Dear Cassey: Why do I always sabotage my own goals?

Dear Cassey,
Self-sabotage! Why do I always overeat or have too many cocktails when I KNOW those behaviors won’t allow me to reach my fitness goals, and when I know those behaviors don’t make me feel good physically and emotionally? That’s my burning question.
Creature of Habit

colorful cocktails with straws on bar

Dear Creature of Habit,

I have SOOOOOOO been there! We all have our sabotage-worthy guilty pleasures that are just hard to resist no matter how motivated we are!

Perfect example? My obsession with ice cream. I’ll never give it up!

The trick is finding moderation with those “less healthy” habits like eating junk food, having a few drinks, whatever your “thing” is! I don’t think it’s fair to look at it as self-sabotage, so give yourself a break and remember that you’re human! And like ALL humans, you’re just a creature of habit 🙂 It might take some trial and error, or even some soul searching (as cheesy as that sounds) to figure out why you tend to overdo it with these habits. So here are some things you could try:

Put yourself in a different situation – When do you tend to overeat or have too many cocktails? For a lot of people, it’s social situations. Which is totally understandable! Good food and alcohol tend to show up in those situations. But don’t go and turn into a hermit just to hit your fitness goals. Instead, have a salad or healthy snack before you go out. Then TOTALLY munch on whatever goodies are around with your friends. You’ll be able to eat a much more reasonable amount! Or, just order a salad when you’re already out! As for the cocktails, I’d say order water between every cocktail – it will slow you down AND keep you hydrated.

Consider WHY this habit sticks with you – Do you have a stressful job? Are you getting enough sleep and drinking enough water? ALL of these things could contribute to overeating or letting off some steam with a few drinks. I feel like a broken record when I say “get exercise most days, get at least 7 hours of sleep, and drink plenty of water.” But seriously, those 3 things make a HUGE difference in stress levels, cravings, and pretty much everything.

Try a little accountability! This doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but keeping a journal helps to stop me from mindlessly giving into bad habits. If I keep a rough food journal, I catch myself snacking (a big one for me), or not eating enough protein, not drinking enough water, etc. If nothing else, doing this just forces you to stay present and mindful so you can think through anything you know you’ll feel guilty about later.

Speaking of guilt, don’t be hard on yourself. Not one of us. Nothing good comes from punishing ourselves or feeling guilty about giving into things that make us feel good at the time! Tackling a habit takes a lot of time. So take it slow, and know chances are, you’re still going to overeat or have a drink too many every now and then. That’s a great time to journal and pay attention to how you feel and see how you can prevent it from happening next time.

We’re all a work in progress 🙂 I hope these tips help you get on a better track to feeling good and crushing your goals!

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.

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