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Why do you sabotage?

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Old 07-19-2012, 03:39 PM   #1
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Default Why do you sabotage?

Hi everyone,

Just thinking these past few days about sabotaging yourself. I go on vacation in less than a couple of weeks and found that for the month prior that I have known, I had the mentality of wanting to do my best to drop 2-5 lbs. Unfortunately, it seems like I keep sabotaging myself! I am still exercising and getting out and moving..and I eat pretty healthy when it comes to the meals. But if I have the chance to cheat by eating lots of junk, I do! It's pretty ridiculous actually. I know I am just chasing something but just can't seem to stop within the moment.

It gets so frustrating!

so if you sabotage your own weight loss, why? If you don't, how do you keep control?
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:22 PM   #2
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I started in June and after not seeing any results, I ended up just giving up and lacked the motivation to get out and exercise. While I was still watching the foods (more or less), nothing else was being done. I finally got back on track at the end of June and reorganised my goals, food plans and exercise plans.

My diet wouldn't be as strict as most peoples as I still allow myself to have junk food, which would be my weakness. Now, I'm just a lot better at managing how often I have it. I think now I'm used to not having it as often, that it is easier to stay away from but there are days when I will want to have some ice cream or a bar of chocolate and I will allow myself to have it. The chances are I haven't had it in a while so every now and then isn't going to hurt! At the moment, I'm on a 21 Day Challenge and one of the challenges is no junk food at all! So, it will be interesting to see how I can do.

Do you strictly say you are not allowing yourself to have junk food? And then you just cave and eat more than you ever would? I sometimes think if your problem with your weight was to do with overeating on junk food or an addiction to fizzy drinks, it is probably better to cut down rather than cut out. You might find it easier to cut down which is what have done. I heard on a TV show recently that cravings for these things often only last 20 minutes, so if you can distract yourself until the craving is gone, you could benefit from this. Another way to try not give into those cravings is thinking about your goal or mini-goal. You know you want to lose those last couple of pounds before going on holiday so try keep this always in the back of your mind.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:29 PM   #3
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Honestly? Not much thought goes into it. I just tell myself that I really don't care and want to eat whatever the I want.

When I am acting like an adult, I can remind myself that we're not all running around doing whatever we want, but sometimes there is just no stopping me.
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Old 07-19-2012, 07:51 PM   #4
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Reading the book, The End of Overeating, by David Kessler really helped me see "sabotage" in a different light.

The salt/sugar/fat flavor combination is essentially addictive to omnivorous mammals. I'm an omnivorous mammal, and despite my bigger brains, I'm not immune to the power of brain-chemistry and physiology. It has nothing to do with "sabotage," it has to do with millions of years of bio-physiology.

Paleo and low-carb dieting has helped tremendously. I'm not a purist, so I sometimes do eat foods that I find difficult to control. However, I also know that eating those foods is walking a very narrow fence. "Falling" isn't about self-sabotage as much as taking a calculated risk and sometimes losing.

Eating trigger foods is like playing with fire - and when you play with fire, you sometimes get burned.

For myself, I don't get burned nearly as often as I used to, because I see the trigger foods as highly flammable. I don't keep cans of gasoline or oil-soaked rags around my house, and I don't keep bags of chips either.

Not everyone has to be so cautious around their trigger foods, but I do. And I don't call it "sabotage" when I fail, because there's nothing intentional or unexplainable about it. It's a case of the primitive parts of the brain being stronger than the "newer" higher functioning aspects of the brain. Mind over matter isn't the problem so much as new brain over old brain - and in most contests between the two - the old brain wins.

Want to prove it - try to hold your breath. See how long you can. It won't be long. At BEST you'll be able to do it until you pass out (and if you make it that long, KUDOS to you, you've got a very strong higher-brain).

However, your lower-brain (the older, more primitive portion) will win in the end, even if it has to knock you unconscious to do it.

Now you can't "pass out" and eat in an unconscious state, but fighting the lower-brain's appetite function for sweet/salty/fatty treats isn't any less difficult than holding your breath. Once you start eating those foods, it becomes incredibly difficult to stop. It's as if your lower-brain is taking your body out for a joyride, and your higher-brain is along for the ride.

Many people (and I'm definitely one of them) find it easier to avoid trigger foods than to eat them moderately. It isn't about sabotage or willpower it's about preventing the lower-brain from getting into the driver's seat.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:04 PM   #5
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What an impossible question!! I have no idea why I do it. I know what my goal is, I know how I will feel, I know what it's like because I've been there, each goal brings me more joy..... Yet I sabotage myself and I seem to do it in cycles. I go balls to the wall, slack off, sabotage, and then balls to the wall again.

The last time I lost my motivation and and sabotaged my own efforts, I really kind of hit a brick wall. After dieting for so long, I kind of hit this limit and just lost interest. I think back and i realize I let go of ME. I found another thing to be interested in, and it required my time and energy, and in that I lost sight of my own goals. That's one reason. The other is this avoid/gain cycle I get in to. I avoid that which makes me uncomfortable, and then I'm afraid to face it and then I avoid it longer. Before I know it, I gain. I was avoiding the scale after a couple of heavy-food weekends, and I avoided for nearly 3 months. Which is crazy because I had already survived the holidays without gaining a thing. In fact, I lost. So what was my problem?

For me, to get back on track, i would tell myself I had to do better now, and it's always now. With every meal, I'd promise to do better. It took 3 months of this self talk, but I finally came to my senses and realized what I was doing. Regroup. Get back to that all about me attitude. Of course I have job, family, work, and obligations, but it was about putting myself in the priority category.

This is not helpful, I know. I have no words to help you get back on that horse, except to say, keep trying. Eventually, it'll stick.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:02 AM   #6
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i know that i sabotage for a couple of reasons...one is that i struggle to not see food as a reward or a treat...and second i know that i really struggle with the idea of getting skinnier and the possible male attention that it might bring...this is the smallest right now that i've been my whole adult life and i'm still getting used to it...
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post

Many people (and I'm definitely one of them) find it easier to avoid trigger foods than to eat them moderately. It isn't about sabotage or willpower it's about preventing the lower-brain from getting into the driver's seat.
This was a really thought-provoking post that I'm sure rings true to many (if not most) of us. If I were able to "eat the bad things in moderation," I wouldn't have gotten to where I've gotten. It doesn't matter if it's portioned; my reptile brain (er, I mean lower-brain) will just want more.
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:23 PM   #8
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Me, I'm very close to maintenance/goal and keep feeling like I have "earned" junk food (real logical...REAL logical) or beer or whatever because I eat well the rest of the time and am pretty faithful/strict on exercise.
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:35 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your replies.

Dreamer-I've found that not allowing myself to have the junk food would just create an even bigger mess so I allow myself to eat what I'm craving when I want to. Unfortunately it might be a few times more often than not (I don't binge on it), but I feel so guilty after because I didn't clue in that I didnt REALLLYY want it, it was just a good idea at the time.

Thanks again everyone!

I find for me..I want to eat more of the healthy foods, salads and veggies etc but It just isn't second nature yet. I will grab the carbs that are easy to grab and ready to eat when instead my body just wanted me to peel some dang carrots and eat them! But I just don't clue into that until after I've eaten the food, which gets so frustrating!
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:39 PM   #10
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For me, it's because I just get TIRED of caring. It was so much easier for me just to be fat. To be able to go through the drive thru and get whatever I want without agonizing over calorie counts and weigh-ins. I get an attitude about it. Why should I have to do this when so many other, naturally thin people can eat whatever they want and not gain weight? I tell myself I won't feel guilty about a "cheat meal" or two, but I do. And that gets me back on the wagon.

That and my pants when they get too tight.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:18 PM   #11
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For me it's always when I feel bad about myself and I'll just start eating really crappy and it makes me feel worse, so I continue to do it. Now I'm in the process of learning how to redirect myself when I'm feeling bad, I know I have to get the heck out my apartment, go for a walk, go get my mail, just get away from anywhere near food. It's been hard but so far it's been working.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:43 PM   #12
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Alaskan! I so relate to your comments!!! I sabotage becuz it provides those comfort feelings. I am not on a diet but an eating plan for life. It has been easier to eat properly for me because im not looking at it as a temporary thing. I grew up in a somewhat addictive family so the motto always seemed to be"if a little is good a lot has to be great!" I overeat and then feel so bad about myself and beat myself up so badly. I am working hard to get the heck off of this hamster wheel
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by withinmygrasp View Post

I find for me..I want to eat more of the healthy foods, salads and veggies etc but It just isn't second nature yet. I will grab the carbs that are easy to grab and ready to eat when instead my body just wanted me to peel some dang carrots and eat them! But I just don't clue into that until after I've eaten the food, which gets so frustrating!
I've done this. But I'm trying to have food "prepared" for when I just want to grab and go. Something as silly as pre-washing fruit so that it's just super-easy to pick it up as I walk out the door often makes the difference in my choices. And I will buy the more expensive baby carrots because then, I don't have to deal with peeling and cutting them. It's not much more money, and it's better than throwing away rotten carrots because I never got around to them.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:42 PM   #14
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When I'm feeling badly about myself, or feeling upset, I'll eat super-crazy junkfood.

I think "you're a crappy person and you deserve to be fat, so go ahead and shovel it in, piggy." Yesterday my ex decided to send me a ton of texts about how I'm awful in every conceivable way (mentally, physically, emotionally, socially...he really covered all the bases) and I ate an entire bag of Lays. Real mature response on my part, right?

Bottom line, I've gotta find a new way to respond to emotional stress. Stopping a behavior cold is way harder than just replacing it.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:08 PM   #15
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A great thread. I have times where I am disconnected from this day. From this moment. When I am, really, living in either the past or the present.

Any time I am not in this moment, fully alive and present (which happens more than I'd like), I am dissociated from the real "me". And when I'm in that state it not only becomes easier to "use" myself (by acting with disrespect toward my body by eating horribly), but it reinforces the pre-existing, habitual, cognitive patterns I have which say, "You are not worth taking care of."

The freedom I've found from this type of behavior has always come from being fully alive and invested in this moment. This moment, right now, is, after all, the only thing that's real.

And I've always found that, right now, I have all the resources I need to be emotionally and physically safe and sound.

Establishing new patterns of thought takes practice and patience. And it is always a daily decision for me to divorce myself from the old patterns (by living in the moment). But, fortunately, our minds are elastic and built for change and growth!

Thanks for reading,

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