Saturday, November 5, 2011

"Something Else"

Once when one of my boys was in high school, he had a disappointing grade on a history exam, so I brought this up for discussion with his teacher during parent-teacher conferences. "Do you have any suggestions for what he should do to prepare for the next exam?" I asked.

"He should do something else!" she said.

"Something else?" I asked timidly.

"Yes, something else! Because whatever he's doing now isn't working!"


At the time I considered this to be exceptionally unhelpful advice from an uncooperative teacher. But I have to say that I've warmed to this advice as the years have gone on.

Take my weight for example, the creeping chubbiness on which I've posted before, and which, alas, has only gotten steadily worse since that post. What should I do about it? Well, SOMETHING ELSE! Because what I'm doing now - that is to say, eating every morsel of free food provided by DePauw University in general and the Prindle Institute in particular, supplemented by comforting feasts at the Blue Door Cafe, plus occasional lovely dinners, with free-flowing wine, at friends' houses - isn't working.

There is something about the clarity of this insight that is more helpful than I previously realized. Maybe I'll try something else, try NOT doing what I've been doing, and see what happens.

It just might work, after all.


  1. Claudia, I struggled with my weight in high school. I was always on a diet and always gaining weight. When I got to college, something clicked inside of me and I realized I had to take all the emotion of eating out of the equation. I started listening to my body, eating when I was hungry (eating whatever I wanted) and stopping when I was full (even if that meant leaving half a piece of chocolate cake on my plate). I also started exercising (moderately). I lost the weight and it has never come back. That was 25 years ago. I know that the word "diet" or the thought of restricting myself will definitely result in me gaining weight. That's just the way I am. So maybe the something else you can try is just changing your mind about food and eating. Free yourself!

  2. Excellent wise advice, Brenda! I think my problem is that I just love certain kinds of snacky food so much. I love gumdrops!!!

  3. So eat gumdrops! Just realize that one gumdrop tastes the same as the whole bag. And one gumdrop (or two) gives you pleasure, while the whole bag will give you pain.

  4. Brenda, I'm liking this plan more and more!