All clutter will eventually rise to the surface, making it very plain. Body clutter is even more pervasive. You can see it everywhere you look. It’s not the kind of clutter that people attempt to hide or pretend is not there.
This one includes clutter that is most visible to a stranger’s eye.
What is body clutter?
How does body clutter look? (Psst. It doesn’t only look like bread and fast food.) It looks like this:
- Depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. The rate of increase of depression among children is an astounding 23%.
- 15% of depressed people will commit suicide.
- 40.76% of men and women born today will be diagnosed with cancer at some time during their lifetime.
- The median age at death for cancer was 72 years of age in 2010.
- Approximately 55%-85% of self-mutilators have made at least one attempt at suicide.
- 99% of those who cut or injure themselves seek to escape from intense effect or achieve some level of focus.
- The number of alcoholic liver disease deaths is 15,990.
- The number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides is over 25k.
- More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.
- 95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight within 5 years. Young girls become thoroughly aware and obsessed with their weight as young as age 7.
- 8 million Americans have an eating disorder – seven million women and one million men.
- Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents.
- 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat and get this, almost 50% of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression. No coincidence there.
The Psychology of Body Clutter
Body clutter isn’t about food. It’s psychological.
It is a state of mind. You can fight it and say no! It starts with the mind.
Body clutter has everything to do with your mental clarity and discernment over your relationship with yourself, with food, how your mind relates to your body, relates to health or disease, relates to clothing. It’s how you talk to yourself, how you reason, what you believe. How you respond to your emotions and situations is a mental process.
Body clutter resides right where you wouldn’t expect it: in your head. It shows up outwardly in and on our body–that mental struggle with ourselves, that battle going on inside us that torment us.
That inner conversation with yourself shows up on your body. In how you grow, in how you age, in how you exercise and eat.
Body clutter deals with a variety of mental conceptions such as our body image, what we think of our bodies, what we think others think of our bodies (and whether we care), how we take care of our bodies, how we treat our bodies, what we feed our bodies, are we self-conscious, self-absorbed, self-deprecating?
The Biology and Physiology of Body Clutter
There’s an aspect of physiology and biology, obviously, when talking body clutter. For instance, how we take care of our bodies by eating foods that nourish us or giving our body the replenishment it needs for our particular level of activity. So as rest, hydration, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, iron.
It’s also our level of physical functioning with all organs. Our immunity, how quickly we get over illnesses, or *miraculously* cured from a disease.
Are we doing the most we can in our bodies? Have we enjoyed our bodies the best we can? Are we doing the best we can with what we’ve been equipped with or are we yo-yo dieters? Debbie-downers? Self-mutilators?
Don’t obsess. Simply observe your body after you exercise, play, work, or eat.
I met a vegan, gluten-free, nutritionist woman the other day who said she got so skinny a couple years ago from not eating, that her body started eating itself and she said that happened because she was paralyzed in fear of all the Google research she’d done, and realized that nothing’s safe to eat. Let’s not do that to ourselves. There’s a nice balance we can strike.
After you eat a typical meal, observe how satisfied you are. See if you get moody after a certain type of food, or after going too long without exercise. Notice which foods or movements cause discomfort. What can you do to nurture yourself there? If you’re not paying attention, you go on oblivious to your body’s signals, its reactions, and messages to your brain.
Obviously we’re only scratching the surface of the effects of body clutter. Episode 10 and 11 will tackle more about eating for nutrition and mindful eating.
The stats at the beginning weren’t mentioned to make anyone paranoid or cause clutter in the way of worry where there was none before. They are what you make them so don’t make them anything. They’re just numbers anyway. The stats were more to illustrate the visibility of body clutter, and how we’re taking care of ourselves in this human form.
What’s blocking you from living your best life in this body? Do you get the nourishment you need? Are you compassionate with yourself? Are you making the changes you need in order to live with more buoyancy, optimism, nutrition, self-respect, and vibrancy?
I invite you this week to notice how you talk to yourself.
What words of encouragement or discouragement are blaring in your internal speakers? What do you tell yourself what you’re capable of? What is your level of activity as a result? What do you put in your mouth as a result? Observe how your body is responding. What is it saying? Let me know in the comments below.