Through the first several articles in our series
By now you should already have gleaned some valuable insight as to why you sabotage your weight loss and exercise efforts.
But we’re not done yet.
Let’s look at a few more potential saboteurs:
- Not taking responsibility
- Blaming external factors
- Lack of belief in yourself
(Grab your journal and get comfortable!)
No one likes to feel deprived.
Sadly, many diets – especially overly strict ones – require a significant amount of deprivation.
There are few things that will make you sabotage your efforts more quickly.
Deprivation often elicits feelings of anger, frustration, and resentment – to name a few. And, as we’ve mentioned before, those feelings tend to undermine your weight loss efforts and exercise goals.
Some degree of deprivation is inevitable when you’re trying to lose weight.
After all, you can’t eat everything and anything and expect the numbers on the scale to go any direction but up. The stricter the diet, the greater the deprivation will be.
This is one of the reasons why fad diets (which often focus on eating a lot of one type of food or excluding an entire food category) and extreme diets (e.g. very low calories diets or liquid diets) frequently lead to failure.
People simply can’t handle that much self-inflicted deprivation for very long without rebelling or throwing in the towel.
Reason #14 – You’re Not Taking Responsibility For Your Weight
I hate to be blunt here, but unless someone’s force-feeding you or you eat while you’re sleepwalking, you really can’t blame anyone else but yourself for your excess weight.*
If you’re blaming someone (or something) else (e.g. your mother, your spouse, your 5 pregnancies, etc.) for your weight issues, then that’s likely the reason you’re sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
Until you take personal, full responsibility for your excess weight, you’re going to keep sabotaging your efforts. This is because any lasting change must come from within, and that can’t occur until you own the problem.
(*It should be noted that there are a few exceptions to this, such as certain medications or a medical problem that caused your weight gain – but be careful to assign blame to one of these only if there is plenty of evidence to back it up; otherwise, it may just be another excuse.)
Reason #15 – You Don’t Believe You Can Succeed
There’s an interesting phenomenon that occurs whenever we believe something about ourselves – we do everything we can to make that belief become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In other words, if you don’t believe you can succeed in achieving your weight loss and exercise goals, then you won’t.
That’s almost a given.
Often, the reasons you don’t believe in your ability to succeed include:
- A history of failures
- Your goals are so big they feel completely unattainable (with this one, always check to make sure your goals are truly realistic)
- You don’t feel you have sufficient motivation
- Review your current weight loss plan; is it too restrictive? A healthy plan shouldn’t lead to constant feelings of deprivation. Many people find that it’s better to allow small amounts of your favorite foods from time to time (within reason, of course) rather than denying them altogether (which often leads to intense cravings). Experiment with what works best for you, and remember this should be a lifestyle change rather than a short-term “diet”.
- Write down all the external reasons you believe have contributed to your excess weight. Now, go through each one and consider whether or not they are really to blame. Next, write down all the ways you have caused your weight gain (e.g. emotional eating in response to stress or negative feelings, etc.). Keep a food and feelings log for a month to look for unhealthy patterns
- One of the best things you can do to overcome this self-sabotage obstacle is to break down your big goals into several small ones. For example, if your weight loss goal is to lose a total of 60 pounds, start with smaller goals – like 5 or 10 pounds – first. Five pounds isn’t nearly as daunting as 60. Success breeds success – so with each success you’ll find that your self-confidence and belief in yourself grows. In time, you’ll find that you have reached your goal weight! Also, make a list of all your other accomplishments in life. This list is a good reminder that you are very capable of reaching goals and finding success.