How To Handle People Who Sabotage Your Success

Check out my weekly vlog to learn how to handle people who sabotage your success!


  1. Dorothy m solomon

    Susan, what is the difference between a habit or routine?

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  2. Dorothy solomon

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks you for share this important addictive video. I have gave up sugar, I still use strevia in my coffee..

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  3. andrea

    what perfect responses, you ROCK Susan !!

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  4. Sherry W.

    Hi Susan,
    I just got finished listening to your vlog. I didn’t see it however before this thing happened to me. A friend I have have had for twenty some years came to visit me this past weekend. Her Sons were not along on the visit this time so we were able to go out to a very nice restaurant for dinner. I chose the place. She, of course, wanted the wine when we were asked if we wanted a drink. I of course said no!! She was slightly taken back at the fact we were out to dine and I chose not to have a glass of wine. I just drank my water. After our meal the big question came up about dessert. The waitress brought a list. I glanced at the list and my friend said you have to live a little and order a dessert. I responded with a comment of you are correct!!! I do have to LIVE!! And LIVE I shall, with no dessert!! I responded with, there is nothing on the dessert list that sounds that great. Everything on the list I could actually make at home of which I chose not to because I no longer eat these foods!!! She looked at me with surprise. I was so glad I stuck to my BLE lines!!! I also, wish now that I would have said….you have been telling me about these four people you know who had gastric bypass done and its been a year since you saw them and how great they look and they can’t eat theses foofs because of sugar dumping…. She knows I have lost 21.5 pounds doing the bootcamp and you can tell. But, because I do not give her measurements of my food that I eat or let her view my food plans and paperwork it seems she would like to be my Sabatour. I will not let it happen.. Thank you Susan for the encouragement :)) By the way she prob. has about fifteen pounds to loose. I have 178 pounds to loose.

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  5. Malene

    * I meant bonding and not bounding, although at the same time, directing the situation away from eating and food is an act of creating nessesary boundaries for ourselves. Dr. Mark Hyman has a good word for a person how wants you to join him or her in indulging in food – a “Food Pusher” 🙂
    Happy Holidays everyone and thanks again Susan.

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  6. Carol

    Great conversation regarding a question that probably comes up for most of us. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and wisdom.

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  7. Malene

    Thank you. This conversation you are takling about at the end when you adress what is really needed in the situation instead of bending to eating the cookies your friend has made, is a similar conversation I sometimes have with myself. My history with food is a sea saw between overeating and under eating and I’m starting to understand that the way I relate to food is the way I relate to everything and everybody else in my life. It’s all connected and until I understand how and why to balance my intake and the quality of the food I eat, things will stay the same. After my divorce I chose food to be my focus for recovery, it took me on a journey into a deeper understanding of what the body’s true needs are and the best ways to go about meeting those needs. It brought me to this community too. Disappointment, however, in myself and in others, can still get to me so deep that I feel I have no control over my actions. I internalize stuff and unfortunately it can lead to reaching for comfort foods. Writing in my journal is a huge support in externalizing what is going on inside and so is therapy, meditation and Yoga. It slows me down so that I can see and feel better what is going on. Thank you for shedding light on a tricky situation and offer a solution on how to turn it into a more positive and bounding experience.

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    1. Al

      Thank you, Malene and Susan! I internalize mistakes, regrets, fears & anger with eating comfort foods. The fears I have of losing close relationships entangled with old food & co-dependency alcohol addictions often lead to late night binging. I found that making a tray of “healthy” treats before bedtime helps immensely. Now, your vlog, helps me understand the underlying motives of sabotaging behaviors by myself & partner. Its all about love. Truly, we each are in charge of how much we value love. My life & my love(s) are worth more than a temporary “high”!

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  8. Maree

    Once again you have nailed it, Susan, with this wonderful VLOG. So thought provoking and insightful. In listening and also reading others’ comments, I reflected on my own past as a “people pleaser” within my family and also outside of it. Although I have lived through addiction to flour/sugar filled foods, there have been many many times I sabotaged my own efforts as well, not necessarily intentionally, but by not wanting to upset other people by not joining in with whatever food-related pass-time it was. So many outings were centred on afternoon teas with creamy cappuccinos or lattes, cakes or over-sized meals. I felt that the cues to eat were all around me continually. And if I was feeling strong, I soon caved in if a friend or family member said “Oh go on Maree! You’ll LOVE this…. (insert faveourite cake/dessert, etc)…especially hard if they had baked it “specially” etc. I too was madly into baking; always the provider of birthday cakes and treats for my family over the years. But thanks to BLE I am recovering and getting SO many more benefits – a renewed sense of self-worth, the ability to say “No” for my own good, a more forgiving mindset regarding other people and finding new joys in love other than the temporary “fix” of processed sweet foods. Thank you so much for your wisdom, compassion, and gentle loving suggestions for dealing with the humans we interact with all around us as we Bright-Liners forge new enriched lives with much healthier and empowered habits. Such a precious gift you bestow 😀

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  9. corrie

    That was beautiful and well said! Thank you!

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  10. Cindy C.

    Thank-you, Susan for a perfect and well-timed blog. Listening to my stepson and his wife talk endlessly over the Thanksgiving meal about making snickers bars, s’mores cupcakes, Twix candy, etc. I noticed that I can keep my mouth shut but not my ears! Your wise words have helped me see what may really be going on in these difficult situations. Rather than jumping onto my habitual band wagon of anger and resentment, wishing all these people would just go away, I think that in the future I may be able to flow with it more gracefully, and maybe even find some humor in the whole thing.
    Cindy C.

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  11. Linda Libbey

    You are so right on, Susan. My husband couldn’t understand why I needed to spend this money and get so involved just to lose weight. What he does is just eat less and exercise more, and his 10-15 lbs comes right off.
    Gradually over the last 8 weeks, he has seen me follow my program and 19 of my 65+ lbs has been released.
    He has gradually come around and told me he just wanted to know he was still #1 with me. I cook all the food, an important point for him when we married 4 yrs ago (I was a widow and he a widower). So I fix 2 meals usually – he doesn’t like a lot of the things I like. At times it has been hard to fix some of his food, but I use your mantra of “it’s not my food, it’s poison for me”. We eat out at least 2X a week, and now as we are deciding where, he is concerned that we go to a restaurant where I can get what I need. Your video for family members, etc started him thinking . I thank you every day for bringing BLE to my door !! Your program is such a blessing in my life.

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  12. Phil

    Good topic my experience with Thanksgiving was challenging. The idea of a bright line worked. No processed sugar. I actually felt sorry for the family eating all the deserts filled with sugar. They just don’t get it. Since March of this year I have lost 100 lbs. only 25 lbs to go. The family is seeing my change in progress. Life is great. It is good to have a partner that is working on becoming healthy. She has lost 81 lbs. together we have lost 1 person. I actually enjoy going out and being able to sit In a booth or in a theater .to watch a show..
    No longer have to talk about aches and pains. Looking forward to the future and living in the now . It really is a good life.

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  13. Virginia

    Here’s another: my saboteur is my sister who has 15 different medications she’s taking for weight-caused problems and who sends me See’s Candy and brings baked goods every time I’ve been on a diet. She won’t go along for this health ride with me no matter how many times I’ve tried to talk about it. It is not that she’s afraid to lose me, it’s that she doesn’t want to be shown up or have to change her terrible eating habits, all of which I used to have and struggle to leave permanently in the past.

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  14. Rosalind

    Thank you Susan..I have been suffering with Posterior Tibia Shin Splints and am finally committed to going to an acupuncturist for several sessions as no doctor wants to do surgery and none have stopped my pain. So my Dad totally sabotaged my decision when I spoke to him yesterday. Even though it is not about food, listening to you speak really helped me to understand why he was being such a negative person. My mom was very sick before her death, and she went to Acupuncture for her ailments, and it really did not cure her, so maybe his feelings have something to do with that. Anyway, it really was great listening to you. Thanks so much.

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  15. Teri

    Such a great topic, and so timely! My husband has joined me in the journey to Happy, Thin and Free, and finally saw a relative’s purposeful sabotage: she sent us a fruit basket for Thanksgiving . Seems harmless, right? Well, it was the kind where 3/4 of it is covered in chocolate/caramel. He looked me in the eye and said “is she sabotaging us on purpose? She KNOWS we are trying to lose weight!” I was very proud he decided on his own to take the chocolate covered fruit to work for others, and that he finally recognized she tries to sabotage us. She has done this to me for several years, and he refused to see it for what it is. Now that he is trying to get “right sized” he finally sees the manipulation. Thanks to BLE and the meditation I now do, I was able to not be very angry, and just shrug off whatever her intentions are (not my circus, not my monkeys) and keep on with my plan. As always, you hit the nail on the head and I thank you again from the bottom of my heart for opening up my eyes to BLE and all the information, support and encouragement you provide!!

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  16. Rory

    This is one of your best Vlogs EVER….and that is saying a lot because they are all great! I just had this happen with a friend of mine who was a bit tipsy at Thanksgiving dinner and was literally trying to stuff garlic bread and stuffing into my mouth because “it’s so good…you just HAVE to taste it!” I actually had to back up to avoid it getting put into my mouth….and the smell was really hard to resist as I love those foods. I did not feel it was deliberate…more a case of mild inebriation, but decided that I manifested that happening as an opportunity to see how strong I really could be…and how committed to my freedom! Anyway, I love how you see beneath the surface (as usual) and address the issue in such a loving, compassionate manner. Beautiful…and thank you!

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  17. Joseph

    Another great vlog! You so wisely direct your attention not to the negativity being waged but to the unconscious and unstated motives that underlie it. This world is a much better because of wonderful people like you. Thank you Dr. Thompson!
    Joseph in Merida

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  18. Stefi

    Yay Susan! Again hitting it on the head regarding saboteurs biggest fear – loss of your love /affection. I also noticed in my relationship , my guy ( I believe) fears he’ll have step up & also regain a healthy weight once I accomplish mine.

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  19. Cindy Dabbous

    I like that you don’t assume ill-will on the saboteurs’ part! It’s really just a cry out for help.. Hmmm, feels better to see it this way.

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  20. Maddie Penko

    Hey Susan
    I loved the way you answered this question…especially about those loved ones who unknowingly are sabotaging us! Its a great practice to think of other things we can do with our loved ones besides bonding over food. With my friends we are starting to go for walks instead of having apps.
    Looking forward to the next one !

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    1. Ellen

      You so get it, Susan. It is all about the fear that those who love us will lose our love. It takes courage for us to undertake this journey + NOT to be threatened by the way it might be impact others. Assume nothing. Give. Love. Be. Accept. We are the lucky ones to to have glimpsed this reality. Our next step is to stand by those who are affected by our actions – and need our support.

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