You have been self-sabotaging your weight loss for years. I know this because, like so many people out there, you’ve lost a bunch of weight, and then you’ve put it back on. I hear you, it’s such a common story, and I’m here to give you a framework to recognize why you keep falling into this trap, so you can change it.
Tune in this week to discover how to finally stop self-sabotaging, so every time you lose the weight, you can keep it off. I’m sharing some examples of self-sabotage when it comes to weight loss, the common traps everyone falls into at some point in their lives, and how to circumnavigate all of them.
Are you convinced that no matter how hard you try, no matter how pure your intentions are, you won’t ever be able to keep that weight off, you are so frustrated with how many times you sabotage yourself? Well, today’s episode is going to show you the top four self-sabotaging pitfalls and how you can overcome them.
I am Dara Tomasson, and this is Weight Loss for Quilters, episode 49, Weight Loss and Self-Sabotage.
Did you know you could lose weight and keep it off for good? After 25 years of hiding behind my quilts, I have finally cracked the code for permanent weight loss, and I’ve lost 50 pounds without exercise or counting calories. I’m Dara Tomasson, professional quilter turned weight and life coach, where I help quilters just like you create a life they love by losing weight and keeping it off for good. Let’s jump into today’s episode.
Alright, welcome. Today you are very familiar with this topic. You have been sabotaging yourself for a long time with weight loss and I know this because you have lost a bunch of weight and then you put the weight back on. I hear you. So, I’m going to just share with you the definition of sabotage. I’m going to walk you through what’s going to happen on this episode so that you can totally know what’s going on.
And then you are going to be able to have a framework that’s going to help you recognize why you keep falling in this trap of losing weight and putting it back on, losing weight and putting it back on, and then giving up, and then trying again, and then losing it and then putting it back on. So, the definition of sabotage is to damage or destroy equipment, weapons, or buildings in order to prevent the success of an enemy or competitor. So, you have been damaging or destroying your relationship with your body, I hear you.
So today I’m going to focus on how we sabotage ourselves without even realizing what we are doing. So much of this work we’ve been doing is subconscious. And today’s episode is going to bring this to your awareness. So, I’m going to talk to you about everyday examples of people who sabotage themselves then I’m going to share with you the four hidden barriers that we have all come across that we don’t even really realize. I’m going to give you examples of how that plays out in weight loss.
And then I’m going to share with you, and a lot of the work that I’m sharing with you today is from a book by Gay Hendricks called The Big Leap. It’s just been an incredible book that has helped me all along the way as I have lost all the weight and kept it off. And I’m going to be sharing this in the framework of weight loss and why you can take the weight off, but you can’t put it back on. And it’s been really fascinating as I read this book and I think, how did Gay Hendricks know Love Yourself Thin?
And I’m going to show you how the Love Yourself Thin process really is reflected on why we sabotage. And it’s also very confirming to me as the creator of Love Yourself Thin because he, Gay Hendricks is a psychologist, he’s a bigwig in all of the thought work and all of this research, and all this experience. And so here we go. Are you ready? And then at the very end I’m going to give you the solution and of course don’t forget that I always have the handouts for you here. And if you’re like me, you’re visual, you like to see how it all comes together.
So, the handout will be kind of an outline of what I said and then I have some questions for you just so that you can get so much out of this podcast because I do really appreciate you being here. There are so many things you could listen to and use your time for. And the fact that you’re here and doing this just shows me a lot about the kind of person you are, what kind of character you have. And I love that we’re able to have this time together, it really warms my heart when I work on these podcasts and preparing them and submitting them to my podcast producer and all of that.
It just is a wonderful way for me to help you not feel so alone anymore because I was once where you are now. And I am so glad that I finally said yes to myself because I’m living a life I never even imagined. And talking about that I’m going to share a success story from one of my clients. And one of the things that I love about this story is that, so one time I was doing a coaching call and she was a fairly new member to my program. And she said, “What’s going on with this program? It feels like it’s like counseling or something.”
And it was really fascinating because the very next week there was a call all about mothers. And how this one lady in the program was having all these issues with her mother and I was able to help her work through some of those challenges that she was having. And I was able to ask her questions in a different way. And this woman that had been kind of confused, it is kind of confusing. You sign up for a weight loss program and you’re expecting people to tell you what to do, when to do it and how to do it.
But really I just teach you the basics and then you learn how to troubleshoot these things for yourself. She actually emailed me the very next – within an hour of the call and said, “I can’t believe how much that one call has changed everything for my relationship with my mom.” And of course, that’s going to help her so much with her weight loss because weight loss is really about us not being in our own authority. It’s not us being in our own power to just feel emotions and to let them be.
It really is really confusing to a lot of us about why we gained the weight, what’s going on because so much of it was unconscious. We have been eating to feel better since we were little kids. So, this win from this client was that yeah, you actually do need to kind of go in and explore. And I love how brave she was and I’m so proud of this client because she didn’t give up. And she was able to say, “Hey, what’s going on here? I don’t understand.”
And now that she understands she can now see why she has sabotaged herself with food because she never really allowed herself to understand that weight loss really is about all the stuff in our life that we don’t really enjoy, and we don’t really know how to deal with and we behind food. So, so happy for her.
Alright, which also now leads me into, so this concept of sabotage comes from we have, and how Gay Hendricks talks about it, he says we have these things called upper limit problems. So, we limit ourselves and we talk about this in the Glass Ceiling. And so, our bodies all have this internal thermometer that says how happy we’re allowed to be, how successful we’re allowed to be. And we don’t really realize this thermostat in our thermostat setting. And it really goes back to old familiar zones.
So, if we grew up really poor and we start making a lot of money we can start sabotaging ourselves. We can maybe make some bad investments, or we can give our money away or invest it in a scheme or something. If we’re not used to being thin and we’re not used to feeling good about our bodies then we can have a weekend or a week or two where we just binge like crazy and we put a bunch of weight back on.
So unfortunately, and this is from Gay Hendricks, Unfortunately, our thermostat setting usually gets programmed in early childhood before we can think of ourselves. So once programmed, our upper limit thermostat setting holds us back from enjoying all of the different experiences. And I’m just really focusing on weight loss here. And one of the ways that we know that we’re having struggles with this is that we have guilt. And guilt is a way that our mind has to applying a painful grip on the conduit through which our good feelings flow.
So, a lot of my clients will say, “Guilt, here it comes again.” And really it’s just a way for us to kind of control how we’re feeling. And we picked up cues. So, for example, if your mother’s smile disappeared when you outshone one of your siblings then you as a little kid thought, well, I’d better not do that too much. I’d better not draw too much attention to myself. Of course, this pattern is subconscious and then until you actually see what’s going on then you can’t, you can’t make any changes.
So, I was going to give some examples of, this happens all the time. Here let me just read some of the examples he shared. So, Bill Clinton as a young man once stood in the line of the White House and said, “I’m going to live here someday.” And when he achieved that goal he basically self-sabotaged success by getting involved in a sex scandal. John Belushi, he rose to enormous success quite rapidly and then at the peak of his, you know, he had a top grossing movie, a number one album, a hit TV show. And then he started having self-destruction.
Christian Bale starred in the Batman movie, The Dark Knight, had the most profitable openings in movie history and then on the premier he had an altercation in his hotel room with his mother and sister and ended up with assault charges.
So, this is something that we also hear the story about the people who win the lottery, and they sabotage themselves. So, this is something that happens all over the place, and I see this a lot with weight loss. We can also see this with just even yourself. You will have weight loss success and then you’ll start feeling confident and comfortable in your body and then you sabotage yourself. So, these are the four hidden barriers.
So, the first one is feeling fundamentally flawed. Number two, disloyalty, and abandonment, believing the most success brings a bigger burden and ten the crime about shining. So, I’m just going to go through each one of those and just kind of briefly – I want you just to have an open mind as you listen to me describe them. And I’m going to be describing them through the filter of weight loss. But of course, it can expand to relationships, with your career, with money, all of that.
The first one is, so believing that you’re fundamentally flawed. So, this is you if you say, “I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough.” This also could be you of you’re blaming your DNA or blaming situations, blaming the way that you grew up. So, if you believe that you’re legitimately not smart enough, that there’s something dysfunctional, there’s something broken in your brain, then you will sabotage yourself. You will stop progressing. You will stop believing that it’s possible for you to change and so then you won’t.
Number two, disloyalty, and abandonment. So, this one is talking about you don’t want family members or friends to judge you or accuse you of being better than them. So going back to number one. If you believe you’re not smart enough, you feel like you’re fundamentally flawed, a lot of times ladies will think, well, it’s just in my DNA. I don’t have any power over my genes. I just have bad genes. Or sometimes I’ll see women will say, “Well, I haven’t lost the weight by menopause and now I’m in trouble.”
Or they have an injury or a condition like fibromyalgia, or something like that and they’ll say, “Yeah, see, proof, I can’t be successful.” So, then they use those kinds of things to limit their success. Okay, so back to hidden barrier number two. So, this feeling of disloyalty and abandonment. I could feel alone, disloyal to your roots or leave people from your past behind. Another thing that I see here is did I break the family’s unspoken rules to get where I’m at?
And so, if you have a family where they haven’t had a lot of success, they haven’t gone to university or they are people that just work a nine to five and they barely get by, or they’ve always been overweight, they’ve always really struggled with their weight. And now all of a sudden you come in and weight loss is really easy for you and it’s really simple. Do you feel like you might get left behind, they might not speak to you anymore? And then maybe do you feel boastful or out of alignment with your family’s core values?
So, these are a subconscious barrier and it’s just so helpful to look at what do I really believe and what do I really think my family would want for me and hope for me?
Alright, hidden barrier number three is believing that most successes bring a bigger burden. So maybe you have the thought, I can’t expand to my highest potential because then I’d be an even bigger burden than I am now. So, this is similar to number two where if I am really successful then I will make my family feel bad. They will feel like they’re being judged. And you just don’t want to feel that way. So, if you are really successful then it’s like, oh, man, my family’s going to feel even worse about themselves.
And it’s the same thing with if I’m super successful with my weight loss then my family, it’s going to be rubbing in their face. Yeah, they’re not so good.
Okay, hidden barrier number four, this is the crime of outshining. So, we don’t want our success to make other people feel bad. One unconscious solution that successful people do is to turn down the volume on their success, so the others don’t feel threatened. So, it’s like, well, and then what they do with that is that they, and especially with weight loss, I mean you can’t hide that you’ve lost all this weight. So, then what they do is they don’t allow themselves the enjoyment of all of it.
So, they’ll say, “It’s really hard, it’s been a struggle. It’s a real grind.” Because you’d rather get their empathy rather than their jealousy. And so, I’m curious about this for you. Which of the hidden barriers do you find is one of yours? Because I can guarantee you there is something, one, or three, or all of them that you have been doing subconsciously and have got you putting the weight back on. So, what is it? And don’t worry, I put them all in the show notes and with a little description.
So typical ways to spot when you’re having an upper limit problem. So, these are the red flags that will let you know that you are in an upper limit problem. So, you spend a lot of time worrying. Another one is you get sick or hurt. Another one is you start fighting and you pick fights with people, so there’s lots of squabbling going on. You have a lot of conflict with people. You also will hide significant feelings. So, you won’t really say what you want to say.
Another red flag is you don’t keep agreements. So, I see this a lot with my ladies with saying, “Okay, I’m going to commit to no sugar and flour for six weeks because I really want to see what’s going on.” But then they don’t make commitments to themselves. They don’t keep that agreement. You’re not telling your significant truths to the relevant people. You don’t tell everyone what’s really going on because you’re so afraid of judgment.
And then the last red flag that Gay Hendricks talks about with how we sabotage is that we deflect compliments. We don’t want any spotlight on ourselves, we just always put things back to other people. So, if someone compliments us about weight loss we say, “Oh, well, you know.” And we don’t really own our successes. So, I’m curious about this for yourself.
I did want to just talk about the worry part because I feel like the worry is one of the things that my clients gravitate to more and more and especially for those of you who are listening to this podcast who have anxiety of some sort. Anxiety is being in your worst case scenario and staying there. And if you have a diagnosis, a worry diagnosis then of course go get medical help. But even with my clients who do have a diagnosed mental health of some sort, when they understand about worry and the importance of looking at worry, the influence of the anxiety won’t be as strong.
So, with worry, we worry about things that we feel like we have no control over. So then of course this leads us, and I call this worry road. And worry road is saying things are really terrible. You should be really careful. People will judge you. Those are all worry road thoughts. And then at the end of worry road you basically get to your worst case scenario and you’re living in it. So, it’s like I will gain all this weight. I will never take it off. I won’t be able to play with my grandkids. I’m going to have Type 2 diabetes.
I’m going to die younger. And I’m going to be really uncomfortable in my body. I’m never going to quilt. These are where you’re at. And so of course all of these cause you anxiety. So, when we have worry what happens with that is it actually stops us from feeling all the positive emotions that we are having and then we’re able to have.
And when you don’t have, when you stop that flow of positive emotions, it’s kind of like a – I just thought of a torniquet or whatever for your leg if you got hurt and you cut off that blood circulation. If you cut that blood circulation off enough then the leg will or the [inaudible] will die. It will atrophy and die. And so, if you’re constantly in worry mode and you don’t ever let those positive emotions have equal airtime then you basically kill the hope of ever being successful with your body and feeling good in your body.
And so, if you aren’t used to feeling comfortable or hopeful about yourself and your body then when you do start feeling it, it feels really strange. And so, you start having these terrible thoughts again because you’re like, I need to balance out, I normally feel uncomfortable in my body and so I need to allow these uncomfortable feelings.
So, these are just red flags of what you do to get back to where you used to feel comfortable. So, I want you to change that. I want you to stop sabotaging yourself. And I want you to be able to make that change. And I get it, I have clients that still wear really baggy clothes. And they don’t clean out their closets. I myself still sometimes will forget that I wear – I’ll be folding the laundry and I’ll think, yeah, that’s right, these are my pants. They are so much smaller than what they used to be.
So, I’m going to walk you through the solution of how you can make this change. And so, we don’t keep losing the weight and then putting it back on again. And I do want to say, one of the problems that women have to put the weight back on is that the process of losing the weight was a very unsustainable, unloving, just really relying on willpower. And part of that too, if you look back at the hidden barriers is that we’ve gotten a message saying that anything that you want to get done you have to work really hard. You have to grind it out, it has to be difficult. And that simply isn’t true.
And in fact, this is where I’ll read from the book here, so we talked about how the upper limit works. And then this is why it was just so fun to read this and think wow, how does he know about Love Yourself Thin? “So, when we take a closer look at how guilt operates in conjunction with the upper limit problem. It shows up when we’re feeling good about our body. When you’re feeling good, we may come up against the hidden barrier of an old belief such as I must not feel good, because fundamentally flawed people like me don’t deserve it.
The churning froth of these two powerful forces clashing with each other is the chief constituent of the irritating, itchy, low-drizzle feeling of guilt.” Okay, so I want you to imagine you have on one side this old belief of I’m fundamentally flawed, good things can’t happen to me. And then you have this new belief of, but wait a minute, I feel good in my body and I’m just thinking about myself differently and so I’m losing weight. So, you have a good feeling and this old bad feeling, they’re trying to compete with each other.
I love that, churning froth, I can just see that happening. “When the old belief clashes with the positive feelings you’re enjoying, one of them has to win.” Okay, so this is so important. “If the old belief wins, you turn down the volume on the positive feeling of feeling good in your body. If the good feeling wins, congratulations. Your practice in expanding your capacity for positive energy is paying off. Your capacity expands in small increments each time you consciously let yourself enjoy the new body you have.
As that capacity for your new body expands, so does your life.” Then he continues to say, “Take a moment to appreciate how radical this idea is. Most people think that they will finally feel good when they have the end result. I understand this point of view, because,” and this is the author speaking, because he felt this half of his life. And that’s what all of us thought with weight loss. Once I get to that number on the scale then I can feel good.
“What a powerful moment it is, though, when we finally see that we have it wrong. All of us can find and nurture the capacity for positive feelings now, rather than waiting for some longed-for event occurs.” That is why I tell my clients, “Go and get two or three outfits that feel good on your body now, even if they’re a size 20. Put on a little bit of make-up, do your hair, take some pride in the way that you look. Treat yourself kindly now even though you weigh 100 pounds more than you want or 50 pounds, or even 20 pounds.”
Start taking care of this body because you’re the one who created this body for yourself now. And I love how he says, “Because few people understand how the upper limit problem works, many of us feel we are flawed, not destined for greatness, or simply not good enough to deserve the dreams we want to achieve.”
And I want to now just walk you through the five steps that I saw that would really help you increase your thermostat, your own perception of yourself. So, the first step is just to have awareness of what’s going on. And yes, you’re going to hear me say this a lot. We have to have awareness and we have to accept where we are now because when we can just finally own our reality that’s going to change everything. It’s going to give us permission to see what’s going on. So, we need to have that awareness of what’s going on.
Number two, and this is really an interesting concept. Decide your why of losing weight. Now, the reason I say you can decide your why of losing weight is because you can choose. The number on the scale does not have anything to do with your worthiness. It’s not. And we have been sold a bill of good in advertising saying that only skinny people are happy. And so, I want you to decide for yourself. First of all, do you want to lose weight and if you do, why ? Do you want to lose weight to feel sexier? Do you want to lose weight so that you can have more shopping options?
Do you want to lose weight so you can do more things on vacation? Do you want to lose weight because it’s just not as hard on your knees and your hips? I really want you to decide why you want to lose weight because that is one of the biggest lies is that you have to lose weight to be happy because that is not true. There are a lot of skinny people who aren’t happy. I call that finding your north star. And there is no judgment on that north star. You can just decide you want to lose weight because you want to wear a two piece.
I have a client that just retired, and she bought a two piece and she’s so excited. And so, once you have made that commitment I want you to have – I call it infinite commitment to yourself, just always going back. I give the example of my wedding ring. I was so worried about picking a wedding ring almost 21 years, I think it’s 21 years this year. Yeah, 21 years when we married because I thought, I’m going to have to wear this ring for the rest of my life. And it felt like a lot of pressure. And I’m not going to like it.
And every day when I wear this ring and I look at it I say, “I love that ring. I’m so glad I picked it.” I could, I could decide other rings too but I just, I decided, yeah, I love this ring, I’m so glad I picked it. I have infinite commitment to this ring.
Alright, number four. You are 100% worthy. So, the reason for losing weight is not to be better but just to have more fun. I want you to take the pressure off of it. So having gone through those four, the solution, when we think about the Love Yourself Thin process it really is to grow your capacity to feel good inside first. You get to just be on the inside, clean that all up and the more that you can be inside of yourself, and you can really own who you are, you can start making little changes to creating the kind of life that you want.
And when you can grow that capacity to feel good in your body now, so then as you continue to feel more compassionate and accepting in your body, you’re going to embrace that this is the new you. And your identity shifts. And you believe new things about yourself, you start embracing that you can be thin and that your body doesn’t need to be an argument. You don’t have to control everything in your life.
So, one of the things that we focus on in Love Yourself Thin is to learn how to create our own eating protocol. And we learn how to troubleshoot it. So, then we are in charge of ourselves. Losing weight is just a bunch of skills. It’s just a bunch of tools that you learn and there’s these concepts that you learn. And once you’re learning them and mastering them, you can create whatever body you want. Just like with quilts, there’s basics for quilt construction. Once you learn the basics then the world is your oyster literally. You can make whatever kind of quilt you want.
And it just is a matter of learning the skills. And so, this podcast is a way for me to show you that it is possible. And what I want to invite you is to come meet me, I want to talk with you. I want to hear specifically what your struggles are with weight. And I want to know what is holding you back. Why are you sabotaging yourself? And so, there is a calendar link, it’s provided in the show notes. You can make a call with me, and we can talk about what’s going on for you specifically. I am so interested in you being successful. I know you can.
I know that once you learn these tools you can create any kind of body you want. And I’m so happy for you. And I wish you all a wonderful day. Bye bye.
Thanks for listening to Weight Loss for Quilters. If you want more info, please visit daratomasson.com. See you next week.