Archives for posts with tag: weight loss

This year, I’m trying something new. Rather than making a list of short-lived resolutions, I’m resisting the ubiquitous urge to become a “Happy New You” and declaring the current me to be satisfactory, and maybe even better than that.

That doesn’t mean I am getting as much exercise as I should; let’s face it, it doesn’t even mean that all of my clothes are fitting properly at the moment. Nor does it mean that I am reading enough for enjoyment, or that my house is organized, or…you get the idea. So what am I going to do about it? Nothing. Sort of.

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the negative effects of always striving for “better.” In our race to improve, the argument goes, we never get a chance to appreciate what we already are and have. Satisfaction is always around the corner, over the next hill. We’ll be happy when we are thinner, or better dressed, or when we get those hardwood floors installed. (Ok, the hardwood floors may just be my thing.)

Chasing better suggests that we are not good enough as we are, and leads to negative, self-punishing thoughts and behavior. We shame ourselves and deprive ourselves, and feel so dissatisfied.

I am not the first to point out that we would never treat someone we love like that. We would encourage them, point out what they’ve accomplished already, and actively support them in a positive manner. They aren’t perfect either, but we love them anyway.

So this year, I’m going to treat myself the way I hope I’d treat anyone I cared about. I will make sure that I am getting enough sleep, eating plenty of produce, and getting outside often enough. I’m going to take care of what I already have, and appreciate it. I’m going to nurture my curiosity and creativity. I’m going to gently nudge myself to take more risks, and accept attention. I’m going to hug my family more, and laugh loud and often.

And if I have to, I’ll buy bigger pants.

…on the way to wherever it is I am trying to go. Those sneaky 10 pounds I mentioned have crept away, taking  a couple of their pals. I attribute that in large part to my little job, since it keeps me moving for hours at a time, and prevents me from freely accompanying TMIM out to lunch and breakfast in The Land of The Fried Potato (where I am helpless to resist.) I’ve also been able to walk regularly with my neighbor, new puppy (walks with him are “bonus” walks), and now, he and I are also walking another neighbor and her dog. Of course, I’ve also made a point of incorporating more of the foods I used to eat while I was living alone, so all of those things help. Because I was not actively “trying” to lose the weight, I can’t really say how long it took, but I did start to notice the drift somewhere around March.

The funnier thing that happened is that we have realized that my fundamental assumption about this move- that I would have to have a “real” full-time job or we’d be in trouble- has been blown to smithereens. Sure, we’d get things done around here a lot quicker if I had a bigger paycheck, but we are bumping up on a year soon, and I am guardedly optimistic.

Maybe it’s getting out from under the pressure of feeling solely responsible for my family’s financial existence, maybe it’s spring, maybe it is getting some distance from the emotional maelstrom attendant to my mom’s passing, but suddenly I am feeling a little more positive about finding that elusive “big girl job.”

This morning I spotted a posting for the job I used to do in California at an agency in a neighboring county. I applied, no longer in the spirit of desperation, but with the sense that getting an interview would be a win. (I would be happy to take the job if it were offered, but my dream job in the field is a step or two above it. I’d be thrilled just to have face to face conversations with my professional community at this point, considering the complete lack of response I got last summer.) If they don’t call me, I’ve lost nothing, and I have other interests to explore, don’t I?

I feel that I can capture that elusive future job in the same way I escaped from those sneaky pounds: by moving forward and doing what I know is right in furtherance of my larger goals.

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (

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