You ask yourself; “why am I binge eating?” “Why am I not strong enough to stick to a diet?” This, in turn, might make you feel more and more frustrated and discouraged. These feelings trap you and keep you from doing what you need to do to overcome the cycles of emotional eating, night-time eating, stress eating or food addiction.
These are all signs of self-sabotage which hold you back and stop you from sticking to your goals. This is why it is essential to understand why you self-sabotage and learn how to stop it in order to permanently overcome compulsive eating, overeating and binge eating.
What is Self-sabotage?
Self-sabotage is any behaviour, thought, emotion or action that holds you back from getting what you consciously want. When there’s something you desire but can’t seem to make it happen, for example overcoming binge eating, chances are, it is your unconscious mind preventing you from achieving what you consciously want. Therefore, to permanently overcome any form of disordered eating behaviour or eating disorder, your conscious and unconscious minds need to be in agreement.
If your unconscious mind says, “I’m ready to stop binge eating and I feel safe to do so,” you will most likely achieve your goals. When your unconscious mind holds fear and doubt, chances are you’ll have a harder time with sticking to the strategies to help you break the unhealthy cycles of disordered eating as your unconscious will sabotage you despite your best intentions.
Why Causes You to Sabotage?
At the root of your self-sabotaging behaviors is usually fear;
- fear of the unknown:
- fear of the unfamiliar;
- fear of failure;
- fear of success;
- fear of what you could lose;
- fear of emotional memories and pain;
- fear of rejection, or
- fear of not fitting in
When you self-sabotage what this essentially means is that your brain is protecting you by keeping you within your comfort zone.
Self-sabotage is sneaky and usually occurs without you even realising! Your unconscious mind stores messages, beliefs and behaviours dating back to your childhood. It is responsible for all your automatic thoughts, emotions, behaviours and habits. Your brain loves familiarity so when it sees that a particular behaviour is happening consistently, in your life, it will be stored as an automatic behaviour in your unconscious mind. This is known as a habit. This is why you may continue to binge eat at night, eat compulsively or find yourself eating certain foods to comfort uncomfortable emotions. You have been hijacked by your unconscious! Only afterwards when your conscious mind is back in charge do you think; “why on earth do I just do that?”
2 Tips to Make Progress and Achieve More
When it comes to mastering and eliminating any form of disordered eating behaviour, most people are stuck in mindsets, beliefs and behaviours that are feeding the unconscious mind, allowing it to use all of its tricks in its toolbox to trigger self-sabotage.
Tip #1 – Disconnect From the Self-sabotage Toolbox
If you want fast or instant results you are setting an unrealistic expectation. This is born out of trying to run away from something that you don’t want to face and the impatience of wanting things to be fixed or better, yesterday! It will cause you to feel disappointed when you don’t see the results you want as nothing is better or has been fixed. You do things that cause significant stress and are not sustainable.
Wanting fast results will lead you to unrealistic goals leading to you creating massive changes that will inevitably cause you to feel stressed, overwhelmed and that it is all too hard to achieve.
These two (2) patterns alone cause you to constantly fail as each time you attempt to change, you are falling into the All or Nothing self-sabotage trap. Whenever work or life gets busy enough, tiring enough or stressful enough, you think, “what is the point” and find yourself slipping back into old binge eating or comfort eating ways.
Tip #2 – Connect With Tiny Habits
The antidote to self-sabotage is simple and yet life-changing. What are the smallest steps you can make consistently which nudge you closer to where you want to be? These tiny behaviours need to be easy, achievable and realistic. These are actions which you feel confident to be able to do consistently day in day out.
Each time you take that small action, your unconscious is taking note and after enough repetitions, your unconscious says, “hey I can do this”. When you start making consistently small changes around food your brain will learn, over time that there is nothing to fear and it will start to programme these new behaviours as habits. You will find yourself starting to make real progress towards letting go of your binge eating, food addiction or overeating behaviours.
Self-sabotage happens to everyone!
You can overcome it!
To overcome binge eating disorder, comfort eating or night-time eating it is essential to understand that your unconscious is trying to protect you by keeping you stuck with these unhealthy and disordered patterns of eating. To rise above self-sabotage, you must let go of your all or nothing mindset and unrealistic goals. Set yourself tiny habits which are easy, realistic and achievable. Small actions, repeated consistency every day will enable you to finally achieve your goals.