One of the most interesting projects at the start of the Emotionally Focussed Eating Program is to go through the kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer, at the start of the transitional food endeavour in order to start to pay attention to what is lurking in the kitchen from previous grocery store visits.
What is lurking, is what is available that helps support unhealthy eating habits. What I have learned is that if I don't pay close attention, I can easily fool myself into eating foods that are not low carb because I am buying foods that are not low in carbs.
Foods in the cupboards, freezer and fridge are foods of my environment. Changing my environment has a huge impact on how I feel about myself. My environment is a trigger that propels how I manage stress, sleep, exercise, hydration, and how much and what I eat. Making sure that my environment is conducive to healthy eating and living habits is way more effective then just having a list of acceptable foods and a menu plan.
Repetitive behaviour is what drives habits, and so changing that repetitive behaviour is what is most important. Creating a new way in which I reach into my cupboards, fridge and freezer supports my weight loss. For example, I used to go to the snack cupboard and head to the fridge for a soda. But now I have water bottles in the fridge that are filled with nice cool water for myself to grab instead, along with a nice stash of cheese and fruit. I no longer head to the snack cupboard because I have changed my environment to support healthy snacking.
Studies support the idea that it is your environment that drives your eating and doing (or lack of doing) habits. The options that you have available to you in regards to easily attainable and edible food choices equals your weight management. If you have unhealthy food options easily within reach, then that is what you will eat, and as a result that is what your resulting weight management will look like.
Alongside this idea is also the routine in which you set up for yourself when you arrive home. For myself, I have made sure that I am keeping myself busy so that I no longer have as much 'down time' available in which to continually snack.
As Dr. Laurie suggests, a change in routine can go a long way in changing your environment. For example, if you arrive home stressed, then it is a lot easier to destress by eating. Taking yourself to the gym first, before arriving home, can change your routine to support new habits of healthy eating.
For myself, when I come home, I make sure that the first thing that I do now is I go to the sink and wash my hands. I have found since I have started this routine I have not had any illness. I then go and change my clothes so that I can relax. Once I do this, I then start to prepare dinner so that I no longer have the need to rush into the kitchen and start to snack before supper.
I have changed my routine and my environment to support new healthy eating and doing habits. In order to create this solid routine, I have had to follow it repeatedly, just like leaving my keys in a dish by the door each time I enter the house. I used to be so frustrated by losing those keys, but after repeatedly memorizing the new behaviour, it is second nature now, and I very rarely ever do anything different then leave those keys in that dish.
Following the new routine repeatedly once I come home, has had several benefits all of which support my new healthy lifestyle and have given me several rewards, one of which has been my new weight management. The repetition has led me from having to remind myself to follow through each time, after a period of time to having to put in way less effort, then after a few short weeks to following through on the new routine with no effort at all.
On the quest to lose 50 pounds in a year. Can she do it? Only time will tell....with the help of this blog.