Setting myself up

By Shani Petroff

Failure is scary.
Rejection is scary.

No one likes going on a date and having the other person be disappointed.
No one likes putting their heart on the table only to have it crushed.
No one likes being told over and over again that they didn’t get the job.

When you put yourself out there, you risk getting hurt.
For a very long time I used my weight as the excuse for why I wasn’t doing things.

I’d tell myself, I’ll go to those events when I lose 20 pounds. I’ll go to that audition when I’m a down a few sizes. I’ll follow my dreams when the scale is where I want it to be.

It felt safe.

Instead of doing what I fantasized about, I’d stay home. Often I’d eat. A lot.

I was becoming a victim of self-sabotage.

While I hate to admit it, there was part of me that was afraid—afraid that if I reached my weight-loss goal, I still wouldn’t get what I wanted. Then what? It was easy to have something to blame. What did that mean if my excuse was gone and I still didn’t succeed?

I noticed myself doing this on a few occasions. I’ve always loved acting and public speaking and dreamed about doing it as a career. Yet, when a TV news station I write for offered to let me come on the show to talk about my book, I balked. I told myself I needed time to lose weight. I then found myself snacking more than usual. The whole time thoughts ran through my head: What if I don’t sound right, what if I mess up, what if people laugh?

It happened again when I met a guy. I fell for him. He fell for me. I thought that would be the push for me to lose the weight. Only it had the opposite effect. Instead of sticking with the program, I found myself going way over my SmartPoints® Budget, and I gained.

Part of me was scared that things wouldn’t work, and that I’d get hurt. It was like I was setting up my reason for why it failed.

It didn’t matter that I knew plenty of people my size and larger who found love, the dream guy, and the dream job—I needed my excuse, and it was an easy one.

My weight has been an insecurity I’ve lived with for most of my life—one that I’ve been trying to get comfortable with. Sometimes I think I’ve gotten a handle on it—and love my body no matter the size, and other times those damaging thoughts creep right back in.

Only now I’m fighting back harder than ever, because I realize just how high the stakes are.

By not putting myself out there, by not trying, I’m guaranteeing a failure.

Life can throw curveballs, things don’t always go as hoped or planned, and sometimes there’s a speed bump. When that happens, we just have to get back up, brush ourselves off, and keep going.

There are enough obstacles—I don’t have to create another. Self-sabotage only hurts myself, and I’m done with it.

I’m ready to take risks—and I’ve been doing it. (I appeared on the news program, I went on an audition, and I told the guy I loved him.)

I’m throwing away my excuses.

I’m ready to reach to make all my dreams come true—including reaching my goal weight.

Have you ever self-sabotaged? You can find me on Connect @shani!

Read more Shani Weighs In.