Saturday, April 12, 2008

Quote of the Week

I thought I would post this little quote from one of my sons, a teenager. I think it epitomizes the huge change in my life since losing weight.

He said:
"Why are you mopping so much?"

This may not seem so profound until you realize that this was his reaction to seeing his mother mop the kitchen floor for the third weekend in a row. And that this son has probably not seen his mother mop a floor more than 2 or 3 times a YEAR in his entire memory. Sure, when he was little and I was thin, I mopped every week... but he doesn't remember that. His whole life he has seen me avoid mopping. I asked my husband to do it. I paid my kids to do it. When all else failed, I wiped a wet Swiffer over it every couple of weeks. Now Swiffers have their place, don't get me wrong, but just how clean is a kitchen floor that gets swept a couple times a week, trampled across by five kids and a dog, and has toddler spilling their food on it at every meal... and then you are going to "clean" it by wiping what is essentially a baby wipe with cleaners over it? Um, no. Not so clean.

But if you've read my blog, you know I recently discovered that not only am I ABLE to clean the floors now that I weigh less and am fitter... but I LIKE to mop my floors. So every weekend, here I am, happily mopping my floors. And my son's stunned reaction was priceless.

"Mom, why are you mopping so much?"

"Son, I am so sorry I let the floors go for so long. I am sorry I was too fat to bend over and wash any tough spots, and too exhausted from obesity to even get a bucket and mop ready, much less actually use it to wash the floors. Son, from now on, you have a new mother: one who keeps the house spic and span, who has the energy to mop and vacuum and dust, not just once in awhile, but regularly. That lazy, tired, food-obsessed person is gone, and now we all get to live in a clean house with a mother who has the time and energy to focus on things that matter... not just candy bars and french fries."

That's what I thought, but actually I just said, "I like clean floors."

My life has changed SO much. I remember a time about 9 years ago when I was newly fat. I was SO tired all the time. I had zero energy. I sat around and ate Cheetos in between working and taking care of the kids. But it was so hard to vacuum or mop. Now please don't think I lived in filth; I did not. I kept the dishes washed and the counters cleaned, and I picked up as best I could. I took impeccable care of my children. But the living room was always full of baskets of clean clothes because after washing the clothes for 4 kids and myself, I was too tired to ever fold them or put them away. And when your living room has 6 baskets of clean clothes and a bunch of Legos on the floor, you just don't vacuum much. One day a friend from church came over to visit. I was always embarrassed at the messiness of my home, but had no energy to straighten it up. We sat on the couch talking for awhile. Then, after a short pause, my friend said to me, "Please don't take offense at this, but do you own a vacuum?" I think my jaw dropped and my face turned ten shades of red, because she quickly said, "I mean, I just thought if you didn't HAVE a vacuum, I could help you get one..." I interjected, "I have a vacuum." There was an uncomfortable silence, and then she said it was time for her to be getting home, and she left. The sting of that question has never left me. It made me so ashamed. How did I let this happen to me?

Fast forward to today... 232 pounds (yes I lost the three pounds I gained on vacation)... and I vacuum twice a week, and dust, and mop every weekend. There are no baskets of clothes left unfolded in the living room. Things are in order... not perfect, by any means, but much better.

I am not saying that fat people are necessarily lazy people, or bad housekeepers. I am saying that my physical condition actually prevented me from being able to do things I should have been doing. Whatever you weigh right now, try strapping on enough weight to your body so that you weigh 278 pounds, and see how easy it is to vacuum and mop. Plus I was completely out of shape. Now it is so easy it surprises me. It is EASY to vacuum, and it is EASY to mop. Oh the difference 46 pounds and some exercise has made!

Life is sweet, and it's only getting better from here.


Midnyte said...

I mixed you up with another blog I was reading! but still..
I totally understand the cleaning thing.. Its only been in the last 2 months that I actually felt like cleaning the whole house instead of just what people could see.

Hanlie said...

I really believe that when we start taking an interest in our own appearance, it extends to our surroundings too. You're an inspiration!

Fat Lazy Guy said...

That's a really ccol post. Who knew housework could be so inspiring :D

And congratulations on the loss!

Heather said...

that is so wonderful that you are able to do the things that you need to do because you are in a much healthier physical condition.

Cammy said...

What an amazing NSV! I'm so glad you *feel* like doing more!

Sunny said...

I agree totally and haven't lost half as much as you - I can tell the difference already! I dropped the pepper shaker next to the stove - scooted it out a bit to reach the shaker, saw some drips on the side of the stove - pulled it out further, scrubbed the stove, and the cupboard - then up the sides to the top cupboards - scrubbed those too... What the heck is wrong with me?? Normally I would just grab the shaker and push the stove back into place - worry about the dirt settling there some other time, but not this time - once I got started I just kept going and it felt great!

I agree with Hanlie - when you start taking an interest in yourself, it extends to everything around you too!

Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post.


Lisa aka water_nymph said...

inspirational post!! thanks for sharing!!

Honi said...

I would have looked at him and said because I CAN!.. lol.. i know you feel wonderful and I also know you help inspire me too..

Trisha J. said...

ok, I just caught up on your last few post since you left...........goodness girl! You have had a lot on your mind! Such GREAT achievements and success. I am proud of you. Keep it up, move forward! Good luck with all the doctor stuff. I am sure you will be fine.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading for a few weeks now, you're so awesome.
I've gained and lost 120lbs twice.
within the past 2 yrs I gained about 40lbs back.
You are an inspiration to me.
I know that if I let that 40lbs turn back into that 120lbs, I will not want to start my journey all over again.
I know that I don't have far to go to get back to goal, but I was where you are at, so I know for a fact that it can be done.
I didn't use special diets, pills, or surgery either.

I am learning to take this slowly as well. If I eat what I crave when I want to eat it, I will not be as likely to overindulge/binge on "crap foods".

Your mindset is exactly where it should be. Why should we diet for a few weeks or months, when we have to eat heathfully forever to maintain our ideal weight?

I still have friends ask me why am I eating soup and yogurt for lunch, havent' I lost enough weight yet? I reply, why should I eat fried chicken and pizza everyday and gain all my weight back after all the hard work.
I still have my nachos when I go to the movies, and my beer when I go out to bars.
I just don't think it's in my best interest as a 31 y/o woman to eat like an 18 yr old frat boy anymore.

Everyday is not my birthday, so I should not pig out like it is.

You sound like a winner. I know you can do this, Good Luck!


Lady G said...

How satisfying! Who would have thought house work could be such a great reward for losing weight.
It makes me want to clean up the house! Well almost :)

alexis said...

Great post!

I've been slowly going on an uncluttering phase of my life and cleaning regularly is a big part of it, too. I'm finding that a clean room with less stuff actually gives me more energy each day. I also find myself spending more time entertaining at home, which is great!