Self-sabotage: There’s no doubt that at one point or another, you’ve experienced a time when you’ve self-sabotaged yourself. Lately, I’ve felt like I have managed to turn self-sabotage into a new art form. It feels like it’s my calling, and let me tell you, I’m wickedly good at it. The unfortunate reality is, of course, this “art form” is one that is doing me all harm and absolutely no good.
I decided to write about self-sabotage in terms of overeating, especially while I’m trying to lose weight, but before I started typing I did a quick Google search to see what the official definition of self-sabotage even was. According to Psychology Today, self-sabotage is
“behavior that creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals. The most common self–sabotaging behaviors are procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating, and forms of self-injury such as cutting.”
It turns out that, while some of the behaviors mentioned I have no issues with to speak of (I’ve never once thought about any self-injury or self-medication..other than via food of course), I realized that not only am I a true artist at the food thing, but I am the freaking master of procrastination. I knew this about myself, of course, but didn’t necessarily equate it to my own personal form of self-sabotage, because I was so focused on the food thing. However, it turns out that the only thing I do better than sabotage my healthy eating is procrastinating. It’s no wonder I’ve felt stuck with the same goals and no progress for so long.
Let’s start with what inspired me to sit down and write this to begin with: poor eating habits. We’re not talking about just having a generally unhealthy lifestyle. For me, it goes much deeper than that. I have this supposed desire to lose weight and get back in shape. I did it once, I know how to do it, and yet there is this disconnect in my brain this time around between the desire to get to goal and the actual self-control to take the necessary steps to get there. Here’s how a typical day has gone lately. On point for breakfast, and usually through lunch, but then the afternoon slump hits and that’s the start of my downward spiral for the day. Instead of eating one piece of leftover candy, I’ll have several. Then I will succumb to the very thing I preach at my followers to NOT do: in my mind, I go “well, I’ve already screwed up today. Might as well stop tracking, do what I want, and start fresh tomorrow.” So, I don’t track dinner, even if it is a healthier meal. After dinner, odds are I will find my way back to whatever candy or sweet treat is hanging around my home.
This has been happening every. Single. Day!
The worst part is, every day I ask myself why, tell myself “not today, satan,” and come up with a plan…that I inevitably stray from by 8 pm. Sure, I have good days. Those of you who watch my Youtube channel have seen some of my more recent victories, and those are 100% true, but it feels like for every good day I have I end up with at least 2 or 3 bad ones. Mathematically, that will obviously not get me to any health and fitness goals in the foreseeable future. The exception is (ironically) today, where I have felt 100% in control all day, kicked butt at the gym, have met my water goal, and still have 16 points left, complete with a dinner plan, and it’s almost 6 pm. I’m determined not to fail today, and yet, while my Weight Watchers lifestyle has been on point today, I can’t say the same for the other self-sabotaging behavior of which I am a master.
There’s a reason this post is getting written at 6 pm. I always take too long doing the less important things: poking at my phone, getting dressed after a shower, literally doing anything but the thing that I intended to get done on any given day. This is the story of my life. As a girl with lofty goals, this is an incredibly frustrating habit to have, and what’s worse is I’m not entirely sure how to break it.
One thing I know for sure is that before I can break this nasty habit, I have to figure out why I self-sabotage to begin with. After a little bit of research, I’ve found several theories.
Fear: For as much as I’m convinced this isn’t the issue for me (at least in terms of goals for Diva and the Divine), odds are it actually is the primary reason I self-sabotage my diet. If I get down to goal again, I can promise you I’ll be terrified of gaining weight right back, just like the first time. Therefore, my subconscious is probably saying “why bother getting back there if you’re just going to screw it up again, Brianna? Eat ALL the sugar!!” As for blogging goals, perhaps there’s an underlying fear of what success would actually mean: more work, being popular enough to have haters, negative comments, having things not meet my expectations… Sure, all of those things are risks, but aren’t all of the good things that come from success with Diva and the Divine worth risking the things that bring fear? You would think so…
Control: There’s a theory out there that it feels better to be able to control your own failure rather than let it blindside you out of nowhere. It makes sense.
The Comparison Trap: If I can’t be as fit/skinny as so and so or not get to 1 million subscribers, are those goals even worth working for?? Of COURSE they are. I know this one isn’t my problem, but for many people, comparison is a huge thing that keeps them down.
Laziness: I can promise you that this is me sometimes, which I find absolutely infuriating. Back in college, I hustled like the good music theater student I was. I could balance the gym, practice, rehearsal (two different things, I swear), friends, classes, and homework like a pro, and somehow still have time to goof off. I don’t know when I got lazy or what the underlying issue is here, but I need to figure it out, stat!
There are other articles with more science behind self-sabotage out there, but these are a few of the “whys” that spoke to me. I honestly don’t know what I expected this post to turn into when I sat down to write it, but I knew it was something I wanted to get off my chest if only to tell you all that I struggle, big time. Everyone struggles in some way. If this resonated with you, you are not alone.