Spring cleaning isn’t just a task for your home. The season of newness is an ideal time to clean out the thoughts, feelings, and actions preventing you from making changes that will facilitate a healthier and fitter you. Never has the term “out with the old, in with the new” been more important than it is in 2015. With continued concerns surrounding obesity, a decline in physical activity, and the development of degenerative diseases earlier than ever in young adults, it’s time for everyone to review, renew, remove and/or replace the old with a new perspective, plan, and pursuit.
Before you continue reading, take a moment to consider your eating habits during the week. What does yours consist of? A bowl of ice cream during your favorite TV show? Or a plate of hot wings? A visit to one of your favorite eateries for their green apple slush? Think about the cleaning out of (elimination of) unhealthy eating habits that need to take place. Ask yourself as many questions as possible related to implementing healthier eating habits that begin with “what if?” What if I eliminate sweets for 30 days? What if I eliminate processed foods or 30 days? The process of elimination is the first step of Spring cleaning.
Think of the elimination process in terms of assessing your current situation like old furniture pieces, boxes of old papers, and containers of old home and yard products that have been piling up and not being used for a few years. Doing so leads to the process of discarding what’s not needed, organizing the remainder, and creating space for new or improved items. To take it a step further, think of your Spring cleaning in this context. If you want grass to grow in the summer, you need to pull the Winter weeds in the Spring so that the grass can come in unrestricted. So if you want to eliminate a medical condition, lose some unwanted body fat, or have more energy, it’s important for you to eliminate the weeds in your life that contribute to unhealthy eating habits.
The three tips below just may be what you need for your elimination process.
1. Eliminate the clutter in your life.
Clutter is restraining, creates blockages, and consumes your get-up-and-do. It stifles your ability to plan, prepare, produce, and progress. Recognizing its limiting impact, it’s time to confront the clutter in your life. Unhappy/unhealthy relationship clutter? Habit clutter? Things from your past clutter? Rejection clutter? Social media clutter? What actions do you need to take this week to eliminate the clutter in your life so you can make room to focus on implementing and sustaining healthier eating habits?
2. Build your fitness toolkit.
Your fitness toolkit will serve as your guide for beginning your journey of a clutter-free life. Rather than a complete solution, it is intended to be a starting point for eating healthier meals and also exercising consistently. Your toolkit should consist of a library of targeted advice (e.g., nutrition/fitness coach/consultant and/or resource books), a collection of healthy eating cookbooks (or links to healthy meal preparation websites), an array of personal fitness equipment based on your unique needs (e.g., jump rope, yoga mat, walking/running shoes, bicycle, etc.), and supportive family members and friends.
3. Make your fitness initiative last.
I know your Spring cleaning will lead to changes. You will be empowered to give up your green apple slush for water, your hot wings for a veggie sandwich, or your sweet treats for fresh fruit. To keep the momentum of your clutter free spring cleaning going long after Spring, activating and continuing your “what ifs” will be essential for helping you to stay on top of those new or improved eating habits so you won’t revert back to old habits.
Remember, just ask God and He will grant you the desires of your heart to make good decisions and better incorporate healthier lifestyle habits. “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7 ESV).