I read an interesting article recently that made me think of weight loss from a whole new angle. The article talked about the impact of home design on weight loss. Although I personally already do a lot of the ideas laid out in the article, I hadn’t thought about sharing these ideas in quite that way before. As I read it, I felt myself nodding in agreement – these are practical tips that just might smooth the road to successful weight loss.
One of the main ideas in that article was that a home designed to support healthy habits is far more effective than one that isn’t. Most of the simple, easy to implement suggestions were garnered from a book, Slim by Design, by Cornell University researcher Brian Wansink, PhD.
I’ll let you read that article for the specific suggestions, but I wanted to talk about it because I think it connects to an even bigger idea: letting go of things that don’t serve you well (whether physical objects or old habits) will clear the path to meeting your weight loss goals.
Letting Go of the Past Clears Space for the Future
I want to show you that every single aspect of your life matters – and is connected to the success (or failure) of your personal goals. It’s all connected.
How can you feel good about your body and take care of it properly if your immediate surroundings are full of clutter that encourages you to fall back into bad habits? How can you let go of emotional pain if debris from a bad relationship is everywhere?
And it’s not just physical clutter. Your mindset matters too! How can you change that if you’re holding tightly to old stories of who you are? So much of what we do is connected to the roles we have created for ourselves. All too often, women let those old stories (I’m not smart enough, thin enough, good enough…) limit what they believe is possible. But here’s the thing: You created those stories, so you can rewrite them!
Your thoughts have such power over how your life goes. I truly believe this! Time and again, I have seen powerful results when women decide what they want and state their intentions aloud. It seems so simple Of course what we think limits – or expands – what is possible. But it’s all too easy to get caught up in the clutter around us and forget our own personal power.
Clearing the Clutter from Your Life
I hear people everywhere talking about Marie Kondo’s book and show about the transformative power of tidying up. While I haven’t read the book or watched the show, I am behind the concept 100 percent! We need to clear the clutter from our lives. It’s the only way to make space for new possibilities.
Keeping your living space clean and supportive of the healthy habits you want to build is essential. A well-placed fruit bowl and healthy snacks front and center in the refrigerator will help you avoid reaching for that bag of chips or handful of cookies.
But let’s take it a step further. Not only do you need to get rid of physical objects, you need to tidy up your body (and your mind) if you want to lose weight and keep it off!
What you put in your body is so important. Remember, this is the only home you’ll carry with you forever. You can move from house to house, city to city, even across the world if you want – and your body will always be with you. So, in a sense, it’s the most important home you’ll ever have.
Let’s take that healthy home design idea, and apply it to this traveling home, your body. You can clutter it up with sugar, simple carbs, and processed food – but that is simply not the best design for the life you want to live. You can hold on to old beliefs, but when you let those go, you’re leaving space for the empowering knowledge that you can change your life.
Emotional Clutter Limits Us the Most
What we hold on to in our minds is probably more impactful than any physical object. We can push objects under a bed , tuck them inside a closet or cabinet, or donate them to charity. But our emotional clutter walks around with us, everywhere we go! And whether you know it or not, it’s changing the way you experience the world.
Imagine you return from a trip and drop your suitcase, still fully packed, in the middle of your room. Every time you see it, you’re reminded that you haven’t yet taken care of it. If you’re like most women, you beat yourself up a little bit each time you walk by. But eventually, you’ll need something inside that bag, and you’ll finally unpack it. And when you do, you’ll feel a sense of relief and accomplishment.
Now imagine that that bag is in your mind. Maybe it’s your feelings about a past relationship, or the way your parents treated you, or your connection with your children. Those feelings – and the stories you create about yourself because of the situation – are stuck in your brain, and you can’t get away from them. And when those feelings are triggered, it may send you straight back into old, destructive eating patterns.
If you take the time to truly unpack that bag, you can learn so much about yourself. You can begin to see where your patterns of behavior come from. And you then have the power to change those patterns! You can’t edit a story until you know what it says in the first place.
Only You Have the Power to Let Go
All the good advice in the world won’t make a home tidy. You can’t just read a book or watch a show to feel the magic. The inspiration must lead to action.
And that’s why well-researched, carefully constructed diet programs often don’t work either. You MUST be willing to truly examine your life, choose what works for you, and let go of all the rest. But you don’t have to do it alone!
I believe all women have the power to live the life they deserve. And I’m here to help. That’s what this community is all about. It’s time to take the first step. Take a look at the clutter in your life – what can you let go of, starting right now?
Reviewed by Dr. Mark Menolascino, MD