I just finished Drop Dead Healthy, thanks to the kind recommendations of my readers. It was a good read, both informative and funny, and not too preachy. Clearly, Jacobs has a penchant for self improvement as I will admit to suffering from since I was a kid. I once walked with a book on my head. I’ve tried diets and exercise plans. I’ve tried to develop hobbies that I thought might be “good for me”.
Why do we do these things? It’s a question the book asks but doesn’t answer fully. Certainly, there’s vanity. I know that’s been a factor for me as I’ve aged. There’s also the desire to extend our lives, to spend as much time here on earth as possible. That’s certainly a factor for Jacobs. He also mentions his feeling of righteousness, something I know can be motivating. You sat around and watched TV? Well, I went for a 5 mile run!. It’s not pretty, but you know it’s true. Most importantly, I think we all want to feel better, to feel the best we possibly can. Feeling good is subjective, of course, and some of those other factors feed into feeling good. Some of us feel good when we physically look better (by losing weight, by having good skin, etc.). But ultimately, that feeling becomes more internal than external.
And so, I think it’s about finding the balance. I feel good when I do some physical activity every day. But running wasn’t quite the thing for me–too hard on my back. I don’t mind, and even prefer, eating mostly vegetarian. But I don’t want to drink my meals or never have a piece of chocolate (which has benefits in small doses anyway). But there are definitely habits I’d like to change. Inertia is a strong force, though. But it can be overcome.