Tag Archives: mindset

How I used the stages of change to overhaul my pantry

Photo credit: Ross Findon on Unsplash

Perhaps there are people out there who can relate to this statement. There are some projects that we know we should do, but we keep putting off. This could go on for years…..

Intuitively, we know we’ll be better if we finally get to them. But the thought of going through the process of change just seem overwhelming and even painful. Eventually, we place these projects on the backburner for what may look like forever. In coaching, we refer to this attitude as tolerations.

And then finally something shifts inside of you and suddenly you’re ready to get into action.

Well, that happened to me a couple of weeks ago with my pantry. My pantry is a super-small room right off my kitchen. Over the years I’ve gotten into the bad habit of just stacking stuff one on top of the other in what later became an “orderly mess”.

My pantry had become a “painful toleration”.

I finally decided the toleration of accepting a cluttered and nonfunctional pantry was far worse than the liberation of creating some order in it.

I like the famous quote by Anais Nin:
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

But something had to change within me in order to change my relationship to my pantry.

Whether you need to overhaul your pantry because it’s cluttered like mine, or you want to make healthier lifestyle choices, I came up with six steps to overhaul your pantry in under an hour.

Step 1

The first step is your mindset. Be resolute. You are committed to doing this. You are ready to get into action. Put your game face on and “Just Do It” attitude.

Step 2
Go through your pantry and throw out every food item that has expired.

Step 3
Next, if there are any packages or cans that you may have purchased some time back, you know you’re not going ever to use them. They are not expired. Place these items lovingly in a paper bag to donate to a nearby food pantry.

Step 4

Next, take everything else remaining off the shelves. You can stack them on the kitchen table. Take the opportunity to clean the shelves. Seems pretty basic but I found that de-cluttering the shelves had such a therapeutic feel to it. You may see that there are some more items that you are willing to let go off. Place them in the bag to donate to a food pantry.

Step 5

If you have only shelving in your pantry, then you may want to buy some clear storage bins for this part. I did. Next, organize food items in common groupings. For instance, all the grains in one container or two, broths and soups in another, cans in another bin. If at all possible create a flow to your pantry, where the items that you commonly use, are more accessible than items you don’t use all the time.

Step 6

Finish off by stacking items like bottles and storage containers or other sundry items in a separate space, say in the under shelves.

There you have it, a de-cluttered pantry in under an hour!

I can’t begin to tell you what a rewarding feeling it is to have this new relationship with my pantry.

Here are some of the benefits of having an organized pantry:
• I know where everything is a vast time-savings
• I’ve challenged myself to cook with the supplies I already have in my pantry before I go out and buy new groceries. That simple step saves on my grocery bill.
• Also, this process allowed me to get rid of some of the foods I had long taken out of my diet such as pasta and white rice.

I humorously used the example of my pantry project to highlight our relationship to change. Whether it’s a new diet or exercise program, we tend to want to jump straight into action without first finding out what stage we are in.

There are several stages to change. Let me illustrate the stages of change using my pantry project:

• Pre-contemplation– clearing out the pantry? Not even on my mind!
Contemplation– Maybe someday in the distant future (when I retire) I may declutter that pantry.
Preparation– Hhmmm… This pantry is becoming a nuisance. Good idea to gather information about how much time it’s going to take me to clean it out.
Action– I’m done with the status quo. I’m ready to make some changes. I’m prepared to clean out the pantry! Let’s do this!
Maintenance– Now the challenge is maintaining the new habit of keeping everything in its place.
Relapse– This is the stage old habits that die hard may creep up on us like a Ninja warrior! Be prepared. I know there may be some days that I’m exhausted after a long day and I may come home and just throw things on the shelf resolving to ‘tidy up later.’ I know this, and so I have my systems in place if that should happen. Simply resolve to go back to place the stuff in the grouping system I have already created.
Termination– This is the final stage of change. I’m a pro at handling my well-organized pantry!

Here are some action steps I invite you to take

  • Spend the next week or so writing out a list of your tolerations. This could be projects you haven’t gotten to. It could be you’re living with a chronic illness but you’ve put your health on the back burner.
  • Next, review the stages of change and identify exactly where you are with each toleration.
  • Then, see if you can move one or two items on your toleration list from say the ‘pre-contemplation’ or ‘contemplation’ phase to the preparation stage and even action.

I would love to hear your feedback.

To your health and wellbeing

The ABCs of living with any chronic illness

 

 

 

 

A chronic illness is a prolonged illness that is not communicable and which is not expected to resolve.

Some examples of chronic illnesses are type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and arthritis.

According to the CDC, there are currently about 117 million adult American living a chronic illness.

In addition to this number, about 1 in 2 adult Americans live with one chronic illness and 1 in 4 live with at least two conditions.

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness is a life-altering experience. I know this first hand. I still remember the shock and disbelief reading my results stating the words ‘invasive cancer’.

A lot of people may have a hard time coping with the diagnosis, and they may begin to experience feelings of overwhelm, despair and even depression.

Some people may even feel they are no longer healthy.

But as with everything else in life, you choose differently by your mindset.

That is why I chose to address the mindset in the first three chapters of my recently published Amazon bestseller book ”Dr. Eno’s Guide to Thriving with Type 2 Diabetes”

Your mindset is made up of three essential aspects. I call them the ‘ABCs of living with any chronic illness.’

I not only write about these, but I used these concepts to help me thrive through my diagnosis of cancer.

So what are the ABCs?

A stands for Acceptance
B stands for Belief
C stands for commit to change

To learn more about the ABCs, download my free ebook which highlights the first three chapters of my Amazon bestseller book.

To obtain a copy of the book from Amazon, click here.

 

To your health and wellbeing,

 

 

 

 

Here are some other articles from our archives you may also like:

Five simple strategies to cope with diabetes distress

Five symptoms women should never ignore

Today’s health awareness topic: The relationship between your emotions and diabetes symptoms

 

Today’s Health Awareness Topic: The relationship between your emotions and diabetes symptoms

 

 

 

 

People living with diabetes  may experience a wide range of emotions on a day-to-day basis. These emotions may range from initial anger, resentment, disbelief, and even denial. At times these emotions can be very intense. Sometimes these negative emotions are inappropriately directed at the healthcare provider who gave the bad news of the diagnosis.

Being diagnosed and living with type 2 diabetes does not have to be a stressful experience. Consider that contrary to popular opinion, being ‘stressed out’ does not have to be part of living with any chronic illness including type 2 diabetes.

It is predictable that over time, your emotions will wax and wane. Some days you may feel more upbeat than other days. Rest assured that you are OK. One of the first things that I do with my patients and clients is to work on getting those emotions out in the open so that we can deal with them at the outset.

You have the power to choose how your emotions impact your overall health and well being.

This is especially important if these emotions are not empowering. We all have the power to choose how our emotions impact us. I know this may sound so cliché. But really and truly this is one of the times that you get to choose and that choice directly impacts your blood sugar control. Living with diabetes is a prime example where having the power of choice impacts your overall health and blood sugar levels.

If you are constantly stressed out and angry then it’s predictable that it may be more challenging to get your blood sugars within normal range.

Stress causes the release of hormones in the body. The stress hormones are called adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. These hormones help to prepare the body for ‘fight or flight’. One way that they prepare us for ‘fight or flight’ is by increasing the production of glucose from the liver stores. This is a normal stress response.

However, when you have diabetes, the last thing that you need is more sugar in your blood stream. Your body is already not able to handle the glucose that it has already!

Research has been performed on the effects of a positive mood on our overall health and well-being. On a chemical level, being happy helps to reduce stress hormones. It enhances the release of endorphins and natural serotonin both of which enhances our emotional state and enhances our well-being. If you have a positive and optimistic mindset, then you will feel more empowered in finding ways to better control your blood sugars.

The first step to living an empowered life with diabetes is to get those emotions out in the open. The next step is to deal with these emotions.

It can be challenging for healthcare providers to be able to address all the emotional concerns of our patients  living with a chronic illness. There is no  doubt the 15-minute ‘double-booked’ appointment slot may not help us to connect with our patients and understand how they are actually experiencing their disease but this discussion is important. Be certain to speak to your healthcare provider if you are feeling stressed out or overwhelmed.

Over time some people living with diabetes may begin to experience what is known as diabetes distress.  Diabetes distress is not true depression. Some patients may need the support of talk therapy. It may be helpful to work with a health coach or a psychologist.

As a professional life coach and a physician my stand is for patients and clients living with type 2 diabetes or any chronic illness to experience a vibrant wholesome life.

It is what motivated me create this platform as a way to empower women living with diabetes.

By empowering women, we empower our communities and eventually the planet.

One of the most important things to do is to deal with your mindset and your perception of living with diabetes.

In the first three chapters of the soon to be released updated version of my  book, ‘Dr. Eno’s A-Z  Guide to Living Powerfully with Diabetes’ I write about what I can best describe as the ‘ABCs of a positive mindset’.

They are:

  • A-Acceptance
  • B-Belief
  • C- Commitment to change

Yes you have the power to choose whichever way it goes. Remain committed to how your health and well-being even on days that you may not feel your best.

To take a FREE peek of the first three chapters my upcoming book, click here.

To your Health & Well-being,