So you made the decision to start eating healthy, eating less and to work out more consistently. You’ve been brushing up on diet blogs and trying to learn better ways to cook… but weeks have gone by and you only lost 3 pounds? Could someone or something be sabotaging you? It’s Possible. Without even realizing it, you might be surrounding yourself with sabotage triggers.
A sabotage can be everywhere you turn — in the office, your closest “skinny” friend, maybe even your spouse (unintentionally). Although your loved ones mean well and just want to see you happy, they may have no idea they are sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
It takes conscious effort on your part to avoid automatically saying “sure” to something unhealthy that’s offered to you and instead say, “no thanks.” What are a couple of bites really going to do though? Well, those little bits can add up to big calories over time and we know what excess calories do to us. They pack on the pounds and it takes longer to reach our goal weight.
Making the decision for yourself to get in shape and change your unhealthy habits aren’t only going to be an adjustment for you, it’s going to be an adjustment for all those around you too. Experts sum it up into one word: change. People aren’t comfortable with change sometimes. Especially if it doesn’t benefit themselves. People can have a hard time accepting the new situation in front of them and will do almost anything to get things back to the way they were. In this example — that could mean you.
Here are some possible reasons for this:
- Maybe they miss the old you. Maybe you’re spending more time in the gym after work and on weekends these days. You don’t bring in cookies to the office every Monday like you used to. The Friday night girls night surrounded by fruity cocktails and greasy appetizers is nonexistent. Maybe they’re afraid to lose you.
- Maybe they feel guilty and/or envious. You’re starting to show that you’ve lost a few pounds, you’re buying cute new outfits and you’re becoming more confident about everything — and they are still sluggish and unhappy. Maybe it’s becoming easier for you to say “no” to food and they feel like you’re rubbing it in, trying to make them look bad. The unconscious (or malicious?) plan to divert you off the fitness wagon isn’t working and their frustration pushes them further away from you.
- Maybe they just don’t fully understand. They’ve never had a real weight issue and never had to lose more than 10 pounds to be in shape. They think the thought of you worrying about what you eat is silly to them. They just don’t get it (and they don’t have to).
Here’s how to avoid sabotage and ensure life long success:
- Learn how to say no. I understand how awkward it would be if you were at a gathering and everyone was eating dessert and you said “no, thanks” sitting there watching everyone else down the piece of cake. I know because I’ve been there. There’s no need to feel guilty if you don’t accept food that somebody made. If they really do support your journey, then it won’t be a issue at all and you’ll owe no explanation.
- Look for triggers. If you do happen to give in to something not on your plan and notice that it’s always at the same time, at the same place (your office, home or restaurant), or with the same person, learn to develop better strategies to overcome them next time. Recognizing emotions, people, places or trigger foods can be a real eye opener and the one thing you needed to conquer overall. Keeping a journal is the best tool when starting any fitness plan. I often have clients do this when they have an eating disorder, like binging.
- Express your needs. Deciding to be healthier can be a challenge for everyone around you. If you notice that your spouse keeps bringing junk into the house and it’s really starting to bug you, let him/her know. If a friend always picks you up a little treat when they hit up that specialty bakery in town, politely tell her “I appreciate you thinking of me, but unless they have something healthy there (which they probably won’t), count me out.” Your weight loss needs are unique and you can’t expect everyone to know what they are.
- Gather a support team. Study after study shows that you are more likely to stay on track and enjoy the process if you have a support team around you. We all know what we should eat and how important exercise is, but unless we have the support from our friends and family the likelihood of falling back into old habits is very high. Staying on track is more than “diet” and exercise, it’s support. We can never have enough of it!
- Set goals. You probably see this everywhere, but unless you set solid goals, you’re driving around aimlessly. Direction helps you get to your destination and goals are your road signs. Set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. Make it fun. Have a friend or family member join you. Set up weekly challenges and include a prize or reward for yourself.
- Have patience. In my opinion, this is an important step. Not seeing the number on the scale move as much as you think it should can be very frustrating and discouraging. After weeks of perfect eating and busting your butt in the gym you just aren’t where you thought you would be. Do not give up! As important as it is to lose weight, it’s equally as important to be healthy. Continue counting your calories, stay away from processed foods, get plenty of rest, drink plenty of water and make sure you’re finishing your workouts and giving them 100% effort. Stay focused, consistent and committed — always!
With some inner determination, a road map and a few minor adjustments to some old habits, your goal weight is right in front of you. Remember, there’s always going to be that little devil (whether it’s a friend or the voice in your head) trying to derail you off track. It’s learning how to put him in its place and keep moving forward. You know what you have to do, don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of what you want. This is your life!
Let me know if you’re struggling with any sabotage triggers. Like my page on Facebook by clicking here for daily communication, updates, tips and tricks!