Managing house for a big family is not an easy task! Losing the baby fat is something we would rather not talk about. But let’s talk. I want to tell you about a weight loss and house cleaning experiment I learned about after the birth of my 7th child. I always gain two things with every baby – 40 pounds and an even MESSIER house. I know I’m not alone.
I know that this may seem odd, but I believe that the answer to perfect housekeeping is also the answer to losing the extra pounds! That’s why I call this method “The Clean House Diet”!
Here’s the KEY: Just do what comes naturally – to someone else.
You have to think like the “naturally” skinny girl with a “naturally” clean house.
Okay, Okay, you think this woman doesn’t have any babies, and certainly not 5 or 10 of them… but honestly the clean house diet works for anyone. The Skinny Girl knows how to stay fit naturally, what’s her secret? The Tidy Girl with the clean house, seems to be a natural too.
What do they know that you don’t? I bet Skinny Girl learned to say “pass the carrots” when she was two, and Tidy Girl never had to be told to clean up her toys. Is it too late for the rest of us to learn their tricks?
You see, the best way to lose the extra pounds is very simple! You just follow Skinny Girl everywhere she goes, and do exactly what she does. Eat only what she eats. No more, no less. In a matter of time you will also be a Skinny Girl (unless you are a guy–in which case you would not be a “Skinny Girl”– you would be a weirdo and a stalker!).
Most American women have two BIG obstacles in life: The messy house that won’t stay clean and the extra 10 (or 20 or 40) pounds that won’t stay off.
Well, I have had an excuse for being chubby at times, and I have had an excuse for having a messy house at times. It’s a very legitimate excuse… when I’ve had a new baby, and the other six kids are really “crafty” and “playful”.
When I was a teen my parents were always trying out some new diet… “Summer’s coming–we need to look good, so let’s all lose some weight!” So my parents would buy the latest dieting book, and work really hard for three months, and quickly return to old habits.
Housekeeping was just the same…“Company is coming–the house needs to look good, so let’s clean the house!” Then we would all spend three hours cleaning, and after the company left, the house would quickly return to the former condition.
My parents eventually found a diet they could live with called “The Rotation Diet”. It was much more fun than “The Grapefruit Diet” and the “Cabbage Diet” and the “Protein Diet”!
The Rotation Diet went something like this:
Eat like you are on a diet for a few days. That means check labels for fat and calories. Then eat whatever you want for a few days without looking at labels. Wait a few days and eat the low calorie diet food again, and then the yummy food, then the diet food, and then the yummy stuff, yummy stuff, yummy stuff. Continue the pattern until you are skinny… but most people never get skinny or stay skinny for long. We all loved the diet – it was fun and easy. It made us feel good. But when it was time to go to the beach in the summer we were not happy with the results.
I eventually got married and moved out of my parents house (I highly recommend this! ). For years my house keeping methods resembled “The Rotation Diet!” Clean house, messy house, clean house, messy house, messy house, messy house! I wasn’t happy with the results.
When we don’t like the results we say the method or the diets didn’t work. So we give up dieting and just try to dress in such a way as to hide the fat. It’s all about wearing carefully designed clothing to give us girls the appearance of looking skinnier than we really are. HIDE the FAT! It’s about hiding some areas, drawing attention to others and using colors, patterns and deceptive techniques to reduce the appearance of the problem areas. This technique ALSO comes in handy when you want to pretend like you have a clean house! HIDE the MESS. It’s all about having a carefully designed house complete with many junk drawers, closets full of hidden junk, and entire rooms that company will never see.
You see, I have always enjoyed the liberty that came with having a messy house, much like I enjoy the benefits of apple pies, ice cream, steak, fries, and buttery pastries. I like the freedom to be creative, do projects, make big meals, and let the kids play freely all over the house, and I liked to clean up the grand old mess when I felt like it (and I don’t often feel like it!). So I would clean up when we knew that company was coming and I would try to make the place “look clean and pretty” at the end of the day. The kids and I would have a least one cleaning frenzy per day at about 5pm, right before dinner. We were masters of the “Ten Minute Tidy” in much the same way that some girls are masters of the “lose 5 pounds of water weight by Friday”. And then after tucking in the kids I would finish cleaning the kitchen and livingroom before bed.
Recently my parents finally discovered The Skinny Girl’s natural secret to fitness. They lost the weight and they are keeping it off! The greatest part? They have not eliminated the need for hot apple pie, or ice-cream. It’s like a dream. It seems that they found out about a lady who followed a skinny girl around for a week or so and did all the things she did, ate all the things she ate and learned how to think like a skinny girl. You see being skinny comes naturally to some people. The rest of us have to find out the skinny girl’s secrets and put the plan into action. The real way to stay skinny is to live like the people who are naturally skinny!
Here is Skinny Girl’s Diet secret. She does these three things and stays skinny:
- She eats ONLY when she is hungry. (Not when she is bored, lonely, or passing by a Girl Scout with Thin Mints)
- She stops as soon as she FEELS satisfied, not stuffed. (Her mom didn’t force her to clean her plate, she doesn’t feel the need to eat the whole candy bar, but saves some for later).
- She listens to her body, she eats what she is in the MOOD for. (Yes, even if she want ice-cream!)
Since dieting and housekeeping have so much in common I decided to try the Skinny Girl method on my house, before trying it on my body. I decided that in order to keep my whole house clean I would need to find a “Tidy Girl” who keeps her whole house clean ALL THE TIME. I would learn her secret and do what she does. Just like my parents followed the example of the Skinny Girl.
Guess what? I couldn’t find a “Tidy Girl” with my personality, with seven children, and a house with twelve rooms! So I chose an older “Tidy Gal” lady whose house always looks beautiful! She’s retired, has a large home, one cat, one gold fish, one husband, and one cleaning lady. Nothing is ever out of place in that house, ever. She can make a meal for a dozen people and her kitchen stays spotless the entire time.
When I visit her with all seven kids there is still no mess! But there are no art projects, no games with lots of pieces, and the kids stay out of the kitchen unless they are washing their hands. When we visit, the kids sit quietly in front of the TV, or they play in the backyard. Wherever the children go she follows and picks up the crumbs. She never stops moving, cleaning and picking up little things – she even picks up tiny things like pebbles on the doorstep. She lines up the kids to wash hands before and after every snack time. Tidy Gal keeps everything that looks messy or fun out of reach! I watched. I learned. I tried this at home.
Here are my “Tidy Gal” observations. She naturally does three things:
- She has a place for everything, everything stays in it’s place.
- She cleans up immediately and she doesn’t move on to a new activity if the other one is not cleaned up.
- If she sees something out of place, or notices “a yucky” on the floor she deals with it at that EXACT moment.
Tidy Girls naturally do these things and wonder why the rest of us don’t. They wonder why we don’t teach these three simple steps to our children.
Now I understand. When it comes to dieting and keeping the house clean you can’t always do what you feel like doing. You must create new habits. Click here to find out what happened when I tried it!