Ep #9: How A Cluttered Life Can Prevent Weight Loss

My topic for this episode, decluttering, might seem unrelated to weight loss at first. But I know that when I was on my own weight loss journey, I realized that the overabundance of stuff at my house was stressing me out and pushing me to overeat.

Our brains are hard-wired to seek pleasure, which isn’t a bad thing in itself. What trips us up is that many of us seek short-term pleasure in things like food or clothes, especially when we’re feeling upset or dissatisfied with our lives. But, just as with food, buying more shoes, home decor, or toys for our kids isn’t going to truly make us feel any better.

Physicians are in a unique situation here. By the time we finish school and are making a good salary, it might feel like we need to “catch up” with our peers – so we buy the big house and the nice clothes just because we can (or think we have to). But you can decide against this – and for those of us seeking weight loss, decluttering our space and building a bit more calmness into our daily lives can be a huge help as we complete the psychological part of our journey.

Have a decluttering story or method that works particularly well for you? Comment below and tell us all about it!


Listen To The Episode Here:


In Today’s Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • A little introduction about coffee and caffeine and their possible effects on your body.
  • How owning too much stuff – clothes, decor, you name it – can directly affect our weight.
  • Why the phrase “retail therapy” is so misleading.
  • How physicians often spend their money when they finally start making a good salary.
  • Why we keep items that are almost wearable – a little too small, too worn out, etc. – and how to ditch them for good.
  • The net positive pleasure you get from decluttering, saving money, and only buying things you really love – versus the net zero pleasure of bringing things into your life without intention.

Featured In This Episode:


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Showing 15 comments
  • Debbie

    All of these episodes speak volumes, but this one hit a particular note with me. I’ve just subscribed to Project333, and I’m following bemorewithless on IG. She advertised a lesson/class, and I thought, “Great! It’s only $20! I should do this class, but… it’s another $20 for a class that is going to help inspire me, maybe when ultimately I need to just use that time to CLEAN OUT MY CLOSET.” Sort of like the KonMari book on my night stand which is just adding to the clutter, or like searching on Pinterest you mentioned in a previous episode. You spend that time searching/planning/prepping/buying for motivation and instant gratification instead of actually doing.

    • Katrina

      Great awareness Debbie! My suggestion is to believe that you know everything you need to know already. Then make a plan of attack and commit to it. It will make a huge difference in your life!

  • Erin

    Last year I found myself shaming myself every time I went into my closet. I saw all these clothes and yet, I had “nothing to wear”. I felt that I needed to do some shopping to get something to fit but I didn’t want to shop because I didn’t want to admit that I’d gained more weight and needed the size up. I resolved one weekend to go through the closet and organize (not my forte) tanks together, slacks together, etc. anything that was outdated and I couldn’t see myself wearing I donated to Goodwill. Everything with pit stains had to go in the trash. Everything that I was holding onto because I planned to be that size again (unless super nice because that suit cost a lot) I donated. What I found was I actually had a closet of clothes that I could wear and every time I walked in I didn’t see failure, I saw a wardrobe ready to wear. I could more freely and happily go in the closet and pick something out without feeling the defeat.

    Now I am 6 months post baby number 2 and facing the same problem. I have clothes and am not fitting in all of them anymore. I need to work off the baby weight just to get back to the previous wardrobe. I want to feel better when I walk in the closet but the really frugal person in me says don’t go up another size! “Stick with these and just wear the limited wardrobe that does fit and hold on to the rest. You’ll get back to there.” I certainly hope I do get back to there because last year I was hating that I’d gotten to last years weight. The point is, I’m feeling the need to declutter that closet again and then I hear this podcast and I’m like “I get it but I don’t wanna” in that whiny 3 year old voice. I think it’s time I remember how free I felt last year and just do the purge again. I hate to think of needing to spend a bunch to buy new smaller clothes again but a new wardrobe is a pretty sweet present for losing weight.

    Katrina thanks for doing this podcast. You’ve given me a LOT to work on

    • Katrina

      Thanks for your message Erin! One option is to box up all the smaller clothes and put them away for a little bit. Then you the get the freedom of a closet that fits. Then, as you lose weight, you can rediscover the smaller sized clothes and decide which pieces you want to upgrade to new. Congrats on your new baby!

      • Diane

        This is exactly what I did! 8 mo postpartum for baby number one, and we moved in Nov (when she was 2 mo). I just packed all of my summer/later wear together and haven’t unpacked it yet. It was a relief to have a slightly smaller wardrobe, and when I come across the occasional mispacked tank top or t-shirt, it’s like I bought a new item for free!

      • Katrina

        Fantastic Diane!! Thanks for your comment!

      • Gretchen Morrow

        That’s what I have done. Inbox up smaller stuff while pregnant. Then pick up a few pieces when I am ready to return to work. Then go shopping in the packed boxes. Just did with baby number 3.

      • Katrina

        Awesome. Congrats on the new baby!

  • Kelli

    For me, decluttering happened first and brought my attention to my eating habits. The two are so linked, as you say! Some really good resources I found (blogs mostly) were – slowyourhome.com, theartofsimple.net, designformankind.com, carmellarayone.com, and nosidebar.com
    Just in case anyone is looking for some extra inspiration 🙂

    • Katrina

      Love these Kelli! Thanks for these suggestions!

  • Catherine Humphrey

    MY poor husband. Usually just listen to your podcasts on my commute. Got really hooked and listened to this one myself THEN made him listen too! After I spent most of Easter Sunday going through my closets like a tornado!! So much resonance in this episode. I 100% eat because it brings me pleasure. After a crappy stress filled day, a delicious brownie is just so tempting. And after putting up with a day/night of call then I deserve it! Never realized how that extends to my clothing as well. And then the TJ Maxx, Target thing. The makeup, handbags, shoes thing. The overshopped children – I have all of it!!
    My husband chuckled as he listened and when I did finish cleaning out the closets and putting away the next size down clothes and the 2 size down clothes – he requested that I apply the same editorial sense to my tablecloth collection. I managed to stay on my eating plan all day and come out feeling like a total winner! 3 big contractor bags of clothes, purses and shoe GONE!

    • Katrina

      Love you Catherine! You’re doing such amazing work!!!

  • Ellen

    I found Emily Ley’s simple planner and her book “Grace, Not Perfection” to be life altering in terms of providing me with a framework for simplifying my life. it’s not all about decluttering physically, but more of a mental decluttering and schedule/home organization. thanks for all your pointers Katrina!

  • Lindsey

    Hi! I just discovered your podcast. The clutter in my life that I find most frustrating is at my home office/desk (don’t have a work office). Between mail, journals waiting to be read, and other papers that accumulate. I’m still trying to come up with a solution to read the journals regularly rather than let them pile up. Furthermore, when I read magazines, catalogues, or anything else where I find an interesting article I like or style/design I like, I clip the article, then it sits on my desk (or on a pile on the floor near my desk) until I find time to fully read it or file it away…

  • Kelly

    I’m relatively new to your podcasts. This is my first comment because this one really struck a chord with me. Everything you said was right on. Especially when you first mentioned the home decor thing- that’s totally me. I buy and return, buy and return. So much wasted time. Sometimes I miss the return-by date, and I end up donating it. Such a waste of money! I try to decorate myself because I don’t want to pay a decorator, but the amount of money I’ve wasted already, I just should have gotten a decorator! I try to mimic HGTV but I just don’t have the eye…I should stick to my day job :).

    A few times while listening to this podcast I said to myself, “Yeah, but she’s not gonna say this…”, but then you did! For example when you said how doctors may start to buy new designer items because we’ve had to be frugal for so long, I said to myself, “Yeah but I’m still buying crap but too much of it, and I end up hating it”…and then you said it! And I keep forgetting what I have because there’s too much in there! I could go on… Thank you for this. I need to have my husband listen to it because it will help him understand my frustration with myself. I mean, this even helped ME understand myself! I truly never thought anyone else had these exact issues. Thank you for the perspective and helping me not to feel alone!!

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