Too many times people feel that personal change or health change needs to be this overwhelmingly hard endeavor. The thought of making a personal change for growth, sometimes makes us shy away. The idea of getting healthier…many excuses come up. Visions of drill instructor like trainers come to mind. The idea that “I just will have to grit it out and somehow I will lose the weight I want to” is actually a mindset that sets us all up for failure. See the problem with this is a grityourteeth approach to weightloss and fitness creates a bit of a resentful mind. It also is an exhausting mindset. What if I told you that there are easier, less mentally taxing ways to lose weight? What if it was as simple as creating an environment for change. How? Here are a few ways
#1 Take inventory of things preventing you from getting to the gym.
What are your hurdles to getting to the gym? Take a piece of paper and write them all out:
I’m tired after work and don’t feel like going to the gym
I don’t have a gym
The gym is too far away
I don’t like my gym
Figure out what your barrier to getting to the gym is, and brainstorm how to make it an easier process that takes less mental energy and you you can create an environment that consistently gets you to the gym. For example, if you are too tired after work to workout, try working out in the morning. Don’t like the location of your gym? Find one closer to your work so that you have to drive by it on the way home and you have no excuse not to go. Find a friend to keep you accountable. But most of all, find a way that your environment supports this habit.
#2 Evaluate your living space
Does your living space/wardrobe facilitate you getting to the gym?
Do you own workout shoes?
Do you own workout shorts?
Do you own a gym bag?
Write down what you might be missing on your piece of paper. Make an appointment this weekend to address any clothing or equipment that you need. Many times if we aren’t fully prepared, it just won’t happen.
#3 Evaluate your kitchen
Is what is stocked in your kitchen helping you achieve your goals?
What size plates do you eat off of? Eating off larger plates tends to make us eat more. Try eating off of smaller plates.
Do you drink liquids that are calorie laden? Ditch the alcohol, juice, soda. These should be considered ‘treats’. Best to keep them outside of the house.
Do a kitchen makeover. Find the ‘frankenfoods’ and junk food in the cupboard and throw it away. Yep, I said throw it away. If it is in your possession, you or someone you love will eat eat. Don’t keep food in your house that does not support your fitness goals.
Find the food that is masquerading as ‘healthy’ when it is not. Examples: anything with added sugar or vegetable oils in it. For example: sauces, salad dressings, fruit flavored yogurt, fruit leather, granola bars, nut butters that have sugar added to them.
Make sure you have the tools to cook healthy meals. Consider finding a crock pot if you are pressed for time. Find a time to cook once a week and prep all your food for the week.
You will eat the food that is in your possession, so make it EASY to make healthy choices. Having meals prepared ahead of time and healthy options on hand make eating healthy a no brainer.
Our lives are complicated with so much noise that the last thing we should have to constantly make decisions about are our health and fitness. Find ways to address any environmental hurdles that slow you down. Make those hurdles so easy to navigate that you don’t have to even think about it. If all you have in your house are healthy food, you are more likely to eat healthy. If you pack your gym bag the night before, you are more likely to go to the gym the next day. Find ways to remove the thinking and decision making from being healthy. Change your environment…and you just might change your life…for the better.