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TeriDoodle Tue, Jan-28-03 21:46

Self-sabotage: Why? How do you stop?
After almost a year on this board, I've seen more than a few examples of people who self-sabotage their weight loss efforts. I don't understand this because it's never happened to me, but I'd like to be able to help those that experience it.

An example of this behavior would be someone who has been overweight and dieted before. They successfully lose, say, 50 pounds, but are still another 50 pounds away from goal. They fall off the wagon....big time....and experience a sudden loss of control that they once had. In most cases, this is a repeat experience of some previous weight loss.... at almost the exact same point. It's as if some psychological trigger goes off at this set point, creating a cycle of self-sabotage. It is totally confounding to the person experiencing it.

Have you ever had this experience?

Have you ever successfully overcome it to move on toward your goal?

What insights did you gain?

Do you have suggestions to share with others?

It would be great if this thread could bring these people together. It is my hope that a fruitful discussion ensues.

Karen Wed, Jan-29-03 01:31

There are a lot of reasons, but for me the #1 reason is not doing any inner work. It's tough and it's painful but to totally change your relationship to food, it has to be done.

You may be an addict, and there is no shame in that. There is shame in not finding the resources to help you overcome your addiction. Instead, many people hide because they're afraid. Or they blame others for their predicament. Or they're so selfish and controlling that they can't see what's in their face. And it all becomes a vicious circle.

This happened to me, less than a year into LC. I became totally terrified because I couldn't reconcile the way I looked on the outside with the way I was on the inside. There was no way I was going to abandon LC as it was my greatest ally and I realized I had to do the work that I had put off for so long.

We have to learn to fearlessly let go of whatever devastaing, negative, soul-sucking issues that we might have to get to our true spirit. None of us should have to live with the hell we create for ourselves and with some help, to be able to walk away and not open that door again. We learn that we don't have to.

One of my fave quotes from Einstein: Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them. Ain't it the truth!


TeriDoodle Wed, Jan-29-03 05:53

Karen, thank you so much for your valuable insight. Do you mind me asking: Did you seek out psychotherapy? Read self-help books? Prayer? ....What method did you use to do that inner work? Was that the time you found Overeaters Anonymous? I know they were a great help to you....

AnnetteW Wed, Jan-29-03 07:03

I've lost 25 lbs a few times now, on other plans, and my problem is always maintenance. I have never been able to separate the dieting phase from the WOL phase.

I have definitely realized Locarb is the eating plan I will follow from now on. I may not always follow it religiously, but I hope I do realize that when I do eat carbs, that it doesn't mean I have to go haywire and bezerk.

I've also realized that locarb is not fast weight loss like people seem to think it is. Which in the long run will be healthier for me.

Jkrohn Wed, Jan-29-03 09:06

That's me!
Terri you described me to a "T" & that's a capital T! I started LC Thanksgiving 2001 lost 52 pounds with 48 to go to hit my goal. Then blamo! Life happened & I let my eating & exercise go totally out of control. My hubby & I bought our first house moved in the week of Thansgiving 2002 that was it. Between moving, cleaning, moving, unpacking, etc etc I quit exercising & ate anything that I could put in my mouth. Why you ask???? That's just it. I don't know why. I felt like crap. everyday I would get up & think today is the day I will get back on track but I never would. The holidays came & it was just another excuse to put off my weight loss. I kept telling myself after Thanksgiving I'll be better... but I wouldn't. Then it was after christmas.... again I wouldn't. Then came new years....then the realization hit. I gained back 20 pounds I had worked a year to take off. :bash: Total denial. My clothes were getting tighter but no way did I let myself beleive I was gaining again..... But I had.... Back on the wagon Jan 6th. I've had a couple slips since then but have managed to take off 6 of those 20. I'm still upset with myself. I feel just sheer laziness is what happened. I was to wrapped up in life that I wasn't planning my meals I wasn't making the time for exercise like I used too. Once I started the bad ball rolling it was like I couldn't stop. But I am back in control & ready to stay here for life. I just need to stay on guard & figure out what started this to not let it happen EVER again.

Thanks for starting this thread, just voicing this has made me feel better.

Take care & Stay Strong

JMakeupLC Wed, Jan-29-03 09:42

I'm a sugar addict.

While I have kept off most of the weight and am still trying to lose the last 12 lbs. I think the reason why i went haywire and lit my whole game plan on fire and freaked and ate Godiva and stupid cereal, is becuase at some point my life lacked balance.

I now beleive that your life must be balanced on all sided, in harmony, in order to be not only happy, but also success in all of your endevours. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, relationships, and what you do to earn a living. These, i believe, are the ducks you need to have in a row everyday, inorder to be content and basically NOT in self sabatoge mode.

Becuase if lets say a person is putting all their energy to LC and even exercise, obsessed with sucess in this realm, then everything else goes to sh$^. So naturely, if ANYTHING at all comes your way, say emotional stress you hadnt anticipated or willing to deal with, or a change of any sort, than the first logical thing to do will MOST DEFINITELY be to drop whatever you've been putting all your energy into. Kind of like, freeing your hands so you can grapple with this new non-LC/Dieting thing.

So i'm trying to keep a balance, and take care of everything, everyday, even atleast a little bit. Making sure all aspects of my life are taken care of, rather, all my links on my chain are strong everyday. If you just worry about one link, when it comes time to pull your pretty much screwed. ;)

Karen Wed, Jan-29-03 11:34

Did you seek out psychotherapy? Read self-help books? Prayer? ....
No, no yes! I always read self-help books to see where I was right, not where I was wrong! ;)

I realized what an addict I was when I first started LC. I couldn't use carbs as my drug of choice any more. So I started learning to deal with everything on its own terms, not on mine. I realized that I had no control over anything. From there, I just kept plugging away.

I lacked an attitude of gratefulness and humility, so I started working on it by learning to appreciate all that I had in my life.

Then I started doing "housecleaning". Mental, physical and spiritual. It took me right down to the core of my beliefs. Many of them were hard to let go of and still are. If I gave them up, who would I be? There was great fear in the unknown.

It all became a quest for sanity. Learing to operate from the best part of my self not the worst so the best would become stronger. I would actually have to say it. "I am doing this from the best part of myself or the worst?", when making a decision.

I had a belief in God, but what God was never had a definite "shape". I was so sick of myself and not understanding what I was doing wrong that out of desperation, I called out for help. Surprise! I was answered. It was not what you would call a "ball of fire" kind of thing, but quiet and steady.

I used to want to do everything for and by myself, never ask for help, be in total control of everything. Well, I learned that giving up the control was the key to sanity when I had been doing the opposite. The worst thing of "being in control" is that you always have to defend it. It's like a barrier that nothing can pass through. There are hardly any opportunities for growth or anything else and you become a static maniac in your own little control box.

I'm not 100% and of course I'll never be "perfect". But I've learned tons of stuff about myself and get a little more sane all the time. All because I was willing to give it all up.


ChromeDome Wed, Jan-29-03 11:55

Been There, Done That!
I have been overweight for as long as I can remember, back to when I was 180lbs in the eighth grade. I slowly grew in size as I entered the working world after college and moved into a sedentary job field. Well as you can see from my stats I've really topped out. About two years ago I was part of the National Weight Loss program, weighing in every day, telling them what I ate, etc. I dropped then from 267 to 223. I was exstatic, I went and bought new shirts and suites that celebrated my new size, but then the holidays hit.

After Christmas had passed I found myself up a mere 2 lbs since my last weigh in. Now most would say, "ahh no big deal just get back on track". Problem was I couldn't. I knew if I went to weigh in they would give me static about being up 2 lbs. I didn't want to hear it, I didn't want to disappoint them, I felt embarassed that I had failed even a little bit. So... I told myself I would lose those 2 lbs real quick, and then go back. Soon those 2 lbs became 4lbs, then 6lb, then 10 lbs. By this time I was so embarassed about my utter failure to do this simple thing I just gave up. I resigned my self to being overweight for the rest of my life.

I have always been my own biggest critic about my weight, I use it to make jokes about myself and make other people laugh. I've actually caught myself saying, "But if I lose weight how can I tell my jokes." I'm currently 33 yrs old, one day when I was in one of these joking moods I made a comment to my wife, "You know you don't see a lot of 65 year old 300lb guys walking around do you?" Ever since then I think the realization hit that this was really somthing I needed to be concerned with.

Even with that realization, it STILL took me another six months to get started on my new LC WOL but so far so good. I've lost 14 lbs so far and have a LONG way to go, but the good Lord willing I'll get there. I still feel the frustration sometimes, I want this weight GONE, I know LC is not a quick loss plan, I know that's a good thing, but when you lose 12 lbs in the first two weeks it sure is frustrating to lose only 2lbs over the next two weeks.

Ahhh, thanks for starting this thread Terri. It helps to talk about it a bit, especially when those around you don't really understand what you are going through.

lkonzelman Wed, Jan-29-03 12:15

I got to my highest weight, 263lbs after a bad breakup over 10 years ago. I then was so sick of how I looked... but more how I felt physically.

I was out dancing (I went on my honeymoon alone) and just sweating and sweating and my hair was matted to my big round face and my legs were almost bleeding from chaffing and I knew I had to do something.

I stared with exercise (karate at first) and then I started low fat and low cal dieting. I became involved with a body builder who had me keep a food journal and he helped me make better decisions (it was funny my sister said I would either get better because he was reading or I would lie.... I got better) and lost 80 lbs. I was so proud.

Then life went on and I couldn't lose anymore. I was no longer obese and I worked out and just bounced up and down the same 20 lbs. Sabotaging successes because I realy just didn't believe I could ever be a thin person.

Then I found Atkins. Then I found Atkins worked. Then I found I am satisifed eating this WOL. Then I found you all.

I have almost said screw this I want... a sundae... candy bar... pancake.... cookie.... many times and then it hits me. Someone in my journal said that i'm a role model... ROFL! But it worked. If they are reading and I am telling the truth, then I can help others with a problem I have had so very long.

So I guess it all comes down for me to accountability and showing others my journal (it works for me).

Thanks Terri for giving me an outlet.

TeriDoodle Wed, Jan-29-03 13:37

This is great, you guys. Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts.

It occurred to me as I was reading an inspirational journal the other day (Moremad13) that I wasn't using my journal to its full advantage.... she really has a way with digging down deep and not being afraid to commit it to "paper". You all have done that here, too. After reading Moremad's journal, I was inspired to pay closer attention to what's going on inside my head...not only about my relationship with food....but with all things.....and then to really think about them. I guess this is what would be called "self knowledge" and is in line with what Karen talks about, too. I have made an effort to be more honest in my journal and to record more of these thoughts. It has helped me to become more self-aware. I would like to suggest that you try it for yourselves....really honest....and write it down. It helps.

Carianne Wed, Jan-29-03 22:49

for me the #1 reason is not doing any inner work. It's tough and it's painful but to totally change your relationship to food, it has to be done.

I felt like when I was reading your posts, Karen, that I am newly into a journey you have become familiar with.

I lacked and attitude of gratefulness and humility

I learned that giving up the control was the key to sanity

I've been practicing (for a few years now) what I've nicknamed "acceptance therapy". Really teaching myself how not to be angry when something out of my control happens. To react with acceptance that that I don't like something, but I can be calm about it and not do anything about it. I just learned that I was using food (SUGAR!) to cope with the things I use to have anger outbursts about. Now I'm learning to examine my behavior more and pray about things that are out of my control and make me angry.

I fell off of the LC wagon a few times since Halloween and it's been a rocky ride ever since. I have cheated almost every week since then and have gone completely off LC for a week at a time 3 times now since too. I'm lucky that I didn't do more damage than I did.

I had to really sit and ponder why I was doing this "self sabotage" thing. I tried to go back into the mind frame that got me serious about LCing and brought the motivation, focus and then success that I had when I first started.

I was working on my "inner". For the first time in my life I was at a place mentally that I was serious about finding God and searching for answers about things bigger than myself, and really connecting spiritually. Not easy, but rewarding. I can see now that right around that time, after Halloween, I got to a point that I felt like I needed to "step back" from my spiritual journey and take a break. Well, LC'ing seemed to follow. I was lost and bouncing all around in almost every aspect of my life.

So I feel like I have myself in check again. Im on my spiritual journey and the LC journey is very focused again. So, it's all new, but I've learned alot about myself and this connection seems to be clicking with me.

(PS...ChromeDome, I was born and raised in St. Pete! I've only lived here 4 years.)

Karen Thu, Jan-30-03 00:50

Really teaching myself how not to be angry when something out of my control happens. To react with acceptance that that I don't like something, but I can be calm about it and not do anything about it. I just learned that I was using food (SUGAR!) to cope with the things I use to have anger outbursts about.

It took me a long time to get over this behaviour. The first thing I wanted to do whenever I was angry was put food in my face. After starting LC, I would have to go and stand outside and wait until the anger and the cravings for sugar to pass. I realized that eat or not, there was still the anger to deal with.

What's amazing now is I can get my nose out of joint and not even think of eating. Afterwards I'll think of how I used to eat over it. What's even more amazing is how rarely I get angry. I am able to listen!


SummerYet Thu, Jan-30-03 06:23

I just needed to make a quick post so I could get a subscription to this thread. I will be back.
Thanks Teri! :bhug: :rheart:


Foxeylady Thu, Jan-30-03 08:02

I too want a subscriptiont to this thread! This is fascinating! I think the reason I went off the bandwagon was an issue about putting myself first, not in any way about craving certain foods. Lets face it with this WOE, you really shake up your families meals, which restaurants you want to go to, it changes alot and it involves extra planning and preparation and thought. I still cook some favorite high carb meals for my kids and hubby, so it takes extra work to also prepare my meals. Very little can be bought pre-made, so when you work full-time that takes alot of extra time. I love cooking, so I don't mind, but its about priorites and when life gets hectic and the laundry isn't getting done and the house is filthier than usual, you may let the WOE slide because its easier and you forget that your health and well-being is more important to your family than all the other crap that you are worried about.

What this WOE has done for me, is to make myself a priority in my own life. The grocery list now includes things just for me that i want. I cook my favorite meals, We go to restaurants that I want to go to,and I bug the waiter until they bring me want I want, I'm starting to make my friends cook things that I want when they invite us for dinner. I'm asserting myself, when for so long, I just did things for my family and forgot about me. So next Christmas, I will not just go along with the flow, and eat the mashed potatoes and gravy, I will have yummy, low carb things for me!

Does this make sense? Karen you are so right about having the inside match the outside and about believing you're worth it. Its all connected!

liz175 Thu, Jan-30-03 08:26

I don't know if I am appropriate person to answer this thread, since clearly I am still a long way from my goal weight. However, I have managed to get below 300 pounds for the first time in 10 years, so clearly something has changed for me.

I can really relate to Karen's quote:

Originally posted by Karen
I used to want to do everything for and by myself, never ask for help, be in total control of everything. Well, I learned that giving up the control was the key to sanity when I had been doing the opposite.

That describes me perfectly and it's something I have had to deal with to stick to this way of eating. I've had to let go of some of the control at work and some of the control with my family in order to find time to focus on my own health, both spiritual and physical. I'm learning that if I set limitations and simply say, "No, I won't do that," the world does not end. When I get all caught up in needing to control everything, I don't have the time to eat properly and exercise, and I don't have the contemplative time I need to work through my own issues.

It's very hard to do. I have a demanding job where I supervise a lot of people, I have a husband who has had health problems (cancer), and two teenagers, one of whom has a variety of problems. However, I can't make everything all better for everyone and years of trying have only helped me destroy my health.

The funny thing is since I have started setting more limitations on the demands everyone else puts on me, I think I am actually more helpful to them. My husband remarked recently that I was much happier than I had been and that happiness had a positive effect on everyone around me.

I know this is something I will struggle with for the rest of my life, but I think it is the key to health for me.

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