I’ve seen a lot about how clearing out the clutter from our life can make huge differences in our lives, maybe even helping us to get to a healthy weight, so I wanted to research it a bit and share what I found with you.
The first piece of research shows that what you keep on your kitchen counters matters.
Research from the Cornell Food and Brand lab shows that women with cereal, soft drinks and cookies on their counters weighed more than those without it.
Cereal left 20 pounds more and soft drinks gave 25 pounds more. In a more hopeful aspect of the study, those with fruit on their counters weighed about 13 pounds less.
Actually there is a lot of hope in the study, because this is something very easy for us to change.
Go, clear off your counters and put all the foods that you want to eat only occasionally in hard to reach, faraway places.
Then give the best kitchen real estate, the counters and the eye-level shelf in the refrigerator to the healthier food that you want to eat every day.
Another piece comes from Sandra K. Tunajek, CRNA, DNP and consultant for the Council for Public Interest in Anesthesia; she sites research that found that clutter can lead to health problems including stress and weight gain from an unhealthy environment.
Basically living in clutter creates stress and anxiety which leads to poor sleep and fatigue.
This impacts hormone levels and increases cortisol, which some researchers suggest ultimately leads to weight gain.
I know that if I have a cluttered area of my home, say the buffet near my front door, it gives me the feeling that I need to take care of it and it is difficult for my mind to rest.
“Clutter also drains us of our time.” We might lose time looking for things and may even pay bills late, costing us extra money.
We can use that extra time for whatever makes our heart sing, a hobby, resting or going out for a walk.
I noticed after I cleared off the buffet near my door because we were having a large event at my house, that each time I walked by, it gave me some happy satisfaction.
It sounds very worthwhile to put some time into decluttering your space. Do you think this would work for you?
I am working on it this weekend, who wants to join me?
Many of the people that I hear from are emotional or stress eaters and wonder what they can do stop or if it is just something that is a part of them.
While I am not a medical professional, from my experience I believe it is something that can be reframed and transformed. So, basically, yes, it can be changed.
Shining a light on why and how we do things can help us see ourselves and our options differently.
1. Pause, Identify and Explain the Emotion
When you notice you are eating emotionally or that you are intending to, pause and identify and explain the feeling.
How does it feel to each of your senses?
You could write it out, or say it out loud, you could record it. This can help to stop the replay in your head.
If you can’t write it out or say it out loud, thinking it through fully is another option, but getting it out of your head can be helpful.
2. Refocus Yourself
Use an affirmation or focus mantra to refocus yourself.
Something like “ I am willing to feel differently,” “I am willing to forgive and accept,” or “I love myself unconditionally.”
Pause and take some deep breaths.
Ground yourself by focusing on the world around you.
You could notice the ground you are standing on, feel the earth sharing its strength with you as it flows into your body. Notice the smooth table or rough carpet.
3. Identify the Triggering Event
It may be from immediately before or two days ago or it may be something overall like being tired or not giving yourself enough care and light.
4. Make A Plan to Avoid the Trigger in the Future
For example, I noticed I had a pattern of eating healthy at a restaurant only to come home and get a little out of hand by eating things that weren’t worthy of what I truly wanted for myself.
In my case, it was like a celebration or maybe even revenge on myself. So, I made a plan to order and share a dessert at the restaurant if I wanted it and to not go into the kitchen after a dinner out or if I did go into the kitchen I would take only the portion I wanted into the other room to eat it.
5. Forgive Yourself Fully
I believe the most important part is to forgive yourself fully and unconditionally love yourself. The affirmations help here.
Then take the beautiful opportunity to start again.
Stopping the replay in your mind is essential. I know I have felt like I was constantly re-eating in my mind. Actually, this still happens to me, but I have some tools and steps to help me get out of my head now and I am forever grateful.
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I was a school teacher for 20 years and am a lifetime soul learner. I am still a teacher, just a different curriculum.