“Happiness is a place between too little and too much” – Finnish Proverb
Ever consider that the mess on your desk and the fact that your pants no longer zip may be related? To state the obvious, both are hard to live with yet overwhelming to contemplate fixing.
And while they may not go hand-in-hand for everyone, for some of us, according to author and professional organizer, Peter Walsh, (and me), there is a correlation. In his book “Does this Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?” Walsh writes:
“Many of us have it. The old magazines piled up in the hallway, the boxes of shoes shoved under stairs, a loft overflowing with old toys… the thought of clearing out all that clutter is exhausting, so, although we hate it, we carry on living with it. Just as we carry on with our old eating habits, even though we know they are unhealthy.”
When you are overweight, unhappy about the situation, yet not making an effort to do anything about it, your surroundings often reflect that internal conflict. While I am naturally and normally a pretty neat person, all bets were off when my eating was out of control and my weight was climbing.
The illogical logic
My thinking around all this disorder went something like this. Why bother straightening out the jumble of towels and sheets in the linen closet, I’m fat. Yeah, I have all those old, outdated handbags falling on my head every time I try to get the only one I ever use, but so what, I’m fat. Okay, the kitchen utensil drawer is so full of useless gadgets that I can’t find the peeler, but who cares, I’m fat!
Makes about as much sense as going off your eating program to spite your cell provider for that error they made on your last bill. But there you have it
An out of control mess
How do you get from thinking messy to the mess itself? Well, it might start with out of control eating. You eat fast food in the car and don’t bother to clean up afterward. Or you create a gourmet meal using every pan in the cupboard, then move the party to the couch where you stuff down cookies and scatter crumbs everywhere, until you pass out in a food coma, like one of those evil Caesars that brought down the Roman empire.
The next day you wake up five pounds heavier and to a crime scene (the binge site) akin to the wedding bloodbath in Game of Thrones. Which leads to feeling….
Depressed and overwhelmed
The feelings of remorse and depression are even more painful than the morning after when you’re facing cleaning up the mess.
Maybe you don’t binge and cannot relate to my example at all. You don’t have to engage in gorge-a-thons to end up with a messy house and an overweight body.
Too much is too much
Maybe you just have too much stuff. Could be you are holding onto all of it because it reminds you of better times like you are holding on to your weight because it makes you feel safer than being in a right-sized body. Maybe you are confused, not knowing what to do with all your extra stuff after downsizing to a smaller house like you are confused which diet to choose among the array of those touted on the internet.
Perhaps you find your stack of old magazines comforting like you find cookies comforting after a hard day. Maybe you are as overwhelmed by the process of cleaning your closet, much as you are overwhelmed by the thought of embarking on yet another diet to get the weight off.
See the connection?
The decision to take control
Losing weight starts with setting a goal and committing to a plan to get there, and so does releasing the clutter in your environment. Both require a strategy and a plan of action to break through to freedom.
Just think of the outcome; wouldn’t you agree that if there’s anything sweeter than being in a right-sized body, it’s being in a right-sized body and having an organized underwear drawer?
Now that I have lost my weight, I want to get started on the decluttering. As I stated, I am a pretty neat person. Actually, if you walked into my house, you wouldn’t think there is a clutter problem. But the example of the purses falling on my head, that’s a reality.
Plus, my bedroom closet needs an overhaul. And one of the reasons I haven’t gotten around to it is that there is a lot of clothing from my working days that I have been reluctant to part with. Because you never know when I’ll need those black and red pumps that only go with that red and black dress I donated five years ago, right?
I have been holding on to these things for at least the three years I have been retired, and the two years I worked from home before that. But the big closet purge is for another post. Once again “Baby Steps” is my mantra. Maybe I will start with that underwear drawer.
Do you have a clutter problem that aligns with your eating issues? If so, please do share in the comments below.