Worry, Anxiety & Self-Sabotage – Why We Sabotage Our Goals and How to Stop

Christina GrengaArticles, Faith, Health, Healthy Living, RecipesLeave a Comment

Are You a Self-Sabotager?

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

The Holidays are a time for celebration and a FEAST, yet often they bring our anxiety and self sabotage into HIGH GEAR! If you’re feeling it right now as you prepare for a busy time and a new year, I want to help because I’ve been there too.

Be sure to stay until the end where I share a special download from the FEAST program and a Brand New Recipe.

Let’s uncover why we self sabotage and how to stop it!

Many people assume that life was always easy for me. That I’ve always been able to fall down and get up quickly. Or that I’ve been so determined in my life that I always end up getting what I wanted.

But the truth is, I fall into one of the most common forms of self-sabotage that I list below. It wasn’t until I was able to get to the root causes and understand more about my mindset and emotional triggers that I was able to overcome this destructive behavior.

Do these sound familiar to you?

“It’s the weekend and I can treat myself since I ate healthy all week.”

“I ate pizza for lunch so I might as well eat bad for dinner now”

“I exercised today so I can eat these cookies”

“I don’t have time to eat right”

“I’m stressed out after a rough day, and chocolate helps me relax.”

“It’s the holiday so I’m going to wait until the New Year to eat right and exercise”

Why do we reason with ourselves?

I mean, I understand partaking in holiday traditions and enjoying a little celebration. But why does that time between Thanksgiving and the New Year or any other time, have to be destructive to our bodies?

What if…we were able to enjoy ourselves every day? Without worrying about going overboard?

Often, we don’t stop with one poor choice, because when you think about it, one poor choice is OKAY! This is why I live a 90/10 Principal because you and I are not made to be perfect.

When we take that 10% and stretch it to 30, 40 or 50%, that becomes a problem.

My best friend does this (maybe you can relate)…
she eats something that isn’t great or part of her daily diet, then she self-sabotages herself the rest of the day because she feels guilty. She feels like she already ruined the day. Sometimes she takes it even further and is destructive all week. Or she talks herself out of what she started in the first place. She is the typical, “I’ll start next Monday” or “I’ll start after the New Year” person.

But why?

Most people let the 10% of meals they’re not in control of impact the 90% of the meals they can control.

But that’s not all….

Most people will say they don’t know why they do this to themselves. Usually, there is a deeper reason or underlying fear. It’s all in how “we think” and “talk” to ourselves (about ourselves). It is also how the enemy wants you to think.

Guilt, doubt and shame begin to take over your thoughts and you want to throw in the towel.

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). It’s not God’s purpose to condemn you; it’s His desire to take away your sins, to keep you from sin, and to save you through Jesus Christ.

You’re not alone!!

When it comes to weight loss, many people sabotage their goals.

I’m going to help you recognize self-sabotaging when you see it, understand why you might be doing it, and figure out how to overcome it.

If you’ve heard of my FEAST program – self sabotage falls into the ST – Spiritual Transformation part of F.E.A.S.T.

The 5 Most Common Forms of Self-Sabotage

See if these sounds like you:

Inconsistent or don’t following through –

You’re careful for a while, lose some weight, and make improvements…then gradually revert back to your old ways.

You know what to do but the shiny object of another diet looks better or easier to follow so you hop from one diet to the next without ever sticking with anything.

You have good intentions but you don’t follow through. That goes for diets, plans with friends, etc.

You hold a negative belief about yourself

What you think about yourself holds a lot of power. Success (or lack thereof) comes down to mindset, and habits. Diets don’t fix negative emotions, mindless or stress-induced eating. One of my clients shared with me that she “erases” herself – meaning she feels she is not as important as others.

If we aren’t important to ourselves, how can we expect to give ourselves enough time or energy to accomplish weight loss or really anything?

If you’re not a priority, what you want to accomplish won’t be a priority. Diets don’t get to the root cause of why you self-sabotage (overeat, binge or, make poor choices).

This calls for recognizing how you think and talk to yourself – mindset work.

If you hold a negative belief about yourself for too long, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You may tell yourself that you’re “too lazy” or “I don’t have the time anymore”. These beliefs will demotivate you from trying or following through.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

Prioritizing instant gratification too much

I exercised so I deserve to eat this pizza, cake, French fries. Or, it’s the holidays and I deserve to overindulge. YOLO (You Only Live Once) is completely overrated and is used more as an excuse for bad decisions motivated by instant gratification that sabotage our future.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your life right now, but not at the expense of your health and your goals. Enjoying your life doesn’t have to mean overindulging. I have to ask, how has that been working for you?

Believing you don’t have time

99% of the time, those are words of a people-pleaser with a lack of self-worth. Unfortunately, I know this from personal experience! This was my personal self-sabotage.

A lot of women struggle with this because of social pressure and conditioning. As young girls, we’re taught to take care of everyone else’s needs before our own. Now we are also expected to have a career, have a social life and have the social pressure to look like a super-model UGH!

It is incredibly important for you to make the time to do whatever it is you need to, to take care of yourself! You must establish your own priorities and boundaries.

You’re Scared of Success

Surprisingly, it’s fear of success that holds people back the most. The best diet won’t matter—no matter how determined you might feel—if a part of you wants to destroy progress toward your goals.

People often think the fear of failure is holding them back. I frequently hear, “I’ve tried so many diets, I don’t want to do this and have the same poor results”.

Why would I be scared of success?

Think about the last time you ate without thinking. We form habits around the way we feel and use food to self-medicate.

Have you ever used food as a temporary escape or to quiet your mind at home? Or to deal with uncomfortable feelings such as self-doubt, regret, disappointment, or fear? We fear the success because that means we no longer have the food in these situations. Now, where do we turn?

Maybe you’re fearing the plans you have once you lose the weight? “Once I lose the weight I will finally travel or go out on a date”.

Maybe that has been the safety blanket that protects you from taking action. If you took the steps you would be closer to your reward. But you actually fear the reward and having to step out of your current comfort zone.

These are real psychological roadblocks, but nothing that can’t be overcome.

To break from a pattern of self-sabotage, you need to get to the root of why you’re sabotaging yourself.

Let’s Get Real

When making a decision – you need to be okay with the choice and actively work towards creating a habit. But first, understand why you behave or think the way you do. Gaining more competence, not just more trying. Competence means knowing and understanding more about you. Doing mindset work, having a plan and being realistic in your goals.

If we aren’t confident that we actually want what we are working towards, we will have inner conflict and not feel good about it.

When we don’t feel good about it, success is less likely.

What is holding you back? Let’s figure it out where the sabotage lies

5 reasons you believe your life will be worse if you achieve your goal

1. Nothing has worked in the past so why will it now.

2. I don’t want to exercise every day

3. I deserve to enjoy a treat and don’t want to deprive myself. I love my sugar and won’t be able to beat the cravings. It’s the holidays…

4. I haven’t dated in so long I’m afraid once I lose the weight I will won’t have an excuse to say no.

5. I like to have my wine at night and I’m afraid I won’t be able to have it.

Sometimes we’re afraid of specific things. Sometimes we fear the unknown. And sometimes we’re just afraid because that’s the way we usually feel. If you are nervous, anxious or upset, what’s scaring you right now?

Our mind sometimes rationalizes us out of doing something that is truly the best decision. Once we identify the real reasons that we’re holding ourselves back, we can begin to counter them.

Say this prayer. “God, help me sort through my fears one by one. Then guide me in deciding which risks I want to take.”

Challenge your fears in order to remove them

Feel the fear, then let it go. Jump in and do it – whatever it is. If our instincts and path have led us there, it’s where we need to be.

Do this exercise right now.

Lay a two-by-four on the ground and walk its length without falling off. Easy, right? Now place a couple of bricks under the two-by-four, raising it off the ground a few inches. Walk it again. This time it was a little harder. Now imagine the same two-by-four suspended at the height of your house with no safety net under it. Would you care to try again?

The higher the stakes, the harder it is to maintain our balance. That is what fear does in our lives.

When we’re faced with a simple situation in life, it’s easy to do the right thing. But as the stakes get higher, it becomes more difficult to focus on the task as “what-ifs” and “what might happen if we fail” creep in.

Look at the two-by-fours (or challenges) you face every day in your life. Are you allowing fear of the worst-case scenario to upset your balance? Put the situation back on the ground. Rarely will failure result in permanent damage.

Remove the fear that your mind has created around the possibility of failure and just walk along the plank.

Let’s tackle the fears we listed above one by one.

1. Nothing may have worked in the past but have you seen others succeed? Of course, right? Maybe what you were doing before wasn’t a sustainable diet. You are worth it and you can do it. Learn methods that help you understand more about you, your thoughts and how food makes you feel. This will create the opportunity for greater success.

2. You don’t have to exercise every day or workout like a fitness pro. But, your body is made to move! If you don’t so something about it while you can, there may come a time when you no longer have the opportunity. Start slow, find something you enjoy, get a buddy, but start. It won’t hurt you! Weight loss is about balance, so don’t focus negative thoughts on something that is only a small part of success.

3. Don’t deprive yourself, create balance. Rewarding ourselves with food keeps us in the mindset that food is going to make us happy. When in reality, it doesn’t make us happy at all. The enjoyment is fleeting.

Create healthy habits around food and enjoy what you’re eating every day. I don’t deprive myself. I talk about this all the time because it’s important not to feel deprived. Deprivation is not sustainable. Learn what works for your body.

Your goals and the foods that make you feel at your optimal best will help you to continue to desire them. Make them taste good and find “hacks” of your favorite foods. This isn’t difficult with the power of technology! I teach my clients ways to enjoy foods they love and be healthy & happy. And still eat some ice cream.

4. Think about what might scare you about dating. I know for me it was always fear of rejection and fear of being hurt. This is personal for you and I would encourage you to sit and visualize yourself out on a date. Think about how you feel. Until you understand how you feel and why you might feel that way, it is difficult to overcome. Ask yourself why you feel that way. Then ask God for guidance and reassurance that you are loved. Because you are!

5. You don’t have to ditch the wine completely! But, you do need to create balance and be more selective about what you put in your mouth. Again, deprivation is not sustainable. So how about cutting down on weeknights. I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. But I know that if I have one during the week I’m more susceptible to eating more than I need or want to. Be selective about your 10%.

Lastly, be sure not to take this burden on yourself, instead give it to God! He can’t take it unless you give it to him!

Download the Full Manifesto and Covenant right here.

Manifest your reality and list how your life will be better once you achieve your goals!

– I’ll be honoring God by being a good steward with the body He gave me

– I’ll be healthier and have more energy to do activities with my family

– I’ll pull out those clothes I’ve been holding on to for years

– I will finally feel good and not feel weighed down by the thought of dieting

– I’ll be a better parent to my kids and grandkids by being an example

– I can help and encourage others to do the same

When I teach my FEAST (Faith, Food, Exercise And Spiritual Transformation) I walk clients through a self-assessment before doing anything else.

The Self Assessment allows you to clearly see what is out of balance in your life and what areas need improvement to hit your goals. From there, you define your why and create your goals.

The FEAST program is not a short-term fix. It is a long-term solution with a Mindset action plan. The connection between God and weight-loss and Self-confidence is the core of the program. Videos lessons and a Workbook make it easy to follow and execute.

Join the Feast Waitlist here


The Manifesto below is directly from my FEAST Manifesto. You can download them all right here. Be sure to see the Personal Covenant at the End!

Print and tape this to your mirror! Say them out loud! Daily!

Manifest Your New Mindset

• We understand that temporary fixes don’t fix so we are committed to creating sustainable life changes that help us grow in body, soul & spirit.

• We don’t doubt, instead we are confident in our abilities and that being disciplined produces peace and right living.

• We love, and we strive to love our neighbors as ourselves which is God greatest commandment.

• We pray each day and spend time with God and develop a relationship with Him so we can hear Him.

• We make time, not excuses, for what’s truly important and we don’t complain but we live in Victory through Christ.

• We do not seek the approval of man but instead seek God in all areas of our life.

• We believe that food is medicine and that it can either heal or cause harm – we choose healing.

• We don’t obsess over what is out of our control, we give that to our Creator.

• We choose to bless our bodies with whole foods, making the best choices possible for ourselves and our families.

• We are committed to learning and educating ourselves and no longer believe the lies that the media and other marketers throw at us. We read labels!

• We take life one day at a time and we are determined not to give up or run. When it comes to fight or flight, we choose to fight.

• We help each other learn to let go and let God.

• We understand that our bodies are made to move and we will take care of our bodies with this understanding.

• We have no more guilt, shame or blame, we are living as God has perfectly created us.

• We are complete through Christ but understand that also means we must take action, define our priorities and be clear on what’s most important.

• We understand that thoughts become actions, actions become habits and habits become lifestyle. We choose to keep our thoughts positive. We treat our minds and bodies with love and respect.

• We are grateful and will live boldly understanding that being grateful is a choice.

• We don’t make excuses why we can’t, instead we do something about it and celebrate why we can. We are victorious in this thinking.

• We understand that quick, easy, cheap and fake has not served us in the past and will not serve us as we move forward to better health.

• We are Faithitarians, and believe in a lifestyle approach that encompasses whole food and healthy living with faith at the core.

Lord, establish my steps even if it’s different from my plans. (Proverbs 16:9)

Until we identify and deal with the reasons we fear success and sabotage our efforts, we’ll continue to struggle.

Allow yourself grace, to not be perfect and make mistakes along the journey. A lack of knowledge about what’s good for us is rarely the real problem. Instead, we tend to suffer from a lack of consistent action… and that usually comes down to what’s going on in our mind – our thoughts.

Good news – you are in control of the journey. No blaming everything else for the weight issues or diets that don’t work or lack of time…and the list goes on. If we realize it is in our control (and giving it to God) it makes it easier to say, yes, I choose this. Join FEAST waitlist here

New Recipe:

Yummy Homemade Hot Chocolate

4 tbsp. Unsweetened cacao powder

3 cups coconut milk (or other favorite milk)

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp. Ground cinnamon

2-3 tsp. Sugar to taste (I use coconut sugar or stevia)

¼ tsp. Sea salt

Optional: Whipped Cream (I use Coconut Milk Whipped Cream in the Freezer Section), Cacao nibs, orange zest

  • Bring milk, cacao powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sugar and salt to simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Make sure it doesn’t scorch. Whisk until mixture is smooth and creamy and the chocolate and sugar have dissolved.
  • Divide into 4 Mugs
  • Add optional toppings and enjoy!  
Yummy Homemade Hot Chocolate
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
  • 4 tbsp. Unsweetened cacao powder
  • 3 cups coconut milk (or other favorite milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. Ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 tsp. Sugar to taste (I use coconut sugar or stevia)
  • ¼ tsp. Sea salt
  • Optional: Whipped Cream (I use Coconut Milk Whipped Cream in the Freezer Section), Cacao nibs, orange zest
  1. Bring milk, cacao powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sugar and salt to simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Make sure it doesn’t scorch. Whisk until mixture is smooth and creamy and the chocolate and sugar have dissolved.
  2. Divide into 4 Mugs
  3. Add optional toppings and enjoy!


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