What Comes First, Happiness or Success?

It’s kind of a chicken and the egg thing.


Of course, you’ll be happier when you succeed at your goal. That  is obvious. The sense of accomplishment, success, self-confidence, and happiness are the natural result of achieving a goal.

But when do they start?

For example too often, many people say, “When I lose those 30 pounds, I’ll be really happy.” That makes sense; after all, the sense of accomplishment, success, and achievement (let alone better health and more pride of appearance) will indeed generate a sense of happiness. But, does it happen the day you reach pound number 30? Maybe it’s at 20? How about 15? Dare I say it, is it one pound?

To be successful, it starts on day one.

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The Cleanse

Weight is a progressive disorder.

By that I mean, if you are overweight and you’re not doing something to lose weight, you’re going to gain it; there’s no middle ground. People who battle obesity consistently fool themselves into thinking they can “take a break” and “maintain for awhile.” They can’t. After all, if they could, why would they not have “maintained” ten or twenty pounds lower? That’s not meant to be snarky; it’s just truth.

Eventually the reality, “I’ve let it get out of control” sets in, closely tailed by panic. When that occurs, logic beats a hasty exit and all sorts of strange get-thin-quick behaviors show up on the front porch.

man-looking-at-empty-refrigeratorOne of which is “The Cleanse.”

To lay all my cards on the table, I’m not a fan. One reason is that so many “cleanses” are bizarre at best, even downright unhealthy — not to mention unsustainable.

To that point, I relay a recent conversation with a friend. “I’m on day four of a seven-day cleanse,” he said. “I need advice. I’m starving. I can’t think. I’m ready to bite someone’s head off and all I can think of is eating. What do I do?”

Curious, I asked, “Why are you doing this? Why not a more balanced approach like cutting back a little here and there and adding in some exercise? That would work much better — without the side effects.”

“My girlfriend and I wanted to kick start the weight loss. We found this on line.”

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Captain Obvious Goes on a Diet

I wonder if my dog Willie gets bored walking the same route every day.

dog-formerly-known-as-willie

My inclination is that he doesn’t, but what do I know? Maybe he gets as tired of peeing on the same bushes as I do as walking the same sidewalks. Anyway, bottom line is I take him out on a long walk every morning and, to be honest, can sometimes find it dulling. The solution? I plug in my always-falling-out-of-my-ear-buds and listen to radio.

That backstory in itself is a long walk to explain how I came about hearing an ad for yet another “miracle weight loss product.”

I’ve been writing this column for more than a decade and if you’ve followed it more than, oh, about three weeks, you know that “miracle weight loss products” are one of my prime bugaboos, causing me to become very curmudgeonly and my head to explode. This was no exception; especially because the first words in the advert — even before I knew what was being promoted — were,

“A healthy diet and exercise plan should be part of any weight reduction routine.”

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You’re Only One Step From Getting Back on Track

You’re always only one step from getting back on track.

As the expression goes, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”

So, when we slip up, we – with great intention – say, “I can start again tomorrow.” Yet, how often does that pattern repeat, leaving us over and over and over again, “starting tomorrow.”

That’s why it’s important to remember that you’re always only one step away from getting back on track.

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