I’m a Grade-A “Self-Saboteur”

suctermonUm, yes, that’d be me. 100% bonafide, grade-A “Self Saboteur”.

About four years ago, through the beauty of the Weight Watchers message board, “Tales from the Scale” a group of several amazing women of all ages from all corners of the U.S. came together and dubbed ourselves the “Weekend Sabatogers.”

At one point, we debated changing our name, since “sabatogers” doesn’t really exist in proper English … but the point is, we had one thing in common: in our own ways, we all practiced diligence all week, and then we tended to let our guard down on the weekend … and repeated the same vicious cycle over and over and over again. We picked each other up, dusted each other off.

I love these women dearly — many (if not all?!) are loyal blog readers, and though our little group disbanded when life just became too complicated to keep up the thread each day last fall, we are still very close in a way that is hard to explain except to each other.

(In fact, they even sent us an incredibly generous engagement present when my husband and I got engaged in 2005!)

I’ve met five of these amazing women in person (four of us met up in Chicago for an amazing weekend two Aprils ago, and one of them I met when I lived in DC). And today, one of these incredible women is one of my closest confidantes in real life now, too; my move to Michigan was a blessing in more ways than one, since she’s in Chicago!

I feel very blessed for their friendship and support … and that’s why today I am here to admit, once again, that I am a complete self-sabatoger … all week long, lately.

Whereas before I had lost weight and was bemoaning a few “nagging” pounds I thought I still needed to lose (when I was actually at my goal weight), now it’s more than a few.

And so, if ever there’s a time to be viligilant, it’s now (before I need a new wardrobe and/or before starting a family!)

But here’s the problem: I’m not doing anything to stop the ridiculous, impulsive buying of sweets I don’t need.

I keep saying I will stop, that I can be my own “watch-dog” … telling myself I don’t need it … but then impulse strikes and it’s in my basket and I buy it and before you know it, it’s gone.

I’m proud I am not engaging in chewing and spitting (hurrah)! … but I’m like a broken record here yet again. I’m still buying the crap, which makes these moments of self-sabatoge possible in the first place.

Like Shannon talks about in her book,I’m not solving the problem (being impulsive) — I’m just replacing one anxious behavior (chewing and spitting) with another (buying sweets impulsively and nibbling) when in fact, I just need to quit, cold turkey. I won’t die without them. Yes, life’s meant to be lived, but no one ought to be consuming chocolate in this fashion.

I tried to remember my mom’s words:

“But with you, it’s like YOU were the one who said “NO” to yourself when you began WW, but now you have the power to do what you want and won’t let yourself tell you “NO” anymore. So you still buy it (”I can buy it if I want, and I can’t tell me not to!) So there! And if I buy it, then I also have the power to throw it away.”

But sadly, they didn’t resonate at Target at all yesterday at lunch-time. (Sorry, Mama!)

I’m still doing it; still buying the candy I know I don’t need, instead of eating cleanly. And almost doing it on purpose I think sometimes. Like a “screw you” to myself. Like an “I’ll show you, body!” coming from my mind. It’s like there’s dual voices inside my head; angel and devil.

Because my thoughts are so consumed with food … even when I’m not actively thinking about it … I often feel like a prisoner in my own head.

Yesterday there was absolutely no trigger. None. I had had a great workout at the crack of dawn, a nice morning at home with my hubby, I went to the dentist, I felt confident (albeit bloated) in my work ensemble, I had a productive morning with no stress at the office …

Then I went out to get a card for a friend at lunch at Target … and should NOT have set foot in the Easter candy aisle when my hormones are raging (it’s that time of the month) and before having eaten lunch … but I did. Mistakes #1 and #2 (knowing what my triggers are and being hungry).

Plus, in my head, I was thinking “today is the last day I could go get Reese’s Easter eggs because I won’t have time to go the rest of the week (GOOD!).” (As if I will never see another Reese’s again?! HELLO).

Anyway, the madness has got to stop …

I need to stop.

I CAN, I am just not doing it. And I’m only hurting myself along the way. It’s a vicious cycle.

I hate to see that I’m really and truly rebelling against myself, being my own worst enemy, sabatoging myself. And it’s not just indulging on weekends; it’s been during the week now, too, the past two weeks.

I’m going home this weekend to N.J. for Passover, Easter, my dad’s birthday and to say goodbye to my little bro before he moves to South Korea to teach English at the end of the month. (This is a solo trip home for me; hubby has this Sat. class for three more weeks, so he will miss this trip).

The thing is, I do NOT want this to haunt me; it’s a pebble in the road. A minor setback, but not catastrophic.

Tomorrow will be a better day. I honestly just need a few days of just pure clean eating … and while my meals are all clean and healthy, I’m making poor choices for snacks and am wasting energy on stupid Reese’s.

I took a teensy bite out of each of them (TWELVE; I bought two six-packs) and tossed them. Again. HELLO. No, I didn’t chew and spit them, but come on, Melissa, you know better. Plus, I felt like crap after.

I still ate my healthy lunch (bruschetta tilapia, green beans, apple) but I basically wasted a ton of calories on sugar and fat.

The whole day certainly wasn’t ruined, but it’s still (admittedly) very hard for me to not think in terms of black or white, “good” or “bad”. But I’m trying. Really, I am.

Life, like everything, has its ups and downs. The past two weeks have been plain hard for me. I am glad I can admit it here. And that admission is even better when I am willing to do something about it.

It’s a fresh start. I don’t want to be a self-saboteur and I don’t have to be. It’s my choice, and right now I’m choosing the enlightened path … one of balance and harmony.

April 13 marks my five-year Weight Watchers anniversary (when I began my journey). The way I’m looking at it (in baby steps): I have five days to really make a positive difference in terms of my mindset … and then a lifetime ahead of me.

I’m 22 days sober from chewing and spitting; let’s make it one day sober from unnecessary impulse buys and bites.

Who’s with me?!

How about you? How have you learned to cope with impulses?

12 thoughts on “I’m a Grade-A “Self-Saboteur”

  1. (((hugs))) we love you Liss!! And from one sabotager to another, I have *so* been there…

    The only thing I can say is, take it one day at a time. Yesterday I told myself, “OK, today, just today, I am going to eat clean. I can decide tomorrow whether I want to do the same.” And you know what? That made me able to stop eating when full, skip the wine/chocolate, and today I felt really good….which made me decide that *today* I am also going to be healthy. I’ll figure tomorrow out tomorrow.

    That is what works for me, and I know that you have it in you to do the same…and when you need us, the WSs are here for you!!


  2. PS – um, when I said “it works for me” – it doesn’t always work! After 1 year, I am *still* 5 pounds away from goal. Urgh.

  3. Yas, that’s a fantastic outlook. I really like that mentality. A fresh slate each day. I have a clean day planned so far, and I think that helps mentally, too! And 5 pounds from goal? Woman, you’re SKINNY! 5 pounds?! If I were still 5 pounds from goal, I’d be pinching myself. You’ve done amazingly!

  4. hi, count me in as a loyal reader and former Weekend Sab!! Everyone self-sabotages as some point. I think sometimes it’s our sick way of “treating” ourselves, an anxiety fix. (The anxiety doesn’t have to be conscious; I think it’s often just “there” when we’re trying to do everything right.)

    I’m stilll a broken record as to my fix…. YOGA!!! 🙂


  5. Hi sweetie!! 🙂 I do agree that it’s an “anxiety fix” oftentimes.

    I know, LOL … but you know, I’ve TRIED yoga though and I just can’t do it!! I mean, it’s just not for me! I wish it were, but I’ve given it a couple chances and still … no luck.

  6. I had to do it for three months solid before it felt “just for me”…. just sayin’. 🙂

    Have a great time at home!

  7. This post was so timely for me. I had been three weeks of clean eating and so proud of myself for making it this far. I had been using your “I am in control of this” and it seemed to be working for me. Then this afternoon – without any triggers involved – i majorly binged and purged on chocolate cake. Reflecting on this after reading your post, i think i was scared that i was doing so well lately. I self-sabotaged myself maybe because I don’t know my life without this problem or don’t know my idendtiy without it. At any rate, i am feeling frustrated and dejected after holding out for so long, then a moment of weakness just sabotaging it all. I just have to tell myself that i have control over what i do today and tomorrow is a new day. Thanks for your post Melissa and putting some perspective on my slip up today.

  8. Hi CS – isn’t it crazy how the universe works?! Congrats on those three awesome weeks, so glad that’s been helping you!! And please don’t feel discouraged; I often do that, too — go three or four weeks and then BAM, impulse strikes. It didn’t take away those awesome 3 weeks!! Today isn’t over … and tomorrow’s a new day. 🙂 Hang in there, you’re worth it! Consider it a pebble on your path … not a boulder!

  9. You are just like me. I can’t even believe it. I try hard to think if I really need what my impulses are telling me to get. I go through phases where it works, and phases where it doesn’t.

  10. Use the power of small! When you reach for that candy bar stop yourself- take 30 seconds out of your busy day, slow down and make a conscious decision to step away. When you’re trying to behave- dont think of it in terms of how many pounds you want to lose, but one meal at a time.The little steps will get you there!

  11. Exactly, Dori. Some days are just easier than others.
    CW … if it were only that easy! I do believe in one day at a time though 🙂

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