Ready to put an end to the self-sabotage of your weight loss program? Hey everybody, this is Mike Uhrlaub with another episode of Power Your Life by Flex PT. It’s great to see you all back, but I have a question for everybody. Have you ever done something in your life that seemed to just shoot yourself in the foot? It’s those things that you do that after you get done, you just step back and think, “Why the heck did I do that?” and “I just completely did something that just ruined the chance of me achieving something.” You may think you completely set yourself back. You think to yourself that this was something that you did, which makes it your fault. You have completely set yourself up for failure and you just don’t understand how it went so wrong. You just look back at it and say, “Why on earth did I do that? What could I have possibly been thinking?” I want to share a little story about that with you guys.
It was a few years ago, when I was on my weight loss program. Now before I go into this, I think everybody probably has seen the movie Jumanji. Now, I’m not talking about the Jumanji with Robin Williams, which was a fantastic movie by the way. I’m talking about the more recent one, the one with the Rock, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black. I can’t remember the other characters, but in the very first Jumanji with those characters, the storyline is that there’s these high school kids. They end up getting transported through a video game into the land of Jumanji and with each of their characters, they’re kind of opposite of what they were in real life. You take the kid who was the nerdy kid. Even though he didn’t have a girlfriend and he wasn’t the best looking he became Dr. Brave Stone in the game, which was the Rock’s character. Then you had the kid who was the big football player and very popular. Everybody liked him and he became Kevin Hart’s character, which was the short kid who was there to serve Dr. Brave Stone. When they get into Jumanji, they start realizing that they’re in this video game and they realize that they have lives on their arms, which allows them to see they have strengths and weaknesses. Kevin Hart’s character just kills me because his weakness was cake, causing him to explode.
Now for me, my cake was peanut butter. My cake was peanut butter that now, I explode. Not literally, but you eat enough peanut butter and you’ll get fairly big. For me, I would wake up in the middle of the night and I had this intense creating for peanut butter. If you know me, you know I love peanut butter, and not just any old peanut butter. It must be creamy, Jif peanut butter. It can’t be anything else. At the time, I was really doing good with my weight loss, but sometimes I would wake up and I would think of peanut butter. I’d roll over, try to go back to bed, try to ignore the craving, but then there’s a little voice in your head. We’ve all been there. You try to ignore the craving and no matter what you do, it’s like you’re powerless and you just must wake up. Next thing you know, I am in the kitchen at two o’clock in the morning. I’m just eating peanut butter, shoveling it by the spoonful. Even though it tasted great and peanut butter is awesome, I can’t lie and say I didn’t wake up the next morning feeling depressed. I was ashamed at what I had done, and I couldn’t believe I just let my temptation take over. That’s when the little voice makes itself known, the one that is super critical of yourself.
It is the voice that tells you how you have failed. It’s the voice that tells you that you’re no good. It’s the voice that tells that you can’t be successful. Then, I would start to think to myself, “Why did I do that? Why did I eat the peanut butter?” I knew it would delay my weight loss. I knew it would even potentially derail my progress. Then that little voice would often even kind of pipe up and say, “Hey, you know what? You might as well just forget it. You’ve already eaten the peanut butter. Why not have those little cookies over there? Oh, while you’re at it, there’s some cake over here too. Hey, you really like frosting, so why don’t we just get some frosting and start taking spoonfuls of that.”
I know this has happened to everybody. I can’t be the only one and this happens to all of us. this is a condition known as Subconscious Self Sabotage (SSS). I consider this to be a disease. This would be an affliction that every single one of us has. It’s when you do something that you know is going to hurt your results or progress, but you do it anyway. Another way to think about it is it’s when you find yourself doing the things that you want to do, before doing the things that you need or should be doing. We all do it every day and there’s a reason for this. This is when we tell ourselves that we would have never done it if we had more willpower.
This is not your fault. It is rooted in our deep subconscious mind, which then overrides the conscious mind by triggering behaviors that are meant to keep us safe. Even though you’re trying to keep yourself safe, you end up sabotaging your progress and with these actions, they’re rooted. They’re rooted deeply in your false beliefs that you might have regarding your goals or the program that you’re on. This is something I want to help you understand it because it is an important concept. Once you understand what’s going on behind it, up here there in the brain, it really will help you to know how to beat it. Speaking of the brain, the human brain is three brains, one stacked up on top of the other.
Starting at the bottom, you have the brain STEM and the brain STEM handles all our autonomic functions. These are the automatic functions. These are things you don’t have to think about like breathing, digestion, heart rate, blood pressure, and sweating. Then you have the brainstem, the midbrain, and the membrane, which are responsible for our main emotions of either seeking pleasure or avoiding pain. Then, there’s the top brain. This is where all the intellectual though and our conscious thought are located. Oftentimes, we think that the top brain influences the midbrain and the brainstem. We often think that this is top down, but it’s the reverse, and I will explain why. Science has shown that the brainstem in the midbrain influences the top brain whenever a threat is perceived or if there is a pleasurable outcome to be had. It ends up causing a cascade of chemicals that are released in the brain and in the body to force you to take action, even if that action is not in line with your goals. For these neurotransmitters and chemicals, they are so powerful that you really can’t help yourself and you end up doing things which usually don’t make sense. Our brains are over 2 million years old and they were designed to keep us safe in an unsafe world. But, it’s the 21st century and compared to 2 million years ago, our world is safer than ever. I know that seems crazy to say that in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, but it is. Our world is safer. However, our brain really does not know that.
Back in the caveman days, if there was anything that was out of the ordinary or different, it was perceived as a threat and the caveman brain had evolved to see these threats and to force the caveman into immediate action to keep him/her safe. For example, any movement in the bushes could be a saber tooth tiger and if the caveman hesitated, then they would be launched for that tiger. Also, any change in the caveman social circle would be a factor, such as being pushed out by others. If they wronged the tribe, it would mean certain death because most likely, the caveman could not survive on his own in that kind of a world. Therefore, our brains have evolved over time to see uncertainty or change in our status quo, causing the midbrain and brainstem to release these neurotransmitters. It is a chemical cascade that basically hijacks the top brain.
With the top brain out of the picture, you basically end up doing the opposite of what you really want to do. Now, this is true with exercise or diet changes. You see it with changing your exercise routine. Your top brain knows that the exercise program is good for you and although it’s going to be a little painful at first, the benefits are going to pay off. Logically we know this, however, for your brainstem and midbrain, they see the exercise as dangerous because it causes pain to your body and then they’re designed to avoid pain, especially the midbrain. With influences on your top brain, next thing you know, you’re skipping sessions. You’re checking your email, you’re watching Netflix, you’re hanging out on the couch, or you’re cleaning the kitchen. Instead of working out, the brainstem and midbrain force you into doing things that are considered comfortable because they want to keep you safe. Even though your top brain knows the difference, it cannot get past the influence of the other two subconscious aspects, the brainstem and the midbrain.
This is one of the reasons why so many people fail when they try to change their lives or if they try to change their behaviors. However, I want you to know that there are things you can do to reverse this and rewire your 2-million-year-old caveman brain. I’m going to give you the five steps that you can take to help you overcome subconscious self-sabotage. Starting with number one, the first thing you’ve got to do is identify the pattern. Self-sabotage has a pattern, and if you learn to recognize it, you will be able to prevent it before it becomes a problem. What stops you from getting a higher level of health and losing weight? What prevents you from being the best that you can be? You don’t ask those questions and identify the times where you have sabotaged yourself and then think, “how could have I have set up my environment? How could I have set up it different?”
Number two: limiting beliefs, something that we all have. We all have limiting beliefs such as, “I can’t lose weight”, “Nothing works for me”, and “I’ve lost weight before and I gained it all back, so why try?” You must face these beliefs and fears head on. You can’t let yourself believe them. If you believe that you can’t lose weight, that nothing is going to work for you, or that you’re going to have a hard time committing, I’m just going to tell you that you’re not going to be successful. However, if you can program your mind that you can lose weight, that it will work for you, that the past doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t matter what you tried before that didn’t work. This is new. This is different. If you can program your mind like that, you will succeed.
Whether you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, in either case, you are right. So, why not choose to believe that you can succeed? You need face your fears and false beliefs head on. These fears can keep you from being fulfilled and happy. If you do nothing about it, it will prevent you from being successful, not just in a weight loss program, but in anything you want in life. Dig deep within yourself and ask questions like, “Why am I afraid? What is so scary that I can’t seem to overcome?” Check your answers to these questions and then you’ve got to determine if they outweigh your desires or do you desires outweigh them? I hope your desires outweigh the answers to those questions.
Number three is always flood your mind with goals There’s a quote by Jim Roan in which he said, “You have to stand guard at the gate of your mind”, and there is so much truth to that. By revisiting your goals on a daily basis, your mind or conscious becomes intonated with your goals. This will hinder self-sabotage to a great extent. You’re going to start to experience a shift in your subconsciousness and you’re going to be willing to accomplish your goals at all costs. Number four is that you’ve got to be accountable to someone. You must surround yourself with like minded people that will encourage you to keep up your program, which is why we’re here. That’s why we’ve created this Facebook live. That’s why we’ve created these programs because we’re here for you. To share your successes and challenges, but to also to help you through those tough times. You can reach out to us, send us an email, or shoot us a message. We’re here to help pick you up and keep you moving forward. Self-sabotage will still rear its ugly head, but when you’re surrounded with a support system, you will have the willpower and the space to deal with it, allowing you to move through it unscathed. You deserve to be the best that you can be. Therefore, you should go for it without apologizing to anybody and do what you must do. Reorganize your schedule accordingly if you must. Take time for yourself make yourself a priority. For number five, I strongly believe in guided meditation. Guided meditation is the key to so many things to unlocking your mind. Guided meditation is another way to fight subconscious self-sabotage. As you take time out for yourself each day to meditate and you focus on your good feelings, your anxiety has a better chance of melting away. One of the most important solutions to overcoming subconscious self-sabotage is to take some time for yourself. Focus on your own needs each day and guided meditation is a great way to do this.
Start these five steps right now, and you will start to eliminate the subconscious self-sabotage from your life. You’ll reap the benefits of achieving your optimal outcome in life. Try these steps and let me know how it works for you.
Finally, I just want to let you know that our new program, the four-week weight loss system for busy moms and dads is going to be available by the end of next week. I must send a shout out to my team, arena, and Monica Mason. These guys have done an amazing job creating these videos and these recipes to these products. I just know you guys are all going to love them, and you will see great results. Watch us next week for more information and keep in mind that we’re going to be doing these Facebook live events every Tuesday and Thursday at this same time at 1:00 PM. You can tune in and get a feel for what is going on. We’re going to be talking about challenges, not just in weight loss, but in overall health. We’re also going to be talking about bio hacks, tips, and ways to get those quick results to accelerate the results that you’re looking for. Until then, stay healthy and keep moving forward.