Losing weight deeply involves the psychological side of things, without a doubt. But this doesn’t mean that the environment is left out of the equation when it comes to the success or failure of reaching your weight-loss goal—far from it.
Let’s say you are on a diet, trying hard to stick to it. First, picture yourself at home, with all your handy diet foods in the fridge, perhaps a pair of “skinny” jeans hanging on your closet door for inspiration, maybe a friend coming over for lunch who’s also trying to lose weight, your food log and feelings diary close at hand. All this goes to make a supportive, encouraging environment, doesn’t it?
So now, picture yourself at a restaurant that has yummy food on the menu. It’s your friend’s birthday celebration, and everyone is partaking of food and drink to take full advantage of the party, to have the utmost good time. No one would expect you to stick to a diet here, right? There will be a big cake for dessert, there’s lots of wine flowing, and you feel all loosened up. And, to eat a skimpy portion of fish and salad and skip the cake altogether would make you feel like a party-pooper.
Which situation will help you lose weight?
These are the things you will have to grapple with during your weight-loss journey—everyone does. Sometimes a good, off-the-diet dinner is just the “time out” you need to stay the course, other times it can threaten to throw you completely off track. Whatever the environmental cues you are dealing with at any given time, they do have their power.
It’s the negotiating you do between your inner (emotional) and outer (environment) worlds that is crucial. One is surely influenced by the other, and it works both ways.
You are never without your personal psychology, and you are never totally separate from the world around you. Stay tuned to both aspects of your life while you are losing weight, so you can be aware of what is influencing you at any given time.