How many times have you thought something like “I’m just going to ignore the ice cream that’s in the fridge and eat a fruit bowl” And then end up eating a big bowl of ice cream anyway? Probably way too many times. And the thing is, you have the best of intentions when it comes to eating food that will nourish your body and give you energy, but the sweet treats just taste better. Wouldn’t it be easier to eat the fruit if you didn’t have the ice cream in the first place?
Don’t get me wrong, you deserve to have those treats and it’s important that you enjoy them, but by leaving them out of your environment you’ll be able to focus on healthier options, so the treats like ice cream, chips, sodas or whatever it is that you enjoy can be more of a sporadic event, rather than your everyday meals.
When we start a fitness journey, we have to be very cognizant of the environment around us and what that looks like. We all have trigger foods, and it doesn’t matter how many vegetables are in the kitchen, or how much we worked out that day. If you have your trigger food in the kitchen, and it only takes a couple of steps to go get it, chances are you’re going to cave in and eat more than what you should.
We often focus so much on motivation when it comes to starting a fitness journey that we forget that motivation has a limit, and once we run out of it we should continue working toward our goals. It’s common to see people quitting their process once their motivation is over because they haven’t taken the time to build a space that will help them stick to the actions that can make their journey sustainable in the long term.
When we build the space around us and focus on creating an environment in which we can focus on our goals with minimal distractions, that’s when we can thrive and accomplish those fitness goals we’ve been aiming for.
It doesn’t matter who you are, or how disciplined you think you are. If you know that there are trigger foods and drinks, it’s important that you remove those from your home. Save them for a special occasion, or that specific time that you want to enjoy them.
For example, chips and popcorn are not allowed in my house before Saturday at noon and after Saturday at midnight. Just that part of the day, that half of the day because, even though I may have the best of intentions, even though I’m a professional for goodness sake and this is what I teach people. If they are close by, because all I have to do is stand up, walk into the kitchen and open that cover and grab, chances are, at some point, I’m going to do that.
So, if you have been failing to start your fitness journey even though you have the best of intentions, you might have to start evaluating the foods that you surround yourself with and how to change them so you can focus on healthier and more nutritious options.
Remember, it’s important to have treats and enjoy delicious foods, even when they are not the “healthiest”. But you should be intentional about it, to think in the long run. And to do that, it helps to have these foods far from your environment. Things like chips, popcorn, whatever it is, for you, remember the environment trumps the intention, every single time.
The process might not always be linear and that’s ok, but when you set up the space with good conditions for you to thrive, everything will run smoothly.