Why Do We Sabotage Ourselves?

Have you ever noticed that once you get within maybe 10% of your ultimate physical goal, you start to get a little cocky and relax a bit. Or maybe that’s just me?

Mid-December, the week after I got back from my Biosignature Level 2 in Perth (where I was aiming to hit 9.6% body fat but came in at 10.9%) I dropped straight down to 9.5% and my abs had more definition than I have EVER seen. I had a definite 4-pack and was just a whisper away from the whole 6-pack. I was pretty impressed with my efforts, if I do say so myself, and knew that by staying super clean for another week or so I’d be ‘there’.

So what did I do?

Why, the logical thing of course! I relaxed my eating by about 15-20% and have kept it that way since. Smart, huh? It wouldn’t have taken much effort at that point to drop another percent or so but instead I started on nightly cheeses, post-Bikram yoga juice guzzling, and a disturbingly regular intake of Cadbury Old Gold dark peppermint chocolate.

I go through phases with chocolate where I can happily stick just to my organic raw square or two – and am genuinely satisfied, but then slip back into an ‘old-Kat’ phase of simply needing to have one particular type of (usually crappy) chocolate in the house and eating some every night after dinner. On weekends the downward eating spiral can start even earlier in the day. The unfortunate sum of which is that I’ve probably been averaging 2-3 blocks of the stuff per week over the past week. Dark chocolate it may be, but I think we all know the difference between Cadbury dark chocolate and proper organic 70-85% dark chocolate (hint: 50% dark chocolate is still 50% sugar. And when it’s dark chocolate filled with sugary peppermint-y stuff, then you end up with a lot MORE than 50% sugar). Yes, we’ve been here before – I admit it, my name is Kat, and I’m a sugar addict. Sigh.

so what’s a flat tummy-wanting gal to do?

It’s generally not the occasional massive binge meal or day that gets you. In fact, that can even work in your favour. No, it’s the insidious creep of ‘just a little bit’ here and there. The 5 or 10% of ‘naughty’ foods that you tell yourself shouldn’t make a difference. Well shouldn’t and won’t are two different things entirely, aren’t they?

So. The good news is that I have cut out the juice as of last week. It’s really quite amazing how 2-3 glasses of juice a week can change my body. I’m not pro-juice for anyone – even if just squeezed, that’s still a lot of sugar with (usually) less fibre. I mean hello – would you normally eat 10 full oranges? I think not. I actually LOVE juice, particularly blood orange or sparkiling apple cider. And I LOVE knocking back a whole glass of it straight after 90 minutes of hot sweaty yoga. If you’re thinking that surely I should be able to get away with just a  glass when it’s after a 90-minute fairly full-on workout, then welcome to my mind. Unfortunately (for both of us I guess) we’d better think again.

Every time I’ve tried to tell myself that ‘hey, I’m lean now, and I’m sure my body will just zap it right into my muscles after yoga’ and subsequently started drinking the stuff I have consistently gained around 1kg a week. Every time. And I’ve tested the theory about 5 or 6 times now. Of course logically I shouldn’t need to test it to know that drinking high amounts of fructose is not a smart plan. Post workout may be just marginally preferable to not, but yoga – love it though I do – is not the same as breaking down muscle and increasing insulin sensitivity through weight lifting. In that case (IF and only if you’re already lean) then you could likely tolerate a small amount of fructose and it would actually help shuttle protein (of course you have to knock back some of that after every workout) into your muscles. If not, then standard post workout protocols for fat loss are your friend.

how to have your cake and eat it

All of which bodes well for juice-lovers like myself of course. Now that I’ve kicked the juice I just need to (wo)man up and switch back to my 1-2 squares proper dark chocolate (yummy stuff anyway, so I don’t know why I’ve been silly about this!) as opposed to 2-3 rows cheap sugary stuff. This will help me drop that 2% I’ve gained over the past 4 weeks so that I’m back in the lovely land of being able to tolerate carbs and now that I’ve kicked off some more high-intensity weight training I’ll make sure I stay there. All of which adds up to mean that I’ll be able to tolerate just a little juice post workout (weights!) if I so desire.

Don’t you just love how there’s a way around every problem?

So how about you? What have you been struggling with lately? Have you kicked off your 2011 physical resolutions with a bang, or are you living wild and resolution-free – and loving it?

15 responses to “Why Do We Sabotage Ourselves?”

  1. gigi says:

    afterworking out in the morning. Is it better to have a protein shake with two wholet eggs, coconut oil, and gluatathione, or is it better to have a whey shake, cocoonut oil, and gluthathione? Just didn’t know what is better right after working out whole eggs in shake or whey powder in shake (both I would have with healthy oils and glutathione) could do both but thought would be too much….

    Thank you for your feedback

  2. Channing says:

    I’m not a juice fan, but I AM a lasagna and brownies fan…

    Your posts always come at the right time!! I was feeling amazing (hadn’t checked my BF but it was DOWN because I was fitting a small size 4 again for the first time in 8years. After holiday because I was so trim I thought, okay, maybe a brownie here and then every time I’d hang out at my mums it was SOMETHING with carbs – soup with crackers or homemade lasagna – which all of it I justified because it’s homemade and the soup is from pastured pork and organic beans and veggies. Sigh… I was up steadily 1lb/wk since December…

    So today I just spent a load of $$ to go grain/gluten free, upped the veg (so I could have my GF brownies once in a while) and some GF pretzels, which I like on the go with raw cheddar. Thanks for the post to make me realize I’m not alone!

    • Kat says:

      Mmmmmmmm ….. Brownies. And lasagna …. Yum. I could even eat them together if forced! Good point on the GF, thats another area where i have had to have a stern word with myself!

  3. Joanna says:

    Hi Kat WOW!!!! 9.5% body fat thats an amazing achievement go girl! Still its also reasurring to hear that you to are human after all and do indulge sometimes (dark perpemint choc is my fav to). The trick is getting straight back to track. I to got to nearly where i wanted to at the begining of december but the last 6 weeks have undone some of that with holidays and more relaxed out of routine frame of mind etc etc so looking forward to refocusing now and hopefully coming back stronger and better again. Would love to see some results pictures of 9.5% and love to know how you personally did it. Im really struggling with the last litle bit of pooch in the lower abs. Love your posts thanks!

    • Kat says:

      Hi Joanna! I basically just did it by being consistent with a 95% clean diet (lots of fats) and a LOT of very full on weight training. Getting enough rest was probably the biggest limiting factor, I got leaner when I started sleeping a bit more. I also follow a pretty strict supplement regime, and that has made a huge difference to how I look as well as my energy and my strength. In a few weeks im launching a new blog just for women and that will go into a lot of detail about exactly what I do!

      Re the 9.5, I’ll dig up a photo and add it to this post on Mon 🙂

      You’re totally right about talking about getting back on track – I think sometimes we do need to gives ourselves that talking to!

      • Joanna says:

        Hi also forgot to mention its even more impressive when i now you have a little one to look after to good ispiration to other mums. Another thing i was wondering about is how you go feeding your little one since i have done a lot of research and follow blogs like yours i have completly changed the way i eat. Changing the way my 3 yr and 8 yr old way of eating is a lot harder especially getting them to eat more protein (they are bothe extremely fussy eaters). I do make sure the carbs they do eat are of the best quality they will tolerate ie very grainy wholemeal highfibre breat etc. but i want to steer them to eat more how i do because i do beleive grains and wheat arnt that good. I know they can get away with it as active kids but i want to instill in them good habits for latter in life. Would love to know how you go with feeding your little one maybe you have one of those children that will eat anythning or everything if not id love to know any tips you have. thanks again.

      • Kat says:

        She does eat pretty much everything, but only (I suppose) because we’ve always fed her pretty much everything! Her first ever food was venison. So now … I try really hard to keep her away from grains completely. She does eat them at daycare or Mothers Group sometimes. Her diet is pretty much a LOT of fat (avocado, butter, raw cream, raw milk, oils), animal protein 3-4 times a day (when we go on walks or to the park I bring her a piece of chicken or steak as a snack), a LOT of fruit (that is the main difference to me; and a source of sugars/carbs for her; mainly berries but also banana and stone fruit), and then vegies. Also cheese and olives feature regularly. The hardest thing is vegies; she’s a meat girl. But I think that’s also because I have to learn to cook the veg more for her!! She eats a lot; typically as much as me at breakfast, close to at lunch, and then slightly less at dinner. It will be interesting to see how it goes once she’s older and more aware of what she’s ‘missing out on’ compared to other kids!!

  4. Brenda says:

    I don’t know what you think of this idea but when I am at my best and leaving sugar alone but yet still eating a little bit of 70-85% chocolate, I take my daily portion of a little bit of chocolate and cut it up into little slivers and nibble on it throughout the day. I get just enough on my tongue to feel that chocolate melt and burst of flavor. It makes me feel indulgent but in the end I only had a small portion. Maybe I am feeding some sort of addition but for me it helps a lot in leaving all other sweets alone.

    If I had to pick why I sabotage myself…….it would be that it is just so much darn work and time……..the watching everything I ate (meal planning, grocery shopping, putting groceries away, cooking, cleaning up after meals etc.) along with exercising. I got burned out on the whole thing. I was quite successful at losing weight but I “freaked out” when I was moving and stressed. I just threw in the towel basically because I couldn’t handle everything and I was tired of my family eating things I couldn’t have. After that I couldn’t seem to get back on track. I also know I didn’t have enough information or a long term plan of attack. I also think it is good to have someone (someone like you) to go to when the “losing it” moments happen………. to get help and help get their focus back. Now my family is all on the same page with me and I have there help since they are older. I’m hoping that helps along with a better plan.

    • Kat says:

      It definitely helps when your family is on the same page as you! And moving across the world 2-3 times within a year would be enough to make anyone throw the towel in I think; at least temporarily. Great tip on the chocolate Brenda!

  5. Michele says:

    Hi Kat

    Seriously, sometimes I think self sabotage is just that’s it’s easier to have and stick to a plan (once you’re on the road) than to have to come up with and start a whole new one, so with the end in sight, it gets scary…… so if I mess it up just a little, I can kickstart it and stay on…….. Sad but true for me, it’s nice to have something to be aiming for, but it’s not always easy to define the next step.

    Keep the great information flowing and I look forward to your upcoming new blog.



    • Kat says:

      Thanks Michele. That’s an interesting theory … you’re probably right. I do think it’s important to always have a goal or challenge in mind with training/food. I know I’ve started to feel quite blah without a specific goal this past month.

  6. Ginger says:

    Oh Kat, I’m so with you! I was doing good and then our move came. Not sure you saw on my Fb but Micah took a job at a different course up in NC. Stress busy stress! And….so of course I got a little lax, ate more carbs than I should and had oh…1 or 2 small Resses PB cups a night and I woke up 3 weeks later to a returned “gut”. Sux! haha I dont know why it is our brain works that way but thanks for sharing bc now I know I’m not the only one!

    • Kat says:

      Welly … my pleasure! We can get back on track together 🙂 Reeses PB cups, hey? They’ve always been a weakness of mine as well!