Stop the Self-Sabotage

Don't eat just because it's there - learn how to eat only when you're hungry.

stop self sabotage

Sabotage thinking is what makes you go for seconds even when you’re not actually hungry. It’s eating just because the food is there. It’s what makes you dig into your mother-in-law’s thousand-calorie turkey tetrazzini and smile and say thank you when she puts the tiramisu you don’t even care for in front of you—I don’t want to hurt her feelings and I’ve already strayed this far.

Every time you eat when you’re not hungry, you eat too much, or you feel like kicking yourself for eating the wrong thing, think about what occurred immediately before the food went into your mouth. Maybe it was an emotional trigger—a fight with your spouse or a day when everything is running late. It could be a situation-based trigger—your kid ordered fries but didn’t finish them, or you passed by a delicious looking cupcake display. Whatever they are, triggers kick off a line of thinking that might go like this: I can’t believe I went in and bought a cupcake and ate it on my way out the door. I really screwed up my diet, so I might as well eat whatever I want for the rest of the day and get back on the diet tomorrow.

Push back against your triggers by making a list of the reasons you’d like to lose weight—you want to get back your youthful energy, you want to have fun buying clothes again, you want to be a good role model for your kids, you don’t want the same health problems that your dad has. Write them all down, no matter how trivial they seem, and put them in visible places, like the refrigerator door or your vanity mirror. These posted notes can break the cycle of negative thoughts by reminding you of all the positive reasons you have for sticking with a healthy lifestyle.

Use your reasons to counter the triggers that initiate sabotage thinking. For example, when an irritating phone conversation with your mother drives you to the freezer door (as usual), say aloud, “An argument with my mother is no reason to gain weight!”

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