It’s a Sabotage

24 Mar
Look at that. Isn't it glorious?

Look at that. Isn’t it glorious?

Throughout life, you learn a few things about yourself. I’ve learned that I hate when people are late. I love any activity that allows lounge time. I’m also a bit of a self saboteur.

It’s not something I do on purpose. I don’t seek to hinder my progress. However, I end up doing it anyway, knowing when I’m in the middle of it that I’m headed down the wrong path. For example, I’ve found that I can talk myself into not eating, thereby making my cravings for, say, a three-piece spicy chicken strip meal from Popeye’s that much stronger.

Self sabotage can happen when you’ve gotten complacent in your routine. When you know the rules of weight loss, you know how to break them. What ends up happening is you eventually get complacent in your complacency, leading you to self sabotage. You know this cookie won’t hurt in the grand scheme of things, so you have two more. You know you didn’t work out today, but you’re going to work out extra tomorrow.

Hunger and cravings are two different things. It took a while for me to learn that during my weight-loss journey. But when that clicked—hunger means you need to eat; craving is what you want to eat—it changed the way I looked at food. A spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy’s will always seem like a good idea when you haven’t eaten in eight hours.

And that’s my problem—taking a long time between meals. Like most people, I can get very busy at work. There have been days where I get to the office at about 10:30 in the morning and don’t leave until about 9 that night because I’ve been doing my daily work and other stuff. It’s a thing that happens to a lot of folks. When those days occur in succession, it can be hard to keep up with any type of meal plan and workout regimen. If you’ve been strapped to your desk for six hours, all your body wants is to not be hungry. Your mind, however, is telling you that there’s a Five Guys down the street that will have your Cajun fries ready in a jiffy.

I know from routine and practice that going to the nearest fast-food spot isn’t in my best interests. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I’ve talked myself into waiting to eat so I can go. I’ll tell myself that having a few chicken nuggets isn’t so bad because I hadn’t had anything else and it will still count toward my calorie count for the day.

The problem with that thinking is I’m not doing myself any good. I’m getting in some calories to fuel my body, but they’re the wrong ones. I’m loading up on useless carbs and fats that will be even harder to work off. It’s not that I can’t ever have these kinds of foods ever again (that’s not going to happen because I love Wendy’s so much). But I can’t keep promising myself that I’m going to do better tomorrow while loading up on Popeye’s biscuits today.

One of the lessons I’ve learned to avoid self sabotage is just to be prepared. Have a box of granola bars in your desk. Don’t leave the house without an apple or a pear. Drink water. Know where the healthy-food options are in relation to the fast-food ones. If there’s a salad shop next to your fave McDonald’s, try the salad shop.

When cravings hit, it’s hard to drown out the sounds of your head and your stomach. But only one is also speaking to the people around you, so why not give it something useful.

What do you do when you find yourself veering off track.

photo credit: _Fidelio_ via photopin cc

4 Responses to “It’s a Sabotage”

  1. WP March 24, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    It’s all about effort and forethought–two things that are difficult when you’re busy. Sounds like an excuse but who has time to cook every day? Who has time to shop to make sure you have healthy snacks on hand at work? It takes a lot of planning and discipline to accomplish such things. If only I had a personal shopper and chef on hand. Sigh.


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