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Is All or Nothing my Ball and Chain?

Sunday, April 07, 2013


Chaos. Pandemonium. Ground Zero.

I once read a book entitled “Does this clutter make my butt look fat?”. It discussed the parallels of a disorganized, tumultuous home and body issues, primarily dealing with weight. Since then, I've read a plethora of other articles that communicated the connection of how all parts of our life are inter-connected. It caused me to ponder if I was a bad employee because I was in a bad marriage, or did my bad marriage empower me to be a good employee to off-set the negative?

The first quarter of 2013 is behind me. This is supposed to be my year of getting it together and it got off to a great start when I got Synvisc in my knees. Sixty days ago. Maybe because I’m older or 15# heavier since my last injections – recovery has been slow. I've reached a point of almost no pain as long as I don’t do anything. If I could wish away the pounds, they would have been long gone – but that battle continues.

I may be delusional, but I think I am pretty driven. I've even displayed that recently.

My closet. Clean, after investing my afternoon. My husband does not understand my passion to be so organized that I can put my hand on any document at a moment’s notice. That is probably because he is not the one searching. He originally bought me that white shelving unit to put my fabric on but when we left Houston, I also lost the closet I had installed shelves in to store my hobby. All my treasures are in tubs that are stashed under the hanging clothes to the left. The stuff on the shelves is the junk I haul around with us everytime we move – bank statements, real estate transactions, bills paid, my ‘keep for now’ folder, etc. I had decided 3 years ago to get it all digitally saved and toss them, but being involved in Josh’s school and the scholarship applications took priority – time proven to be worth its weight in gold and absolutely well-spent.

Now, I don’t have that fancy gadget that lets you feed your document into it and automatically organize and categorize it for you. My tools included my all-in-one printer, my laptop, my shredder, and a staple puller. I went to work to save more than 20 years’ worth of paper I was afraid of turning loose.



I was a girl with a mission, sitting for hours on end. I found I could endure it easier if I plugged in a great dvd. I watched lots of Star Trek: Voyager episodes and TCM classics I had recorded like “Godzilla, King of the Monsters”. I watched “The Blind Side” over and over and over. DH only saw me when I came out to cook or take a load to the dumpster. Like I said, I was on a mission; stubborn – like a dog with a bone. Not only do I demand we no longer carry around this file-cabinet size load of documents, I want to use these shelves for something I will truly use.




Three solid weeks of focus, results-driven work. My fabric is out in plain view, well, once you go into my closet. There are NO folders, zilch, nada, none, ZERO! I wish I could say I worked my hiney off, but alas, it is still there.

Each day I worked on this monster project, I was brooding over why I could not apply this same type of ‘won’t quit until it’s done’ attitude to my fitness and health goals. The cold truth is I can lose the weight, been there done that a gagillion times. KEEPING IT OFF is where I always loose the battle – otherwise I wouldn't keep going around this same mountain.

I know why. I try to turn a blind eye, but it is always there. This is a daily thing, like waking up – it is not a ‘start and finish’ project – it is a journey. It is up to me to decide and act and stop using this excuse or another.



I purposely looked for things to learn about myself as I worked through this behemoth. I save everything. I re-use everything. If it can still be used, I deplore throwing it in the garbage. But this pile of empty folders – the ones that were once filled with papers – is still functional. So I saved them, making sure all the little folds in the accordion were just so, so that they could be stacked neatly. Then it hit me, if I am scanning all paper that crosses my door, why do I need folders to save them in? Yes, they are still functional, but they are no longer necessary. Some of these folders have been used and re-used since the early ‘90s, haven’t they been used enough? Into the garbage they went without a second thought. Not a single regret.

The pattern of my life is to hang on to things – it might be important or I might need this someday. I am learning these are the very things that weigh me down. If I truly want a simpler life, I need to get rid of some habits and develop new ones. Not easy, but necessary. I know that I am an ‘all or nothing’ person – that aids me when I attack projects; it works against me when it comes to nutrition and exercise.

How do you make lasting changes in your life? This hard-working girl would like to know.



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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANHBH 6/6/2013 11:01AM

    Yowsa, Girlfriend,

Do you hire out? I thought the change from photo 1 to photo 2 was dramatic, then you go and post photo 3! You are amazing!!! Great job.

I'll have to thank Sheila for reminding me of that quote - "Fitness is like marriage. You can't cheat on it and expect it to work." I would never cheat on Harry, so why do I cheat on myself?

Like Sheila, I've been in maintenance mode for awhile. It is my "wish" to lose another 7-10 pounds, but that's all that it has been - a wish. I think that continuing to eat refined carbohydrates can be "corrected" with more exercise. But, as I was reading in someone's blog yesterday, food has to be 80% of the program and exercise 20%. I can't exercise away bad food choices.

I think lasting changes are never going to be perfectly executed. At least for me, they will probably be 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. Progress, not perfection.

Thanks for raising the question!
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BOTTLEDIGGER 4/9/2013 7:42AM

    That was A LOT of hard work! What an awesome job and what an awesome blog!!!!

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MSANITAL 4/7/2013 8:45PM

    Woohoo Way to go Lynn That Closet looks emoticon great work. and sounds like your on the right track.. that is for sure.. keep up the great work

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JANETRIS 4/7/2013 8:20PM

    OHHHH my! That is one pretty closet! How liberating to clear out and lighten up that space! I tackled 3 closets over my spring break and I sometimes just stand there and stare at them before I go to bed at night...it feels so good. Congrats! emoticon

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LUCKYDOGFARM 4/7/2013 7:28PM

    Wow LR! What an amazing accomplishment! I really need to do the same with my stuff. I am turning in to my mother, oh no!

Lasting results. I have been on maintenance for almost 2 years. I almost blew it last year when my Dad passed away, but thanks to my Great SparkBuddies and Church Family, I have held on. It's been my "wish" to lose another 10 pounds, however, I haven't been able to commit myself to it.

We learned a bit about commitment at church today from Nehemiah 10 which was perfect timing. In order to succeed with our committment we have to apply three things: submission, separation, and support. And also in time with a post By Nancy on Facebook yesterday. "Fitness is like marriage. You can't cheat on it and expect it to work."

We have to be as committed to our health as we are other areas of our lives. I know that God has called me out to be an example to my church family, so that really does keep me on my toes. Not perfect, but very aware.

Now, will you come to my house and do my paperwork? emoticon

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