As part of my New Years’ resolution to be more organized (I didn’t put that one on my list back in December because I just came up with it today…), I decided to clean out the two small drawers in my favorite side table (the size of a 20-inch television)—bought at a beloved warehouse-like antique store on Lawrence and Bell in my old stomping grounds of Chicago. Here’s what I found in it:
- One folder with information about my short-lived membership to the Cornerstone Gym near my house (which I have since cancelled after going only once a week to meet with an overpriced trainer).
- One brochure for an exercise and health facility that I no longer go to along with: a detoxification exam sheet and patient guide for when I signed up for their 30-day detox program; a Program Manual and success log (or otherwise), for when I did their ”8 Weeks to Wellness” program during which I ate a raisin a day and lost a scant .2 ounces in 42 days. (Hooray for me.)
- One Weight Watchers Complete Food Companion guide, 2004 edition (with points values for over 17,500 food items); one Complete Food Companion, 2008 edition (with over 18,000 foods and 5,000 new items); one Dining Out Companion 2008 edition (with 1330 restaurants and over with new chapters and dining out tips!).
- 14 Weight Watchers Points Finder sliding scale thingies to help identify the appropriate number of points per food—no wait, make that 15, hold on, make that 16. Holy bologna, make it 17!
- Eight Weight Watchers “kickoff” brochures.
- Five paper pamphlets for tracking my food “points” each week (sadly, there were more expletives than points written)—and four wire-bound pocket-sized journals allowing me to keep daily points for up to three months each.
- Two Week 3 Be Active Weight Watchers flyers.
- Three birthday cards—one from my husband (so sweet), one from my dear friend Joan, and another from my parents.
- Four individual Weight Watcher recipe cards – one for apricot-glazed turkey and sweet potatoes (which I would never eat now that I’m newly off of sugar); another for quick and easy toffee ice cream pie (ditto); another for tofu-tapioca pudding (which sounds nice in theory, but according to Suzanne Somers, tofu is not a good combining food, just trust me); and the last one for corned beef and vegetables (which could work save the added glaze on the meat).
- Two Calorie Fat & Carbohydrate Counters by different respective publishers.
- And iPod and the holder I thought I lost 10 years ago.
- A packet of nails and two tubes of plain lip balm.
- The instructions for how to set up the Weight Watchers bathroom scale that might as well be a two-headed monster lying dormant next to the toilet, just waiting to GET me.
- A magazine article outlining a three-day anti-inflammatory meal plan from my “I’m not chubby, just inflamed” phase. (I remember it well.)
- A pamphlet on how to Choose Your Foods: Exchange Lists for Weight Management and a folder on nutrition therapy from Amy with a hard-to-pronounce last name, RD, lDN, CCN, CDE.
- A brochure on how to alleviate stress from some chiropractic office I don’t remember.
- My lifetime membership card to Weight Watchers.
- The Jenny Craig Dining Out Guide (New Expanded Version), along with two personalized menu planners and a creative recipes book.
- One blank journal.
- An old conference brochure from when I spoke on Blogging and Beyond: Telling the Truth With Humor and Grace at the Montgomery County Community College. (Keynote speaker: Frank McCourt, sadly, now deceased.)
- Three grocery lists and four Wachovia deposit slips in a ripped up envelope, and a receipt for some book I ordered on Amazon.com on how to overcome overeating.
- Seven bobby pins.
I certainly learned a lot from this exercise and am more clear than I think I’d like to be about what I need to let go of. But then again, that’s what these kinds of exercises are all about – helping us make peace with the past so we can move forward in a way that’s new and improved and leads us to having our best life.
Having gathered all the data I needed from this exercise, for example, I tossed everything out (except for the birthday cards, bobby pins, journal, and, okay, you got me, ONE calorie guide). Goodbye my obsession with organized dieting. I’m going to forge my own right path. Why I feel lighter already.
What’s in your drawers? And what are you gonna do about it? (Let go of some stuff, I hope.) Write to me!
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Jill Sherer Murray is an award-winning writer and speaker who studies creativity, relationships and self-growth. She is also the founder of Let Go For It®, a lifestyle brand dedicated to helping individuals let go for a better life. Jill’s TEDx talk as well as her advice column, Big Wild Love: Let Go For It® were created in service to her loyal and growing fan base, who seek support in the act and the art of letting go for the love they desire and deserve. Follow Jill @letgoforit on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.