Self improvement

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.

2 Replies to “Self improvement”

  1. I believe in self improvement too. Your idea of a balanced approach is spot on. You should not forget to enjoy life as well. Sage advice has always been, everything in moderation.

    I think one of the keys to success in the area of self improvement, is to do it in directed and incremented steps. Take, for example, weight loss. If someone was averaging 2500 calories per day, it would not be wise to go on an 1800 calorie diet. I think that you set yourself up for failure. Instead, start a reduction of 100 calories for the first week, the next week 100 more. You are more likely to be encouraged by your progress and want to continue instead of giving up.

    Good luck with all of your life projects. Count me as one of the fans cheering you on from the sidelines.

    You can do it, Laura!


  2. Hi, I agree, having a balanced view is important and to risk a bit as well. Taking a run or a walk always expands my perspective and aren’t summers great when we can enjoy to get out of doors?Hate those winter blues.

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