I recently conducted a survey in my Facebook group, A Big Girl’s Journey to Lean. I asked the group what prevented them from eating healthily on a consistent basis. 530 responses provided a interesting reading. The obvious things such as the expense, limited cooking expertise and lack of time accounted (combined) for less than 10% of the overall responses. The real reasons people cited for not being able to stick with it was born out of a deeper, more emotional place.
Over 37% of respondents claimed self-sabotage was the killer culprit when it came to stalling consistency around healthy eating. A further 24% felt it was driven by tiredness and stress.
I write extensively in my book Enough about my own relationship with food and how I believe this is strongly correlated with mindset, thoughts and feelings. Self-sabotage is the stick we like to beat ourselves with. It gains its strength for our inner-critic, the anti-self who will go out of its way to derail us, stop us reaching our goals and being happy. This is the role of the inner-critic and once we recognise this we can disarm it and in doing so lessen the fuel it feeds its mate, self-sabotage.
When you know that your inner-critic doesn’t act in your best-interests you can train yourself to stop listening and dismiss the constant negative self-talk as utter nonsense. You don’t need its advice. It is akin to listening to a Dictator and most of us understand that is never the wisest move. Thank your inner-critic for its opinion and dismiss it as unhelpful. Healthy eating makes you feel good and the anti-self’s attempts to lead you down junk food alley will not help you reach your destination.
Fear is another firm friend of self-sabotage. Working out what we are afraid of is useful. Often it’s the fear of failure and yet in fearing it we somehow wind up moving further away from our goals by doing the opposite of what we intended, which in turn makes us feel like a failure. Talk about coming full circle! It may be the fear is of the un-familiar. We don’t know how we will feel when we reach our destination and so we stay safe and opt for the junk food. Visualising our new world helps with familiarisation. Believing we are resilient and are equipped to face our fears head on, helps enormously.
An arch enemy of self-sabotage is self-compassion which singlehandedly renders the former powerless. Practicing self-affirmation, daily gratitude and re-framing negative thoughts will all help to work the self-compassion muscle and prepare it for the battle with self-sabotage. Add in the superhero that is Accountability and you have yourself an army so strong, that self-sabotage wont even show it’s face.
The critical thing is that your superheroes need regular training to stay one step head of their rival self-sabotage. You won’t win the war if you don’t change your current game plan. The ultimate superhero trainer is Self-Love Ninja.
Daily training is key and the perfect way to do this is through journaling. This is the reason my colleague Kate and I designed Ninja Notes, the perfect way train those mindset superheroes, stay accountable and practice self-compassion daily.
With the mindset cracked, healthy eating and every other challenge can be tackled with ease.
Invest in yourself here by purchasing Ninja Notes