A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss: No More Sabotaging Yourself!
The day I realized that I was sabotaging myself… I cried.
No, wait – let me rewind.
I had actually already begun successfully losing weight at this point. I had hit my stride! I was happy! I was excited! I was eating clean, working hard, learning so much about myself, and having fun. It felt easy, effortless, and I was enthusiastic about the progress and my new body.
But all of a sudden, it came to a grinding halt. It was no longer about losing weight, nor was it about living healthier. It, honestly, wasn’t about anything. And none of that mattered, because I’d go months without losing a single pound.
Make no mistake about it, there are logical, realistic reasons why you would reach a plateau in your weight loss journey. However, if you’re honest with yourself, you might uncover an additional reason: self-sabotage.
Sabotaging yourself is what it looks like when, instead of eating what you know you should and sticking to your schedule, you go off-script for no apparent reason. Was that donut in the plan? Was that extra sleeve of thin mints in the plan?
Self-sabotage is what is happening when you’re trying to convince yourself that what you want right now is more important, more valuable and more meaningful than your long-term goal of healthier living. And while, no, an occasional treat isn’t terrible, we have to accept the fact that developing the ability to say “no” is, in fact, a habit that we must learn. We undermine our ability to develop a “no” every time we say “yes” to something detrimental to our goals, something that perpetuates an emotional eating habit, or something that gives us instant gratification. Instead of developing the will to say “no,” we develop a reason to continue saying “yes.”
Sabotage is also what it looks like when, even once we realize we shouldn’t be doing something and we continue doing it anyway. I had to realize that I’m still contributing to my ability to develop my “no” even when I stop eating something after I’ve taken my first bite.
I’m not saying that life doesn’t happen. Of course it does. However, again – if you’re honest with yourself, more often than not, it’s an act of sabotage.
I had to keep it real. I began sabotaging myself because I’d become afraid. What would life be like when I became even smaller? It was intimidating, shrinking down to a size I’d not been since my adolescent years. What would my body look like? Would I have to spend the rest of my life unhappy, nibbling on rabbit food to maintain it? Not gonna lie… once I started thinking about this stuff, the self-sabotage started rolling in. (This might very well be where the phrase “Don’t think – just do it!” comes from.)
A successful weight loss journey requires a major amount of self-reflection. You have to truly look at yourself and how you’re living in order to realize just how your habits contribute to your current state. The moment I realized that I’d been self-sabotaging, I needed to accept that I needed to do some thinking. I needed to admit my fears, address them, and get past them so that I could successfully continue on in my journey – that’s what brought me to tears. It’s not easy, but nothing worth having ever comes that way. Do the hard emotional work, embrace your fears, and the sabotaging will come to a slow halt.
Like I always say, your body will thank you for it!
Erika Nicole Kendall is the writer behind the award winning blog, A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss, where she blogs her journey of losing over 150lbs. A trainer certified in women’s fitness, fitness nutrition and weight loss coaching, she can be found on Facebook and Twitter.