How your environment affects your health efforts
A recent client was having a bit of trouble motivating herself to get some good food prep happening. On investigation we found that there was a large amount of clutter and lack of space in her kitchen in order to create some culinary happiness. I've been thinking about my own food prep over the past few weeks and have become quite aware of the fact that I really enjoy my 2 hour weekend "cook food for the week-athons", but when it comes to the evening, I wish that I could get in and out of the kitchen in 2 minutes.
And it's not because I'm tired, and it's not because I don't like chopping vegetables or cooking my evening meal. It's because my kitchen is cold. On the weekend, when it's warm and the morning sun is coming through it's a delight to cook in.
So how's your kitchen environment? Is your kitchen cold, cramped or messy? Are things hard to find, or are the draw full of utensils from last century? Does the cat circle your every move or does your kitchen window stare straight into the neighbours love nest? And is this demotivating you to stand there and cook some decent food?
What can you do about it? My client is going to clear the clutter and ask hubby to fix some broken doors that are making things a pain in the butt for her. As for me, I'm going to shove one of those door draught stoppers under the draughty door next to my kitchen and make sure the fire is cranked up before I start cooking, and if it's lateish - I'll just make sure I'm wearing snuggly clothes and slippers before I start to cook.
Now, some of us just tough it out and go running at 4am in the rain and cold. Good on them, clearly this post isn't directed at that type of person. Many of us underestimate the effect that our environment has on our health and weight loss goals, so we need to take a step back and be honest with ourselves as to why we aren't exercising or why facing a drive-through is far more appealing than our own kitchen.
Of course there are other reasons, like cooking skills, injuries, budget etc. We'll get to that some other time, this is about environment right now.
Your work environment is important too. Where is the communal biscuit jar situated? How cold and uncomfortable is your office and does it make you head for the nearest hot sausage roll? Another client of mine, let's call her Client B commented on the tiny space of her work kitchen which ultimately dictates how much food she can take to work and where she will store it.
Perhaps we don't like the social environment in the gym we joined or we don't enjoy the outdoor environment of winter which stops us from exercising.
These are not excuses, they are just reasons why sometimes we find things a bit tough and can't stick to stuff. They easily become excuses if we don't get off our butts and do something about it.
My advice : Be honest about why you're not sticking to something and if it is environment related, then fix the issue or talk to someone who can help brainstorm a solution for you or run the risk of it becoming an excuse.
For client A: she is clearing the clutter
For me: I'm warming up me and my environment
For client B: We've given her better food options to meet the demands of her small work kitchen.
So, check your excuses now, are any of them environment based?