Weight Loss Support - self sabotage: fact or fiction?

View Full Version : self sabotage: fact or fiction?

05-28-2010, 05:21 PM
i've been seeing a lot of posts lately about "self sabotage". from what i understand, this is doing very good for a while and then going off plan. it appears that a lot of these people are saying that they don't want to have success so they sabotage themselves.

i am not saying this is not true. i am genuinely curious and want to ask about it.

is there a difference between this problem and just going off plan? im just wondering if this is a psychological thing where you don't want yourself to succeed so you subconsciously go against yourself, or just the usual reasons we go off plan?

can someone explain it?

Latchkey Princess
05-28-2010, 05:32 PM
I've sabotaged myself many times. It's very much a psychological thing for me, I'm terrified to lose my fat. I've used it as a barrier against other people since the time I was 13 and started really gaining (when some not so good things happened to me). So when I see a new low number on the scale (for the past 5 months it's been anything below 213) I freak out and start binging and stop exercising. Or if I get some unwanted attention I'll go home and jam the contents of the fridge in my mouth as fast as I can to try and ensure I don't get that attention again. I've been working to get over my issues, but haven't succeeded yet. Thats the short version, but yes, for me it is actual intentional self sabotage.

05-28-2010, 10:35 PM
I think the problem is very real, though I'm not sure the assumed motivation is.

On one hand, I don't think it always matters why we go off plan. The "underlying" cause may just be that change is difficult. Old habits are hard to break, especially food habits, because there's physiological things going on as well as mental ones.

There are also social and cultural influences too.

The biggest problem with assuming the underlying cause is a "subconscious" one, is by the very definition, you can never test the theory.

If you assume you have these subconscious fears, because of your behavior, you might be wrong (or you can make it true, by imagining that your difficulty staying on plan MUST prove that you have these subconscious fears. Now you actually have the fear - making a fictional "subconscious" fear a factual conscious one).

I wasted a lot of time looking for subconscious influences, that may not have been there, or may not have been important. I mistook physiological factors (physiological responses to hormone levels and carbohydrates) for psychological ones.

Changing to low-carb has been the "cure," and I still find it difficult to stay on plan, and I don't think fear of success is the main cause. Rather it's just the big pile of other reasons that following an unusual diet is difficult.

Diabetics, Kidney and Cardiac patients, people with blood pressure issues, people with PKU and other metabolic disorders, celiac patients,people with food allergies and anyone who has to follow a special diet, faces the same "compliance" issues. Eating different than everyone else is difficult. Falling off the wagon (even repeatedly), doesn't necessarily mean you're afraid of success. It's entirelyl normal, and I think sometimes thinking you must have a hidden agenda, only makes the change more difficult (because you blame yourself more for the failure, instead of realizing it's just part of the normal challenges).

05-29-2010, 07:58 AM
I think for an action to be self-sabotage, it has to A) mess up an intended goal or plan, and B) not make any sense. Often self-sabotaging acts tend to look "accidental," which makes it hard to distinguish the motivation.

Examples: Deciding to go out drinking the night before a final exam. Forgetting a lunch date with your supervisor. Leaving the critical work presentation on your desk at home. Missing a meeting or class because your car ran out of gas.

Dieting related: Suddenly "finding" yourself at the drive-thru and having "no choice" but to order and eat the food. Forgetting to buy an important food item at the grocery store. Buying high-calorie food items on impulse, and then "having" to eat them. Deciding to go along with friends who want to have lunch at that buffet restaurant. Insisting that you HAVE to bake cakes, cookies, etc. for your family.

These actions look like choices to an outsider, but often the person doing these actions is truly mystified.

Just my ideas...


05-29-2010, 08:29 AM
The biggest problem with assuming the underlying cause is a "subconscious" one, is by the very definition, you can never test the theory.

I was going to say the same thing!!! :)

05-29-2010, 09:14 AM
Many years ago I would have bet you that a patient would never do themselves intentional harm no matter what. They may want to stay safely in hospital or have more care or attention, but I didn't think they would actually harm themselves to get what they wanted. But they do.

There is not doubt that they ultimately want to be heathy but they'll refuse treatment, have family smuggle in drugs or food ... it's a mystery.

05-29-2010, 09:36 AM
I agree with Kaplods and Jayell... I personally have gone off my plan(i have lost and gained almost as may times as Oprah) because it is hard to eat within a set number of calories or carbs in the world>> I live with a man(Love his skinny self) who can eat anything he wants and never gain, and he wants me to be happy, so every time I try to diet he will bring me treats so I am not miserable, he thinks he his helping, and doesn't care if I am fat!! So, this time I asked him PLEASE!!!! You feed yourself and let me feed myself!!!!! Plus I WILL use the power of no thank you, if he starts again!!

05-29-2010, 11:48 AM
Hairchick doesn't that drive you crazy sometimes?! My fiance is the same way, love him to death but he's tiny. And I've seen than man shovel down a pound of pasta, a bowl of ice cream, and then a slice of cake, and he's still only about 120lbs. He tried to keep me modivated, but its soo hard when we go to the movies and he orders a slush, nerds, peanut m&ms, and popcorn and I have my diet coke and sugarfree lifesavers lol.

But yes I agree. I've been stuck right before my halfway point for several months now. I get into moods where I just don't care anymore. I don't wanna be thin and I wanna eat whatever I want. Those are dangerous moods to get into. I've recently gain 5lbs because of this, and of course I was only about a week away from my halfway point!!!

05-29-2010, 11:51 AM
Oh fact. Definitely fact. I struggle with it. The moment I am on the verge of success I sabotage.

05-29-2010, 02:49 PM
Fact here too.

I do it so nobody sees me as more than a person walking down the street. I'm scared of gaining the kind of attention I actually want, so when I start getting set in my ways to actually lose the weight, I go right out and find the most unhealthy foods I can find and throw those healthy habits right out the window.

One of these days... One of these days... I'm gonna stop the sabotage and get the kind of attention I deserve!

05-29-2010, 03:00 PM
Yes drop50, it sucks!! This time he has promised not to do it!! We have been together for 16 years and I had been trying to still cook the food but just not eat it!! Can't do it!! This time I have told him to eat what he likes away from home, but here we are all low carb!!! It's been 2 weeks... So far, so good!!

Beach Patrol
05-29-2010, 03:09 PM
For me, "self-sabotage" usually has to do with getting some sort of illness or injury which forces me to temporarily stop exercising, and THEN I start back with the "bad eating habits". And the longer I can't exercise, the more "lazy" I become, so when I can exercise, I just am very unmotivated to do so...

I think, since yo-yoing between 126-192 pounds thru-out my adult life, I simply get tired of dieting. TWO times I have COMPLETELY gotten off "sugar" - I mean nothing with sugar in it except fresh fruits. NO candy, NO ice cream, NO cookies or cake. I felt GREAT! Exercise was wonderful! I had VERY healthy eating habits (even during TOM!!!) .... And BOTH TIMES I was right at goal weight & exercising & doing great and BAM! - injury (or illness) and suddenly.... I just want a dadgum cheeseburger! Make it a double! - with bacon! and some fries!!! And then I want a freak'n ice-cream sundae! With a milkshake!!! And crumbled cookies in it!!! And a candy bar!!! And then I want to do it again tomorrow!!!.....

See? Returning to bad eating habits...and has usually been because I couldn't exercise for whatever reason. :stress:

05-29-2010, 03:23 PM
My self-sabotage has been expecting myself to be perfect. So every time I slipped and "fell off" a diet, I'd decide that I just couldn't do it so why bother, and then I'd give up completely and go back to all my old ways and regain everything I lost, plus some.

The main difference for me this time is that I accept that I'll make mistakes and I'm learning to just acknowledge them and keep on going. It's not even specific triggers (aside from TOM cravings, I guess), it's more that I like the way my old favorites taste and I sometimes decide that I still want to have them. So I'm changing my relationship to cookies, etc. and I'm not seeing things so all or nothing. I can have a couple of cookies and enjoy them and then make a choice to eat something more healthy the next time I eat. It doesn't have to be that I eat a couple of cookies so that means I have to eat the whole bag plus everything else in sight!

I do think I'm fortunate that I don't consider myself to be addicted to a particular food and I don't get irresistible cravings to eat more if I have something like a cookie. Don't get me wrong, I'd be happy to eat more of them! lol! But I know it's a choice and I can stop at one or two. As long as I can remind myself that I can fit a cookie into my plan here and there, or at worse, be just 100 or so calories high, it's not a big deal and I do not have to let it sabotage me.

05-29-2010, 05:14 PM
Going off plan, to me, is just a decision. Like, I'm gonna pig out a little or change this up or I'm tired of dieting.

Self sabotage is, again, to me, more emotional...more of a mental thing. I self sabotage when I start looking at the big picture and I feel like I'll never get there, or I don't deserve to get there, or even when I do get there, I'll still be ugly. I self sabotage when I become intimidated by weight loss and the changes it is bringing about in my life.

05-29-2010, 08:32 PM
My self-sabotage is more like celebration. I lose weight, get happy and decide to cheat in celebration of my weight loss.... and then BAM what do ya know? I can't stop and I gain it all back.

I don't understand self-sabotage because you want to stay fat though. Sounds nuts to me.

05-29-2010, 08:55 PM
thanks for all the answers ladies!