood pressure? Maybe we’ve realized our health is really our greatest asset. The pandemic has opened our eyes to a lot of things and we use covid-19 to scare ourselves into action. Or….maybe we just can’t stand how we feel in our body.

The jeans are too tight.

The seat belt makes us feel constricted and uncomfortable.

The reflection in the mirror doesn’t represent how we want to look.

The pictures we see of ourselves make us want to cry or start self loathing.

We just don’t feel comfortable in our skin.

So we spend Sunday planning our new exercise routine, our new diet, our new life. “This is it” we tell ourselves and we lay our new sneakers out and set the alarm before we go to bed.

Monday we get up early, work out and eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner. We skip the ice cream after dinner even though it’s taking every ounce of willpower not to open the freezer after the kids are in bed, we are so proud of ourselves for resisting the urge!

Tuesday we expect to lose weight. When we don’t we talk ourselves into “being good” two days in a row. We tell ourselves to be patient, that this will take time.

We wake up Wednesday, lay in bed and try and talk ourselves into why we can skip our workout today because we are tired. Or just don’t feel like it. I’ve been known to do the math, if I miss today and exercise Saturday I tell myself I can still get my five days in. 

Thursday comes and we beat ourselves up because we’ve already given in to the excuses and we think we’ll never be able to lose the weight. Why bother?

Friday is here and you tell yourself you will start fresh on Monday.

And so the cycle continues. But why? Why do we so often give into the things that we know will move us further away from our goals?

I find that a lot of my clients emotionally eat. The trigger could be overwhelment. Or maybe you learned to celebrate with food. Perhaps food is pleasure for you. As I write we just hit a year after covid-19 was declared a global pandemic. A lot of us are missing concerts, big family gatherings, school and other activities we used to receive pleasure from. 

Another common reason we self sabotage is fear. It could be fear of deprivation. It could be fear of losing the weight or NOT losing the weight. It could be fear of feeling deep emotional pain you’ve been pushing down like a beach ball in a swimming pool. When the ball pops up you reach for food to avoid doing the work that will allow you to heal the underlying root cause of the fear.

There are so many reasons we self sabotage. We all do it. I think it’s part of the human experience. I help clients uncover the predominant reason they sabotage and we work together to create new coping mechanisms and habits.

It can be so exciting when you have a personal “aha moment” and move into the person you want to become. We get better as we learn to dig deep. We pull the weeds out at the root and begin to flourish. So keep digging. You won’t regret it!  Be willing to try new and different approaches to let go of self-defeating behaviors. It might take longer than you want. Keep the faith. The universe is abundant and as you align with your new vision of yourself the perfect insights and resources will find their way to you! 

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