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Waiting for that outside push – in health, weight and a clean house

Saturday, November 17, 2012

“No one knows our house is messy ‘cause when somebody’s coming we clean it up.”

That was my son’s observation many years ago as I mobilized the “troops” for a marathon effort to get our house “ship-shape.” Company was coming and not just any company – the in-laws. Remember the commercial with MIL and the “white glove test?” I don’t know if there would ever have been a test, but I didn’t want to find out.

Although our house would never be condemned by the Board of Health, House and Garden Magazine would never have us on their “must see” list either. To put it as kindly as possible, it had a “lived in” look. It took an outside push to get us moving.

The same thing happens with our health and weight. Maybe it’s a wakeup call from the scale or the mirror, a too tight pair of jeans or breathlessness at the top of the stairs. Maybe, it’s an annual physical, a school reunion or family wedding on the horizon. Some outside influence makes us put in the effort to get ourselves “ship shape.” Often we’re quite successful. The Sparkpages and blogs report years of pounds lost/pounds gained. Yo-yo dieting has become an American pastime.

I never had the yo-yo dieting experience. This is my first time through this and I do not plan to have to do it again. However, I do understand the concept because I am a “yo-yo house cleaner.”

I must add that my husband does the heavy cleaning, the stuff that requires serious cleaning supplies and I take care of the clutter and daily mop-ups. He once wrote “I love you” in the dust on a table in our guest room – seriously! Once I read it, he made it disappear. My desk has the quality of a geologic dig. I know the age of something by how far down I have to dig for it.

My daughters have developed a different mindset. They do a little bit everyday and never have to endure the whirlwind sessions they remember from childhood (the homemaking equivalent of a crash diet). I can learn from them. That’s my goal. That’s my goal health-wise too. Do my bit everyday to eat right and get my exercise. I’m on maintenance and it’s time to put the house on maintenance status too.
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  • KANOE10
    Yo-yo house cleaner is very funny..and true. We tend to clean on the weekends and slack off during the week. I was part of that yo-yo diet syndrome. I am glad that was not a main part of your life.

    Great blog.
    1945 days ago
    Yo-yo house least there's a better name than the one my negative self talk gives it..."slob." I think my less than stellar housekeeping is leftover rebellion at my mother's perfectionism and over-emphasis (IMHO) on cleanliness. I recall too well being handed a dust cloth and a can of Pledge and told to dust the family room. And I recall with total distaste my mother following me around and dusting behind me because I "didn't do it right." So the response in my generation was to enjoy life and put up with the mess. I never had kids, but I wonder if they would have turned into neatniks to rebel against me?
    1946 days ago
    Yep, I have the husband helping my cleaning mode this week as there is a possibility that his brother might show up this week. I thought I had another month!
    1946 days ago
    We just never have company. Problem solved.

    This was good!!! Thanks, again.
    1947 days ago
    We definitely can learn from our kids at times!
    1947 days ago
  • MAGGIE101857
    I do the same, and then wonder where the weekend has gone! So I set a goal to do 15 - 30 minutes a night, then I get home from work, make dinner and BURN OUT sets in. Your daughters have the right idea, so why is it so hard for us to do the same??? lol

    Reminds me of the "poster" that said "the cleaning can wait, your babies can't....? I've taken that to heart even thought the babies are adults now! I didn't listen when they were little and now I'm making up for it!!!

    1947 days ago
    I can relate! emoticon emoticon
    1947 days ago
    After I'd been active in Spark for about a year, maybe longer, I branched out from setting weight and fitness goals, and started setting life goals--like writing a to-do list every day, doing the thing I least wanted to do first, etc. This has helped with the housecleaning. I just put down one manageable thing a day (like your daughters). It sure beats the marathon, 5-hour session before company arrived. Such as this coming Thursday!
    1947 days ago
    Keep on, and you'll succeed in all these goals.
    1947 days ago
    This is hilarious! What a great connection. I'm about to do some crash cleaning this weekend. The in-laws are coming!
    1947 days ago
    That was fun to read, I didn't wish it would end soon.

    I bet you don't have varicose veins, either.
    1947 days ago
  • BIGDOG18
    1947 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1947 days ago
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