How to Stop Self-Sabotaging Your Weight Loss

On one of my one-on-one coaching calls this week, a member expressed her frustration with her constant self-sabotaging.

Exasperated, she said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me! I do well for a bit and then I start self-sabotaging. It’s like I don’t really want it.”

This feeling is so common among so many of the women I coach. It’s almost like they’re fighting against their own success.

I explained that at the root process of self-sabotage were feelings of low self-esteem. At that moment, a light bulb went off for her. Here’s a bit of what I shared. I pray that it blesses you too.

Here’s the principle:

When the picture of how you see yourself does not line up with how God sees you, you will continually sabotage yourself. The closer you get to your goal, the more you will try to sabotage your efforts.

So every time she read God’s Word about who she was and what she could do in God’s strength (lose weight), deep down inside she grew more anxious and frustrated because she did not really believe she was worthy or capable of being healthier.

This is known as ‘Cognitive Dissonance’. I liked Wikipedia’s simple layman’s definition which goes like this:

The mental (psychological) stress experienced by a person who holds two or more contradictory beliefs or values.

The Bible refers to a similar term as double-mindedness. Why does this happen? God has perfectly designed our minds to seek clarity—it desperately needs things to make sense and it needs to make meaning out of things. Its goal is to keep us safe. Every time you step out of your comfort zone and break old habits (like trying to lose weight), you feel fear which kicks your brain into a hyper-vigilance mode as it tries to make sense between reality, your experience, and your hope of future success.

So, if you believe you're undeserving of being in good health, every time you set out to achieve this goal, you consciously (but mostly, subconsciously) do something to sabotage yourself. Share on X

Because of your low self-worth—you believe you’re undeserving of being in good health, which contradicts the Word of God and your desire to be in good health, setting up ‘Cognitive Dissonance’.

Remember, your mind is constantly trying to reconcile these opposing beliefs, and the one that you’ve believed the longest has been reinforced the most by someone in a position of power (parent, teacher, loved one) is the one that usually wins out.

So if you’re struggling with self-sabotage, take an honest assessment of your heart when it comes to your self-worth.

Refuse to let the world’s definition or your past define your self-worth. Examine what it really means to see yourself as God sees you and believe that you are who He says you are and can do what He says you can do. Continually challenge these beliefs with God’s truth and don’t stop until your self-worth is realigned with Christ’s.

Confess and Declare:

“I am who God says I am and can do what God says I can do!!”

This is just one possible explanation for self-sabotage. There are many more but this is what I come across most often in my practice. Do you find you’re always sabotaging yourself? Can you see that self-worth could be at the root? Share your insights below.



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  1. I am not worthy. My self esteem is at an all time low and I have self sabotaged my weightloss efforts for so long, I now eat constantly and have no interest in improving. I’m really worried about my health, but I’m not sure how to start, again. I read scripture, I pray, I even force myself to sing to glorify God…but nothing helps. I feel old (61) and feel nobody cares, feel even not worthy of the Lord…why would he love me? I hate this.

    1. Wow, my heart can actually feel your pain Teresa. The fact that you are on here posting is a game changer. The Lord IS answering prayer, He sees you. You are precious. It helped me to pick just one thing to do to change (daily movement/exercise)… steps and celebrate the little victories. Your identity is a beautiful child of God, may you speak life over yourself and center yourself upon it. That is the truth regardlezs of how you look/feel. And I love your worship. It is part of spiritual warfare. May God’s love surround you!

    2. I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through Teresa. As you read and pray, listen for what the Holy Spirit is telling you. The next time you pray, can you listen for His voice and journal what He’s telling you.

  2. Thank You so much.. I have BIG issues of self worth.. I can’t even say the words “I am worthy” out loud it just wont come.. I just feel so unworthy.. it is a hard road to walk on, but I know I am not alone.. thank You…

  3. Today as I fast I will do the same as Melanie: include time of reflecting on how God sees me. This blog has been such a great reminder as I have been a self-sabotager lately. Thanks Cathy, for pointing me in the right direction!

  4. Thank you for this blog. God is opening my eyes to recognize that I experienced this cognitive dissonance daily especially in my work. He has led me to focus on the question “what does it mean to see myself as God sees me?” Today as I fast.

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