How do I stop weight loss sabotage?

Do you know there are strategies to stop weight loss sabotage? These strategies are crucial for addressing food-related habits and behaviors that hinder progress. In this episode, I emphasize the importance of awareness as the first step in changing these habits. 

Understanding the intricate role of the nervous system and its unique response to stress from past experiences can be a game-changer in your journey towards healthier food habits. It can shed light on why you might turn to food as a coping mechanism. 

I’ll dive into:

✔️The only advice you need to achieve your goal.

✔️Understanding the deep-seated reasons behind food habits. 

✔️How to make incremental changes for sustainable weight loss. 

✔️Why it is important to normalize seeking pleasure over pain.

✔️Setting realistic expectations in a weight loss journey. 

As you embark on the journey of changing long-standing behaviors, it’s crucial to be prepared for the discomfort that might arise. You don’t want to miss this episode, I’ll provide insights into managing this discomfort and advocate for a compassionate, step-by-step approach to achieving your health goals. 

Resources and links:

Register for my FREE Food & Body Freedom Challenge

I’d love to hear your thoughts…Drop me a DM on Facebook or Insta!



00:58 The First Step to Change: Awareness

03:03 Understanding the Role of the Nervous System in Eating Habits

06:35 The Power of Habit Loops and Coping Strategies

10:16 Gentleness and Patience in the Journey

12:53 Practical Steps Towards Sustainable Change

17:58 Normalizing Setbacks and Embracing Baby Steps

19:30 Conclusion and How to Get More Help


Full Episode Transcript:

How do I stop weight loss sabotage?

Hey, how’s everybody doing? I hope you’re having a lovely day, evening, week, weekend, vacation, wherever you might be in the world. I want to talk about how do we stop weight loss sabotage. We’re going to talk a lot about food, and how we work with, these behaviors that we have food and any, really any behavior, right?

There are certain behaviors that we do. that are beneficial for our health journey, for our weight loss journey, for our nutrition journey. Then there are other habits and behaviors that we have that, are not in alignment with those that are actually, the opposite. They’re not actually moving us forward in that direction.

They might be moving us backwards. And that’s what we think of as weight loss sabotage. So what the heck, how do we get to a place where we are so Like just stopping the sabotage in such, such a way that we can actually be moving forward. So it doesn’t feel like one step forward and five steps back.

I’ll hear that a lot from clients as well. So let’s go ahead and dive right in the very first step, which I think you might already have, if you’re listening to this is awareness.  So if we don’t know what we’re trying to change, if we don’t See it,  of course, we’re just going to keep doing it. My favorite quote in the entire world is from Carl Young.

It says that, until we take what is unconscious and make it conscious, it will rule our life and we will just simply call it fate and hell no, I’m not all about that. So really creating that awareness around what the behavior is, and that really is the first step. And what makes that first step so hard is when you start to become aware, wow, these habits that I have, these certain habits are really not helpful. So if you say you’re going to go exercise and then you never go exercise, maybe you start to know that there’s some,  red flag moments. So you’re, you notice that, you get over hungry because you think skipping lunch is going to, make you lose weight. And then you end up like over, over eating.

Because you were so over hungry. That’s definitely a behavior  that messes things up. Let’s say that every time you’re cooking dinner for the family, just if that’s what you do, that you’re munching and noshing on food the whole time. And then you sit down and have an entire dinner, or maybe You pick all of your kids, food off of their plate and you unconsciously eat all of that.

There’s all of these different ways. Maybe it’s, at the end of the day, you’re exhausted. Finally, you time and all you want to do is get that ice cream, open up that box of cookies, hit that giant bag of popcorn and just veg outright. All of these are going to be behaviors that very possibly have an impact on your overall goal of increasing your health, increasing your nutrition status.

Increasing your vitality and decreasing your weight. And understanding that, finding the awareness. Very important. And then also realizing that these behaviors, let’s really stick with food here just because we’ll just keep it simple. These behaviors are strong habit loops. All right. There is a reason why you would rather just eat the food, right?

And so why is that? So if you can go back and listen to the podcast episode right before this, we really go into those three dysregulated states of our nervous system. But ultimately, when you were younger, Often childhood, but it can happen in any of your younger selves.  Meaning that, I’m pushing 50 right now, it could have been my younger self at 40, my younger self at 30, but a lot of our real big nervous system dysregulation comes from childhood.

And the reason is because as adults, we have way more resources. So when our nervous systems get dysregulated, when the stress levels go up high, in those moments, we have way more of an, I can do something about it attitude. Most often we have ways in which we can keep that nervous system in that light for Fight or flight sympathetic space.

That doesn’t mean that our nervous systems aren’t going to get overwhelmed into that. I can’t that immobilization dorsal vagal part of the parasympathetic nervous system that where it’s like a shutdown, that also can happen as an adult, but mostly a lot of times just are very, our little ones, our younger selves, or younger self, however you want to think about it. It just, it’s nervous system just easily got so overwhelmed that it went into those higher states of dysregulation. And so those states of overwhelm could be real or perceived. I’ll never forget a story, or not a story. It’s a story in my head now, but I would, I witnessed it.

It was at the Texas state fair, which is in Dallas. And we were very young. If I was six, he was four, or if I was seven, he was five. Like he was very young. I’m not, it was something around that age. And we were there with a big group of family and there’s a ton of people at this fair.

It’s crazy how many people are at this thing. It’s crazy. Insane, but I watched my brother from afar. He was just like a few feet away from me or maybe 10 feet I don’t really know but I just remember him looking around and everything was okay, but he didn’t see us He didn’t see our family and I went and I just remember watching his face go from huh?

I wonder what’s going on. I wonder where my family is to like Fear of oh my gosh, I don’t see mommy. I don’t see daddy. I don’t see family to sheer terror. And was that true? No, we were all right there. He just didn’t see us because of the sea of people. And so stop judging your nervous system and your nervous system dysregulation.

That’s what I just did some, lovely advice I want to give you because,  It really is the overwhelm of the nervous system. It is real or perceived. Okay. So that terror, that intensity, that overwhelm of a nervous system, that doesn’t mean that we can’t process the stuff, but ultimately what we want to understand  is that the reason why we use food to cope, it is likely because our nervous system got so overwhelmed.

And at such a young age, we learned that food was the soother food fixed it food. And it did. It worked. It literally worked. Okay. And so understanding that, that fight, flight, then immobilization, like complete shutdown or freeze response that our nervous systems can go in. They, are not our fault.

It is our nervous system doing everything it can to keep us safe and alive.  And ultimately  we have learned over the years and paired it with eating because eating became the thing that made us feel better. So food was part of the protective mechanism. Food was the thing that was making us feel better.

It was the answer that worked a lot. All right. And so then we have an incredibly strong habit loop that present day starts to feel absolutely perfect. Impossible to, to change and without giving yourself any crap about it. That’s we’ll talk about that, but think about it. Let’s just talk about normal human behavior.

Would you rather sit around and feel your feelings? Or would you rather just have a glass of wine? Okay. Do you want to feel your feelings  or do you just want to sit down and watch some TV and just veg out? Do you want to really work with all that stress that’s coming up inside of you, or do you just fuck it, just give me some chips to chop.

Let me crunch something in my mouth. Of course.  Like it makes sense that we don’t want to feel the pain, like our nervous systems. If our autonomic nervous system is designed to keep us safe and alive, it’s also designed to seek out pleasure and avoid pain. This is another way in which our ancestors have survived so long that we were able to be born and living in this day and age right now.

And so it is a normal human.  Phenomenon to want to focus on feeling good versus, Oh, the thing that doesn’t feel good. And let’s be honest, like going to the gym, it’s hard work. Go even if you, for me, like going for a walk is like pleasurable, but there are plenty of clients that we work with in HelloBodyFreedom that, just don’t really have a movement, anything like movement plan or exercise.

It’s not a part of their thing. And again, That is usually born of a dysregulated nervous system that was not their fault that was born of a nervous system That has been in shutdown for so long that requires little itty bitty baby tolerable steps  So even if that client, even if the only thing that they did was go for a five-minute walk, it would still be pain.

It would be like, Oh, it would just be easier to sit on the couch.  Think about it sitting on the couch versus going for a five minute walk, right? One is going to be a little bit more comfortable than the other, right? So there’s all of these ways in which we avoid pain.  And seek out pleasure.

Okay. You are human. It is normal. All right. And ultimately  the way we know, especially around food and booze, that it’s a coping strategy. is because number one, it feels really hard or impossible to stop. Like it feels Oh my gosh, this thing might have control over me. So that’s when it starts to feel really intense.

Or if you’re using food or booze and it really is a way to just really disconnect.  So eating is wonderful, but eating is usually because of physical hunger. We’re eating what we want. We’re in right relationship with food, which I know so many people are not. So this is just a huge piece that we work on at Hello Body Freedom for the first three to four months  for the rest of their life.

So we can continue coming into right relationship with food. But we have this way of using food to cope and even like booze, like to have a glass of wine or to have. a drink out with friends or something like that. That’s so different than I am using this to escape what I am experiencing. So coping strategies tend to be like that disconnection.

Whereas, that’s what’s so interesting. Cause you can use food and you can use booze in ways that aren’t disconnected that are actually connecting. Okay. Why are we doing all of this? Because for you to really understand the next parts that I’m going to be sharing with you. So the very first part is back to that, like awareness, right?

And then the next part is really understanding where it comes from. You have strong habit loops and these habit loops are born of a dysregulated nervous system that has learned how to keep you safe and alive by seeking pleasure and avoid pain, which is a normal human response. Okay.  First, we have this awareness because we can’t change what we don’t know.

And now we understand that there are deeper reasons why. So then number three, y’all, we gotta be gentle. We’ve got to understand that this shit does not happen overnight. You are not just going to magically like rainbows and unicorns, as if you hadn’t spent a lifetime using food or booze as a coping strategy.

And then this one moment you just had this mental decision and then poof, it all went away. And everything was easy after that. It’s just not how it works. But what we do is we beat the shit out of ourselves. We have an inner critic. What’s your problem? You, this should be faster. You should be going. Why can’t you figure this shit out?

 And it’s not helpful. The part of us that wants to push through the part of us that wants to willpower through the part of us that wants to go on another insane, harsh diet, all of these are, ways in which  one will never work because it will ricochet you back into overeating and binge eating.

 As a safety mechanisms from all of that, like inner toxicity. Okay. So deep breath,  be gentle. Number three is just be gentle. Understand that, is it’s very important. And then the number four part here, just understanding these steps here that we’re putting together.  It’s going to feel tough.

So if you go back one episode, I talked about what can we do to regulate a nervous system? Because the more dysregulated your nervous system, the harder it is. But even if let’s say your nervous system is like highly regulated and you’re feeling good and you’re doing all these body based practices that we use in Hello Body Freedom to help you move through a better relationship with food, you’re learning how to tolerate feelings a little bit more, even when you’re doing all of those things, it’s going to feel tough.

It’s going to feel tough at first. You’re choosing in your nervous system’s way. You’re choosing pain over pleasure. Okay. You’re choosing the unknown over the known. I know what it’s like to finish dinner and just chill out and on the couch and just nosh down some food and it’s dopamine hit. And I’m getting the sugar, right?

None of us, absolutely none of us are over eating broccoli. None of us are binge eating on broccoli or kale at all. Okay. When we’re using food, it’s usually high flour, white flour, white sugar, high fat, high caloric density, low nutritional value, which makes it a physiological addictive state in the body.

So if you’ve ever given up sugar and you have a headache for a few days, there you have it. There are things that our bodies can really start to crave, which just makes it a little harder. All of this to say, we want to realize and set a proper expectation that it’s just not going to be like rainbows and unicorn,  like floating around on cloud nine easy at first.

Okay.  And so if you could change your expectation in that way, what would happen if you just learned and said, okay, I can accept that. I know tonight when I’m going to make this change that I really want to make. I know it’s not going to be the easiest thing. If I know that the inner, the soul. Dialogue might be hard that not just the dialogue, the physiology of it, the yearning, the crave, the urge, right?

And then bonus, do I have the skill sets to work with that? So in hello body freedom, we use body scan meditations. We use a riding the wave. So we’re learning how to ride the wave of an urge or a craving. So really working with tolerable, being able to tolerate more of our own inner experience. Right experience.

What body-based practices can I do to regulate me even more? So this feels even more tolerable, right? So there you have it, behavior change and better habits. Think about that, like the things that you’re trying to change, right? So not just like ending the self sabotaging habits, but the behaviors and habits that you are striving towards, right?

Eating healthier, learning, having a better relationship with food, exercising, drinking your water and going to bed on time and not staying up too late. All of these amazing habits that equal feeling good and regulated and all the things.  These are always for your future self, right there, the you that you are striving towards that you are learning how to think more but when you are doing this,  it’s like you’re at the same time sacrificing your current self.

Your current self is like,  man, this sucks. And so when you can manage that expectation,  it can be very helpful. And then the last part I want to add to this is that  let’s say you get it right. Let’s say you managed expectations. You did all the things, you felt that it was challenging.

You, you,  like you said no to the ice cream or whatever the thing is you, or you were cooking and you didn’t eat the whole time while you were cooking. So you actually showed up to dinner, hungry, like all of these beautiful things that you’re learning. You go to the gym when you said you’re going to go to the gym, whatever it might be, I don’t know, go for a walk, whatever, it doesn’t matter. 

Then you think that it’s supposed to erase a lifetime of the self sabotaging habits. And that one time is just supposed to fix everything. And That’s just not how behavior change works. It is unrealistic. The biggest thing I hear with clients  over and over again are absolute unrealistic expectations.

And there’s a reason why we have unrealistic expectations. Y’all, how many of us have said, I’m going to go on this crazy psycho diet, and I’m going to lose 21 pounds in 21 days. And how many of us like did it? And then how many of us gain the weight right back? How many, and we have this habit and behavior that we’ve been practicing for some of us, a lifetime of dieting and forcing ourselves and starving ourselves and completely disconnecting from our body, from our truth, from what we really need, from the wounds from all of these,  we’re disconnected from our true self because we put our health and everything in jeopardy for just the fastest way to get this fricking weight off of my body. 

And we wonder why  going on a sustainable weight loss journey, all of a sudden we’re like, this is taking too long. This is sucks ass. And I’m like, dude, you’ve got to learn how to stead the course. One of the, one of the most powerful practices, this is another reason why we need coaching. This is why we need community of women doing this together.

Because if you are really serious about a sustainable weight loss journey, which means I’m going to go slow enough in a way that I figure out how to do this with the now life that I have. So I’m figuring out my future self. It’s still going to go on vacations. My future self is still going to have weekends out with the fam, right?

My future self is still going to have weddings to go to birthdays to go to all like all Christmas and Hanukkah and all the other things that we do. It’s going to have every celebration, all of these things, your future self is going to have all of those things, but your now self only knows a very particular way to be either.

I’m on a diet. I’m going to be perfect and I’m going to strive and I’m going to lose the weight and then gain it all back. You’re not doing that anymore. You’re going, okay. Where is this middle ground? How can I take it just this weekend? How can I learn how to be in a more mindful way this weekend? So that way I’m choosing little baby step habits  that aren’t so far off from my life that I’m living right now, but that are moving the needle in the direction that I want it to go.

And so what if you did that? What if you did that one day at a time, one week at a time, one weekend at a time, one birthday celebration at a time, one holiday at a time, Lord knows there’s holidays. Every single mother’s.  So many opportunities to practice. doing this. And  we think that we’re supposed to have it like all figured out.

And it just like, and you’re never, ever going to do that bad habit again, but that’s just not how it works.  It’s baby steps. You are going to move forward and you meaning like  in the direction of the habits that are going to help you with your health and healing and weight loss journey. And then you’re going to have Behaviors that come in that are your current self behavior.

Oh, fuck it. I’m going to do this thing. And that is normal. It is normal. Let’s all normalize that we’re not going to shame it. We’re not going to make it wrong. It is a normal thing. All right. And the more that we continue to. Tap into those little baby steps in the right direction. So it’s not so all or nothing.

It’s not like you’re just going to jump headfirst into the ice bath. Okay. I think ice baths are a great example for me because everybody in my family’s and I, they’re so good for you, but I’m just like,  Oh.  Misery. Oh, but this is the health benefit. And this is the health benefit. I’m like, okay, maybe I’ll start with maybe just a cold water and I’ll put like a foot in or something like that.

You know what I mean? It’s like too much, too soon can Jack your nervous system up and send you in the other direction. So we are really looking for sustainable little baby steps and this is how You will make epic change. All right, my friends. I hope that this was helpful. I hope you, if you’re watching the the video, I have one dog. 

Oh, I guess I have both dogs. Can you see them? There, there’s one of them. There’s one right  there. And then the other one’s back. The problem is that they’re both kind of white color and they’re on a white. Cushion. All right.  I’m just going on a tangent. Have an epic day. I hope this helps you like calm down and know that you are on this journey and and you can’t not get it wrong.

And this is where coaching can be so powerful. Drop me a DM in Facebook or Instagram. If you want to learn a little bit more about HelloBody Freedom Coaching, I’m happy to share the details with you. And we can get you in and I hope you have a beautiful day, evening, week, weekend, wherever you are in the world.

Take good care of yourself. I’ll see you next time.