It’s been about six weeks since we’ve been locked up in our houses, and I’m sure you’re feeling about as cooped up and stir crazy as I am!
It’s been a challenge to find things to do with my time, especially when I have to entertain not just myself but also my kids. But I have to say that I’ve loved getting some of those “I really need to . . .” projects done – decorating my patio, cleaning out my closet, and organizing old photos to name a few.
It goes without saying that this pandemic has resulted in real trauma for many people. But if you want to find an upside, I think the forced down time we’re collectively experiencing can actually be a good thing.
Now that you’re stuck in your house, trying to find things to occupy your time, it’s an excellent opportunity to make some life changes. And I’m sure if you’re here reading my blog, one of the changes you want to make is to lose weight and live healthier.
Unfortunately, most of time when we want to achieve a new goal we launch headfirst into radical changes without any kind of real planning. You throw out everything in your fridge, buy all new food, and overhaul your entire diet overnight.
But as you know, especially if you’ve ever been on a diet, these kinds of changes rarely work. So you wind up failing and having to start over – over and over again. If you want to make changes that last, you have to have a vision for what you want and lay the groundwork for bringing that vision to life. Then you have to have a plan to put changes in place.
But if you don’t lay the groundwork for those changes – the ones that ultimately pull your vision into reality – they won’t take hold. You can make all the changes in the world, but if you don’t have the right framework to implement them in, they’ll never stick.
The groundwork I’m talking about is your environment. It’s the soil that helps your changes take root and ultimately become habits. Let’s look at how this works.
What you look at heavily influences your thoughts. Your thoughts create feelings, and those feelings cause you to act.
For example, if you look around and see a mess, you’re going to think “This place is a mess.” You’re going to feel weighed down and overwhelmed, and you’re going to want to do anything but clean. What you’ll likely do instead is check out completely and surf the internet while you eat something.
But if you look around and see a clean, organized, and beautifully decorated space, you’re going to feel lighter and happier, and you’re going to feel more motivated to do something creative, like replant your window boxes or cook a healthy new dish for dinner.
So what you look at – in other words, your environment – is pushing you to take action, all day every day. And it can mean the difference between success and failure at achieving any goal you set.
Your environment is always influencing what you do – whether you like it or not. So if the results you currently see in your life aren’t what you want, chances are your environment isn’t set up for success.
How can you change your environment so that it can help you be more successful?
You can set your environment up so that it actually makes decisions for you. You can modify it so that it makes it hard for you to engage in bad habits and easy for you to engage in good habits. You can totally eliminate the need for willpower by having your environment make it easy to make the right decision, every time.
As it relates to your health, there’s no more critical environment than your kitchen. And if you want to be healthier (and yes, lose weight), you need to choose the right foods more often and choose the wrong foods less often.
If you set your kitchen up the right way, these things are way easier to do. You’ll no longer have to force yourself to do them, and you won’t fall prey to those split-second moments where your mind talks you out of doing what you know you need to do.
It sounds basic, but doing something simple like keeping your chips in the pantry can keep you from bingeing on them, and keeping bottles of water in sight can increase your chances of staying hydrated.
In fact, researchers have studied how these kinds of environmental changes affect people’s behaviors. In one of those studies, researchers analyzed the kitchens of 500 women to determine the association between the kitchen environments and the women’s weight.
They found that women whose only counter top item was a bowl of fruit were more likely to be of a normal weight than women who had other food items on their counters. And they also found that women who kept cereal, chips, or soda on their counters weighed on average between 22 and 26 more pounds than women who kept those items out of sight.
Isn’t that amazing?
Making just a few minor alterations to your environment has the potential for massive results – and those are just a few of the small changes you could make. In fact, I like to call your environment your “secret weight-loss weapon,” it can improve your success rate so much.
The good news is that just by making some simple alterations to your environment, you can give yourself a massive edge in increasing your chances at losing weight, and I’ve created a guide to show you how to set your kitchen up perfectly to do it.
It will show you exactly how to weed out, organize, stock, and prep your kitchen to increase your chances of making the right choices, give yourself freedom from having to constantly use willpower, and start changing your eating habits.
But not only can your kitchen help you make drastic changes to how and what you eat, it can also change your relationship with food. If it’s set it up the right way, it can become a space you enjoy being in rather than a place that induces anxiety and fear of food, and it can motivate you to eat to nourish your body rather than eat to fill an internal void.
One of the key takeaways I want you to get from this post is that all of the failures you’ve experienced in trying and failing to lose weight could be because of the simple fact that your environment may actively be working against you. You’re blaming yourself for the failures, when your environment may be pushing you to keep repeating the same bad behaviors – and then those behaviors become habits.
But if you start converting your environment into your most powerful ally, you can not only drop all the shame and the blame, you can start becoming effortlessly successful overnight.
So use this unexpected downtime to make a massive change in your health – without having to make a massive effort to do it. Turn your kitchen environment into your secret weight-loss weapon, and use it to its fullest advantage!