I spent my July reflecting upon the past six months. There were certainly things to cheer and some things to mourn or regret. My mental health was in the best place it had been in a long, long time, but I also felt a strong sense of disappointment in myself. My get healthy goal wasn’t coming to fruition. In fact, it barely left the starting line. And I didn’t know what to do.
Why Wasn’t I Reaching My Get Healthy Goal?
The truth is I expected to be so much farther in my get healthy goals. I had set reasonable and actionable monthly goals and should be well on my way to feeling strong, inside and out, and wearing all my cute, too-small clothes hanging in my closet. Sure, I’m down a couple pounds, which is good, but not enough. What was I doing wrong? This is what I challenged myself to answer honestly last month.
My Get Healthy Mistakes
After some reflection (and maybe a tinge of whining on my part) these are the areas that held me back.
Desire is Not Enough
I’ve tried to lose weight in the past and have failed and succeeded multiple times. But I haven’t put forth any real effort in many years, beyond a few half-hearted commitments that failed quickly. This year I was truly committed to making long-term, sustainable changes. To shed weight and to be healthy. And I thought that commitment, that desire, would be enough to sustain and motivate me. And while I didn’t give-up every time I stumbled, which is a positive change, my desire to be healthy wasn’t enough for me to do the work consistently.
Consistency Wasn’t Happening
As with anything you want to excel at doing, you have to practice and be diligent, which I did not do. I exercised when I felt like it (which was rare) and didn’t force myself to exercise regularly, even though I knew, deep down, it would make a difference in both my weight and depression. But I babied myself, made excuses and promised myself I’ll do it tomorrow, again and again, and repeatedly broke that promise. A sin that made me feel even worse.
Self-Sabotage Was in Play
We often look for outside forces that hold us down, but in this case, the only person keeping me from success was me. There is something inside me that freaks out when I imagine myself healthy and fit. Oddly, it tends to be a bit more supportive of my professional success but something about feeling good about my body and appearance sends out Danger, Danger, signals to my brain. This leads to me knowingly self-sabotaging my efforts by purposefully eating oversize portions or snacking because I’m bored or stressed or accepting a lame excuse as to why I should skip working out.
Ding! Ding! The Truth Comes Out
Desire and consistency definitely played a role in my lack of progress and will be key to my eventual success, but self-sabotage felt like the one I needed to address first. Like I said, I’ve lost weight before but always gained it back. Every. Single. Time. Deep down, I don’t think I’m worthy of good health and what it might bring, like great opportunities, love and more. This does not feel good to admit to you or even myself, but it is the truth. For whatever reason, I feel unworthy of happiness, which is tied to being fit in my mind, and until I truly believe otherwise and learn to stop self-sabotaging my efforts — I’ll always get in my own way and the weight will never stay off.
I am the captain of my body, soul and mind and taking back control.
Next week, I’ll share how I’m addressing my self-sabotage tendencies, while also continuing to create routines around exercising and eating healthy.
Are you a self-saboteur? How did you stop sabotaging your efforts?