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Are We Built To Be Gadabouts?

I don’t know where/how I signed up for this on the internet, but every morning I am greeted with an e-mail called “Word Daily”.  This e-mail contains a word that none (well, maybe some) of us ever use in our daily conversations.  I am sometimes amused at the words and their meanings, hence the reason why I do not unsubscribe from the e-mail list.

Today the daily word was “GADABOUT” and the definition: A habitual pleasure-seeker.

Hmmm….I thought about this for a bit and to some extent, I believe that all of us are “pleasure seekers” to an extent.  I also suppose that we also are “habitual” in the realm of pleasure seeking.  Almost on a daily basis, we all strive to do things that feel good, make us feel better about ourselves and in many other ways, opt for pleasure instead of pain.  Outside forces often will mitigate the obtaining pleasure and rather, inflict pain, but our goal is clearly to feel pleasure.

With the concept of “pleasure seeking” in mind, let’s turn the focus to weight control. Clearly, the drinking of alcohol and/or the consumption of high sugar/high carbohydrate foods and snacks provide us with an immediate pleasure.  Avoiding these food and drink sources that derail our weight control does not bring us any immediate pleasure.  The pleasure that is derived from losing weight, such as looking younger, getting rid of medications, having more energy, fitting into our stylish clothes etc is delayed, often taking many weeks or months to feel those pleasures.

The “pleasure and reward” center of the brain’s hypothalamus is responsible, to a large extent, of making us built to be “GADABOUTS”.  The dopamine surge from immediate gratification behaviors sort of becomes addicting and almost forces our pleasure seeking to be habitual in nature.  This is why coming off of alcohol, “dieting” and other efforts to become healthier are so difficult.

Being a “GADABOUT” in terms of habitual seeking the pleasure of our hobbies, such as golf/exercise/quilting/watching movies and many other pleasurable activities such as spending quality time with our friends/family/loved ones make us healthy “GADABOUTS”.  However, habitual seeking the immediate pleasure brought on by food and drinks produce unhealthy “GADABOUTS”.

No songs with the word “Gadabout” but here is a fairly unknown Simon and Garfunkel song called “The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine”.   Unlike their other major hits like “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and the theme from “The Graduate”, I never heard this one… goes:

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