Most people have tried to lose a few kilos. Whether the desired weight loss is for health, comfort, or aesthetic purposes, it’s easy to start full of hope and motivation, only to have saboteurs stop you in your tracks.
Sometimes the saboteurs are internal, and others they’re external.
Think about encouraging a friend who is trying to achieve something important. You would never say something like “Gosh you’re hopeless, you’ll never be successful.” Some friend you’d be, right? Yet many people speak to themselves in this way. Unfortunately, if you hear something often enough, you start to believe it.
Stop the negative self-talk, and stop sabotaging your efforts. Even if you have tell yourself ‘lies’ – “You’re a champion and the weight is falling off you” – positive comments also become believable.
Catch your negative thoughts, give yourself a figurative clip over the ear, and change the thought to a positive one.
The time of your menstrual cycle, menopause, food choices, exercise, sleep, stress, and chemicals all influence your hormones. Your hormones, in turn, influence your weight. Lifestyle factors that minimise the negative impact on hormones can reduce the potential for sabotage.
It’s an emerging area of research, but it appears that your gut bacteria can help or hinder your weight loss progress. The good (or bad) news is that changes to gut bacteria can start in as little as three days, simply by changing your dietary pattern. Three days of vegetables and meats and unprocessed foods = good. Three days of junk or processed foods = bad.
- “I’m stressed” – yes, hormones are difficult but it doesn’t have to stop you from losing weight.
- “I’m busy” – prioritise your needs and wants, and then find a way to fit the important things in.
- “I’ve got too much on my plate” – literally?
- “I don’t know what to buy / cook / eat” – get help, just as you might with anything else where you need expert assistance.
The key is that these obstacles can be overcome. They don’t have to be saboteurs that stop you from achieving important goals. Acknowledging that they are obstacles, not barriers, is the starting point to find your way around them.
Family and friends
While often well-meaning, the comments from family and friends can be significant saboteurs.
Sometimes the comment is made by someone who has never had a weight problem and has no idea of the hurt caused.
- “If I couldn’t eat whatever I wanted, I’d rather be dead.”
- “I had a friend who did that diet, and she got (some obscure medical condition).”
- “When are you going to go back to normal?”
Sometimes the comment is made by someone who is scared that the changes might affect them. Perhaps your new eating patterns will make them miss out on their favourite foods. Maybe they don’t want you to be smaller than they are. They may even think that losing weight might change you so much that you no longer need their friendship, or the social activities you previously enjoyed together will not be as much fun.
Tell your family and friends how important your goal is, and reassure them that your relationship is important too. Together, you can find a way to make both work and have your friend support you.
Being at a catered event is often difficult, but there are always things you can do to minimise the possibility of sabotage. In fact, if you plan carefully, the only saboteur is whatever excuse you make.
- “There was nothing else to eat.” Plan ahead and eat something before you go so that you’re not starving when you get there.
- “They just put the bread on my plate.” Did the bread also jump into your mouth? Push it away or ask the waiter to take it away before temptation gets too strong.
- “My favourite dessert was served.” So you had to eat ALL of it?
- “My glass kept getting topped up.” Move your glass out of reach.
When everything around you seems to be sabotaging your efforts to lose weight, the missing ingredient might be specialised support. An expert who is not connected to your emotions can help you see the sabotage and develop strategies for overcoming the problem. If you’re having trouble losing weight, contact your nearest centre and see how we can support you in taking control.