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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Extreme Spring Cleaning

I think when you make it clear to yourself that you have a plan, the Universe hears you and jumps in to help.

It started in January, when I looked at pictures of my chubby self and decided it was time to throw out the elegant, drapey, fat-denial outfits and lose some weight. I started the Taos Cupcake Diet, stopped eating so much, and started exercising more. It's working. I'm back in my cute jeans, and getting mentally prepared to clean out my closet.

Next came the Tiny House Idea. It's a few blogs back, if you want to go find it. Rick and I are still totally into the idea of down-sizing our life to something more manageable and less expensive. House plans and good advice from strangers is rolling in like crazy. And I came up with the idea to start the clearing process well in advance, by committing to get rid of one thing every day. Garbage doesn't count. But it seems like everywhere I turn there's something I can live without. Knick-knacks are a good place to start. The closet will be fun too. There are even things in the studio I'll probably never use. It's nice that Julia is getting into beading. I know there's a good home for all those seed beads I don't use, and all the stray stuff I tend to pick up in my travels.

The energy of all this really accelerated early this week, when I found out that my blood pressure is on the high side... bummer! I could try to blame it on all the stress of work and jury duty, but I also have to factor in the HBP on my Dad's side of the family... and my own resistance to exercise... and the fact that I adore salty foods... So OK - we start reading labels and find that sodium is billowing out of most of the food in the house. The salt shaker at dinner time is nothing. We realized it was either get new food or admit defeat and get a prescription. I'm not a pharmaceutical kind of girl. Not even in the 70's when all my friends were dropping acid in math class... I ordered new cookbooks and sent Rick out for some good healthy provisions. I'm also making myself get my 30 minutes of huffy-puffy exercise every day. I have a little trampoline. It's really not that bad. Not really...

The icing on the cupcake - I hope this is it - came this morning, when I was having a day off, sipping coffee, flipping through magazines, and spotted a little blurb about You can sign up to have them send you an eco-friendly tip each day. Sounds good to me. I want to know what kind of light bulbs to use and all that Al Gore kind of stuff. But when I went to the site, the first thing to catch my eye was, "Is Your Shampoo Making You Fat?". Well, of course I want an answer to that question! Maybe it's giving me high blood pressure too. I quickly found out that a group of chemicals called parabens are causing all the trouble. Fat is the least of our worries. Parabens mess with the entire endocrine system - all our hormones - making us sick, sick, sick.

We immediately started reading labels on everything from shampoo to hand cream to makeup. Guess what? Those pesky parabens are everywhere! And being in a clean-up-my-act sort of mood, I threw out almost every product in my bathroom. All morning long you could see us intently reading tiny print on expensive bottles of goo, crossing our fingers we'd get to keep one, and then yelling, "Parabens!!!" as we chucked yet another one into the trash can.

My next stop was the internet, where I researched and ordered all new everything from various websites. Shampoo from, skin care from, makeup from Later we went into town, wandered through the Harwood Museum and Moby Dickens for some relief. Life Changes are sort of emotionally exhausting. We needed some Art! But we also took a moment to visit Desert Blends, and buy some already-favorite body oil. I use it like lotion. We live in the desert!

Phew! Talk about Spring Cleaning... this is extreme. But it feels good too. I already feel lighter, clearer, and maybe most important, more in control of my own little world. Down-sizing means many things, and lately we're really learning all the definitions.

That's all for now... but please go check your shampoo for parabens!


Jean said...

You got me ready to check for parabens! Also, one thing a day to throw out? A GREAT way to clear out the disorder!

Mary Timme said...

Well, crud, my dishwasher has a recall and now I'm getting fat from my shampoo. Isn't it one thing after another!

Anonymous said...
This is the best moisturizer.... it is simply emu oil. Birds are not killed for the oil. It has nothing in it except the oil.... it is a biological healing oil, as our bodies see it like the oil we make. It sinks in wonderfully, and causes no breakouts. .....I love this shampoo. products are divine.
I buy them on ebay and they are alot cheaper!
ALot of these products are clean, and I love them.

Ryan said...

Dropping acid in math class? What kind of school did you attend? Now English class, Tolkein, that was the place to be...