Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How Organization Affects Health

I should have been a professional pile maker. Like, someone who makes piles for a living because I'm quite good at it—before you get the wrong impression of me, you need to know that I'm a fairly organized person. I know where everything is, where everything needs to be and my house is pretty clean. But there is always a pile of something somewhere. Granted, it's a well-organized pile. But it's a pile nonetheless. And it might remain as such for days on end. For example:

These two piles have been in existence for, oh...just two days or so. But still. It would take me a whole of five minutes to address them. But I don't.

And then there's this:

A single coupon on the table. Right now, it's a small pile of one single thing and I just put it there. But the problem is that this spot on our table seems to be the catch-all for things we don't want to deal with immediately. So the pile grows. And crowds out the table. And inevitably just drives us (me) nuts.

You might think that these piles are mild in comparison to yours or others you've seen. But there are at least three more piles in my house. Piles that should never be. Piles that wouldn't be if I would have dealt with their contents when they first came to my attention.

Now, how is this affecting my health? What does this have to do with fitness?

One of the sessions I attended at BlogHer addressed this. It was called "Health Habits That Will Change Your Life." It was all about making little improvements that would ultimately lead to big changes. Panelists included Dr. Travis Stork of "The Doctors" (and yes, "The Bachelor"), Andrew Mellen (a professional organizer), and fellow bloggers Kymberly Williams-Evans of Fun and Fit, Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food and Erika Nicole Kendall of A Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss.

SUCH a good panel! Some quotes:

"Small steps lead to big changes.
—Dr. Travis Stork

"What is your stay fat strategy?
—Kymberly Williams-Evans

"Every time you sit down to eat, you're making a conscious choice.
—Dr. Travis Stork

"The best kind of movement is the one you actually enjoy." 
Kymberly Williams-Evans

"The thing that we want least is the thing we inevitably keep
the longest because we don't deal with it." 
Andrew Mellen

This is the quote that really hit it home for me:

"A pile of things is an accumulation of decisions you haven't made."
Andrew Mellen

Now, let's get back to organization and how it affects your health—because it does, both mentally and physically. Think about it. An unorganized house drives you batty. It takes away your concentration...your ability to focus on and/or see the things that really matter. Like your health. 

Yep, it's really that simple. 

Unlike staying organized, and that's where this panel came into play. Specifically, everything that Andrew Mellen had to say. Professional organizer...who would have thunk it?! Dude knows his stuff, though. Before the hour was up, each of the panelists dished out their most important words of advice. Health habits to enforce that just might change your life:

Dr. Travis Stork, on healthy habits:
1) Cut back on sugar.
2) Sit less, stand more.
3) Control stress.
4) Get sleep.
5) Keep it simple.

Andrew Mellen, on organization:
1) There should be one home for everything.
2) Put like with like.
3) If you bring something into the home, get rid of something.
4) Urgent trumps important if you don't know what should be important.

Kymberly Evans-Williams, on fitness:
1) Improve frequency.
2) Improve intensity.
3) Improve time.

Lisa Leake, on eating healthy:
1) Read labels, look for a small number of ingredients and/or things you recognize.
2) Start with small changes.

Erica Nicole Kendal, on developing healthy habits:
1) Realize that it takes time takes time.
2) Don't be so hard on yourself.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a few piles to address (otherwise known as decisions that need to be made...man, he hit it home with that one).

Question: Do you make piles? What keeps you organized?

1 comment:

Kelly @ New Leaf Wellness said...

I read a great organization tip back in December in Family Circle Magazine: "The key to containing clutter is to catch it where it lands." It's inspired me to buy more baskets and organization bins and place then where we naturally make piles...and it's definitely helped!

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