Is your McMansion killing you? Why I love my 50s ranch house!

While out walking around my neighborhood today which is comprised mostly of  modest sized homes built in the 1950's and 60's, I was thinking about how, up until the past couple of decades of excess, enough was generally enough. There is a newer subdivision off one street filled with what some people would call "McMansions."  Instead of 1,200 square foot homes, each is about 4,000 plus square feet.

Sure, people tried to keep up with the Joneses in 1950's suburbia, but the benchmarks for bigger and better were far more manageable and affordable than what we have now, probably because credit cards and mortgages weren't handed out freely like today.

I think the current culture of more means means a normalization of overindulging and acceptance of the consequences..."tomorrow." Buy more now, pay more later. Eat more now, lose more tomorrow (which we keep putting off). We live in bigger houses which seem to match our growing waistlines.

The core of overeating is not being content with "enough," or not eating enough of the foods that nourish and sustain us.

I came across this fun infographic today and wanted to share it with you because it further illustrates my point!

Comments

  1. Love ,love your post today Averyl!It is completely what I suspected all along.We need to address more than just our diets,but every aspect of our lives . I think every American should have a poster size version of this infographic on our refrigerators as a reminder of some changes we all could make ,to improve the quality of our lives and our health as well!Lori S.

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    1. Thanks, Lori! Yes, it is a lifestyle change and our contemporary diet and problems with obesity mimic our out-of-control, no boundaries culture.

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  2. I agree that there's a correlation to our mass consumerism and over eating. As a culture if we're getting bigger then we need new clothes. Then of course we need bigger closets because we hang on to the old clothes in case we hit diet nirvana and lose weight while still eating a lot. What's interesting is the tiny house movement as a backlash to the Mc Mansion. Here's a link: http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/pages/houses
    Honestly I don't think I could live in one though I love the idea.

    I live in an 80 year old house that was considered large for it's day (about 2700 square feet including the finished part of our basement) but is small by current standards. We are no different than most American families in that we have a lot of stuff but we really use the space we have. I know a lot of people don't use their living room or dining room except for holidays so they need extra rooms like family rooms and media rooms to actually "live" in. These of course add square footage. We use both our dining and living rooms on a daily basis but not necessarily for their intended purposes.

    Another interesting thought- our homes are bigger now so in theory we should be doing more walking just by getting around the house. But we're still heavier than in the 1950's when homes were smaller and we had less steps to take to get from one room to another. Go figure. ("figure"- haha...)

    Thanks for sharing this info. Very interesting.

    Sarah H.

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    1. Sarah, I've seen those tiny houses, and while cute and novel it seems to me that it's another example of the extremes of our society. Obese/anorexic. Binging/ (intentional) starving. I can see a single person being content in one but raising a family? Having said that, I lived in a tiny one room house in grad school that the UPS man mistook for a tool shed when trying to figure out where my "house" was! I did love it but again, can't see more than one person doing it...happily.

      Another thing is that there is nothing inherently wrong with responsible consumerism. Personally I love nice things made by hard working people treated well by their employer. People should be advocating that we go back to the 50s way of manufacturing here in the US and lifelong loyalty to employees.

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    2. By the way I've heard that, too, about people not using their living space or not being able to afford to decorate/heat it because it's so large!

      Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Ive thought on this subject a lot here lately. We are military and got orders for Okinawa Japan and their homes are a lot smaller then ours here in the states. I see it as a challenge to get rid of all the excess and have just what we need and hopefully when we have to come back to the states we will keep with a smaller amount of things and better use of space.

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    1. Tosha! My husband was in the USMC and he was stationed in Okinawa before we were married and he loved it! He has commented on how much smaller everything there is. I think it will be a great experience for you! Congrats on your PCS!

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