Every human out there self-sabotages from time to time. For many of us, negative thoughts come up around our weight and our relationship with ourselves. These negative thoughts then cause us to feel badly, which then drives us to take actions that don’t serve us (like binge-eating, skipping exercise, snapping at family, etcetera). 

The good news is that we can stop doing this. With some work to identify these thoughts and stop hiding from them, we can learn to pause when we have self-sabotaging thoughts. During this pause, we can choose new thoughts, feelings, and actions that will serve us and our goals, instead of undermine us. 

In this episode, we’re talking all about self-sabotage and how you can start to shift this behavior. I’ll share how this came up for me during my time on the diet roller coaster, why it was so frustrating, and how I learned to pause my negative thoughts in action. 

Finally, here are three transformational questions for you to ask yourself after you listen to today’s episode:

  1. How is self-sabotage showing up for you?
  2. What poisonous thoughts, which could seem innocent, could be driving your actions?
  3. What would you need to think to stop sabotaging your weight loss?

I am so excited to be bringing you this show, and to celebrate the launch of the podcast I’m giving away $50 Amazon gift cards to 12 lucky listeners. To find out how to enter, click here!


What You’ll Discover:

  • What self-sabotage is and what it can look like.
  • How I learned to stop sabotaging my partnership with my husband and my relationship with myself.
  • How our lizard brain contributes to our self-sabotaging behavior.
  • Why we need to learn to identify from negative thoughts and stop hiding from them.
  • What you can do to identify your self-sabotaging thoughts.
  • How to choose new thoughts, feelings, and actions that support your goals and dreams.


Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:


Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women podcast with Shannan Christiansen, episode number four.

Welcome to Weight Loss for Successful Women, a podcast for women who are ready to break the diet cycle and end their struggle with weight for good. Here’s your host, Fortune 100 executive and Certified Life Coach, Shannan Christiansen.

Hello, loves. I am so excited about this podcast. I just honestly love seeing the reviews, the emails you send me, and all the comments about you ladies just loving it and learning from it. So please take the time and rate and review this podcast if you haven’t had the chance to do so yet. I really appreciate it and it really helps us to continue to provide this great content for all the ladies out there.

So before we get into today’s episode, I want to do a listener shout-out. This is where I will read a review of the podcast every week. So our first listener shout-out is Vicky Ross, and she said, “Wow, thank you for opening up and sharing your weight loss journey. You are exactly what and who I need. Your words of encouragement and affirmations are just what my heart and soul need.  I have been on the weight loss rollercoaster for so long and it’s finally time I get off the ride and start changing my habits for the better. Thank you again for the podcast. I cannot wait to see my life change one day at a time.” And then she left me a little heart. Thank you so much, Vicky, amazing.

So, love, you know, I remember when I just wanted to get off the roller coaster. I remember feeling so desperate and hopeless. I wanted something different and I really just was tired of this being my struggle. So I just worked long and hard on finding a process that would work to help me get off the diet roller coaster.

And then, loves, when I found the way, now I just want to share it with everyone. So to end today’s episode, I’m going to talk about self-sabotage and how we can notice and then take different actions. Also at the end, I will leave you with three transformational questions. But first, let’s talk about my amazing husband. And seriously, he is so hot, smart, loving, caring. I really lucked out in the husband lottery.

We just celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary yesterday. We had a great dinner, went for a walk, and took a convertible ride. And the weather at night is so beautiful right now here in Arizona and we always take our puppies. They love going for walks. And they love the convertible rides.

It took me a long time to find my husband. I didn’t meet him until my mid-30s. I was reflecting on the last 11 years and boy, we have packed a lifetime in there. We have lived in three states, watched all three of our children become adults. We survived the teenage years. Yes, we survived.

If you’re going through it now, I just want to say, ladies, there is hope and it will all be okay. We welcomed four grandbabies, both of us have changed jobs, careers. I finally got off the diet rollercoaster. We commuted, living in separate states. Both of our moms passed. My husband’s brother passed.

There has just been so much life, good and bad. And I was thinking about how much we both have grown over the past 11 years and I just feel so blessed that I have a partner and that I learned how to stop self-sabotaging relationships. I had learned how to be a good mate, how to be in a relationship.

This has nothing to do with him. I just had to learn how to show up as my best self. And let me tell you, loves, this has taken a lot of practice. I’ve had to learn how to be aware of the thoughts that could sabotage our relationship. You know, like picking a fight for no good reason, or going inward and shutting down.

I really had to get honest with myself on how I showed up because it was worth it, love. It was worth being a great mate. It was worth just all of the love that my husband and I share in this really beautiful marriage that we have created.

So this leads me right into our topic, self-sabotage. This is something every human on the planet does to some degree. And the key is to make ourselves aware that we’re doing it. I looked at the definition, because I love doing this, of self-sabotage and I found a couple of variations. So I’m going to read them to you.

Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems in daily life and interferes with long standing goals.  And another definition from yourdictionary.com, the sabotaging, whether consciously or subconsciously, of one’s self. Wow, so powerful to think of what the definition of self-sabotaging is.

So you will hear me talk a lot about the lizard brain. So I want to quickly give you my definition. Now, I’m not a doctor or a scientist, so this is my interpretation, and I’m going to put it in Shannan speak, because it’s how I make it easy for myself to remember.

The lizard brain is sour primitive brain, the oldest part of our brain. It’s responsible for survival. It’s there to keep us safe. Originally, when humans lived in caves, survival was the most important thing. They had to find food, shelter, and keep safe from all the elements, including being eaten by animals.

I mean, there were serious survival needs back then. And there was also social hierarchy way back then. And so being accepted in a group was very important because, back in the cave days, if you were outcasted, you would literally die. You would not have protection of the tribe and you would not be able to survive by yourself for very long.

So our lizard brain does not know that we don’t live in a cave anymore. So if we think a thought that has fear or that we don’t belong or that our needs are not met, our lizard brain will take over. It is impulsive and it reacts very quickly. This is due to thousands of years of evolution.

So our lizard brain, it’s kind of tricky. I mean, it has a really good purpose, but we have to be aware of its impulsiveness. We can self-sabotage without really being fully aware of it.

Now, the lizard brain – I love my lizard brain.  It’s not always destructive. It’s important. For example, if a train was coming at you and you’re in real danger, I mean, the lizard brain will go into autopilot and move you out of the way as quickly as possible.

But the self-sabotage is a negative aspect of the lizard brain. Oh, ladies, I used to self-sabotage a lot. I still have to watch my lizard brain and, what I like to call, poisonous thoughts. I have to know when I’m not telling the truth to myself.

I had certain triggers, or upper limits, and when I would hit them, I would start sabotaging myself. I would start bringing myself back down. One of my triggers was wonderland. Now, loves, I know so many of you have wanted to be in wonderland.

Wonderland is going below 200 pounds. Every time I would get under 200, I would be so happy so excited, I would feel like finally, this is the time. I’m never going back over 200.

But then, these thoughts would appear, “You deserve that. You’ve worked so hard. I’m on a plateau. Weight loss is so hard. It’s going to take forever to lose this weight. You will never do it.  Look at your loose skin, Shannan. Can you imagine what it will be like when you’re at your goal weight? You will always look like a fat person who lost weight.”

Loves, it makes me emotional saying these thoughts out loud. These thoughts floated through my head like they were just innocent thoughts. “You deserve,” sounds so good, but it was really poison to my dreams.

They were dangerous thoughts because slowly I would creep back over 200, then 205, then 215, and then I would be in the 220 to 250 range. It’s mostly where I like to settle. Knowing your upper limits is important. Knowing that you’re self-sabotaging is critical to long-term success.

You have to develop self-awareness in order to be aware of these lizard brain thoughts. We have to learn to not fear our thoughts and hide from them. One of the keys to this is to start paying attention to our thoughts, noticing the negative; the thoughts that are telling us to do something that is not in the best interest of our goals.

Now, one of my favorite books of all time is The Big Leap. And it’s written by Gay Hendricks. Now, I’m sure Pavel will put the link in the show notes for us. He produces the show. Thank you, Pavel.

Gay talks about this upper limit problem we all have. We reach a certain level of success and it’s higher than our lizard brain likes or feels comfortable with. So we slowly start to self-sabotage. I want to read a quote from the book because it is so powerful.

“Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old familiar zone where we feel secure.”

Wow, that is just such a powerful quote. Now loves, just sit with that for a moment. That is our lizard brain wanting us to be safe, wanting us to go back into the cave. And we have seen this so many times with very successful people.

I’ll use the example of Tiger Woods because most of us know who he is.  At the top of his game, he was the best golfer. And then he started to do all of this stuff to sabotage his success. He had a limiting belief that whatever he was doing was not good enough, so he did actions like cheating on his wife to sabotage his success.

How many times did we self-sabotage with our weight loss and diets? I know I did hundreds of times. Our limiting beliefs, so I’m not good enough, I’m not successful, I cannot lose weight and keep it off, I do not deserve this. All of those keep pulling us backwards. They all lead us towards sabotaging our success.

So we have this thought, I’m not good enough, then it creates a feeling of hopelessness. Then we take the action of self-sabotage. And then we do it over and over again.

We do this in all areas of our lives; relationships, careers, health. We sabotage ourselves. Our relationship with our husband can be going so amazing, and then we have a thought, this is too good to be true. Then we pick a fight. We sabotage.

We know this to some degree, but we are not paying attention to the thoughts. So the first step is to know what your limiting beliefs are and where you’ve seen it play out in your own life. I had to notice where my set points were. For me, wonderland was, for sure, one. And then I had to notice the thoughts and beliefs I had, even seemingly innocent ones.

So once you’ve identified the belief, and then the thoughts around it, when you see them come up, you can allow the thought but not act on it. You get to choose what action you are going to take.

We self-sabotage because we want to stay comfortable. We think we want to avoid negative emotion, so we think we are choosing to stay comfortable, but in the long run, it just creates more negative emotion.

When I gained the weight back, it created a ton of negative emotion for me. So I had to learn to take the uncomfortable action in the moment. In the moment, I didn’t want to, but I had to choose to take action that served me, served my goals. Loves, that is the magic of creating your dreams.

You have to identify when you’re self-sabotaging and then change the thought, which will create a different feeling, and then a different action, and one that serves you. The short-term benefits of overeating are nothing compared to the long-term misery of gaining weight. And, loves, I know. I’ve been there so many times.

You can know that thought is going to be there but not take the sabotaging action. It is possible.  I know, love, because I stopped sabotaging my weight loss. But I first had to recognize that I was doing it. It was me.

It is so worth it. Love, you are worth this work. Honestly, I want the best for you. I want you to feel the freedom of not carrying extra weight on your body. And I know this is possible. I know because I’ve done it.

So I’m going to leave you with three transformational questions that I want you to ask yourself and then write down the answers. Number one, how is self-sabotaging showing up for you? Number two, what poisonous thoughts, which could seem innocent, are driving your actions? And number three, what would I need to think to stop sabotaging my weight loss?

So much fun, loves, spending some time with you. And to celebrate the launch of the show, I am going to be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to 12 lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review this show on iTunes. It doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you love the show.

I want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides a ton of value for you. Visit bflycoaching.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter it. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode. So much love to all of you and I just can’t wait to spend more time with you on next week’s episode.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Weight Loss for Successful Women. If you love what you heard today and want to learn more, come over to bflycoaching.com. That’s B – F – L – Y coaching dot com. See you next week!

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