My name is Franny Cochran and I am a Chronic Over-Packer.
Going on a weekend getaway? I have three pieces of luggage that include clothes for all seasons, enough hair and make up accessories for a strip club dressing room and a stash of "In case of a Zombie Apocalypse" snacks... and that's just for me.
Going to the water park? Let's take an extra towel.. per person. Sunscreen spray, sunscreen lotion, sunscreen for your face, sunglasses, extra shoes and clothes for after, snacks, headphones, goggles, lip balm.. do I really need to go on?
I can't even leave the house without taking my tote sized purse stuffed with all the extra things I never actually need. (And my purse is a tote. I'll just be honest.)
However, my problem with "over-packing" goes far beyond travel occasions. I also have a tendency to over-pack my plate. Growing up in a home where canned chili and hamburger helper were a dinner regular, I never learned the importance of nutrition and portion control. I ate until I was full and then I ate some more. It wasn't until adulthood that I finally grasped the importance of food portioning and the serious problem I had with over eating.
My lack of knowledge led to yo-yo dieting, obsessive exercise and self-image issues derived from an eating disorder. I spent years trying to lose weight not really knowing what I was doing or why I was doing it. I tried shakes, meal replacement bars and high dollar weight loss pills in hopes of losing weight.
As with my trip planning, I was "over-packing" myself with unnecessary supplements, impossible to meet standards, and diet restrictions even Jillian Michaels couldn't maintain. While my intentions were genuine, the metaphorical bag I'd packed to help me through the process was too heavy to carry and that's why I continued to fail.
While I still severely over-pack every time I walk out the door, I realize now that I am healthier and happier when I am able to maintain balance in my diet and exercise routine. Planning ahead keeps me from over-packing my plate while the support of close friends and personal research help me from "over-packing" my mind.
Take control this week by going through your "luggage" and unpacking all the unnecessary actions and distractions from your routine. Plan ahead by preparing what you need in advance, lean on friends for support when you over think a poor decision, and most of all, know what you're doing and why you're doing it.
Stop over-packing and start living.