5 Signs You Are Self-Sabotaging Your Health
Whenever you are struggling in any area of your life, take that as a sign it’s time to stop. As long as you are ploughing on, ignoring the issue as much as possible as you scrape through, day by day, nothing much will change, except perhaps your level of frustration and unhappiness. What you are aware of, you can measure, manage and change, even if that change is to your attitude or perspective.
So, to help raise your awareness of how you may be self-sabotaging your health, here are five warning signs:
- You use healthy choice avoidance as a reward. For example, alcoholic drinks and fried food takeaways are rewards for ‘a hard day’. You were ‘too busy’ to make (or buy) a healthy lunch so you allow yourself chocolate bars, muffins and coffee to ‘get you through’. You were up late watching TV/out with friends, so allow yourself to skip your morning walk/swim/gym to stay in bed. You finished a project on time so reward yourself with junk food.
You could probably blame your parents or grandparents for this pattern, “If you’re good you’ll get a lollipop.” However, you’re now an adult capable of making your own choices, so blaming them just becomes a weak excuse (and an opportunity to reflect on what you’re programming into your own children). Find alternative rewards and stress-responses that make you feel great, without whacking on the weight.
- You ignore warning signs from your body. Tension, pain, headaches, fatigue, allergies, frequent colds, sudden weight increase or decrease, lumps, bumps, cravings, excessive hair loss, blood (red or black) in your stools, sleeping too much or not enough, and clumsiness are all ways your body is talking, even swearing, at you.
“Soldiering on”, despite what the TV commercials spruik, can compound the problem and make healing an unnecessarily long process. If you’re worried about your kids or work not coping without you for a day, consider how they’d manage for a fortnight, a month? As the saying goes, if you can’t afford a day off, you can’t afford not to look after yourself and your health. Pay attention, practice self-care and seek expert (not Facebook) help.
- You ignore your own good advice. You know what you should be doing in terms of eating, drinking, exercise, sleep and self-care, but you don’t. You override your good sense, then later feel even worse by feeling guilty, which compounds the negative impact of your choice.
If, most of the time, you make healthy choices, then the occasional unhealthy choice is okay if you thoroughly enjoy it, guilt-free, knowing it’ll be weeks, months before you indulge again.
If ignoring your own good advice becomes yet something else to beat yourself up about, confirming all of the horrible things you and others have said before: lazy, greedy, spineless, pig, worthless, useless, hopeless, unlovable, ugly etc, then you need help to get your self-worth and self-esteem back to healthy levels. You’ll find that once you actually like and respect yourself, healthy choices and self-care are so much easier.
- You blame others for your poor choices. Kids often become scapegoats here. You can’t exercise because of their sports training. (Go for a walk/run around the sports field yourself.) You’d cook healthier meals but they won’t eat them. (Retrain them at the same time you retrain your own tastebuds.) Spouses also become excuses as they buy unhealthy options that you just have to eat, or won’t exercise with you, so you don’t either. Work is an endless source of excuses, even though you might be saying yes to optional projects that impinge on your exercise time. Remember, it’s your body, your health, so your responsibility to care for, not someone else’s. Your business needs you to stay healthy.
The thing is, once you truly value yourself and your health, you’ll take responsibility automatically and instinctively find creative solutions to all your blocks. They are already there, and chances are when you look around others are already doing them. Anything you truly desire becomes achievable.
- You repeat old stories to keep yourself stuck. “I’m no good at exercise. It’s just the way I am. All our family is overweight. I’m too old/tired/clumsy/busy. I’m not brave enough. I don’t know how. I don’t like vegetables. I can’t say no.” (Gotcha – you just did!)
Self-talk is self-programming, so until you start telling yourself different stories, and allowing yourself to act differently, then nothing will change. Except you might get more unhappy and unhealthy as you reach for even more comfort food and drink.
Whenever you are struggling in any area of your life, take that as a sign it’s time to STOP.
Take back your personal power by accepting responsibility for your life.
Make a plan of achievable action.
Do it. (Accept progress over perfection.)
Reward yourself in a way that feels great, not guilty.
And if you need help, ask for it from someone like a mindset coach who has the skills and experience to help effectively, and create lasting change.