Sabotage is a strong word to describe the behavior that can sneak into our life and steal the success that healthy eating and exercise has provided our bodies. It can come in the form of our own thoughts, an unsupportive spouse, friend, and even co-workers. The important thing is to be on guard so that the forms of sabotage can be recognized and dealt with in a way that is healthy, and keeping us on track with our fitness goals. I am not addressing the occasional cheat meal or even day, I am talking about a chronic issue of falling into a trap of being swayed away from a healthy lifestyle, and allowing that to happen.
Living a healthy lifestyle takes mental strength and a loving commitment to maintain our best self through consistent healthy choices each day. Let’s address self-sabotage and how it can creep into our mind and try to convince that “just this once” or “just a few bites” can become part of the healthy plan. The issue with this type of sabotage is that it does not stop at the “just once or a few bites”. Often times, this mindset flows into several days, weeks, and even months, and before it is over, the weight loss achieved is back up to where it started, and possibly more than the initial weight. Convincing ourselves that eating crap on a regular basis is never a good thing for our bodies, and remaining on guard so that self-sabotage can be recognized and dealt with immediately is crucial to stay on track with our fitness and health goals. Keeping a daily fitness journal is a helpful accountability tool to keep us on track.
Another sabotage culprit is that wonderful person you live with until death do you part. Love has nothing to do with sabotage of this type and the non-supportive spouse may not get the whole new health thing or does and is struggling with acceptance of your new healthy lifestyle. There are many relationships like this and living a healthy lifestyle becomes difficult, as the processed foods and other temptations continue to hide in your pantry and refrigerator. Sometimes, a spouse turned healthy and leaving the other behind can cause friction in the relationship as guilt trips occur over the change in lifestyle. It is so important to realize that each person is ready when they are ready and force-feeding a new healthy lifestyle on your spouse will only drive a wedge in the relationship. As the one wanting to live a healthy lifestyle, model by example, and when the cupcakes come calling, politely say “no thank you” and grab a yogurt and piece of fruit to eat along with your partner. Mental strength has to be on overtime in these circumstances as there will be a daily guarantee of temptation. Keep that promise of creating your best healthy self and great positive attitude, and almost assuredly your spouse will eventually join you. Patience will be your best friend here.
Sabotage among friends exists and it can be ugly. Creating a healthy lifestyle will mean making hard choices and dismissing ourselves from possible temptations that will steal our accomplishments. Some friends may not understand that you no longer want to eat processed foods or drink alcohol all night long, and are happy to provide the peer pressure to get you to fold on your commitment to self. A strong mental game is definitely a requirement and sometimes a request of support from your friend will be necessary. A true friend will understand and come alongside of such an important decision and one that does not care will continue to sabotage your efforts. If you continue to hear that it is OK to let your hair down and relax with your program on a continual basis from a so-called friend, you may want to re-think the motives of this friend. It is unfortunate, but jealousy does exist and can rear an ugly head during such times, and some may not be able accept that your body is changing in beautiful positive ways. The important thing in this type of situation is to be true to you, regardless of what is said or pressure felt. Going out can be limited to a glass of wine and water in addition to healthy food selection. Continue to enjoy your life and implement the healthy choices and the rest will take care of itself.
It seems like there is no safe place for the healthy person to hide from the forms of sabotage and the workplace is no stranger to being involved. Do you have a break-room filled with daily temptation, or that co-worker who always brings the donuts and gladly sets one on your desk? Put up the mental defense when it comes to accepting sabotage at work because you do have more control here. Bringing a cooler filled with your healthy planned meals will keep your fingers off the bagels and cream cheese with a side of cookies. Be stronger than the saboteur and say “thanks but no thanks” to the invitation of work indulgence eating. If a strong mental game is not put into play, visiting the break-room can become a daily occurrence with the results showing up on the waist line, and a complete derail of the healthy lifestyle you want to implement.