A Simple Approach to Living With Less

Minimizing Your Butt the Gentle Way

Welcome to Day 3 of the Minimize Yo’ Butt Fitness Challenge.

This is a guest post by Tanja from Minimalist Packrat.

I’ve been minimizing my life for quite a while now. The journey started with downsizing my possessions. I got radical with clutter patrols and learned to discern between unused junk and real treasures. I hauled, tossed, donated and gifted until I was a seasoned professional.

Then something amazing happened. I was de-cluttered! At least from the random ephemera that surrounds so many people’s lives. It was time to declutter something different.

Along the way my minimalist journey changed from focusing on the outward of physical possessions to focusing on my inner worlds.

If you came for a visit to my tiny house today you’d see me focused on learning how to slow down and enjoy every moment that comes my way. You’d also see me learning about the delicate world of taking care of myself. There’s an art form to it that has escaped me for the past 37 years of my life, and these days I’m just starting to tap into it.

I don’t have any how-to lists or fancy advice for you today. I’ve just got a little dose of inspiration to share with you. It’s my story, still in progress, still unfolding.

The Gentle Approach to Butt Minimizing

I’m “Minimizing My Butt” the slow and gentle way. See, I’ve got a lot of weight to lose (over 50 pounds) and a lot of habits to relearn. But I’m celebrating each success along the way.

Last month I quit smoking. I also quit drinking soda and dropped anything with caffeine or high fructose corn syrup in it. I’d failed to quit a couple dozen times before so this was a life-changing moment for me.

I also started waking up at 6 a.m. every morning and taking a glorious and beautiful morning walk on the beach. That walk sets my whole day up for serenity. I started off just walking a couple hundred yards (ex-smoker, you know). Then the next day I walked a little further, then a little further. Until just one month later my regular daily beach walk is three and half miles roundtrip. You can accomplish a lot in a month!

I also started treating myself well with yummy fresh foods. I’m not restricting calories or cutting off allowable foods. Instead I’m making the choice to treat myself they way I deserve. Those treats involve eating things like:

Fruit for Breakfast

Salad for Lunch

And a Sensible Dinner

I’m not getting hung up on rules or on what I can or can’t have. I’m just focusing on more plant-based foods in my diet. There are some days where I’ve still indulged with pizza and a slice of lemon pie. Then there are other days where I’ve eaten what you see in the pictures above. For me it’s not about dieting, it’s about regaining health and discovering the joy of taking better care of myself.

What Says You?

Just like you, I’m looking forward to the next six weeks to see what the Minimize Yo’ Butt challenge inspires me to do. Who knows, maybe six weeks from now you and I will be jogging eight miles a day! Anything can happen, as long as we really want it to happen. Do you really want it? I do!

So, what are your goals for the next six weeks? Are you like me, needing to lose some weight? Or are you where I was four weeks ago, trying to drop a bad habit?

Have you already minimized your butt? Any tips and tricks you want to share with the rest of us?

As always, comments are adored. And a huge thanks to Faith for hosting me here today!

Tanja is a reformed packrat gone minimalist. She is the author of 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp and blogs about simple living at Minimalist Packrat.

If you are ready to join the Minimize Yo’ Butt Fitness Challenge, make sure you are part of the Minimalist at Home Facebook page. You can also sign up for updates or follow me on Twitter. Thanks so much for reading!

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  1. Hi Tanja – lovely post, and I’m not sure how you made it happen but it was a ‘gentle’ read, how strange is that? I felt chilled, relaxed and totally got the mood of it all! You’ll have to teach me how to do that in my writing! Wow!
    As for calorie counting etc etc Not a fan like you. I don’t do it, it’s not sustainable. It’s what you do every day that counts not once in a while. To be healthy and drop the pounds a gradual and gentle approach will win hands down everytime. Stick with it Hun – it’ll come off! Now you aren’t all cluttered you can focus (says she who still has mounds of paper clutter to work through – still procrastinating).
    As for the morning walk on the beach – if I could wake up and do that each morning I’d get up at 6am as well. Alas no!
    Good luck! 🙂

    • Perhaps if I dropped all the punctuation I’d be able to do ‘chilled’ writing?!?!?! Hmm???? 🙂

    • Hey Jo,

      A gentle read is always good! I’m learning (slow learner here) not to edit my posts until they’re stiffly starched, and letting them freeflow a bit more than in the past. Maybe that’s where the chilled part comes from! 🙂

      Thanks for the encouragement. I’m sticking to it strong! I’m still stumbling on food choices a bit, but the morning walks are making me strong and healthy. I’m also doing much, much, much better than just 2 months ago with the foods I’m choosing to eat. Like you said, it’s a process! My butt wasn’t built in a day…. 🙂

      For you Jo, what about tossing 2 pieces of paper a day. It’s kind of like paper baby steps!!!!

  2. Faith,

    Thank you so much for having me here today as a guest post. I just put up a post on your Minimize Yo Butt Challenge today on my blog too (synchronicity!!!). I’m really excited to be doing your challenge and I’ll most likely be blogging about it once a week for the next six weeks.

    Everyone, let’s get our booties shaking and minimize our butts! 🙂

  3. Way to go on working up to 3 1/2 of miles walking each morning Tanja!

    You’ve done such a great job making positive changes in your life. Taking care of ourselves is so important, yet I know I’ve been guilty of letting it fall by the wayside as well.

    I like your gentle approach. 🙂

  4. I have a difficult time being very strict with the food choices. Although there are some things I just cannot have in the house (Famous Amos choc chip cookies w/ pecans, I’ll eat the whole box in 2 days) but I find that I need to do things I can live with, on a long-term basis. Cutting back on bread, and increasing veggies I can do. Limiting fried foods to special occasions, I can do.
    My biggest thing that keeps my weight on, besides not exercising, is carbonated drinks and iced coffee. Wish I could make myself like artificial sweeteners.

    • Faith Janes says

      I drink too much coffee and don’t get enough sleep. I’m hoping to work on that too for improving my overall health.

      • Bernice, Every time I’ve tried to be too strict I’ve rebounded by falling off the wagon. That’s why I’m going rules-free this time around!

        Bread and sweets are my biggest downfalls. I’m still working on changing my relationship with them!

  5. I do fairly well in the overall fitness department. I exercise 4-6 times a week, and although I don’t have a “beach body”, I am mostly pleased with my fitness level. I mix it up between running, lifting weights, toning and hiking. Last night my 4 year old daughter and I walked 3 miles around our neighborhood lake while my 6 yr. old and husband rode bikes. It’s very fun to be able to exercise as a family, not to mention beneficial for us all.

    My struggle is making healthy choices when it comes to eating. There is so much room for improvement in this area. I currently have a garden full of lettuce and that has helped motivate me to eat salad almost daily. In general, I’m trying to limit my carb intake – less sugar, less bread. But I do love my french fries and chocolate. All in moderation, I guess.

    • Faith Janes says

      Carbs are really really hard for me. I’m trying to switch over to Paleo eating which is basically meat, fruit, and veggies. I’ve always said I could give up candy and sweets faster than giving up carbs, but I’m trying to finally change things for good. In my opinion, food habits are some of the hardest to change.

      • Jill 4 to 6 times a week is amazing! You should be sharing your tips (because you seem like the local fitness guru suddenly)!

        Chocolate has been tough for me. It has caffeine and I wanted to drop caffeine completely when I cut out the soda. What I’ve happily compromised on is no chocolate bars (a huge previous naughtiness) but I am letting myself have (for special occasions only) things like chocolate cake or pudding. The thought of never having chocolate again was scary! Knowing I can have it (during events like my niece’s 7th birthday party) makes me feel better!

  6. Love this post! I hope you and Faith keep ’em coming. You are more inspiring than a Weight Watchers’ meeting! Hey, I am a lifetime member, btw:/ Fat lot of good that did me! Thank you!!!

    • I sat in on a few Weight Watchers meetings before (many years ago). It seemed like good motivation! I wasn’t so sure about the recipes and counting of points though. I’m a vegetarian so it was going to be tougher for me to fit in to their recipe choices!


  1. […] Check out my guest post at Faith’s today for more Minimize Yo’ Butt antics. 🙂 If you like what you read, please consider […]

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