I came across a quote today in one of the ezines I subscribe to.

“…when you have a pet fish that’s sick, you treat the water—NOT the fish.”

-Artemis Limpert

This really struck a chord with me because so often when there’s a problem, we tend to try to fix ourselves, rather than take a look at what could be changed in our environment.  This is especially true for people to struggle with their weight – “if I’m fat, it must be my fault.” So you try to diet, fix your bad attitude, force yourself to exercise, etc., etc.  And when it doesn’t work, who gets the blame?  You do, of course.

What about trying to see what’s not working in your environment? Maybe your job is really stressful, which leads to to overeat even when you’re not hungry.  Reduce your stress level and watch your cravings diminish.  If you tend to pig out in front of the TV at night, stop buying junk food.  I don’t keep it in the house because if it’s there, I’ll eat it.  How often will you actually leave the house to go and get a bag of chips just because you feel like snacking?

Another part of your environment you might want to think about is the amount of support in your life. Make those around you aware of your efforts to lead a healthier lifestyle, so that they can support you as you make small changes.  And when things don’t go perfectly, they can be there for you to encourage you to keep going.  They’re not always going to know what you need, so you need to ask.  Other forms of support can include fitness groups, online support groups, or professional support in the form of a personal trainer, nutritionist, wellness coach, or therapist.

Also be aware of what your emotional, mental and spiritual environment looks like. If you live with a lot of negativity, whether from those around you or from yourself (those inner critics never stop, do they?), try to include more positive influences in your life.  These can include reading inspirational books or articles, starting a gratitude journal, listening to motivational audio books or music that relaxes you, or meditating.

Remember, if you treat the water, the fish WILL get better.