Sabotaging your own success?

This is a post which I have wanted to write about for a while. Perhaps it’s just popped back into my head due to a comment that one of my friends said to me today

I do really good with eating, but when people aren’t around then I just kick into unhealthy eating habits.

I bring this up because there are self- sabotaging behaviours in my life, past and present, which have reared their ugly head..and I want to write about them.

  • Not finishing a fitness program
  • Binging when the scale is low
  • Constantly making sure that I am meeting other people’s approval
  • Baking late at night when I am tired, after a good day of eating, and binging on the baked goods

I have thought long and hard about these certain things and what it boils down to, for me, is being afraid of success.

AFRAID OF SUCCESS!??!?! Are you kidding me?

Yes…I am NOT kidding you.

How have I gotten over these defeating behaviours?

  • Not needing to be perfect for someone else
  • Not needing to be perfect for me
  • Appreciating myself for where I am
  • Doing fitness challenges that I ACTUALLY want to do and not because I feel like I should
  • Not weighing myself for the rest of 2009
  • Surrounding myself with supportive people
  • Remembering it’s a journey

I don’t have the answers. However, this is what ran through my head so much when I was engaging in these defeating behaviours: If I change/lose weight/run a marathon/break-up with someone–then how will I define myself?

I have spent a long LONG time defining myself as a dieter.

  • Oh, I am up and down.
  • Nope can’t have that, I am on a diet.
  • Man, I just really need to stop binging.
  • I can’t seem to EVER finish a fitness program

Now: definition of Michelle: I am me.

Have you experienced this before? If so, what have you dealt with and how did you overcome?


Some resources to have a read through:

20 thoughts on “Sabotaging your own success?

  1. Miz says:

    LOTS TO LOVE HERE but for me what leaped out is the doing challenges you want to do.

    totally why and how I picked my site’s tagline abt fitness NOT being about fitting in.

    we need to carve our own path and not do the push up challenge 🙂 because EVERONE ELSE IS

  2. nic. says:

    Wow. This was a very timely post for me to read because after an extremely excellent day of eating and two serious bouts of fitness (that I enjoyed) I decided to “reward” myself around 11pm with a whole bag of chocolate chip cookies.

    I know now that I was actually just tired and wanted to go to sleep, but I let my sense of entitlement come out [I worked hard ALL day, now I want these] and I, too, share the *scared of success* deal.

    It’s a tough journey and we’ll all find our way eventually; quicker reading posts like that!

    • Mish says:

      I totally know what you mean. I have the same thing with not going to bed. I think perhaps I could write about the ways in which we could reward ourselves–that we actually believe in–that aren’t food related. Thanks for that idea.

  3. Marisa (Trim The Fat) says:

    I’m working through all of that right now, especially with leaving the dieting mentality behind and trusting myself to know what my body needs. Sometimes I give it MUCH MORE than it needs, but I’m a work in progress! LOL! Baby steps:)

    • Mish says:

      Me to. Annoying and it is something that I need to counter-act with rewards or other things than food. Food is a reward in our culture. ‘Woo Hoo down 2 lbs, gonna shove my face’. That, is not helpful.

  4. Paula says:

    Awesome post! I really hope that I can enter maintenance and not be addicted to the scale, counting calories…everything that goes with losing 100+ lbs! I cannot wait for the day, BUT I know that in that phase too, there will be work needed. Cool that your post has me thinking about those things now rather than later…as I don’t want to self-sabotage. Thanks!

    • Mish says:

      It’s been hard to let go of the scale. I have moments when I want to jump on. In fact I did last night. I just said to myself ‘michelle, how do you actually feel?’. I felt bloated–i had too much junk. So I am retraining my thinking patterns–which I hard.

  5. Brenda says:

    Your post really made me stop and think today. I have those nights sometimes when I know I was great eating healthy and exercised-then in the evening I want to munch on something and ruin it all. I have found that when I floss/brush my teeth, then turn off the kitchen light for the night it helps.

  6. missyrayn says:

    I super sabatoge myself when it comes to weight loss. I have been close to goal so many times but end up gaining weight back before actually getting there.

    For me it boils down to the fact that I don’t see myself as thin and healthy. I see myself as being the fat girl so being at goal would be mean I am “thin” and I don’t know if I’m mentally ready to be there.

    • Mish says:

      I totally know what you mean. I was at goal, below in my healthy weight range, then I packed on 30lbs. It was the same thing– I couldn’t imagine myself not being fat/overweight/on a diet. That’s not me anymore. I think it’s getting to the place where you feel that you deserve it. WE both deserve it.

  7. Mary :: A Merry Life says:

    Hmmms. Lots to think about here. The scale doesn’t mean shit to me, but I still weigh myself. I don’t really base my behaviors off that point though. I guess for me I know its a lifelong journey – sometimes I’m going to fuck up and “sabatoge” myself and sometimes I’m going to do awesome.

    • Mish says:

      Love the attitude. I was actually thinking about you while washing dishes today thinking ‘I want to be in Mary’s spot’…

  8. Katherine says:

    HA – yeah…I identify 😉

    I’m obviously working on succeeding for myself and learning to be accountable to myself alone…it’s difficult with a blog, too – I mentioned this to you last weekish – I make myself accountable to several people and public outlets so it’ll be harder for me to “screw up,” but when I go “off the grid,” it’s like a license to go wild. I think this whole thing ties into our ages, too…we’re trying to make lives for ourselves and find ourselves and our purposes in this world, so now trying to internalize that accountability is difficult but crucial.

    Also in the defense of those of us who identify with self-sabotage, it’s freaking TOUGH to lose weight and to change your entire frame of mind, decision-making process, lifestyle even. Every so often, I just have to take a break and let myself “relax,” and usually it helps if there’s no one around who can judge me harshly for it.

    • Mish says:

      I think it’s so important to relax sometimes. I think it’s important as well. Thanks for sharing Kat.

  9. runningmind says:

    This is the first time I have come across your blog, but this post definitely stuck a cord with me. I can totally relate. It’s like I think if I succeed at something then everyone will always expect success from me and I don’t want to have to live up to other people’s expectations so I subconsciously allow myself to not succeed. It is definitely key not to care what other people think and to just do things for yourself because they make YOU happy. I can’t wait to read more on your blog.

    • Mish says:

      Thanks for stopping by. I think that is another aspect of not succeeding–not wanting to live up to really high stanards. I think that letting go of always having to be perfect will be the first step for you in releasing the sabatoging’s hard though. I am glad that you shared this. It always inspires me.

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