This is a supplement to the May 14, 2014 Weights & Balances Newsletter
How can we over-come or cope with self-sabotage?
Here are a few suggestions to help you to become more self-aware and take the steps to overcome this limiting behavior.
Strategies for overcoming self-sabotage:
- Watch yourself; learn to recognize self-sabotage and question your behavior – see what you are doing, ask yourself “What did I do there?” “What was driving it?” Did I do that out of fear, spite, anger, needing control, craving excitement (drama) through conflict, or attention through sympathy? Be objective. Get to the root of the behavior and this might require the assistance of a professional who is either a counselor or a psychologist.
- Don’t be afraid or doubt your Success. Success isn’t hard and fast; it’s relative. Don’t’ let success feel strange or odd, practice how feeling how you think it will feel. Keep your mind thinking of possibilities. Don’t let doubt and fear come in.
- Be Yourself and Be Open – Accept experiences both good and bad don’t be afraid to get out there and experience life! It is a big world, do not limit yourself. Be aware when you are seeking approval of someone and ask yourself why you need their approval, what are you feeling.
- Stop the negative self-talk/self-judgments: This negativity will quickly sabotage your weight loss efforts. Sticks and stones may break your bones but words oh how deep and long they can scar you! Give yourself lots of positive self-affirmations. Learn to be kind, loving and forgiving to yourself.
- Set Goals with an Action Plan. Visualize you are successful and think of how you would act, the choices you would make and how you would feel. Set small clear obtainable goals with specific steps on how to get there. Look at the big picture– don’t focus on how far you have to go but how far you have come! Create and nurture a realistic vision of being successful. Develop a list of positive behaviors you can do when you feel tempted to self-sabotage. Do the work until you succeed.
- Take Responsibility/Accountability: Admit to the behavior, say it aloud, you enable yourself to change your behavior and empower yourself and take action to change the behavior. Find someone you can be accountable to for reaching or not reaching your goals; a friend, a family member or a counselor.
- Re-define Success. Challenge yourself to change your ideas of your worth; focus on effort and not outcomes. Define yourself for the loving actions you take for yourself or others; not the results of the actions.
- Bring yourself to the present: take a step back, a deep breath that will keep you focused.
- Stay silent. If you feel yourself trying to explain, justify or make an excuse, just stay silent. Take a deep breath and relax.
- Develop skills to be successful. This might require the assistance of a professional counselor/psychologist to assist you in developing these skills.
Be patient and loving with yourself as you are developing new skills. Change doesn’t happen overnight and do not think you have the problem solved. Things in life can happen to “trigger” these behaviors so be always self-aware, self-vigilant and self-forgiving.
This is a continuation of the article from the March 19th Weights and Balances Newsletter.
Scientifically speaking, eating when bored is believed to be associated with the brain needing more “dopamine” (neuro-transmitter) to feel excited and stimulated. Scientist believes that eating releases this neurotransmitter. This is the same stimulus/response that will enable some to easily become addicted to drugs and alcohol. When we are eating when bored, it appears this is our “substance of choice” to try to wake up our dopamine transmitters in our brains. How many of us associate good feelings/good times with eating?
Why do we eat when we are not hungry?
- It’s a special occasion, find other ways to celebrate special occasions without focusing on food
- Avoid buffets and eating just because “it is there” Do not purchase foods which you have a difficult time eating a reasonable portion
- Don’t start eating just because everyone else is eating!
- Being tired can often lead to overeating; don’t eat at midnight; just go to bed!
- Eating because it is FREE or cheap
- Because you can’t say no
- Because you were raised to clean your plate
What can I do to instead of eating when I get bored?
- Keeping a food journal – write down what you are feeling before you eat, are you really hungry or thirsty, keep dates and times when you feel “driven” to eat too, rate your feeling of hunger from one to ten!
- Breathing exercises
- Read a good book
- Watching a favorite movie
- Listening to a favorite band
- Treating yourself to a new something
- Refrain from seeking pleasure all the time
- Become familiar with what triggers you to eat (patterns) and set up a plan ahead of time on how to deal with it in more productive way!
- Take a walk!
- Take a bubble bath
- Call a friend
- Solve a crossword puzzle
- Play cards or a board game
- Write a card to someone who is sick or shut in
- Find something to do with your hands; needlework, manicure, typing, writing, playing an instrument
- Clean your room!
- Do the laundry
- Plan your next vacation
- Organize your closet/drawers/garage
- Chew a piece of gum
- Write a blog
- Volunteer in your community/church
- Learn relaxation exercises
- Participate in individual and/or group counseling
I think the point is do ANYTHING productive but eat when you are bored!
I have begun to try ask myself the following when I find myself driven to eat when I am not really hungry.
- I ask myself, why do I want to eat now?
- Am I really hungry?
- Am I really thirsty?
- Am I felling bored?
- Am I felling angry?
- Am I feeling upset?
- Am I feeling lonely?
- Am I feeling tired?
- What do I want to eat right now?
- Do I want something specific?
- Do I want something salty?
- Do I want something Sweet
- I have found myself also asking after starting to eat something I really wanted, how much am I enjoying this?
- Slow down, take your time
- Rate your enjoyment from 1-10
- How full am I?
- Chew thoroughly
- Eat slowly
- Rate your fullness from 1-10
- Why did I eat all that?
- Make notes and notice patterns and triggers (work, arguments, etc.)
- Get to the bottom of why you did it (anxiety, stress, boredom, etc.)
- Be honest with yourself!
- Don’t beat yourself up; move on!
It is hard to face that you have some bad habits; but eating out of boredom is that. Time to overcome! Time to make more positive changes! This is the first in a series on breaking bad habits when trying to lose weight.