Back to Basics: Spaces

Back to Basics: Spaces 

The first part of our Back to Basics Challenge (click here for the post all about that)  is tackling our spaces.  Spaces came into play at Weight Watchers with the launch of the 360 program in 2012.  The concept is this: One cannot rely on willpower alone, so making your environments more plan friendly makes it easier to not have to rely on willpower constantly.  So lets talk for a second about our spaces and what we can do to make them as plan friendly as possible.

The Kitchen

Okay, so here is the logical place (and the most important place) to start modifying spaces: the kitchen.  It’s where the magic (and the baking, and the binges..) happens.

  • Perfect Portioning- I keep my WW scale right there on the counter and keep all measuring cups easily accessible in my second drawer, making it really hard for me to find excuses for not monitoring my portions.  Keep the 1/4 cup right in your cereal box if you must.
  • Fix the Fridge-  Fill up the fridge with good choices: fresh fruit and veggies, lean meats, and low point snacks, but here’s the catch: prep them first. Clean and cut the produce and put them in storage and set them in the front of the fridge so they’re the first things you see when you head to the fridge for a snack.  Hide the stuff you shouldn’t eat in the back.
  • The Pantry- Over the last 2 weeks I have pleasantly rediscovered the birthday cake Oreos hiding in the pantry, and it’s felt like a treat every single time.  Yes, I have Oreos in the house…that’s not the point.  The point is I have them hidden behind the pantry door.  I’m usually an “out of sight, out of mind” person.  If I don’t see something, I’ll eventually forget it’s there.  Delicious snacks and treats to be rediscovered are awesome surprises.  Keep the stuff you don’t want to eat regular out of sight, behind a closed door,  and the good stuff right where you can see it

Get Active

Activity spaces are just as important as food spaces.  You want to make sure your environment is encouraging you to get up and active.

  • Leave your gym shoes by your bed
  • Wear your gym clothes to bed instead of PJs..seriously.  It might not be sexy, but at least you don’t have to change in the morning.
  • Wear an ActiveLink (or another activity monitor) to help motivate you.  Set a goal and make achieving that 100% mark a game, complete with a prize if you must. *note: prize should not be food, unless the Points you earn are enough to cover said food prize*
  • Get the crap off of the piece of workout equipment gathering dust and put it in front of the TV or somewhere you will use it.
  • Leave a workout DVD in the player so all you have to do is hit play.
  • Join a gym that is en route to work.  You’ll drive right by it twice a day.
  • Get a teammate; your lover, best friend, dog, whatever.  Having someone else doing it with you is very encouraging, motivating and can get you some social time while you’re active.


Other Spaces

Some of the other things I do to make my everyday surroundings manageable:

  • If food is with me in the car, it goes in the back seat, or even better, the trunk.  If it’s next to me, I will eat it.  I blame long commutes to rehearsals for turning me into a commuter eater.
  • I research restaurants before I go.  Even if I know my intention is to splurge on something Points heavy and delicious, I at least try and know exactly what’s coming,
  • I leave my cash at home on days where my willpower is lacking.  Then vending machines in the break room aren’t an option, and I’m less likely to splurge with my debit card because my finance fiancé tracks our spending for budgets, which means he’ll see the splurge.  I don’t want to be guilty.
  • Sometimes I’ll plug my phone in for the night somewhere out of reach.  Then I have to get out of bed to turn it off.  Less snoozing means more time for working out,
  • I stick a new, fun read on my iPad that is exclusively to be read on the elliptical.  If it turns out to be a good one, I’ll stay put to read a bit more.  (Hunger Games, I’m looking at you..)
  • I pack my own snacks for work to help me avoid the box of donuts inevitably sitting in the break room.  Snacks in your desk drawer work too.


Putting a positive and plan-friendly spin on your spaces will really help ease the dependency we have on will power.  While I like to think I am Super Woman, truth is, I’m not.  I need help and extra tricks to get me through.   What are your favorite ways to fix your spaces?