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Old 05-19-2009, 03:59 PM   #1
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Question Self Sabotage

Why is it that as soon as I get a compliment or I hit a goal I think I can slack and I either gain everything back or I plateau. I started in September losing weight. I was up to 30 pounds lost by december. So that is 30 pounds in 3 months. Since then I have gained and lost the same 5 pounds. It is so frustrating. I do this every time. I need to figure out why I sabotage myself so I can stop doing it. I just have no idea how to figure out the reasonings. Any advice would be very helpful. Thanks

"Being fat is hard. Losing weight is hard. Maintaining weight is hard. Choose your hard."

Last edited by dek6; 05-19-2009 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:34 PM   #2
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I could have written that!! I have a certain weight which I never wanted to get above. When I`m above it, I will diet. As soon as I am below it again, I will stop rather than keeping up the good work which I have proven myself I can do.

It`s almost as if, deep down, I am content overing around this Zero, and do not really feel being slim worthwhile enough to work hard at.

I have often wondered about the underlying reasons, too, and I suspect that one of them may be that, whenever I had a slender body, I was only ever able to maintain it by starvation. I always gave up in the end and regained it all (and more, as it goes...). Maybe, deep down, I feel that it`s a lost cause and attempting to weigh less may actually result in me weighing more?

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Old 05-19-2009, 04:41 PM   #3
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Boy do I feel you... I was pondering this very thing a couple days ago.

I think for me it is because my weight is so emotional. I didn't get this way because of my love of food... sure, I love a good burger or piece of cake as much as the next person... but food to me was more of an emotional filler. I'd eat until I was beyond full and feeling sick, just to fill the void. I know I have huge commitment issues, issues with family, men, etc... and I know that I have hidden behind my weight. It's like a barrier to protect me from others,and from myself.

I seem to notice this up and down trend each time I get close to a new number... recently I have been hovering above the 220s. I'm ecstatic to lose but secretly panic inside. If I lose weight, people will notice me.. expect more from me. Heck, I'll even expect more from myself.

It's really a head game.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:48 PM   #4
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You might just be tired of "dieting". It might help to take a break and eat at maintenance level for a while.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:55 PM   #5
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I do this same thing. I have come to think of it as learning maintenance, and when I am ready I will beat it. Try to keep it within the same 5 lbs and then when you are truly ready make the next push. YOU CAN DO IT!
bljeghbe' chugh vaj blHegh- Klingon for Surrender or Die

Weight Jan 2006- 257 lbs
Current weight-202.8 (5'7 1/2)
Goal weight-155 lbs.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:30 PM   #6
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Self sabotage is something that I know a lot about. I have spent a long time trying to understand why I do this. Some things that help me are this:

1. Take a week and do this exercise, it will be very eye-opening for you: EVERY time you eat for one week stop and write down these things - What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What is your desired outcome? Then write a neutralizing statement. Sometimes you will honestly just be hungry and that's what you will be writing about but many (most, in my case) of the times you will find the desire for food is attached to something emotional. Here is an example:

What am I thinking? - I am thinking that I am a big, fat, slob who will never lose all this weight so I might as well just eat what I want and when I want.

What am I feeling? - I am feeling like a fake and a failure. I feel hopeless and sad.

Desired outcome? - I want to have a healthy body at a healthy weight and be able to maintain this.

Neutralizing statement (neutralize the negative thoughts and feelings to gain the desired outcome) - By choosing healthy foods and eating when I am hungry and stopping when I feel satisfied I will reach my desired goal of a healthy body.

I find that when I am willing to actually take a hard look at my feelings and be honest with myself that this really helps me. I have so many thoughts that trigger my desire to eat - boredom, stress, avoidance, etc. Also, write down the day/time of each entry to look for patterns there. I did this and found that transition times were the times when I struggled the most. When I came home from work was a big one for me. I used food to cope with the transition from work chaos to home chaos. Once you can see the pattern of how you use food to cope with these things then you are better equiped to make changes.

2. A shorter version of the above is to just stop and ask yourself, "What am I asking this food to do for me right now?" This works well to help you jump off the fast-track train to a binge and you don't have to write anything down. Just have the conversation in your head.

3. Once you realize what kinds of things trigger your overeating and sabotaging then start making a list of things to do instead of eat. You'd be amazed at how many baths I take in a week (sometimes a couple a day) because it's one of the things I use to try to shift my energy from food to something else that I enjoy.

4. Ask yourself this: "How does being fat (or carrying extra weight) serve me?" Does it keep you from being noticed because you don't like attention? Does it allow you to make excuses for not following your dreams? What purpose does it serve? It does serve a purpose but it is up to you to find out what it is and then work on those fears.

I find that combating self-sabotage is a journey that requires dedication and a lot of hard work. Also, actually writing down these thoughts is important because the more you write, the more awareness you will gain. Write everything that comes to mind no matter how silly or small it seems. The other day I wrote myself a forgiveness letter. I told myself I forgave myself for allowing my life to be what it is today and that I give myself permission to move forward and live the life I want. I also thanked myself for protecting myself in the only way I knew how...until now.

Hope this helps a little and good luck on your journey!
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:29 AM   #7
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Teensie3- Wow. First I have to say thank you. I think this is exactly what I needed. Everything you wrote is me. I use my weight to hide behind so I am not seen. I use it as an excuse to not live my life. I use it as a safety measure to not get close to people so I dont get hurt. I am going to do exactly what you said and I will see where I am in a week. I pray this is the one thing that will help me conquer this and actually change my life. I tell myself that I deserve to be happy and to live my dreams, but I dont think that I really believe it. So now I have to work on forgiving myself for allowing me to live my life like this for 31 years. I have to change my thoughts and make myself believe that I can do it and that I do belive it. I haev to let go of the anger I have that is directed toward the people that hurt me. I have to realize that I can not let them contune to have a hold over me. It is only hurting me. I have to forgive them so I can get on with my life and live my dreams. I have to do this for me but also for my husband and daughters.

"Being fat is hard. Losing weight is hard. Maintaining weight is hard. Choose your hard."
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:59 PM   #8
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Ladies....thanks for sharing this.....I totally feel you!
"Don't give up what you want most, for what you want now."
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:30 AM   #9
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I've also used my fat as an invisibility cloak and an excuse. It wasn't until I met and made friends with a couple who just happen to enormous - and very happy, and delighting in each other, and very attractive, it somehow burst this bubble for me.
I also learned a new phrase quite recently: 'learned helplessness'. One of the people I used to work with is a great example of this: she's a really nice person, a very helpful colleague but got all sorts of sympathy and support by just being helpless. People would make her meals, because she'd say she'd nothing in the house, and because she was a little person, they assumed she couldn't afford to eat: she had far more money than me and lived next door to an 8 til late supermarket! I went to visit her last week and she made me make my own coffee, in case she got it wrong, she told me she only had the one teaspoon, aren't I dreadful?
It used to drive me spare until another colleague gave me the label 'learned helplessness'. It's a deliberate, although possibly unconscious, making oneself be/appear helpless in order to gain sympathy. Or, in my case, in order to opt out, to Not take responsiblity for my life, my fat has been my learned helplessness.
So yes, weightloss has a huge emotional component and difficulties: we hurrah at the pounds we lose but it can also be scary as we open ourselves up.

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Old 05-21-2009, 04:42 AM   #10
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Hi dek6,

I think this is a universal weight loss problem, I suppose everyone's reasons are different... here are some of my current theories on myself for what it's worth!

1./ I think I have become addicted to the compliments when I lose weight.. I posted before that i have lost huge amounts of weight at least three times, and the wow's and how did you do its become a little tiresome, but I think they are also addictive.

2./ I think that when you lose weight, which has always seemed to be the single source for general unhappiness, you always get a realisation that you know what - the weight was a big problem, but it wasn't the root cause for unhappiness, then you eat!

3./ And possibly most pertinent in your case as outlined?? I think that food is somehow associated with rewards and happiness, so when you do well, whjat do you want to do...reward yourself with some lovely food. Something that hasn't always worked terribly well for me, but which I am trying this time (though, it can be expensive!!) - is having a rewards system for yourself which isn't related to food, ie a leg wax, a hair cut, highlights, facial etc. eg when I reached my first goal, I got a hair cut, on the second I got highlights etc etc

Best of Luck
Journey down the scales (this time) started 1st February 2009 - 128lbs Lost!

My Goal Story & Pics:
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:33 AM   #11
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Wow, I've learned a lot from this thread today. I always do this, in everything I do from relationships to weightloss. I am just so ashamed of this and embarrassed. It's something when someone else basically exposes you and your feelings so that you can deal with them and stop hiding behind them. Wow. Thanks, I really needed to read this today.

The past is over, now let's get it!
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:37 AM   #12
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Unfortunately, we can't let our guard down when it comes to weight.....that's when it sneaks back on!
One day at a time is more than just a saying.....
First goal: Back under 300!
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:46 AM   #13
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I just wanted to add a hug. I had a "self sabotage" kinda day yesterday; a combination of PMS, destressing and then re-stressing. LOL! There has been lots of good advice on this thread so hang in there!

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