Real Story: Is Extra Food is Cluttering Up Your Life?

Is extra food cluttering up your body and your life?

Sorry we didn’t have a post yesterday, guys—Morgan’s away and I was working on the book all weekend! But always keep checkin’ back; isn’t goin’ anywhere.

I loved this sentiment from a reader named Han, who has come up with an interesting way to think about the extra food she no longer wants to put into her body:

I wanted to share an epiphany I had yesterday. I, like many people, love watching the Food Network. But a part of me loves those decorating makeover shows even more, particularly the ones that deal with decluttering and organizing. I scour DIY blogs for inspirating storage ideas, and I admit I love a good purge and clean once in awhile. I’m very proud of my home, it’s decorated to my taste, it’s neat, organized, and most of all it feels like me.

I guess I could say I clean because I HAVE to (I don’t want to end up living in an unhealthy pigsty), but mostly I do it because I like the way my house looks afterwards, and mostly—the way I feel in it.

Then I had a thought—my body is not unlike my house. Too much food, unhealthy food, is like bringing in new clutter into an already full house. And not exercising is like letting the clutter build up without doing a good cleanup and decluttering.

As much effort as I put into making my house feel like a home, I should be putting the same care and thought into my own body. Everyday maintenance is necessary of course, so we still need to eat and move every day, just like we need to buy toilet paper and do the dishes. And indulgences are okay too, just like buying that fabulous lamp or like that sushi outing.

I should also see exercising and eating well not as a chore, but as a way to ultimately feel awesome, the way you feel after a good run, or the way you feel once your home is all neat and nice. I’m not pretending this is a novel idea (Peter Walsh, the organizer on the TLC show Clean Sweep, wrote a book on this subject—I haven’t read it, nor do I have shares in it!). But for me it just suddenly made a whole lot of sense. I’m finding it easier to stop eating when I’m full, and even leaving food on my plate. After all, at that point, extra food is indeed just clutter. —Han, 27

What do you guys think of this “clutter” idea? Do you have a different concept you keep in mind to help you avoid emotional overeating?

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7 Responses to Real Story: Is Extra Food is Cluttering Up Your Life?

  1. Tamara says:

    I’m glad she came up with a new perspective that works, but I don’t think it would apply in my case. I love “Deserving Design” as much as the next gal, but if I treated my body the way I treat my real-life apartment, I’d be riddled with disease :p

    However, there is a practical parallel here. When my kitchen is messy or a lot of dishes have piled up in the sink, I’m much less likely to want to make proper meals. I’m starving when I get home from work, so I certainly don’t want to spend 10 minutes washing pots and plates before I start dinner. So, “clutter” is not good for our health in more ways than one!

  2. Kate says:

    I’m terrible at cleaning/organizing/decorating. I feel I might be able to change this in the future because I had the same epiphany as Tamara: If my kitchen is messy and it will take 10-15 minutes after work to clean it before I start making a healthy dinner, I’ll just order pizza or heat up some of the junky frozen foods my husband has. Then I feel crappy physically and mentally and before I know it my kitchen is a disaster and my body is too! On the other hand, if I clean the kitchen every night not only to I get a profound sense of accomplishment, my kitchen is ready to go when I get home, I can make quick healthy meals that make my body feel great. When I feel great I’m less likely to overeat!

  3. Heather says:

    There is a great book called “does this clutter make my butt look fat” all about this very topic…it’s by the guy who does the show ‘Clean Sweep’…

  4. LG says:

    Good analogy - thanks for this post!

  5. Emily says:

    Great post! I’ve always been a messy person, even though I prefer things to be clean. I’ve actually started thinking about cleaning my house not as a chore, but as an expression of how much I love myself. (As in, I’ll do these dishes because I want to show me how much I care about me!) It actually makes me WANT to clean my kitchen!

    • Kate says:

      Emily I never thought about it that way. I always viewed cleaning as a boring chore. (I rather do something fun!) I’ll try thinking about how a clean house = a happy me and see if that changes my perspective on things.

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