Healthy Weight Week: Be Happy Now


Deciding Not To Be Perfect

healthy weight week infographic be happy nowI can’t remember the exact moment when I decided not to be perfect.

I’m not sure if I just mellowed out with age or finally started doing what I encouraged my clients to do.

To be still.

To not wait to start living.

To be enough, right now, in the moment.

I made a decision to be happy now and not wait until I started being the person I knew I could be.

Living With Less Fear

This was a scary proposition. Would complacency and sloth take over my life? Quite the opposite. I have actually made more positive, long lasting changes when I decided to quit trying so hard to change.

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There is something peaceful and calm about mindfulness. Mindfulness allows me to pay attention in the present moment without judgment. I relax, I have less fear. Fear of judgment or rejection fades. Living with less fear allows me to breath, notice and appreciate what I do have and who I am. I’m happier.

Could I be more…everything?

Yes, I could. But I don’t have to be in order to be happy. Letting go of perfectionism allowed me to find the middle ground. To live in the sometimes and mostly. Sometimes gives me margin. I am OK with being mostly something.

Intentions For Living

I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year. I made a list of intentions for living now, semantics right?

Not really, I have come to know myself. S.M.A.R.T. goals make me crazy stupid. They say that if goals are not specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-oriented, I’ll fail.

Learning To Live Right Now

I’ve had plenty of failure in my life, when I’ve been too focused on exactly who, what, when and how I was going to be. I realized that goal setting for me created a void, an abyss. The space between where I am and where I wanted to be was dangerous. It created a world based on the future and right now didn’t exist. I did a lot of damage in right now.

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I lived in the future. I created elaborate plans, schedules and ways of being that were so far from who I was today that it excited me, but scared me at the same time. This cognitive dissonance was so uncomfortable that I decided to “flip a switch” and dissociate in the right now until tomorrow, Monday or New Year’s Day.

Endless “last suppers”, weeks without shaving my legs, complete absence of productivity. I behaved as if what I was doing didn’t count right now, because it was before I was going to start…being perfect. I wasted a lot of good years waiting to be the perfect version of myself. In the meantime I created so much damage that it took weeks (or months) to catch up to baseline…whether it was my weight, my self-care or self-respect.

So how does it work now?

First of all. I create a pleasant and loving environment for me to live in today. For instance, I made a decision that I would only have clothes in my closet that fit and looked good on me. My day begins on a happy note, instead of….

Then, when I feel like I’d like to create positive change in my life, I create an intentions for living list. These are ways of “being”, mostly. I see myself doing more of something. For instance, I intend to eat more fruits and vegetables today. Sometimes I eat a maple creamee (this is my favorite new Vermont treat). This doesn’t have anything to do with my intention to eat more fruits and vegetables. Guess what? As I eat more fruits and vegetables, I feel better and therefore I eat more fruits and vegetables.

Another intention is to play more outside today. I strap on my snow shoes and take off on a short hike in the woods near my house. I notice the stillness and quiet of the snow and the ease of the hill that was harder last week.

This is how I stay happy now.

What makes you happy now? What might be on your intentions for living list?  Let us know!

One response to “Healthy Weight Week: Be Happy Now”

  1. Marlene kaucher says:

    Wonderful article, very well written, who is this gifted woman? Oh I know her!

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About the Author

Kari Anderson, DBH, LCMHC, CEDS

Having struggled with binge eating and weight stigma herself, Kari’s professional career has a personal passion driving it. She has been working with eating disorders for 25 years, with particular emphasis on Binge Eating Disorder. Kari has the unique ability to lead organizational teams and at the same time connect with individuals on a very real and compassionate level. Often referred to as someone who “gets it” by participants, she creates a safe environment. Prior to coming to Green Mountain, she positioned herself as a respected clinician and leader in the field of eating disorders. Having worked for treatment centers such as Remuda Ranch and The Rader Institute, she had the opportunity to help thousands of patients and their families. She earned her Doctorate of Behavioral Health with her research project The Mindful Eating Cycle: Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder at Arizona State University in 2012. Co-creator of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating for Binge Eating Program, Kari also co-authored the acclaimed book, Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating: A Mindful Eating Program for Healing Your Relationship with Food and Your Body. Kari leads the Women’s Center for Binge and Emotional Eating at Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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