Sabotaging yourself when you're close to goal

ReenieHJ Posts: 9,511 Member
What kind of a brain thing is telling you that now you're so close to where you want to be so now you can indulge, reward, or what? Do any of you have issues with that type of glitch? :)
Right now I'm going strong, I have about 6# to my ultimate goal, maybe less IDK. But it's happened in my past, as soon as I enter that 'happier to be here' range, I quit. No so much quit but start giving myself more simple pleasures. :/ My sister does it as well. She's been wanting to break 140.....forever. And every time she gets close she finds herself sabotaging all her efforts.

Just curious.....
Thanks for any feedback. :)


  • wilson10102018
    wilson10102018 Posts: 1,306 Member
    My first rule of interaction is that if you want to know what people want, what they really really want, deep down, not what they say they want, what they really want, look at what they have. What they have is what they wanted.

    Humans are very effective and almost always get what they want unless intervened by accident or coincidence.

    Why a person would want to be obese does not matter. We don't always make the best choices.

    So it is often necessary to "act as if" what one wants is not to be obese. Because we have very little control of the subconscious that drives our conscious behaviors. If we say, "what would a fit person do? Eat this bag of pretzels?" We can act around our subconscious desires.
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,511 Member
    @Nursegirl_jax Yeh maybe that's part of it? That's been my life experience as well, always trying to lose weight all my life so without that, who else would I be?

    @wilson10102018 I'll have to ponder your post awhile until it makes sense using my perspective. :)
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,285 Member
    edited April 4
    Lots of us self-sabotage in different ways (if that's even what it is.) If you know that's a specific trick of your brain, why not journal about it and figure it out?

    I self-sabotage (although I don't call it that) and I know it comes from a family-of-origin dynamic that I'm not willing to go into here, but I do know how it started.

  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,511 Member
    Have you tried shifting your focus from getting to goal to transitioning to maintenance? I think when we think of this as a journey with an end the tendency you posted about is amplified, but if you start thinking about bumping up your calories to get closer to maintenance, you can think about how to build in more calories while maintaining your weight loss.

    For me, there is no finish line. I have been in my goal range for years but still count calories, weigh everything, manage my calories, much like I did while losing, I just get more calories now.

    If you know there is no finish line and readjust your focus to maintenance, the next phase, rather than being close to being “done,” it may help.

    Good luck!

    I think that's part of my mindset. It's like 'phew, now that I'm done I can eat whatever I want'. Lol Even though we know darn well that's not the way this works at all. I will be changing that attitude, to be sure. :) Plus, I need to get back to much healthier eating instead of replacing my original junk foods with less caloric junk foods. :/ It's not doing my body any better, even at a lower weight.

    I wish I could convince my sister to join here. I've tried and she fights me on it. Ah well..... I still love her. <3
  • wunderkindking
    wunderkindking Posts: 1,607 Member
    edited April 5
    I've been at goal since fall, which is not years of maintenance, but-

    For me I pretty well knew going in that maintenance for me was basically just going to be (SLOWLY) gaining and losing the same 3-5lbs or so over and over. So, yeah, when I hit the low end of the range I'm comfortable at, I indulge more. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. There's no real practical reason for me not to. When I get toward the high end of my comfortable range, I cut back and use a small deficit again. Rinse and repeat.

    That sounds exhausting but to be honest it's a REALLY slow rolling thing not gaining 3lbs in 2 weeks because I ate ALL the crap.

    But there's not a lot of psychology wrapped up in it for me and I know there is for other people. For me it's just a balancing/averaging deal and as long as it averages out I'm okay. And I'm held largely in check from going too far on the 'indulge and gain a little' because if I go too far I will literally have no clothes. So when my jeans stop being comfortable I am strongly and externally motivated to fix that.
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,027 Member
    I don't know if I'd call it self-sabotage, but for me and my journey there are several factors:

    1) diet fatigue:
    After 2.5 years of losing weight, I think my body (and mind?) are saying "enough already" - it has become much harder to reach a calorie deficit. Perhaps my hunger and satiation hormones are a little out of whack too (common after weight loss?)
    At the start of my journey I was always under my calorie goal (albeit at a slow rate of loss selected).
    Then it became: mostly under my calorie goal, always under maintenance.
    And then I set my goal to maintenance instead of weight loss, aiming to slow my weight loss for the 'final few lbs' (a moving target, since I lowered my goal weight several times). Which led to: some days above maintenance, but always under maintenance looking at my weekly average.
    And then it became: under or at maintenance looking at my weekly average.
    And lately I've lost the plot a little, and I am consistently over maintenance (see below, factor 3)

    2) Motivation/drive
    These final lbs are for cosmetic reasons and perhaps to improve athletic ability a bit. So my drive isn't the same as when I was losing weight to not be limited in my activities on holiday or to not be the fattest person in a room,...

    3) Goal oriented
    As I've lost weight and neared my goal, my focus has shifted from weight loss goals to athletic goals. I feel the (compulsive?) need to constantly improve my performance: to lift heavier (although I don't particularly enjoy strength training), but most of all to run further and faster. Cue over-training, a few weeks ago. And cue over-eating. It's a fine balancing point between needing to properly fuel my exercise (while still attempting to lose weight) and using exercise as an excuse to indulge (too much).

    I'm having a difficult time understanding the reason for my recent over-eating: mental/physical pushback after weight loss or my body demanding more fuel, or a combo. I'm rationalizing my higher calorie intake as reverse dieting/checking the limits of my metabolism, but if I'm honest with myself, that's not the reason for it.

    Perhaps not the same as your situation, but I empathize with the struggle.
  • vivmom2014
    vivmom2014 Posts: 1,542 Member
    Hi Reenie, for me it's two things: stubborn and rebellious.

    I'm stubborn because I won't weigh myself (always assume the number is going to disappoint, so I go by clothes fit) and I'm rebellious because late at night I get this unwelcome attitude of "I don't care, I'm eating it." ("It": crackers, chocolate, cheese, candy, muffins, any old thing that blows the goal.)

    But I do care, because I also have this game with remorse and resolve. Am I tired of the merry go round? Yes. I don't have much to lose and so I can afford to be cavalier, which isn't doing me any favors in the long run. In the end, each day is a new opportunity, and for that I am unspeakably grateful.