Walk into your kitchen, look around, what do you see?
This is where the past can negatively affect your future more than in any other room of your house. It’s the pizza cutter that won’t go away. The foods we ate as a child, or that we eat to “feel better” now. Or how about some raw chicken slime?
Your kitchen should be the cleanest room in your house, but it’s usually the room where you wish the magic fairies would come so hard you black out. They’re not coming, and you’re not going to get healthy by wishing. Since you are the only rescue you’ve got coming, here’s a few ways to save yourself.
1. Remove what doesn’t work.
You know your life would be easier if you could walk into your kitchen and instead of being directed to all of the foods that are bad for you, you could pick the ones that actually help you. Your kitchen is where you feed your body and you make choices without even realizing it is all about your health.
Get rid of whatever you haven’t used and you won’t be using. Throw boxes over your shoulder, fill crates with dishes that you’ve never even liked, make this place work for YOU!
2. Follow through on your goals.
In the kitchen the emotional and the physical goes so hand-in-hand we’re going to talk about them somewhat interchangeably. If you have a strong emotional drive to loose weight/get healthy, but you have junk food everywhere in your kitchen, there is a disconnect there.
There are so many disconnects that I see in my practice. People who come in and think that they are ready for change but their physical environment is still reflecting the old them.
When you walk into your kitchen your physical environment needs to reflect the future you want. It needs to be free of the past, clean and ready to make the present doable. Point yourself towards the future that you want.
3. Make a commitment to yourself.
Does your freezer, and your refrigerator, and your pantry reflect the new you? No? Your worth cannot be measured in Pop Tarts, and mac & cheese. Anything that’s sugared, over processed, and says , “I don‘t really deserve to be healthy“, throw it out!
You no longer need this. You need a life that reflects what you want for yourself and not just what you’re willing to put up with. Make your pantry, your refrigerator, and your freezer reflect that new reality.
Emotionally we do the same thing with our beliefs about who we are and what we’re capable of. Do you have self beliefs that reflect an old you? Are you able to say I love myself ? Or do you still pack your emotional freezer full of pop tarts and crap in a box?
The good news here, a change in one area begins to reflect in the other areas. Even if you are not believing in yourself fully right now, restock your physical kitchen. Believe in your self enough to make physical changes around you, that will eventually be reflected in your emotional state.
4. Do the easiest stuff first.
It’s often easier to make the changes physically than it is to make the emotional changes. Unfortunately many of my clients think that they need to make the emotional changes and then finally go clear out their pantry. It doesn’t work that way.
If you are self sabotaging with your emotional beliefs and your physical reality, it’s going to be easier to change your physical reality before your emotional beliefs.
Think of it like this, if someone loves you there going to do good things for you to convince you of that. Have you convinced yourself lately that you actually even like you? If you haven’t what can you do that will convince you of your own self like?
Get into your kitchen and make it aware that you now like yourself.
5. Do it as big as you can and as small as you need to.
If you live with a bunch of little kiddos, or a big boy who likes lucky charms too much, you’re going to have to do this in smaller ways. You’re going to have to claim a section of the kitchen and make that section free of the things that you no longer want for yourself. But somewhere, somehow in your kitchen, make an area that’s about you and how you want to feel about yourself.
Nobody will do this for you. It’s your right to do it for yourself.
6. Expect and deflect the haters.
They may even be your own family. People don’t respond to change well. The very people who asked you to get healthy may be the ones who put sugar in your special section, whine about the new food choices, and tell you, “You take this way too seriously. It’s like you joined a cult!” When you expect everyone to make things easy for you, you’re doomed. Other people will make healthy changes harder. Now that you know that, you can be prepared to overcome.
Here are some possible responses.
-“I’m doing this for me, so that you’ll know it’s OK to take care of yourself.”
-“If I take care of myself now, I’ll still be here when we’re old.”
-“I refuse to live with shame and regret for one moment longer. I have made a commitment to myself and I’m going to stick with it.”
-”I’m not making anyone but myself eat healthier. I’m just suggesting it to the rest of you.”
-”Thank you for noticing I’ve made changes.”
Health and time cannot be bought back. Protect yours.
Next time we’ll still be in the kitchen, talking about emotional residue and how it affects your new recipes for emotional closeness. Until then, happy cooking!
photo is “He has a plan” from the flickr photo stream of x-ray delta one.