Thursday, January 5, 2012


Back again with another post. I just walked my mile, by the way, outside with my pup. It is nice to get some fresh air and sunshine every day.

I got on my bike again this morning, in the dungeon that I am working so hard to transform. Transforming my body on the bike, transforming that room I bike in, transforming my life. It's all linked.

The fat I have subconsciously hung onto and the clutter I have been unable to let go of are just symptoms of the *stuff* I have been holding onto in my head... things from the past, regrets, wishes, issues, all of it. I may have thrown it all in the room, hidden in boxes and bins, but my mind and my body knew it was there. All of it. It's almost like every stack of papers is linked to a pound on my body somehow. And all of it hurts. Even when I am happy and having a good day, it is all there subconsciously. And finally, it is time to sort it out and let it go.

I have only been able to do this because my obsession with food has been broken once again. Whenever I am on Medifast, the eating becomes a background noise, a mindless action I take of grabbing a bar or a shake or a cup of soup every two or three hours, and all I really have to think about is which protein and vegetable I will have for dinner. All the chatter and noise from the junky, off plan foods finally ceases, and it becomes quiet enough to hear the *real* thoughts in my head... the ones that used to be buried under all that chaotic drama of food obsession, binge thoughts, and compulsive eating. I can finally hear myself think.

And so over the past few days, every time I go in there to bike, I take a few minutes to sort and purge. I throw away the trash and send boxes to the Goodwill. I save the things I truly want to save. I may re-sort some of it again later. In all honesty, aside from toys and baby clothes and gadgets, most of the *stuff* in that room is paperwork. There are boxes and boxes of papers, dating back to 1989, the year I first was married. I remember how I started a filing system back then: I had a little metal filing cabinet, and every time I got a bill or purchased something or got a statement in the mail, it went in a file in that cabinet. And that's all well and good, unless you *never* purge. Soon, the cabinet was overflowing. Nine moves and four kids later, my new habit was to toss all the papers onto the kitchen counter, and when they got high enough or when company was coming over, throw them in a box and stick them in my bedroom. After the bedroom got too full of boxes, all of that went downstairs to the "office" where a new, bigger metal filing cabinet waited to be organized. But instead, after our final move 16 years ago, the boxes and papers just piled up. I did begin a purge once, and shredded something like 4 kitchen trash bags of old papers, but that was more than a decade ago. Since then, the actual *files* have been tossed into Rubbermaid tubs, and all those smaller boxes of papers waiting to be sorted were put in the filing cabinet drawers, on the shelves, and all around that bike.

Today I did something remarkable. I opened the Rubbermaid tubs and sorted ALL of those old files. I went through each file, except the medical ones (too much for me right now, maybe later). A flood of memories and emotions washed over me as I sorted, and I realized just why I haven't dealt with it until now. I couldn't *deal with it.*

Today I journeyed back over 20 years. Every paper jogged a memory. It was like reliving my whole life in an hour. The foster parent certifications, the papers from my five foster children, counseling receipts from that last-ditch effort we made to save our marriage in that final year we were together back in 1997. Checks with our names on them. Letters that came after my mother's death, and all the daycare bills from when I was working and in school. Five years of my college records and financial aid. An instruction manual for a heart monitor for my baby girl. The receipt for the rocking chair my first husband bought for me when I was about to deliver our first child. Vet records for pets who have since passed, maintenance records for cars I no longer have, school reports from when my boys were little. My goodness, all the bills for stitches and broken bones and concussions when they were small! I even found dieting papers from 2003. Each paper took a second to glance at and toss or file, but it was rather emotionally draining reflecting on all of those things, even if only for a few seconds each. all of the memories are rich and vivid and emotionally charged. If they weren't, I'd have tossed those things long ago.

All of the files are in the filing cabinet now, neatly organized, with room to spare. Oh, I still have about 5 boxes of paperwork to sort through, but the files are done. It feel really good to be READY to let all of this stuff go. That room is going to be a beautiful reflection of my own transformation someday soon. And that makes me happy and proud.


Anonymous said...

Excellent work! Deb

Marilyn said...

BRAVA, Lyn! purging old stuff is SO healthy on so many levels! XO - M

Lori said...

Good for you!!

tz said...

I'm there with you, my basement is a scene out of the show hoarders. I've been holding on to books from my father since he died, 24 years ago. Last summer I started the purging process but put it on hold until I finish school. It's difficult to let go, so how great for you, I really admire what you're doing.

susan said...

It takes so much courage to go through things you have held on to for so long. You are making some great changes and I LOVE the connection you've made between letting go of "stuff" and letting go of food obsession.

Dawn said...

On every level this is such a positive thing to do.
Clearing out the stuff that can fill and crowd life is so positive.
We don't need things to remember anything by, and clearing out the things that weigh you down is SO positive for weight loss.
Great job

Kat said...

I need to do this organization of paper work myself. I hoard papers badly, but I'm trying to get into the habit of every January going through my files and cleaning them out.

Also I have found this to be helpful:

timothy said...

so proud of you, i've been doing my own mini purge and it feels so wonderful to rid myself of that "weight"the more you do the better you'll feel and the more you let go the easier it becomes! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Good for you! So nice to read about that.

Miz said...

LOVE seeing this.

I need to declutter THIS DOMICILE :-)


Karen said...

Good for you Lyn!! I'm starting a similar decluttering adventure. I'm cheering you on from afar. The clarity from staying on MF is fabulous. Getting both physical and emotional wellness. Kudos to you.

Steelers6 said...

Wow, great job! Did you take note of how many hours you spent doing that? Wow.

I too am trying to improve with paper clutter. I'm working at the whole, "handle that piece of mail one time or as little as possible" thing, & NOT saving paid bills/invoices so it's less at the end of the year for me. Also trying to save only the bare essentials at the end of the year.

If you have any tips, please share, obviously you have readers who can relate.

So proud of you.

lisa~sunshine said...

Great job lynn...

My workouts went very well this week.. it wasn't really a complete week for me and they will get better with my kids going back to school on Monday.. but i"m happy with what I did this week..