Tidying Up is surely hot right now. Marie Kondo has become red-hot famous for her method of tidying up one’s house and life as described in her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In full disclosure, I have not read the book and I am only as familiar with her method as half-heartedly viewing 2-3 episodes of her Netflix series would allow a person to be. Still, she’s famous because people feel a need for more tidy in their lives. Her success is attributable to offering something that addresses a great need that people feel.
Part of the reason I hadn’t become a Marie fan in the past is probably because my house is already tidy. I shared in our motivational memoir Unbelievable Freedom that my husband Ryan is a real neat freak. Originally I hesitated before saying this about him, until I remembered that I have already shared this fact. I think the description I used in our book was “fastidiously tidy”, and even though he doesn’t always take it as a compliment, his orderliness is a huge help in managing my own clutter and chaos with stuff.
I was recently drying off after a shower (a place where many of my blog ideas originate) and I was thinking about tidiness. Specifically, I was thinking how neat and tidy my body is now compared to how it was when I was 80+ pounds heavier . It is simply more compact, more streamlined, smoother. Thanks to the powerful body recomposition effects of intermittent fasting, I have lost areas of subcutaneous fat on my torso that were there since my 20s, long before I ever became obese. My body is easier to care for in every possible way in its current state. It is more enjoyable to move through the world in it. It is easier to wash, dry and dress it. Being at a normal weight for my frame makes me feel so much tidier in general. Looking, feeling, and moving this way is a huge part of the freedom I feel.
What else has intermittent fasting helped me to tidy up? It has tidied up my thoughts. No longer am I expending all my bandwidth on rules for how to follow the latest diet. No longer do I have the decision fatigue brought on by trying to “spend points”, count calories, or do a bunch of arithmetic in order to sit down and enjoy a meal. My thought process about any number of interesting subjects is enriched by the mental clarity that comes from living an intermittent fasting lifestyle. My mind is uncluttered, clear, and TIDY.
My emotional life, something I broadly refer to as my “spirit”, has also become tidier in a sense. I’m no longer bogged down by feelings of self-pity or defeated failure. I feel emotionally opened up. I feel strong, capable, and grateful in ways that allow me to experience life the way I believe we were made to engage in it. It’s a bit too small a word, “tidy”, to describe the depth and breadth of my emotional and spiritual life, but it’s definitely clearer and shinier than it used to be.
And then there’s the stuff going on at the cellular level. This kind of deep cleaning transcends the word “tidy.” Daily fasting is consistently being shown to increase AUTOPHAGY, a Latin word that means “self-eating”, or the process by which cells clear out toxins, repair and rejuvenate themselves. I believe this is why the lifestyle has (soon to be proven) anti-aging and immune-enhancing effects. As such, while the physical body that I can see is tidier, so are the parts that I can’t see.
I guess I have to agree with Marie Kondo on this one. Tidying up through intermittent fasting has been magical and life changing, indeed.