Arrange Your Space for Success


Your will power is like a muscle. The more you use it, the less likely you will be to use it later on. If you are surrounded by sweets all day at the office and resist them, you will be less likely to resist them later on when you go home and see them sitting out on your counter.

Out of sight, out of mind. If cookies, sweets, candy or anything else like that are put away, you’ll be a little less likely to eat them.

There are other tricks and ways to arrange your personal space so they will help you to eat right and exercise, rather than make you less likely to. Every little bit helps. Getting into shape and eating right takes time, takes effort, and takes a lot of little changes that make it easier to be healthy. A lot of little changes will build up to make a big change. A lot of little ways to make things a little easier will build up to make it considerably easier to live a healthy lifestyle.  Make your surroundings benefit you, make them help you out, rather than sabotaging you.

Work with your surroundings, be they your work space, home space or personal space. Don’t let your surroundings control you. Anything that can make living healthy, eating right and exercising easier on you, take advantage of. It is hard enough to try to live a healthy lifestyle, don’t make it any harder on yourself.

It is hard enough to resist sweets, don’t make your home- your place of refuge- sabotage you. Most work places are loaded with sweets, candy, donuts, soda and many other foods that should only be eaten limitedly. When they are in front of you every day, they can be very hard to resist. If you are hungry, they can be almost impossible to pass up. If you can keep healthy snacks and foods at work, it will make it a little easier to avoid those foods that are full of sugar and are calorie dense. Nuts, fresh and dried fruits, yogurt, granola bars, all of these are good, healthy snacks.

Snacking will prevent you from binging on sugary foods. Snacking helps to keep your blood sugar balanced and your energy levels constant. Snacking keeps you from getting hungry. When you are hungry you are more likely to binge on sugar and sweets. When you are tired you’re also more likely to binge on sugary foods. If you snack on something about 2 hours after eating breakfast, you’ll be less likely to eat a huge lunch. Then snack on something else about 2 hours after lunch. This will keep you from getting tired in the afternoon. This will make you less likely to binge on dinner and snack after dinner.

Starting the day out with eating breakfast will make you less likely to binge later on the morning and even into the afternoon. People who eat breakfast will eat less throughout the day. Don’t sabotage yourself. Start the day out with a good base and eat breakfast. Otherwise you will be hungry and tired by 10 am.

Clearing the counter tops of snack and junk foods will make you less likely to eat them. Clearing out the refrigerator of bad foods is a great way to encourage yourself and your family to eat healthy. It’ll just make it a little easier to eat healthy. Clearing out the pantry of junk and snack foods is another good way to keep eating healthy. I try not to keep any sweets in the house. I’ll pick up dessert a few times a week for after dinner. Besides that the kids bring enough junk food into the house. I don’t need to bring even more of it into the house. If we are constantly surrounded by junk food, we are all going to eat more of it.

While at work, try to sit as little as possible. Years ago most jobs were standing jobs (clerk, conveyer belt worker, etc). Now most jobs are sitting jobs (computer programmer, engineer, architect, etc). Most jobs  are now in front of a computer. Sitting for long periods causes a whole host of issues. It makes you more susceptible to neck pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, wrist pain, mid back pain, low back pain, hip pain, abdominal pain, knee pain, ankle pain and foot pain. It also makes you more susceptible to getting type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more likely to be overweight and obese.

We are not meant to be sedentary. We are meant to be hunters and gatherers. Our bodies are designed to be out roaming for hours trying to find food. Our bodies are not designed to be sitting at a desk all day. Thus the more you can get up from your desk, the better off you will be. And the better off your waist line will be. Don’t call someone across the office- get up and go talk to them. Don’t take the elevator- walk the steps. Try to get up from your desk every half an hour. Get up and go to the bathroom, get a drink of water. Just get out of that position of sitting. Get your muscles out of that position and move them around.

You can also sit on a physio, or gym, ball 10 minutes out of every hour. I can’t imagine sitting on one of those balls all day long. But just sitting on one 10 minutes out of every hour allows you to sit actively, and activate some of those muscles that are not used while sitting.

Many patients of mine have had good success with a standing desk. It takes a little time to get used to standing all day. But once you do, you’ll love it. Standing is much easier on your low back, hips, knees and ankles. Standing all day is much easier on your waist line as well.

If you have knee pain, ankle pain, or plantar fasciitis, you can raise the ball of your foot an inch or so. This will take stretch out your calf, rather than having it in a contracted state and tightening up while you sit. Rest the ball of your foot on a book or a piece of wood, as long as it is an inch thick. This will allow you to rest the ball of your foot on the block, which raises the ball higher than the heal, which stretches out the calf and the Achilles. Miniature ramps are made and sold at ergonomic stores for this purpose, just use a book or a piece of wood and accomplish the same goal.

These are just some of the ways that you can alter, and work with, your surroundings to make them easier on you. Work with your surroundings to get them to help you and benefit you, rather than hold you back. It is hard enough to exercise and eat right, don’t make it any harder on yourself.

Using every advantage, working with what is available, being smart about our surroundings, making things as easy as possible, is the Pain Free Way.



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