I am a binger and purger. In almost every aspect of my life, other than my diet. (When it comes to food, I generally just binge.) If you've been following my column since the Lithe Diving Days (3 years now!), then you may remember my very first blog. In it, I admitted to being prone to going on kicks, making grandiose lifestyle altering gestures, buying the book, wearing the t-shirt, and preaching the sermon only to find myself rooting through drawers months later to find all of this aformentioned paraphernalia abandoned and forgotten.

This little (huge) habit? issue? of mine was brought into stark relief last week, when my husband and I moved into our new (to us) home. The cliche about moving was once again proven true--it was incredibly stressful, and seemingly never-ending. Having moved almost every year since I was 18, I'm all too familiar with those parts of the process, but there is one aspect of it I actually look forward to. Purging. My drawers, my closets, and any nook and cranny I can get a hold of. Rummaging through piles of papers or boxes that I haven't opened since the last move always proves fun, and leaves me feeling light and cleansed. Because although I'm known to hold onto the odd ticket stub or greeting card, I'm not super sentimental, and would much rather give things away to friends, donate them or trash them than have them floating around, taking up space in my life.

This time, as I prepared to rid my house of all unnecessary clutter before we moved into the new one, I didn't have that experience. Instead, the purge was horrifying. It was evidence of the polar opposite, the binge. My tendency to binge. And more than that, it was evidence of how fickle and flighty I can be. Everywhere I looked was a ridiculous purchase I made on a whim--most of it things I no longer like or use at ALL. Be it clothes, or random home goods...SUPPLEMENTS I was convinced would change my life...you name it. I found this gold little tray that I bought from Marshall's with the word NOEL on it. Each letter was made out of some Christmas object like a ribbon, or bell...what have you. It's hideous. WHY did I buy this thing? 

Clearing out my bookshelf, I found titles like YOU: On A Diet. The Flat Belly Diet. Skinny Bitch. Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. Clean Gut. Macrobiotic cookbooks. Vegan cookbooks. To be clear, my belly is neither flat, nor is my gut clean. I found a sack full of arts and crafts items I bought the ONE time I made something for my husband for Valentine's Day. In it, there was an embossing tool--a weird, fat pen that heats up glitter until it melts and looks like puff paint? WHY did I spend money on this?? WHY? I will never use it again.

The list goes on, and you get the picture. Sitting amongst the rubble of all my impulses, I couldn't help but think of all the money I had wasted on these things. How much more I could be saving or spending in other, more constructive places, and even more to the point, all of the effort and energy I had put into all of these things that I no longer use or even think about. The countless conversations I'd had extolling the virtues of the very things I was stuffing into donation bags to pass along to someone else. And as I was doing so, I couldn't help but think: What gives?

Yes, part of it is just me and how I've always been, but more than that, I'm beginning to realize that maybe this wake of fads past is actually my search for something. Perhaps that's why I do cleanses and buy books, and go to different doctors and pick up new hobbies. That maybe on some level I'm looking for a silver bullet for...something. Be it to feel a little more fulfilled or to feel more productive, to be healthier, more energetic, thinner, prettier, happier...or ultimately just more...in control. That maybe I will find something out there that I can do to feel a little less at the mercy of the whims of life and a body that modern medicine says can turn on me at any moment depending on the choices I make. 

Obviously, my rational self knows there is no silver bullet for...anything. Most wisdom dictates that, in fact, one should be wary of anything that claims to cure-all. And I think I have some work cut out for me to get to the bottom of my binge-purge tendencies. But, I will say, in all the reflecting I did as I was cleansing my home of the spoils of my spontaneity, I couldn't help but think about Lithe. That if I had to point to a panacea that has truly altered several aspects of my life, it is LitheThat it truly HAS stuck. To me, the teflon girl to which nothing, but my man, and a tan, has stuck so far. I never come across my wristbands and gloves in the back of some drawer. They are in my bag, everyday, reminding me that I have class in a few hours, or that I need to get my ass back in gear if I've let life get in the way. I've watched it change my body, and my mindset, and in turn, the domino effect has continued into all aspects of my life. That when I feel fit and strong--when I'm lithing--I do feel in control. And that perhaps the search for that thing is over--and has been for some time. 

See you in class!



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That first sentence made me so emotional... don't scare us like that again...

nice article, sayeh!

Courtney! I'm so sorry! I couldn't think of any better way to name what I'm describing in this article, and thought it would be a great hook into the rest of the column...but you're so right. I don't want to make light of it or freak anyone out. My apologies!!

Thank you, A!

It's funny this should come up because I have designated July as my clean up-clean out month. I have shredded 3 bags worth of old papers, bills, trash mail etc and it feels so good when the containers are empty and there is more room in my life. I have plans to move in a year and I don't want it to be stressful at that time so I'm donating, and throwing away things that are not significant to me anymore and things that clutter my mind and space. So good luck Sayeh and stay put for a while!!! hahaha

I think using symptoms of a life threatening eating disorder as a "hook" for an article is in very poor taste. I am sure many Lithers are in recovery from eating disorders and would hope you would be more careful in throwing around terms like "binge and purge" in reference to buying things on a whim or starting new regimens and not completing them. Eating disorders aren't whims and do not just come and go.

Love this Sayeh! Thanks for sharing. I totally get it and can relate to the "you're all in and then all out" cycle. Hoping to see you in class! :)

Sayeh, I'm so jealous that you're all cleaned out - and totally relate to the random arts and crafts debris! Why does being creative involve so much stuff (but come on, buying it is SO FUN)?

You and Toni have me almost inspired to start going through my drawers, closets and bags myself... :)

Thanks so much ladies! Purging our lives and homes of all the stuff we accumulate is so cathartic for sure.

I, I definitely hear you. However, I do believe that one can binge and purge in life outside of food. And that it's a cycle in my own life that I can't name in any other way. When I said "hook" I was referring to the first line, but of course I know the association is hard to escape. My hope is that readers can refer to my past 3 years of columns and know that I'm always attempting to be honest about myself and my own life and experiences and certainly not trying to offend or comment on anyone else's life choices. That said, I definitely see where you are coming from and apologize to anyone who may feel that my theme hit a little too close to home. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

Hi Sayeh,
Thanks for sharing yet another introspective and thoughtful post. I've followed your columns since your Lithe Diving days and have consistently found them fun, relatable and insightful. I also struggle with the unfocused search of a silver bullet, such that by the time you get to the chance to clean house it comes as a huge relief to take stock and figure out what really works. It seems like the B&P analogy fell flat, but I can relate to how you feel.

Also, this week's column called to mind a previous post in which some of your friends reflected on Lithe's Immersion classes. Mishi's comments struck me: "making big change in your life isn't about huge gestures and declarations. What it's really about is the teeny tiny ways you can ask yourself to do a little more, a little differently." I thought that was spot on, about Lithe and life in general.

Thanks again. Much love Sayeh.

Amanda, thank you so much for writing. I appreciate the encouragement, compliments and understanding. You're so right on in regards to the immersion quote. Thanks for reminding me of something I really needed to remember. And thank you for reading for so long and for reaching out.

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