21 August 2009

Decluttering does in FACT induce weightloss

Imagine that you would not need a workout plan, no diet, no nutritionist, no diet pills, but rather, just a plan to declutter your home, your life, and be guaranteed weightloss?

Today the thought of, "what were you doing last year?" popped into my mind, and then I smiled when I remembered that I had decluttered about 75-80% of the contents of my house, and I was starting a huge project to switch my children's rooms around, which included, scraping wallpaper, filling holes, painting, tossing old furniture, decorating......

Back in March 2008, almost 2 months after I had lost my job, I was very much in search of RENEWAL everything for my life. After working 22 years on Wall Street, and then losing that job, I looked at it as an opportunity of a lifetime....an opportunity to start my 2nd life!!

My house was chaotic and that was because I was a full-time working mother, working 12 hour days and having to balance that with taking care of my home and my children and most importantly ME. I had gone through a divorce from December 2005 until January 2007, which truly upset my world in many ways. My life was drastically altered in ways that I did not want, but ways that I had to accept, and find alternative solutions in order to keep it going strong, and to be a dedicated and loving mother through out. I was determined to be a bright energetic spirit for the sakes of my children.

March 2008, I was home alone one day and trying to sort through some stuff, and I became immensely overwhelmed and confused about where to start. That's what clutter does to you. When you are running out of your house everyday and then coming home with only bits of hours to spare with your loved ones, you just take care of the most important things, like eating together, showering, making sure the dry cleaning is home and clothes are ready for the next day, and you convince yourself that all is good.

Life can be so hectic that you stop worrying about what is piled up in the closets, draws, attic, garage. You are just thankful that you have a home. You shop every so often because you convince yourself that you need more stuff because you truly never focus on or remember about what you have already. If you gain 5 lbs, you run out and shop. If you lose 5 lbs, you run out and shop.

Over the years, I had been good about donating clothes, mine and my children's clothes, but given the fact that I had many closets in my house, especially one nice big cedar walk-in closet, I justified that I needed to hold onto my good quality stuff. What was I saving it for?

I lost sight of my own identity. At that time, I was "Jacquie, the gal with tons of great clothes, shoes, bags, memorabilia, my favorite this, my favorite that......" Until one day I realized that none of that was true and it all had absolutely no meaning whatsoever. Having gone through the divorce, I realized that I had to put the past behind me. Let go. Just let go.

If you are going to make steps to a new you, you have to let go of the past. Let go of the material garbage that has a hold on you because none of it has any meaning. The only meaning all the junk and clutter in my house had was that it was aggravating me and causing me grief.

Think about living healthy.... how can you do so if your closets and draws are jammed up with STUFF? You have to take everything out, every so often, to make sure you are cleaning and dusting those things. If they are there sitting in a box, a closet, a draw for months or years without being touched................ LET IT GO! It is serving no purpose.

A cluttered home very much is the cause of a cluttered mind, bad habits and even weight issues. If you really want to live a life that is fulfilling, you will very much benefit from having a home that is sensible and tidy. You want to open a closet and see what is in it. You want to cut down on wasting time trying to find something.

Speaking of trying to find something..... what are you looking for????? Life is so precious and why waste it looking for things? Think about that..... think about the last time you comfortably told someone, "It took me forver to remember where I had put..."

Back to me and my decluttering project last year. I met the greatest person, Pamela, who taught me the art of decluttering, and I can tell you that I am forever thankful for meeting her. It's very simple. Start with one room, and go through it with a vengeance. Be truthful. You have 2 options, Keep or Don't Keep. From there, another 2 choices, Donate or Garbage.

I was liberated in so many ways. I remember running up and down, piling up stuff, hauling hundreds of garbage bags out to the corner, boxing up stuff, shredding, shredding, ripping, drives to donation spots. The more I emptied out my house, the more I felt a sense of freedom, and the more I lost weight.

Yes. Before I had lost my job, I had gained about 15 lbs during the divorce despite the fact that I was still working out almost everyday. Stress will INDEED do that to you. But when I started the decluttering of my house, my mind switched from the mind that once was filled with thoughts of JOB, commuting, spending little time with the children, finances, problems..... to new thoughts of, "MY HOME is really feeling like a home now, and NOT a storage warehouse."

By mid-April, I had lost 15 lbs! Being a pack-rat is an act of trying to fulfill an emotional need. The terrible thing is, it really does not help your emotions when you just keep on hoarding, buying, collecting, etc. You know it's true because moments, days after you add yet another item into your home without getting rid of other stuff, you have already lost some interest in the new item. And I know for a fact that the true underlying emotional "issues" are still there along with the new "stuff" you purchased. People joke about how shopping is their therapy, but it's really not a good joke.

During my PURGATION :), I was giddy and people were amazed with my attitude. I would literally call up friends and say, "Oh my goodness, I feel so happy today, I just watched the garbage men take away about 50 bags of garbage. It felt great."

Purging the garbage in your home is the ULTIMATE therapy for starting a weightloss program. It is the ultimate diet AID. I urge anyone who has closets, draw, cupboards, attics, basements, etc., that are jammed up with stuff to take the journey. Give stuff away. Donate it. Throw out the garbage. When you do that, you will throw out the barriers that have prevented you from achieving your TRUE health and fitness goals.

Don't put it off either... don't wait until vacation, don't wait until you get laid off, don't wait until you retire ..... do it now... it will have a profound positive impact on your life!

Let me add, because we all do this (particularly us gals ...:), that saving all those sizes of clothing in your closet is sabotaging your program in many ways. You are committing that idea of a "self-fulfilling prophecy" by keeping all the sizes for when you DO gain or lose all the weight....over and over. Why keep a bunch of clothes in 3 sizes? You are telling yourself that you don't think you will stay committed to YOU and YOUR health. You are making plans to fail. When you do that, you will indeed fail.

Go ahead and keep one or two things in a couple sizes, but let go of the rest. The truth is, you must declutter EVERYTHING in your life, not just your home. DECLUTTER the thoughts that you have been imprisoned by. When you have committed to becoming a healthier you, commit on all levels. Commit to your new way of thinking. Throw out the old!!! If it includes some people.... well, let them know that you have thrown away the old you and they better not try to resurrect that old garbage because if they do, you will have to throw them away too!

It's so funny, each time you have an obstacle in life, at that moment, you most likely think as I did, that it is the worse situation you have ever had to deal with in life, but when you get through it, and breathe that huge sense of relief, you come out feeling empowered. However, you truly say to yourself, I hope that is the worse that I will ever have to endure, and from here on in, my life is going to get better. If you are like me, you Thank God daily, sometimes every moment because you know without him, you would not have made it. I Thank God everyday for giving me the ability to be the person I am.

Every so often, as I am doing today, I go back and declutter again. It's an on-going process, just like eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis!

1 comment:

Ann Kroeker/Not So Fast said...

Great post--Recovering Slob linked to this post on Twitter, so I popped over to read it and was impressed.