I don’t even know what made me start blabbing on about self sabotage over on my stories, but once I got started, I couldn’t stop! I got so much engagement from you guys - stories, questions and comments - that I feel this is something that needs to go on the blog.
Before I even begin (well thats a lie - I already started!!) I will remind you that I’m not a health professional in any way, shape of form. I am an Early Childhood Teacher working as a nanny, giving me zero professional standpoint on this subject - or anything I blog on to be honest haha. All of these thoughts have come from some research, information from other professionals, some experience, and a little bit of hope.
So first off, what is self sabotage? I googled it and it gave me a great definition - it’s an act that gets in the way of your goals. That word, “goals”, might seem a bit regimented (it does for me, anyway) - I think of it more of getting in the way of the person I want to be.
I do a whole range of self sabotaging acts - but here I’ll discuss two. First cab off the rank - emotional eating and/or and binge eating.
As many of you will know, I’ve suffered with binge eating for a long time, and it got very bad and consumed my life for around 12 months roughly 2 years ago. These days, it’s a much rarer occurrence for me, but that’s not to say over eating has stopped for me. I now emotionally eat often. I will often eat a heap (and I’m not talking a second piece of cake or going back for another row of chocolate when you said you’d only have one) of sweet food over an afternoon or day with the intention of hurting myself. Why? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure, but the urge to be unkind to myself is strong, and food is such a big part of me. Being a foodie can be great - celebrations revolve around food, I’ve eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world, and I can cook a decent meal - but, for me, it’s also my undoing.
The second form of self sabotage I’ll talk about is something relatively new to me - waking up and not wanting to take my medication. From anxiety medication to multivitamins, I take a total of 13 tablets a day. When I’m in a hateful, self sabotagey mood, I just won’t take them - not because I feel I don’t need them, but because I feel like I don’t deserve them. It seems ridiculous to write, because the Eloise sitting here typing this blog took all her meds today and has all week. But when that urge comes, there’s no reasoning with it. Well, it’s sort of like I can’t even be bothered to try.
Now, these are two of mine - but this list is endless. Relationships also suffer from self sabotaging moves - putting up walls, cheating on partners, getting into relationships you know are bad for you etc. Another big one is self medicating with drugs and/or alcohol - if it’s not fun and if you’re doing it for the wrong reasons, it’s self sabotage (in my opinion, of course). Physical self harm is another one absolutely needing a mention here - cutting, scratching, burning are some that I’m aware of. But the self sabotage list goes on - over spending, procrastination etc etc etc etc!!
SO! What can we do? Now, I said this on my stories - this is my thought out plan based on information I’ve read and found, and also from experience - but this blog isn’t a “I Used To Self Sabotage On The Reg And Now My Life Is Totes Together” kinda blog. It’s a “Fuck, This Is Hard - This Is What I Think” kinda blog.
First of all I think we need to hound in on the reasoning behind why we self sabotage. Label feelings and emotions when those familiar urges come. Then lets find healthier coping strategies to deal with this. For example if you emotionally eat when you’re feeling stressed, how can you manage your time better? (oh my gosh this is just so easy - we’re totally all “cured”. NOT. It’s going to be hard, I just know it.) Right here I’m going to say that whatever your problem, your GP can refer you to a psychologist and give you some much better advice than me. Feel NO shame, please.
Secondly, I listened to a fabulous podcast a while back called Brain Over Binge (worth a listen!!) Their message is that to stop binge eating, you simply have to stop. Simple yes, easy no. But they told me (in much more wordy and technical terms than this) that the more times you resist the urge to binge eating, your brain makes a mini new pathway, so the next time the urge is a little bit weaker, and it’s slightly easier for your brain to take that pathway you began paving last time, and so on. So, I was thinking…….I can’t see why this can’t be applied here!?
I feel like this is the start of something good for me, and I hope it is for you too. Tag me, email me, DM me, anything me!!, in all of your trials and tribulations. I want to know how you’re doing and I, of course, will share how I’m going too.
I hope today’s the day that you say no to your pesky self sabotage urge and the day you start being the most fabulous version of yourself - after all, that’s the goal isn’t it!?