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Self-Sabotage - HELP!

OK Guys

It's my turn to ask for help - big time. I started LighterLife Route to Management this weekend and it all went wrong.

I haven't got to my ideal/goal weight yet but because I was struggling in Development and really messing around with it, so Management seemed the most logical solution.

I did a full week of really focusing on abstinence before I started RtM and I have seen another weight loss, which is fantastic. (I am 2-3lbs shy of a five stone loss.)

But now all my self-sabotaging behaviours are coming out of the closet. Big time. I'm also running a major renovation project on my house (we aren't living there, it's that major!) and we're at that tipping point. I need to order things NOW because it's getting urgent and I just can't. This project was a dream I had and now it's getting close, I am sabotaging my efforts to get it finished on time!

It was the same with exams, work, etc - whenever I got close, I started to let things slide.

I thought I had cracked the self-sabotaging behaviour with LighterLife in the fact that I got to the end of Foundation!! But then in Development, I realise I was seriously sabotaging my efforts because I was getting closer and closer to the magical place I wanted to be weight-wise.

Has anyone grappled with this? Does anyone understand what I mean?

I'd be really grateful for some advice/tips/pointers...ANYTHING!

Thanks so much.

A stressed out Mrs Lxxxxxx
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Staff member
Hi Mrs. Lard,

When I lost six and half stone I went into this sabotage mode.

I was under eleven and half stone and in my own head I was still fat because I was not at my 'old weight' of eight stone which is over a decade ago. So instead of claiming what I had achieved I focused on what I had not, putting success so far out of my reach as eight stone goal weight was making things unnecessarily hard.

Started to beat myself up for not doing it sooner, for letting myself go..and felt sad for the wasted years.

Looking back now I can see that I was afraid of being slim as I truly was not ready for it. I believe I got so use to my fat suit that I felt naked without it as it provided a security blanket of sorts and somewhere to hide instead of getting on with my own dreams.

I use food as others use alcohol...it sedates and numbs out unwanted feelings if only for a little while, it does bring momentarily relief, as this is the pay off. This is my monkey on my back.

Somehow in the turmoil of my chatterbox I managed to lose sight of the benefits I felt for having lost so much weight. This might sound daft but I actually forgot what it felt to be fat also:rolleyes: Each stone off improved the quality of my life so much and the negatives of being obese became a distant memory as the weight came off.

The out of breath, the sore knee, uncomfortable in myself and my clothes, the trouble of getting in and out of the bath.

I forgot what it was like to be pulling and stretching my clothes to fit over me and to try and hide my buddha belly and that feeling of being bloated... and the fat that annoys me most, is the fat oozing out over the sides of my bra.

Also forgot what it was like to have the monkey on my back again craving sugar.

What shocks me is how easy it is to regain weight and slide back into old ways and how difficult it is to get back on track again.

When people say the first time is the Golden Time this is so very true.

So what can you do now that your in sabotage mode.

Well get a pen and paper and write down what it is your afraid of!

Ask yourself what is your going to do when the house is finished..and your diet is done.

What it is you really want from life.

I have done this and I came up with a few surprises.

Some of the things I thought I wanted to do, now I don't feel is right for me.

I was feeling a bit lost there for awhile but facing up to some of the issues that really bug me has been hard, but now I feel I am on the move again. Where I am headed I have not got a clear picture of it as yet, but do know one thing for sure, whatever it is, I am going to make sure I am slim, fit and healthy and I have trust in the process.

I think renovating a house could be used as a good metaphor for what takes place when you go on a diet journey...it is transformational and just as in renovating you have to make decisions as you decide what you want to hang onto and want must go and sometimes what you felt you where so sure of suited may no longer...for as things progress, you learn new things that can change your mind and each little change causes something else to change. The end result may just be what you have always dreamed of, then again it could end up completely different.

When you find yourself stuck, it is best to work on 'first things first', that is write down a list of things you have to do and priorities them in order of urgency. Then go and do it. If you need help ask.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." The above speech by Nelson Mandela was orignally written by Marianne Williamson who is the author of other similar material."
Wow Mini - what a wonderful, wonderful post!
I too self sabotaged. Went from size 22/20 15stone to size 12/14 11stone and felt great. Then as I tried to get the last half stone off, it all went wrong. Family problems reared their head and I went back to my comfort eating and regained 2stone - which I am still battling with now. Mine resulted in depression, undealt with issues from the past coming back and realising that food is my security blanket.

I'm now doing a course of hypnotherapy to combat some of my past insecurities and I'm hoping that might help me. I've been gentle on myself until today - and now I'm back to day 1 with a vengance. I'm really impressed with the hypnotherapist i go to and he also deals with weight issues via CBT - so if this is not enough, i may sign up with him for that too!

Good luck in beating the "chatterbox".
I know exactly how you feel .....!

Mrs Lard - I know exactly how you feel ...

Having done well on foundation and moving into management, I thought nothing can be as hard as the last 100 days. AND GOD WAS I WRONG.

As soon as I hit route to management all I wanted to do was eat and drink - on some days I can control it; on others I go absoutely mad (like last night for no reason I ate a whole family size bar of chocolate). I know I didnt want it, I know it was bad for me and yet I still did it and then didn't sleep all night worrying about it. It has been like this for the last two weeks and I cant work out why.

Is it rebelion - am I doing it because I can - or actually because I shouldnt!! Is it because I suddenly feel it wont hurt !!! I am not sure all I can say is that the internal battles are really hard - BUT MY COUNSELLER SAYS 'Dont beat yourself up about it', 'try to work out why', 'try to reduce it' 'and work out when it happens'.

I have focused really hard today to get back on track - I have decided to take myself back in to abstience for four days and get some control back (I know this is not the best way to get control, but I know I can do it and need to believe that my mind is stronger than my impulses are and this is the way I can prove it to myself and regain the control I need to get through route to management.

I really know how your feeling and am happy to email you at anytime and could really do with your support back - maybe together we can get through this ...


Hi Mrs Lard,
So glad you started this thread, becuase it really struck a note with me too, as it has so obviously done with the others who have posted.
Reading the replies I can see many of the reasons why I seem to have self sabbotaged myself too. I had up till reading these thread thought that I had just become complacent or bored or weak willed etc , but now I can see that the nearer you get to what you set out to achieve , the more complicated things get. All I knew and still know is that somethings amiss in my head, some state of mind that wasnt there before when I was so focused and so strong in foundation. Its as if as the magic 100 days came and went and with them went something precious and usefull and strong, and I so want it back!
I thought it was becuase I broke abstinance to go on holiday, but I now thanks to theis thread know that I feared success itself , I have started to get cold feet about being at goal, and like mini said I miss the security of my fat suit and its never ending supply of excuses (and blame) for why I couldnt do this or that, now I am forced to examine the real reasons and stop putting my life on hold.
Its certainly been a day for thought this, I have just spent the afternoon sorted through literally hundreds of my too big clothes , years and years of size 24 , 22 and 20 sad , sad, clothes (mostly black) and I could have just sat among them and cried for all the wasted years I lived in them. I also feel very angry , about it with myself , and everyone else who didnt stop me and say 'what are you doing ? your wasting your life and ruining your health' , but could I have coped with that, would I have the strength to say that now to someone like I was?
Thanks Again girls , talk about milestones and lightbulbs....
Hi folks at my weigh in at LL last week I have lost 5 stone 5.5lbs I would like to lose about another 12 lbs to take me to 9 stone 12 lbs or so but for the last week and a half I have started to binge and then make myself sick through guilt. I just cant stop the compulsion to eat. I dont know why this is happening I felt like I had cracked it up until now help.
Mandy x.
I went through this a ouple of weeks ago as listed in my blog. I have been back on track now for a week and a half and I'm getting back down to my target weight ready for my last WI on Wednesday. I currently have no money in my flat leaving my wallet and cards with friends. I have also realised that big triggers for me are being tired and also I have started to feel down after going out drinking. I'm not a big drinker so that one is easier to deal with. I have also helped myself with the amopunt of exercise I've been doing cycling 5 miles everyday to work and also doing 10-25 miles on the weekends. I guess I have been fortunate that despite sabotaging myself I have managed to keep my weight pretty stable. I know I haven't really got a handle on this but I'm working on it.
I think this post shows that none of us are alone when it comes to sabotaging ourselves. The one thing I'm sure of though is that each and everyone of us has proved by losing the weight we have,that we can all beat this and successfully manage our weight.
I sent you an email from work earlier today because I don't post to the internet from work - I hope you got it!


I was going to respond yesterday but I wasn't sure I had any wise words to give as I'm currently sabotaging myself and I 'should' be completely abstinent. (Should is in parentheses because that's one of the things Bar talks about in that podcast in the fat happens website - I know I need to swap it around to where I make an adult choice.)

I just cannot shut my chatterbox up right now. This morning it came up with rather bizarre ideas and I batetd those out the way. My problem is that I do that all day and then give in later afer I'm battle-weary.

I think it was Sarah who said on her blog recently that the 'golden time' thing is in our heads - you don't say to an alcoholic who falls off the wagon that they'll never give up the booze now. Logically I know she is right but I cannot understand why it was so easy to do LL in the first few weeks and right now it is so hard.

I'm still not tempted to give it all up though!
Hi Lard and all who followed with the great posts once you ask the question and speak from the heart you share what many of us think and feel the answers appear. The first time is a GIFT then its hard work,but everything we work hard at when we acheive it, is , also the pay off fantastic and a real milestone in our lives.
We have to let the lion out of the cage 3 times a day or so when we eat and by god its hard to tame the lion (food) and close the gate and get it back safetly till the next time. I try not to obese with food but some foods are like a drug to me and i avoid at all costs.
Years ago i went on a course run by Susie Orbach" Fat is a Femist Issue" followed by group work as you guessed it didnt work because i didnt do the work then. 30 years later i still have to work at it.
My self sabotage is in all the posts thanks for reminding me what i do and why i do it. At the moment i am doing the 2 step i step on,1 step off and driving my self potty .Thanks Every one .



Trainee Maintainer
Yeah, this thread really struck a chord with me, too. Thanks for starting it, Mrs L!

I returned to my meeting on Monday and we talked about adult, parent and child behaviours around food.

Telling yourself 'you should' eat this or 'you shouldn't' eat that is your critical or nurturing parent talking. You can obey in adapted child mode or ignore in rebellious child mode. (Other words not to use include must, have to, can't).

To behave in adult mode means changing the emphasis and the wording, for example 'I can choose to eat this/do this, or choose not to'. So, it encourages you to make an adult decision and accept the consequences.

I have been making a conscious effort to address the urges to self-sabotage, and attempting to 'step outside the urge' to view what is happening objectively.

There is some bread in the freezer which I would like to toast and have with raspeberry jam. Ever since I have had my tea I have been thinking on and off about it and visualising myself going into the kitchen to prepare it. I have chosen not to and have gone through feelings of frustration, loss (?), anxiety. Why, exactly?

I asked myself "How will you feel after you have eaten this?" How will you feel tomorrow morning when you wake up, knowing that you have given in to this urge?" I spend a few minutes visualising this because it is actually difficult to do. For some reason I resist thinking of the consequenses properly, so have to make an effort to do so.

I also visualise how I'll feel if I choose not to eat the toast (or whatever), but again it is hazy, and I have to work at it.

Is this the same for you? The urge to eat something for the 'wrong' reasons can be really strong, and I have found that it takes a lot of effort to (a) get into adult mode and (b) actually be strong enough to make the right decision.

However, I do have an advantage - I have 'made it' and achieved a slim body and I want to keep it. I know that I will succeed in keeping it, but only if I learn to accept that it won't happen without hard work, effort, pain, and hard choices.

I will no longer drift back into 'giving in' to my food desires for short term 'pleasure', because it actually means long term distress/depression/despair. That's a fact.

So, learning to 'ride out the storm' of wanting to sabotage and eat means accepting discomfort for a period of time - tonight it has been for about four hours. I am over it now. Until the next time.

I hope this strikes a chord with you.

Take care, now.



Gone fishing
This is very similar to the technique that I use Amanda. Using choice and consequence. Challenging my desires.

Maybe I put a little more emphasis on 'riding the storm', accepting that I have learnt desire=action, and working on making desire=desire and not action. Learning a new connection.

It's been incredibly successful and gets so much easier with time. Sometimes I feel like having something when I don't need it and I've got to the point where I just think "ohhh...fancy a packet of crisps", but then it goes before I've even thought to go and get it:eek:

Almost like I've taught brain that my desire is nothing more than a thought. Nothing to do with eating.

Interestingly, when it comes to appropriate times to eat, the desire has a different quality. It's become easy to differentiate the two.

It takes practice, but of course, the more you practice, the better you get at it :)


Silver Member
This is very similar to the technique that I use Amanda. Using choice and consequence. Challenging my desires.

Maybe I put a little more emphasis on 'riding the storm', accepting that I have learnt desire=action, and working on making desire=desire and not action. Learning a new connection.

It's been incredibly successful and gets so much easier with time. Sometimes I feel like having something when I don't need it and I've got to the point where I just think "ohhh...fancy a packet of crisps", but then it goes before I've even thought to go and get it:eek:

Almost like I've taught brain that my desire is nothing more than a thought. Nothing to do with eating.

Interestingly, when it comes to appropriate times to eat, the desire has a different quality. It's become easy to differentiate the two.

It takes practice, but of course, the more you practice, the better you get at it :)
That is very interesting, I've been doing CD not LL, where did you come across this idea, I think I get it.... sort of just because my mind says I have to eat XXXX(what ever it desires at the time), but instead of linking it with the action of getting the said item, I learnt to toss the thought aside, abit like thinking ohhh I would love a new Audi TT, but know I will never have one so not losing any sleep over it..... Is that what you mean....... good idea, take working at but hell, this over weight thing is all brought on my our mind = action, and your idea would counteract this, if I have understood it correctly.

My problem is at the minute, after losing 6 and a half stone I still need to lose 1 and a half and after messing around for 2 months, finding the diet increasing hard to stick to, I am worried it will take me another 10 months to start to actually eat again...... Also not sure why, but second day of SS when I get back on it has been murder, today I gave in again as I had felt so tired and weak and hungry all day.........

And hey, you look fab, had a look at your photos and hat of to you, you've lost the weight you want to and kept if off for a good long time..... That will be me in 2 years.....
Did you have any hick ups towards the end..... Nice to hear from someone who did and then made it...... I am not going to be one of the 95% of people who put weight on. I love healthy food, hate processed food, love cooking, I can do it, just need help over the last stages....

Hope you get the message, this is a brilliant thread, just the sort of think I come on here for.


Trainee Maintainer
"Maybe I put a little more emphasis on 'riding the storm', accepting that I have learnt desire=action, and working on making desire=desire and not action. Learning a new connection."

Yeah, Karion, that describes it nicely.

The crooked thoughts were out in force of course. Things like "well, you've eaten really healthily all day, what difference will a piece (!) of toast make". Hmm, but I knew that ONE PIECE of toast was a delusion!

"It takes practice, but of course, the more you practice, the better you get at it"

Ha! That gives hope to us all, Karion!

The world does not end when you choose not to give in to your desires (!), but it can be a huge shock to have to learn to say 'no', and unfortunately it means going through a period of discomfort and anxiety EVERY time you resist the desire to eat inappropriately.

Here I am, the next morning, and feeling pleased that I did not succumb to the toast...



Gone fishing
The crooked thoughts were out in force of course. Things like "well, you've eaten really healthily all day, what difference will a piece (!) of toast make". Hmm, but I knew that ONE PIECE of toast was a delusion!

Hey, one piece of toast is just fine, but it depends on when you're eating it, and whether one piece turns into two;)

We are not talking about depriving ourselves of the foods we enjoy, or even saying "no...we mustn't have". We can always have whatever we want. The trick is to work out what you consider 'normal' eating, then treat any other desires as addictive desires and learn to make that new connection.

Always accept, even welcome the desire. Never fight against it, because working on making that new connection takes practice, and you wont get the practice if you constantly force the desire to the back of your mind or distract it.

Sometimes I make the desire come, just so I can work on it. Anyway, there is more about this on Tracey's tread (page 13) http://www.minimins.com/cambridge-diet-forum/16588-new-me-new-diary-maintenance-begins-13.html and this one

I'm so pleased that it's so similar to the stuff Amanda has being doing with LL. Makes me feel a little less crazy :D



Taking it Day by Day
Thanks for this thread and the wise words everyone!
I am only at the start of development but already my food demons and my inner chatterbox have come out at full force, tempting me and giving me all sorts of reasons why I can/should deviate from the plan just a little bit... Over the last week this was combined with being ill (which funnily always makes me want to eat more) and generally feeling worn out, and I found myself many times standing in front of the fridge/cupboard thinking "just this little piece of cheese, oh a cracker (no, can't have carbs...so back to the fridge...) and so on... I am fighting with this every day and so far have only managed 2 days this week where nothing other than LL packs (not even a splash of milk) has passed my lips. But like others have said here, I also welcome the opportunity to see this as a learning experience, it has definitely helped me to identify certain situations where I always snacked/eaten for other reasons than being hungry. I am trying hard not to have all or nothing thinking (as this would probably lead to me giving up sooner or later) but instead see every situation as a challenge. I am determined not to give up and I even know I will get there, which is something that has changed since starting LL. I would have not had that self believe before.
It is just amazing how different the mindset is from Foundation to the time after. It's as though I was perfectly able to cage those demons and desires but after the 100 days they came out to play (probably caught me off guard, while I was still celebrating my achievement)....and I am having a difficult time getting them back in that cage and under control but who said that this would be easy;)
Hello all you self-saboteurs out there! This is a LONG post (not written all by me!!) but worth it, I hope!

I found this article Self Image and Self Sabotage, which I think people may find interesting.

Here's a key bit:

Are you starting to understand how the same thing could happen when you try to change your body?

To be lean, healthy and fat-free, you must see yourself as being capable of achieving that body and worthy of maintaining it. If you see yourself as a fat, pear-shaped person, you’ll NEVER be a lean, fat-free person until you see yourself as a lean, fat-free person.

Just when you start to see results and become happy with how you look…. all of a sudden, you’ll get the irresistible urge to sleep in and blow off your 6 a.m. workouts. You’ll get uncontrollable cravings for Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream at 11:30 p.m. You’ll lose your motivation. You won’t “feel” like working out. These self-sabotaging behaviors are all symptoms of a self-concept that’s inconsistent with your present results.

The part of the self-concept that affects your physical condition and ability to achieve your perfect weight is called the SELF-IMAGE. Maxwell Maltz, a plastic surgeon and author of the best seller, Psycho Cybernetics, stumbled onto the discovery of self-image with his patients. Even though he had corrected physical defects and deformities with surgery, his patients often retained their old self-image and continued to see themselves as “ugly,” “scarred,” or “deformed” even though they appeared quite beautiful by society’s standards. As a result, they continued to behave as they always had; shy, retiring, lacking in confidence.

This led Dr. Maltz to the conclusion that changing the physical image was not the real key to changes in personality and behavior. There was “something else.” That something else is the self-image. When the self-image is “reconstructed,” the person changes. If the self-image stays the same, the person’s behavior stays the same.

...People who don’t understand self-image erroneously put all their attention on changing their eating and exercise behaviors, but the problem with this physical-only approach is that it’s not addressing the SOURCE or cause of the behavior. The source of your behavior is your mental self-image. You are more than just a body. You are a body, a mind and a spirit. You will always act - and can ONLY act - like the type of person you SEE yourself to be in your mind.

If you see yourself as a fat person, you will behave like a fat person. If you see yourself as a lean, fit and healthy person, you will behave like a lean, fit and healthy person. A fat person would never work out faithfully every day of the week, so why is it any surprise that someone with a “fat person” self-image would skip workouts? Their brain is programmed to skip workouts. Someone with a “fat person” self-image would never eat healthy, low fat, low sugar, low calorie meals, so why would it be surprising that they cheat on their diet and binge on junk food? After all, their brain is programmed to eat junk. Is this starting to make sense?

To make a lasting change, you must work on the physical AND the mental planes. Of course you have to change your lifestyle, exercise and nutrition habits, but the real secret is not trying to force new behaviors, but changing the self-image which controls the behavior. Put your energy on a new mental picture, and the new picture will create new behaviors. Best of all, the new behaviors that spring from a positive new self-image will come without as much effort or willpower because they’re hard-wired into every cell of your body. The “unseen forces” are now working for you instead of against you.

So, lets suppose you have the self-image of an unfit or overweight person… How the heck do you change it if it’s so deeply embedded in your mind from years of conditioning? There are four simple steps:

If you click on the article, you will see the four steps; it seemed too much to post the whole thing in one thread although a blog I found, http://lowcarbandlovingit.blogspot.com, has reproduced the whole thing!





There’s immense power in mental images. The formula is simple: Decide what you want to look like, project your new image on the screen of your mind (visualize), think about the “new you” constantly, create a written description of your new image and read it at least twice per day, (write it out daily for even more impact), then follow through with actions that are consistent with your goal. Your marvelous and powerful mind will do the rest.

I hope this helps.

Take care and have a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend, where sunshine is predicted!!!

Mrs Lxxx


has started again!!
This sounds like me Mrs L. I am still fat and ugly, even tho there are days when I know how much better I look. (Doesnt make sense at all.)

On my ugly days, of which there are many, I want to eat the way I always have, after all, who will care about the fat girl anyway? I am still nervous of meeting new people, after all, I am fat and ugly arent I? Tradespeople (!!??!!) terrify me and always have. They judge me because I am fat and ugly. And so it goes on.....

Like this article suggests I DO have try to change my perception of myself, and thus the way I feel others perceive and judge me. When I am more able to do this I will be the slim person I have aimed for for many many years.

This article is def one that will be going in my scrapbook. Thank you.

As an aside, isnt it interesting that my scrapbook has mainly golden nuggets gleaned from my friends here on Minis, a picture from Helen, help with thought records from Mrs L, copious amounts of info from Cerulean..... Yet very little from LL itself??

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