The Junk Drawer of Weight Loss

I am a pretty neat, organized human being. Everything has its place and I sleep better knowing that most things are in their place when I go to bed at night. I like the dishes all put away in the dishwasher and the shoes put in the mudroom cubbies.  However, I am not perfect in my organization. There’s just no way to make it all happen (even if I didn’t live with three teenage boys)! 

I have this junk closet in my mudroom that holds all kinds of miscellaneous crap –  everything from lightbulbs to tools to extra parts to things that need to be mended. It’s a disaster of a closet. Periodically, I clean it out, throw away the random bolts and organize the lightbulbs and I can find everything again – for a while.  

I also have a corner of my desk that contains a big pile of papers that need to be filed away. As someone that considers herself an organized human, of course I have a filing cabinet with all the folders labeled accordingly, but every time I accumulate a piece of paper, I don’t put it in the filing cabinet right away. The papers pile up until I eventually sit down and put them all away at once. 

I think this is pretty normal (at least I hope it’s normal!)  I can’t imagine putting everything away in its place every moment of every day. Some of the convenience of life would be lost and it would trigger a great deal of anxiety. If I get distracted and let the mess accumulate beyond reasonable (this has happened in the past), the cleanup is definitely worse.  

Sadly, I see this same kind of thinking when it comes to weight management and eating. So many of my patients are highly successful people who can do everything organized and efficient and brilliant at work and in their relationships – but being healthy is like the junk cabinet. Something to be tended to later when they have time.  Unfortunately, for many people that time never seems to come – every time they consider it, the task seems insurmountable, so they continue postponing it.  It’s a vicious cycle to break – and not an easy one. 

Improving health and weight isn’t usually rapid.  It takes work – day after day – and especially at first, you don’t usually see any results.  It’s like attacking that huge pile of papers on your desk.  You just have to slog through it.  Heck, sometimes, you have to separate the papers out into smaller piles, which initially makes the work look even more daunting.  Sometimes you have to make a bigger mess during the initial cleanup of the original mess.  But you have to do it.  Eventually.  And the longer you wait, the longer the fixing phase is going to take.  

The good thing is that you don’t have to do it alone.  This is what we do in our office day after day.  We help.  Let us know if you need us…

Courtney Younglove, M.D.
ATTENTION LAWRENCE PATIENTS: 18th Street is closed at Wakarusa until further notice due to construction. You can access our parking lot via Research Parkway and Research Park Drive. Expect traffic delays and make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to our office.
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