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avoiding the webs of sabotage

Here are a two seemingly unrelated questions.

Q #1. Have your weight loss efforts ever been sabotaged by someone, or even yourself? 

Q #2. Have you ever walked into a spider web?

Interestingly, spider webs and sabotage have a lot more in common than you might think. 

Spider webs are amazing. Although their intricate threads may be delicate and fragile to us, to their unfortunate victims, these delicate webs are five times stronger than steel and virtually inescapable.

The strength of the web is in it's design. These tiny silk threads are more stretchy than elastic and capable of withstanding hurricane force winds. Nearly invisible, these tiny traps are well hidden and strategically placed to catch their prey off-guard. The spider then uses it's venom to paralyze and defeat it's unsuspecting victim.

Just like spider webs, sabotage works in a similar same way. Sabotage is defined as a deliberate action aimed at weakening another, often by applying pressure. We, too, are likely to be trapped if we don't know how to detect the webs of sabotage and avoid them. 

Here's how it happens: our best friend, our spouse, our mother, our mother-in-law or even our own self-talk may put pressure on us to conform. Comments such as: "You've lost enough weight, you look under-nourished, you need to eat." "I made this cake just for you." "Are you going to waste it?" "Just this one time won't hurt." Overwhelmed, giving-in to these comments often seems like our only option and we fall prey to the deadly web of sabotage.

It's really easy to let others define our boundaries or rule our choices. Even when offered with good intentions, these temptations when strategically placed, throw us off guard and weaken our resolve. They often leave us entangled in a web of guilt, shame, or self-condemnation.

It only takes a little mist or dust to reveal a spider web. So it is with the webs of sabotage. With a little know how, we can be armed and ready to detect and combat them. 

I have found that I can't rely on will-power—my will-power is often gullible, weak and easily persuaded to surrender to the slightest pressure. I have to set my mind to something stronger. My strength comes by remembering my pre-determined convictions and the commitment I made to take care of myself by making healthier lifestyle choices. I start by revisiting my reasons for having weight-loss surgery in the first place.

▪    Why did I have weight loss surgery?
▪    What are my objectives? 
▪    What do I really want my life to look like?
▪    Do I have a plan of escape?
▪    What are the convictions that hold me to my plan?
 

Spider webs don't just intercept prey, they are actually designed to attract their victims. My best advice, steer clear. We first are tempted with our eyes. I find it best not to wait until I am in the heat of the moment to make these decisions.  

Defining my personal convictions in advance helps empower me to be true to myself and strenghens my beliefs—standing firm in my purpose. Knowing how to detect and anticipate the webs of sabotage is essential to avoiding them.

I often avoid dessert menus by removing them from my sight when I'm first seated in a restaurant. Or avoiding places in the grocery store that I know hold those temptation, such as the area where they keep the donuts, cakes and cookies. I shut the door to temptation by not buying candy, even for others, if it meant I might not be strong enough to resist it. I had a rule, I only ordered dessert in a group, and I only allowed myself 2 small bites, no more. For years, I avoided temptations together. Later, when I was more equipped to face them, I could walk through the maze of sabotage undeterred.   

Temptations lie in wait everywhere we turn. We can't avoid them forever, but we can equip ourselves with purpose and a plan of escape. Get creative in finding your own way to intercept temptation before you fall into it's deceptive power.

Yes, you can. You have many more miles to go!

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