I know lots of us have life-altering and chronic health issues we are battling, and we may feel like there’s nothing we can do about that. I’m here to tell you, regardless of what is ailing you, you CAN still make a choice toward health. If you are in a program to improve your health and constantly “falling off the wagon” or just failing to do what you have said you want to do, there is more going on. This is not victim-blaming; hear me out.
Although this seems TOTALLY counterintuitive, sometimes we all make choices AWAY from health, keeping ourselves sick. Often this is subconscious. Sometimes we just don’t know what we don’t know but most of us have gotten the memo about eating less junk food, exercising, etc. It may look like overwhelm (I just can’t deal with shopping and meal prep, so I’m grabbing this bag of chips). Maybe your stressed-out brain is saying that you are just too busy to take time to help yourself (Really? Is there ever going to be a good time?). In any event, there is a disconnect between what you say you want, and what you are doing to achieve that. You’re “interested” but not necessarily “committed.”
This happens to all of us, myself included. SO, I want you to consider this next time you are finding excuses not to eat well, not to exercise, not to meditate, not to de-stress and do your self-care, not to get proper sleep, continuing to drink too much or smoke or whatever unhealthy behavior you are saying you want to change but can’t seem to kick—I want you to ask yourself: What benefit am I getting from staying unhealthy?
Really let that sink in. What benefit are you getting from staying unhealthy? Because on some level it must be working for you or you would stop the cycle.
It may tick you off, especially if self-sabotage is one of your go-to moves, but this behavior pattern happens for a reason and that reason is often that being sick is serving you on some level. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
If you said this to me 10 years ago when I was frazzled, burnt out and utterly miserable, I would have smacked you down. Well, not really, because I barely had enough energy to get out of bed, but I would have REALLY wanted to slap you down.
Is Sickness Working For You?
Although being ill is painful and scary, if we are honest with ourselves, there are times when it does (somewhat) work on our behalf. Don’t want to cook dinner? Sorry, honey, can’t, I’m in bed with a migraine. Office get-together seem like a colossal yawn? Sorry, can’t make it, not feeling well. Feeling like no one cares? Well, being “The Sick One” usually gets sympathy and extra attention. I know, I know, this is hard to hear and you want to kick me in the shin right now, but this all needs to be looked at, out in the open, so that it can no longer fester and be problematic.
Here’s the deal: lie to me, lie to your spouse, lie to your boss, no judgment here—you do you. But do NOT ever lie to yourself. Because when you tell yourself a story that you simply can’t find 5 minutes to plan out healthy meals, or that you would eat healthier meals but your spouse/kid/co-worker lunch buddies refuse to eat veggies so you can’t either, or you will give up drinking excessively but work is just SO stressful etc., all you are doing is hurting yourself and I hate to see that.
If you don’t want to get better, don’t. Totally your prerogative. If you do want to find the way back to health and give yourself a higher quality of life, for a longer time, then (A) find someone who can help you do this (I happen to know a great wellness consultant—wink) and, perhaps most important, (B) honor your commitments to YOURSELF!!
It’s fine to go slowly to avoid overwhelm, in fact, that is better than jumping in too aggressively and making your stress worse. But be real with yourself. If you continue to do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten.
Stop The Self-Sabotage
Here are some ideas to blow through the self-sabotage barricade:
- Remind yourself of your big WHY, and dig deep.
Yes, you want to lose weight but why? To look and feel better. But why? To live a longer, happier life. But why? So you can be here to enjoy being with the grandkids for another 30+ years. BINGO!
- Chunk down your goal into smaller mini-goals and remember to celebrate even small wins.
- Get more mindful, of what you want, what you are doing, what you are willing and not willing to do to reach your health goals.
- Know when to get tough with yourself and when to ease up on yourself. This takes practice but a way to know you are being too easy on yourself is if you are making little to no progress towards your goals. Goals with no action are not goals, they are simply wishes.
- Ask for the help and support you need. No woman is an island!
- Finally, if you are not getting any closer to your goals, ask yourself if these are REALLY your goals or just what you think you “should” do. It may be time to re-assess.
Have you noticed this pattern in anyone in your life? Does it resonate personally? What can you do to push past these kinds of “blocks”? We love comments–please share here!