I would like to begin this week with sharing what I have learned about myself, physical environment, social environment, and cognitive environment through my period of self-reflection.
– Physical environment– Foods that are visible and easily accessible to me cues my poor eating habits. For example, let’s look at a typical Saturday– I am usually on the move running errands and easily lose track of time. After eating breakfast, I get so consumed with getting my chores and errands completed that before you know it, its 5pm! I haven’t eaten lunch or even began to think about preparing dinner, so usually I turn to the nearest and fastest option that I could find that would satisfy my hunger which is usually a fast food restaurant. Therefore, I have realized that in order to change my physical environment cues, I have be more prepared to handle these situations. My starting point is making sure I have meals prepared and ready to eat on a daily basis so that my meals are easily accessible to me at all times instead of turning to a fast food restaurant.
– Social environment– As I stated in my last blog, I enjoy going out and having fun with my friends and family. Usually those outings consist of happy hours and dinners which results in consuming wasted calories from alcohol and overeating. I usually go into every situation with the intention of being healthy but sometimes my will power isn’t enough. That’s why it is important to identify people who support and motivate your good eating habits.During my journey, I have made multiple attempts to stop drinking alcohol and avoid eating out on a frequent basis but most of time I encounter a lack of support from my circle of friends. I receive comments, such as: “You aren’t going to drink and/or eat? That makes no sense”, “Ugh, what was the point of coming if you aren’t going to eat or drink?”, “This one meal won’t kill you,” “I don’t want to drink alone, just sip on one drink.” Comments such as these directed to a person that is in the process of gaining self-control to improve their lifestyle could negatively impact them and cause major setbacks because it could cause a feeling that the person isn’t happy or isn’t enjoying themselves with you (or at least that’s the feeling that I have when I receive these comments). So most of the time I just have that drink or order something to eat so that I could please that person.
Realizing my social environment was very difficult for me because, I realized that food and drinks have become a bonding tool between myself and some friends. Apart from those activities we rarely have much in common; this particular topic has been a really tough pill for me to swallow. I am not saying that this form of bonding is necessarily a bad thing, however the focus shouldn’t be placed on whether or not I am eating or consuming alcohol but it should be on enjoying the time that is being spent with that individual. After realizing the social situations that contribute to my poor eating, it became imperative for me to identify the people who support my healthy eating habits. I began to appreciate my sisters and friends who text/call for coffee dates to just discuss our future and life, music events, bowling, museums, and movie nights just to name a few. These individuals may not know it but they provide me with the strength and motivation that I need to keep going every day because I don’t feel like an outcast just because I am trying to be a better Melissa.
– Cognitive environment– STRESS and PRESSURE are the two contributors that affects my positive habits. I noticed that whenever I get stressed or have a bad day, I turn to unhealthy foods with the thought, “I had a bad day, and I deserve this.” Then it becomes a ripple effect, I wake up the next morning in a bad mood feeling bad about indulging in that unhealthy meal the day before. So then I stress myself out and put unnecessary pressure on myself to reverse the effects of that decision by skipping meals, starting a fad diet, and exhausting my body through extreme cardio trying to burn the extra caloric intake from the day before. Then I get mad that my scale isn’t moving and become down and out and turn to the mere thing that I should be running away from, Food! By speaking positive affirmations to myself daily, I am beginning to positively change my way of thinking and my mindset to avoid this ripple effect by learning how to handle the stress and pressure that I encounter. If you are looking for affirmations, check out “The Only 100 Positive Affirmations You Will Ever Need” (http://www.prolificliving.com/100-positive-affirmations/).
I feel that I am one step closer to achieving my goals, now that I have a better understanding of my physical environment, social environment, and cognitive environment that contribute to my lack of staying on track with my nutrition/fitness journey. I am ready to physically and mentally put in hard work and start seeing results, I hope you are ready as well. Let’s have an AMAZING week- on purpose!!!!!!!!!!