Im obsessed with Blue Zones. (Like obsessedobsessed since the book came out in 2009.)
Ive integrated the Blue Zone Power 9 notion into my personal mission statement & it’s one of the reasons I touched down in my new city and immediately searched for purpose/a way to “belong.”
It’s why I PLAYout not WORKout. For *me* that’s movement which comes naturally.
I strive to eat only stuffs my grandmothers would recognize.
I challenge myself each time I intuitively reach for a food:
Is this something they’d have eaten? Would they have recognized this as “food?”
Id thought I’d created an OAKtown Blue Zone (me, the neighbors and my homeless peeps) yet was unaware I’d missed a piece until I stumbled on a tweet by (Blue Zone author) Dan Buettner.
He stated (paraphrasing) those who live longest arent marathon runners/triathletes etc—they are people who live a deconvenient lifestyle.
The word DECONVENIENT struck a chord and *jolted* me in a way Id not been for a while.
practice what I long topreach the importance of movement.
- I employ all tricks (elevators? Never!) which squeeze steps into my day.
My home (and facets of my life) still wasnt set up as an environment which got me moving without my thinking.
My home—and I like to think Im not alone in this—was far too convenient.
I decided that moment—as much as possible—to commit to living a lifestyle my grandmothers would recognize, too.
I made the decision to deconvenience my home and set up my surroundings so the right behaviors more readily ensue.
I closed off the chute so I was compelled to *always* walk laundry downstairs:
We have a bathroom on each floor. I chose to ‘act as if’ we only had one…and it was upstairs:
You literally CANNOT change channels without a remote anymore, but that doesnt mean it needs to be convenient:
Im addicted to plain, sparkling room temperature water. Instead of bringing inside (convenience!) I chose to leave in my car. If I wanted water–I was ‘set up’ to walk for it.
(picture youre not getting of my incredibly messy trunk)
Id previously viewed work-from-home life through the lens of:
How can I make this easiest on myself so I get the maximum done in the minimum of time?
My home is now set up with a backdrop of:
How can I make this less convenient so my surroundings get me moving without my thinking?
- Im not yet growing all my own vegetables and still use the ‘convenience’ of a grocery or farmers market.
- I dont yet wash all my clothing by hand and happily employ the ‘convenience’ of a machine.
- Unlike many of my neighbors my backyard isnt filled with chickens & I adore the ‘convenience’ of store bought eggs.
That said, 20 years ago I never thought Id be able to go gluten free and sustain the change for decades so I never know where my new DECONVENIENT lifestyle will take me.
Is your domicile as *convenient* as mine used to be? What’s ONE THING you could do today to move toward DECONVENIENT living?
Jill @ Fitness, Health and Happiness saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 1:45 am
As always, inspired!
You have me very curious about Power 9. Off to check out the link.
Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 2:17 am
There are a lot ways I can deconvenience my house. Great idea that I should start to do. Angry giant husband may not feel my enthusiasm.
Wendi saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 4:59 am
Oh well 🙂
Charlotte saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 2:30 am
DEconveniencing our lives. I simply love it. There are about 1,134,434,132 ways I can deconvenience my home. I live in the bedroom upstairs with the laundry, bathroom, livingroom, kitchen, etc all down stairs.. that helps some. But its now my mission to make it even less convenient.
my boyfriend may not be entirely too impressed at first hahaha 😉 i kid i kid
Captain Competition saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 7:51 am
So, I get why you would de-convenience things, simply to move more. But, here is the counter point. If everything is MORE convenient and we were all more efficient that should leave us time to exercise, no matter what type of exercise we choose. If I can save an extra 10 minutes here and there and conserve a little energy because I didn’t have to go up the stairs 10 times I may have the time, energy and desire to exercise more. Just a thought not trying to criticize the idea of de-conveniencing.
MizFit saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 7:53 am
NO! I love it. Fantastic counterpoint to think about.
Trish saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 2:32 am
Loved this! We live in such a world of convenience it is so so easy to fall into the “norm” of making our own lives more convenient not less.
I need to look into this “bluezones” you speak of.
I do believe you have struck a cord within me this morning! ??
so many things I do see, even in my own home…in particular with my hubs the tech guru…reminds me of Disney’s movie WALLE! I remember watching it thinking how this could really be a future reality.
It drives me insane when I hear someone say all.the.time…go get me this or that, when they are quite capable to get it for themselves, just would rather sit on their derrière!
Allie saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 3:27 am
I have never heard of this book and I’m an avid reader. Must check it!! How is the tornado adapting to these changes…or are they just for you??
MizFit saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 4:27 am
GREAT QUESTION. For me. Now anyway 😉 Id imagine the husband, too, would have to be DRAGGGGGED into it.
He’s not playing 🙂
Nettie saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 3:49 am
Thanks a lot for the this!! I need to read the Blue Zone book.
Linz @ Itz Linz saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 4:00 am
you are so interesting!!!! there probably are a million ways to deconvenience my home… crazy how these small little changes could really add up to getting people to MOVE more! although, i think my husband would not be very happy if i moved the tv remote lol
Pamela Hernandez saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 4:04 am
I love the Blue Zones too! My community (via one of the local hospitals) is working on making the Power 9 part of the community culture.
Our house has always had one bathroom. It’s upstairs. My office is downstairs. I drink a lot of water and tea. Needless to say I do a lot of stairs every day. 🙂
lindsay saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 4:35 am
how have i not heard of blue zones—> MUST DO NOW! I’m kind there already. Ready to DEconvenient more!
Wendi saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 4:59 am
I haven’t heard of the book either.
And it has been out since 2009??
The blue tape cracked me up, too, Mizzy.
My husband would not be happy LOL
Jamie @ Rise.Run.Mom.Repeat saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:00 am
My house is very inconvenient as-is. I don’t have a bathroom on every level and my laundry room is in the basement (and there’s no chute). What I view as a pain in the rear, maybe isn’t if I just change the way I view it.
Thanks for this, Carla! Now, I’m off to run up and down the stairs 18 times to use the bathroom and do the laundry. 😉
Irene saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:01 am
I really like what you share about your grandmothers.
I tend to eat fairly well, but if I lived with that backdrop as you say I would eat even better.
Jody - Fit at 55 saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:06 am
I have heard about the Blue Zones on Dr. Oz. I always find the shows on it so interesting! I do admit that I am NOT deconvenienced & more convenienced for sure…. I do walk up & do9wn the stairs for a lot of things but that is about it… I honestly am not sure I could go all out – I don’t know.. I am willing to try in Hawaii! 😉
Honest – super interesting post!!!! Lots to think about!
Ericka @ The Sweet Life saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:15 am
If more people would employ this, they WOULD change their lives. Thanks for always bringing the thinking posts to us. You rock!
Matt @ Your Living Body saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:21 am
Interesting concept. I don’t think I’m ready for the remote to be in the fruit basket haha!
Olivia saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:54 am
I would put mine in the cookie drawer so I could multitask LOL
Actually I should put it by the chia, right Miz?
Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:30 am
I’m all about cutting corners and making it easy at home so I’d totally be using the laundry chute, but when I leave the house, I’m more inclined to do things like this.
Mary Anne in Kentucky saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:30 am
It sounds awfully silly to me, but then thanks to my allergies I’ve always eaten pretty much only things my grandmothers (born 1888) would recognize. And I prefer to avoid stairs as much as possible, since my knees and ankles complain. I really don’t want to waste time moving about the house when I could spend it moving in FUN ways like walking or gardening. But I have a very active job.
Colorado Gal saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:33 am
We’re working on the veggie/fruit idea. Since we just bought our house in the spring, I’m spending the next year designing/installing a massive set of veggie tiers in our backyard, as well as a mini-orchard in our front side yard. Not only will we likely have enough fruits/veggies for the two of us and then some, but it also takes less water than the existing sod, which I really like. Double win.
Nancy saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:35 am
Love all the little things – they just add up and if you take the time to do it, you feel, become, and look healthier.
Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:35 am
What an interesting thought! In our new house we will have bathrooms on each floor but my work space is upstairs … maybe the downstairs is the only one we can use? HA
Dick Carlson saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:48 am
Two words: “Wringer Washer”
MizFit saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:51 am
two mo’ words: YES PLEASE!!!
Alysia @ Slim Sanity saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:51 am
The fiancé had a challenge at work competing against other employees on who got more steps over a period of 4 months. We did a lot more walking, we’d walk to places nearby instead of driving. There is probably a lot we could do to deconvenience. I love this!
Mindy @ Road Runner Girl saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:53 am
Oh I so need to deconvenience my house!!!
Shelley saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:55 am
You KNOW I love this post. As I’m definitely NOT a marathon runner, I live by deconveniencing myself. I’ll take 6 trips to put away laundry, even though my brain recoils in horror at how inefficient I’m being. Hilarious.
The only one I couldn’t do is leaving the water in the car. This would probably just end with my completely forgetting to drink enough water.
Valerie saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 6:50 am
Oooh…something new to obsess over – yay! 🙂
I will have to give this one some thought. I do keep our water in a refrigerator in the garage, which means lots of extra steps. I fold laundry in the living room and make lots of trips to put it away…but I will have to think of what else I could do. I seem to constantly be taking a thousand extra steps at home so I may be pretty well deconvenienced there already.
For me, though, it’s probably more about deconveniencing my office, since I probably spend more time here than at home. Not keeping supplies in my own office would mean more trips to the supply room…not keeping frequently-used files at my desk would mean lots more trips to the file room…I can probably work with that.
Sarah saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 6:55 am
I just started following your blog, and I haven’t regretted one minute of it. I also decided to deconvenience my house. I love this idea.
Rachelle Q saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 6:56 am
I really want to grow my own veggies but don’t have a green thumb. I guess I need to work on that before planting season rolls around:)
GiGi Eats Celebrities saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 6:58 am
Ah ha ha ha ha! This is funny. Yeah, I am not really sure how to turn my TV on without the remote – LOL! Good thing I keep it right out there in the open so I don’t lose it! 😉
neurosciency saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 7:01 am
this makes me feel better about my de-conveniences. i live a 15 minute walk away from civilization (well, as close to it as possible in dc) so i usually have to walk a lot, i’m just going to consider it de-conveniencing. missing the bus … also de-conveniencing. 🙂 haha, i like this concept. thanks for posting.
Jack Sh*t saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 7:01 am
Way to make me feel lazy for hiring a butler to change channels for me. I’M A JOB CREATOR, DAMMIT!
Kim saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 7:05 am
Many years ago (like 15) when I used to be a teacher (middle school science) this was a topic that I was passionate about. I had many discussions with kids about the fact that we have turned into a lazy group of people because of all the modern conveniences that we use every day. I’ve always tried to keep that idea in the back of my head and remember that sometimes a convenience isn’t the way to go.
Thanks for the reminder to be more natural!!
Leah saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 7:13 am
I need this. Especially for the laundry.
Elle saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 7:36 am
I de-convenienced my life big time when we moved onto the sailboat – now that we are landbased again, still working on that MOVING A LOT but never heard it was an official THING before. Funny… and kewl!
Deb Roby saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 8:22 am
Oh, darn! And I just bought a slow cooker!
My grandmother was told at 38 that she’d be in a wheel chair before 40 because of her arthritis. She decided to walk to the local market (imagine a permanent farmer’s market open 5 days a week) every day to get the fixings for supper.
It was about 40 blocks (about 2 miles) each way.
When she died at 89, she had never spent a day in a wheelchair.
While I can learn to shop every day (like many do in Europe), my life is not set up to walk to a market every day. But I can still make the choice to buy the freshest ingredients and only enough for one day.
Kristine saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm
I love that story, Deb! (it is a dream of mine to live within walking distance of a grocery store)
Dr. J saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 8:59 am
I think my dedication to voluntary simplicity leads to a lot of these behaviors. I think it’s all about balance in life.
I saw a study recently about longevity of Tour de France riders over a fifty year span versus the general population in France. The riders outlived them easily.
I don’t think the whole population of California can fit into Loma Linda, lol!
Krysten saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 9:03 am
This is so cool. Since starting my new diet, I realized how often I use convenience. De-convenience is where it is at!
Yum Yucky saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 9:20 am
RE: Remote in the fruit bowl. My azz would end up moving the TV to the fruit bowl. Therefore… “Houston, we still have a problem.”
Kristine saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 9:22 am
huh, this is a really interesting perspective. As someone with fibromyalgia, I’ve had to optimize my steps and movements for so many years, and put things at arms reach I’d I really wanted them. For example, bringing multiple bottles of water and snacks up at one time because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to walk the stairs for a few hours, But since loosing much of my excess weight, the energy difference is striking, and I find myself going up and down all the time. Get downstairs and realize I forgot to bring the dirty smoothie cup with me? no problem, run back up and get it now. Get to the office and missing my water bottle? run downstairs and get it. (obviously, loosing weight hasn’t made me less forgetful LOl!). I still have to pace myself, but it’s a stark mindset change for sure!
One of the things I have done in recent weeks that I thought was a convenience and now that I think on it… I removed all 12 chairs from the dining room to the hallway for vacuuming instead of moving them just a little to vacuum around. this gave me the chair lifting bonus super power x12. 😀
Kristine saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 9:25 am
oh, and a side note of interest: my inlaws are from one of the blue zone cities, so I’ve heard them talk about it 🙂 Loma Linda CA is a very religiously-oriented, vegetarian-friendly city, and my father in law works with the Adventist Health Study collecting data around the world. 🙂
Katrina Pilkington saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 9:55 am
This is such a NEAT thing to do – and would drive my OCD mind CRAZY!
crabby mcslacker saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 10:16 am
Interesting idea that could really help all those people looking to build a little more movement into their lives without having to think and plan etc. Rather brilliant in fact.
For me, I’d rather have the psychological benefit of convenience when the “task” part is important, and then voluntarily move when I feel like it so I can feel all smug and virtuous. I rarely drive when I can walk or bike, always take stairs instead of elevators etc., but if feels like a choice. I don’t have the determination or willpower you do to get work and chores done, and the last thing I’d want to set up is any sort of disincentive to get to my “to do” list which is often terribly neglected. But for most normal people, this is such an EXCELLENT idea!
misszippy1 saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 10:44 am
This marathoner/triathlete thinks that’s pretty cool!
mimi saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 11:40 am
This old house is set up inconvenient already, and i’m on my feet all day, but i’ll keep this in mind and look more closely.
Kierston @candyfit saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 1:13 pm
Reason #103938o8098 why I think you are so amazing.
Perhaps I should put my keys in the basement when I get home. That way, in the morning, I have to go down the stairs to get them (and back up again to leave the house lol).
Roz@weightingfor50 saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm
This is fantastic. However, I feel sad I can’t see your messy trunk! KIDDING!!! You are flippin’ wonderful Miz!
Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm
I’m currently maxed out on all things inconvenient. LOL I raise my children by actively being with them. I am present with them when I interact with them…which is almost all the time that they are awake and at home. I cloth diaper my child and make most of our meals from scratch–I say as I eat a piece of left over pizza from the pizza I bought last night when I was just too exhausted to cook.
But I do agree that constantly looking for new ways to make our lives more convenient does us a disservice. Not only do we fill our lives with “things” we could live without, but we often become lazier.
Ashley saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm
Wow, these are great tips. I’m going to have to check out the book because I am intrigued to say the least.
Debbie saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 2:50 pm
LOVE this idea! It seems already that I make my life less convenient because I’ll walk to one room, forget why I was there, walk back to see if I can remember, then walk back again. Now I will be much happier about it because I’m doing something for my longevity!
KCLAnderson (Karen) saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 3:45 pm
I like it. I find myself deconveniencing in one important way, and it concerns food. I am buying less and less “convenient” produce (i.e., bagged salads) and and aiming for more and more local, right-out-of-the-ground stuff, which means I have to wash it and prep it myself. Same with other whole foods that sometimes have a tendency to be “prepped” and made convenient.
Oh, and by the way, my grandmother who is 95 (and my great-grandmother who lived into her 90s) ate Oreos and Mallowmars 😉
Jessica @FoundtheMarbles saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm
In my household I need to make more of an effort to deconvenience my children’s lives. Thinking of making them do an obstacle course to get the remote. 😉
Shop with Me Mama saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 5:43 pm
Love this post!! Makes me realize that little things I do can make a big impact on my health!! I need to start doing some of these things!
Kerri O saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm
Oh you’ve no idea…
Beeb saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 6:19 pm
Interesting approach! I live in an old house so most things are already de-convenient. LOL!!!
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 6:40 pm
I’ve never heard of Blue Zones and I’m super curious. There are probably a number of ways we could make our home more deconvenient but at the same time, living in an apartment in NYC, everything’s pretty close at hand because the apartments are small! 🙂
Heatherb saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 8:39 pm
I don’t get it. Life should be fun. why make what can be easy harder? I would rather run 10 miles in the morning, garden for 20 minutes, bike to and from school to drop my kids off and do 3 loads of laundry, dishes, tidying in between so I can have fun when kids are home. Just another trendy idea.
NIKE FREE 5.0 saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 9:22 pm
Xfinity surveillance systems customers will also be connected to a local police stations., home security, %-))),
Elena saysSeptember 17, 2013 at 9:44 pm
Totally curious about the blue zones and idea of making things less convenient. I absolutely needed that reminder as this whole recovery from hip injury is slow in part because I am sitting at my computer most of the day.
Jackie saysSeptember 18, 2013 at 6:50 am
I have to admit that laundry chutes are kinda fun and I was just thinking the other day how I wished that I had one!
Aside from being useful for laundry they’re also great for entertaining kids!
Trinity Brandt saysSeptember 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm
A home that is too convenient? Haha, love it.
Brittany @ Delights and Delectables saysSeptember 18, 2013 at 3:54 pm
I love this. I need to do this to help me move more so I’m not so sedentary! However, I don’t think my hubby would like it too much if I moved the remote! lol!
ConnieFoggles saysSeptember 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm
What a unique way to get up off your butt and get moving! This may work for me because of my health problems.
Andrea@WellnessNotes saysSeptember 18, 2013 at 8:53 pm
I got my FitBit in January and have found tons of ways to deconvenience my life since. 🙂
Nancy Emerson saysSeptember 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm
I am impressed. There are many comments as well. I’ve never heard of Blue Zones and I’m super curious. I will read more about it to get more knowledgeable about this.
It was nicely written too. thanks for posting.
Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie saysSeptember 23, 2013 at 7:54 am
Awesome post, it really got me thinking about what I can do to deconvenience my life.
Heather @ Better With Veggies saysSeptember 23, 2013 at 8:50 pm
What an interesting concept, so different than the way I lead life. I am always so busy I try to make things convenient so I can get it all done & have time to relax. But I love some of the tricks you’ve implemented too! So thought provoking!
Adrian saysSeptember 25, 2013 at 10:06 pm
I love this concept. These techniques are very similar to a post I wrote the other day about taming your social media addiction – http://www.adrianscrazylife.com/2013/09/six-tips-to-tame-your-social-media.html. Great concept.