Self-Sabotage Is Normal With Weight Loss. Here’s How You Handle It.

“Jen, how do I do this? How do I get out of my own way?” This question comes up a lot. So many women think it’s just willpower and motivation.

Or you think you need to move more and eat less.

It’s not your fault that you feel this way. The diet industry has been carefully designed to get you believing in dogmas – eat just like this, move exactly this much and you will look like this.

But you’re smart. You’re getting hip that this isn’t working but this is how you get to the above question because you don’t know know what else to do.

And you are used to being so hard on yourself. You think if you’re not perfect from the get-go that something must be wrong with you; you can’t hack it or you’re a failure.

But what if self-sabotage is a necessary part of the journey? What if self-sabotage is the thing you need to help you create the healthy lifestyle you truly seek?

Let me take a page from my own book to help you with this…

The Self-Sabotage Scene

The scene is 9 years ago, I was on a treadmill while holding hand weights, sweating, in the throws of exercise.

A good friend of mine who went to the same gym as me comes by. I start telling her how frustrated I am that I can’t lose weight.

“Well…” my friend says kindly but very matter-of-fact. “Maybe you just eat too much, ya know?”

No, I don’t know, I thought to myself. I was so indignant. Of course, it couldn’t be that.

“Hmm…I don’t think so,” I say. “I eat pretty clean and healthy.”

At the time, I had 2 little kids and I was making sure they were eating well. We had good food in the house and I was convinced I ate pretty well on most days so I should be able to lose some weight, right?

What I realized is that I was focused on all the things I needed to be healthy. But I wasn’t focused on when, why, and where I was self-sabotaging.

This was an absolute gamechanger for me and I know it’s going to be for you, too.

Why You Need Self-Sabotage

Right now, you probably think if you want something it shouldn’t be this hard, it should just happen.

But self-sabotage is normal when you’re on a weight loss journey.

Think about it like this…

If you struggle with alcohol, gambling, smoking or other addictions, the goal is to rid yourself of those things completely.

Yet, with weight loss, you can’t give up food. You have to eat. So, it’s going to be natural and normal that you aren’t perfect every single day.

At the same time, you can’t escape yourself or your life.

When you see shows like The Biggest Loser or hear about weight loss camps, the results are incredible, right?

This is because the participants are living in a fake environment. They’ve literally taken a break from their lives and the triggers causing them to struggle with food in the first place.

This means that self-sabotage is not only normal, you need it to figure out how to make weight loss goals permanent.

Two Self-Sabotage Questions To Ask

Getting a handle on self-sabotage starts with recognizing that you are doing it and what can you do about it.

That day on the treadmill, I didn’t know but soon after I realized that between 8 pm – 11 pm were The Witching Hours for me. Can you relate?

I realized if I continued to eat at night or drink a glass or two of Shiraz, I wasn’t going to get the change I was seeking.

Thing was I kind of liked those things. They gave me comfort, distracted me from what was going on in my life, etc.

So, I had to address the underlying feelings and give up this time of night for the greater good of what I was seeking.

That’s why it’s not what you’re eating for lunch or what you had for dinner – it’s what you didn’t have for breakfast when you ran out the door, why you keep hitting snooze, or what’s happening at 9 pm once the kids go to sleep.

The things that you don’t often want to pay attention to.  

If you want healthy, permanent weight loss to happen, you have to ask yourself these two questions…

  • What are the expectations?
  • Can I accept that I won’t be perfect?

What if you expected some stumbling blocks along the way? How many times does a toddler fall down? A gazillion times but they have full faith to walk.

What if you had full faith to create a lifestyle you could enjoy – it just takes time? Use the stumbling blocks to discover what else you need to learn.

Or something you need to pay attention to in order to understand your body and nutritional requirements.  

Take time to listen to those mean voices inside your head so you know when they show up. How to handle peer pressure at a Thursday Happy Hour with friends and pressure on yourself.

Determine Success Like This

If every other time you’ve failed, you’ve said ok I’ll start again tomorrow or next week or next month, etc., let’s start changing that right now.

In every single program I do – make the recommitment short. Within an hour. You dust yourself off and begin again. This eliminates that agony, isolation, and dullness you feel because you’re not staying stuck in it.

And the action isn’t just behavioral it’s the emotional resilience, as well.

Always going to be plenty of opportunities to eat and drink more. You have to pick and choose. What do you want most and how will you do it?

If you think this means you have to give up all your favorite things, you don’t. None (as in not a single one) of my clients are told to give up anything. It becomes how much and how often.

Frequency and portion determine success.

(I guarantee you haven’t heard this before.)

Like I mentioned earlier, the diet industry has become so focused on “eat like this” and “move like” this but women are rising up – you realize that even when you do that, you are still super mean to yourself, and the method doesn’t last anyways – so why would you keep doing this to yourself?

The Weight Loss Code Academy

If any of this resonates with this, I want to let you know about The Weight Loss Code Academy.

I created this because every incredible goal you’ve worked on in your life, you’ve had a mentor, a coach – a support team of some kind.

That’s what The WLC Academy is all about! It’s a 10-month life and body transformation program.

(In fact, it’s everything I wish had existed when I needed it.)

You can learn more about it here.

This is a deep dive into the science of change, healthy living, fat loss, sustainability, and eating foods you enjoy.

We combine this with the psychology of change components…

  • Why you are the way you are.
  • How to handle mean voices.
  • Stay consistent when you feel like giving up.
  • How to restart after you’ve given up.

If your weight is holding you back from life, holding you back from relationships or going out into the world and living the rich, beautiful life you deserve – how much longer are you going to wait to deal with it?

This is not going on another diet. This isn’t a quick fix or even a boot camp or kickstart.

There are a million 6-week boot camps or 3-month programs. Women are great at starting but not good at follow-through – go out for a night and blow it and don’t start again, kids derail you, vacations, holidays, etc.

This commitment over 10 months covers everything – in REAL time.

We begin in August and acceptance is by application only.

I’ve created it this way because you can be interested in weight loss but not ready for the journey.

Women thrive in powerful communities and when women are going after the same challenges and know how to rise up together – the energy shifts energy.

So, the application process ensures that every woman is ready.

That every woman is ready to say this is the last summer of me not wanting to go outside, put shorts on, go to the beach, not do it when I’m tired, or feeling sad, or on vacation.

If this sounds good to you, then you should apply.

It’s an 8-question application (super simple). I review it and then we hop on a call so I can get to know you a bit more. You ask me all the questions you have and together, we make a decision if this is truly right for you.

You can apply here.

About the Author:

Jennifer coaches busy, successful women with imperfect lives who want to look and feel amazing from the inside out. With her tried-and-proven weight loss method—ENERGY to Thrive™—Jennifer takes the fascinating science of physiological transformation and breaks it down into six empowering steps.


  1. Martha cueva February 7, 2019 at 7:41 am - Reply

    Hi ism every interstate in The way you are approaching this weight-loss I also feel it’s more of the mine then anything else I have lost 75 pounds on my own but to lose 20 pounds more it’s like if I had to lose 100 and everything is mindset I need to learn how to change this I know there’s more underneath than anything else so I am very interested thank you

    • Jennifer Powter March 27, 2019 at 4:17 pm - Reply

      Hi Martha – you’re right! The body follows the mind. I truly believe that going on a weight loss journey is one of the most transformational experiences a woman can have.

Leave A Comment