10.26.2012

Fitness Friday: Self-Sabotage


I've never met a cookie or a cupcake I didn't like. I love tea with tons of sugar and cream. My favorite foods include grilled cheese; french fries; hamburgers and hot dogs; mac and cheese. I love food that is generally horrible for me. There is no way around it. I love sugary foods, fatty foods, cheesy foods. Crunchy chips, smooth ice cream, salty crackers... they all just taste so good.

Sometimes, I sabotage myself. It's not easy to give up a lot of the foods I love -- it's easy to make them in a healthier style. At the same time, though, I miss the real thing. My chicken and spinach enchiladas taste really good... but not as good as a shredded beef enchilada from my favorite Mexican restaurant. At work, if I have extra change, I always find myself at the candy machine, telling myself that, yes, I will add these five peanut M&Ms to my calorie tracking app. And yes, I'll work out tonight. But if I have a hard day or find myself just a bit too tired, I don't. What's a girl to do?

The past week, I've found myself performing very creative self-sabotage. Over the weekend, I decided not to count calories -- it was my birthday after all. Instead of being careful, I went full on. I had ice cream twice in one day (and not just a little ice cream). I ate way too much every meal. More than I ever would normally, even when I'm not dieting. I left the weekend feeling heavier than when I ended it and I felt like I had rewound all the progress I'd made.

On Monday, I found myself searching out and reading articles about self-sabotage. How do I address it? How do I stop it? What causes it? Part of me wonders if I do it -- eat a handful of M&Ms, go crazy when I decide not to count -- because I haven't seen enough progress, or because I'm feeling generally discouraged. With that said, here are a few things I learned this week about stopping self-sabotage.

1. Remember: Success is not black & white. 

Success is not restricting to the point of being unhappy. Success is about getting healthy, not about eating only certain foods. Someday, you're going to have to learn to control your sweet tooth and only have a little piece of cake, instead of the whole thing. Success isn't losing weight or getting to a perfect size, but just about getting healthy -- and it's not black and white. There are in-betweens. Days shouldn't be deemed total failures or total successes.

2. No one is perfect.

Self-sabotage is occasionally rooted in perfectionism and/or the need to control. Sometimes, we sabotage ourselves out of the feeling that we're going to fail anyway, so why not just do it now instead of later? (That way we are in control of the situation.) Along with the same logic, people who are perfectionists (ahem) tend to self-sabotage if they don't feel like they are doing something perfectly

In short: no one is perfect. You're never going to have a 100% perfect day when it comes to getting healthy. But you can work everyday to be better, to be healthier, to run farther or spend more time on the elliptical machine. You're never failing as long as you are trying your hardest. 

3. Don't focus on the negatives.

Take my post for example! Instead of focusing on the fact that I feel like I've taken many steps backward and that I haven't lost a single pound in a month, I should instead focus on the fact that I'm making myself healthier everyday by trying to eat healthier and by working out more regularly. I'm reducing my risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. I'm improving my physical and mental health. Even though I haven't lost a lot of weight, there are still positives to what I'm doing so far. 

4. The way to be more disciplined is to, well, be disciplined.

There is no magic answer. Which totally sucks, right? But it's true. To have more self-control, to be disciplined, to politely say "No" to the coworker who offers you a 400-calorie coffee takes discipline. You have to be okay saying "no" to people. You have to be okay not having an extra treat. You have to accept it and move on. And you have to just do it. There is no magic pill, or magic method, or any quick answer. You and I just have to not eat the cupcake, or the candy bar, or stop and get a pizza. The past few days, I've wanted to get Starbucks so bad -- but it's unnecessary calories and I could, if I need the caffeine, have a Diet Coke instead. It's not super healthy, but it's better than drinking a whole meal's worth of calories. 

5. Believe you deserve it.

The underlying cause of all kinds of self-sabotage -- weight loss related and otherwise -- occur from not believing you really deserve it. I know I do this subconsciously. But the truth is, we all deserve to be healthy and happy. None of us "deserve" to feel bad about ourselves. None of us "deserve" to feel uncomfortable with our bodies. We all deserve to be healthy, so go for it!

Do you self-sabotage? What steps have you taken to make yourself stop? 


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Thank you for reading my blog! :]
xo Michelle

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