If you feel like you could really use a hand keeping things under control with your eating as the Christmas season heightens, let's talk about your physical environment, the part of your home or work space you have some control over. This is way more powerful than people realize and not that hard to put into practice.
For whatever reason, you might find that you are at the cusp of losing it way more often than you want to be. You might not even be able to put your finger on why the cravings seem to come at you when you are least expecting them. So, let's dive into four aspects of your physical environment that can greatly affect how you manage your healthy eating choices.
This one might seem obvious, but the food on display in your home or workspace has a huge effect on temptations. For example, you might not have even been thinking about candy, but the moment you glance at your customer-candy-jar your brain starts yelling about how you should have a piece. Or, you might have baked one of your least favorite desserts, but seeing the plate of cookies displayed on the countertop elicits cravings to grab one or two since it’s been such a hard day. This can even show up with food left over on plates or pans when you are cleaning up after dinner. Sometimes just remaining aware of our reaction to these situations is key. On the flip side, if you display food that are healthy choices, your brain is much more likely to suggest that food instead.
Have you already lit that pumpkin spice candle? Or the wax melts with the cookie dough scent? Do you REALLY plan to spend the whole day avoiding simple carbs while your ole factory nerves constantly remind you of some or your favorite treats? Those smells are enjoyable and relaxing but God didn’t design us to live in a fake world with no follow through. We’re designed to instinctively believe that what we smell is nearby. Therefore, our stomach isn’t being unreasonable when it suddenly starts growling because it smells like you’re baking a pie today. It might be worth investing in scents that are not connected to food. One of my favorites is sandalwood. That change might leave you feeling stronger and having to deal with a lot less cravings than you typically do on a cozy evening at home.
Your mind might be a dark place. So many lies can sneak in over the years. So, as we relearn how to think about ourselves and who we are as God’s child, posting some reminders around the house, your car, and your work space can give you a powerful boost of strength and peace when you need it most. One of my favorite places is my phone. Whatever is on the background of my phone has to make me FEEL encouraged and strong. Right now it is simply a picture of my husband, and I look at it and am reminded of how much he loves me and how blessed I am by our life together. It gives me strength.
Right now I’m typing at a little table in my kitchen. The house is clean and I have purposefully taken off my smart watch. I”ve become pretty consistent in my insistence on not having things around me or on me that add to my stress level. Life is chaotic enough without itchy clothes or a home so cluttered I don’t know where to find things. It is not uncommon for me to coach a sweet sister who's number one stressor is their home with too much clutter and not enough systems to keep things organized. They also tend to do the bulk of their emotional eating in the home. I guarantee that for a huge population of people, how your physical environment looks and feels will always greatly affect your energy levels, strength, and peace. Therefore, if something consistently stresses you out, perhaps it is time to organize that room or take off that itchy scarf so that you my regain some sweet sweet peace.
There you have it, sweet sister. This week as we cruise into Christmas, give yourself the physical gift of making a change to your surroundings that feeds your strength and peace.
All my love to you! Talk to you next week!
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.