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pleasure seeker

embracing hedonism and having fun

You’re a hedonist, straight up! And make no apologies about it. You may not be one to subscribe to the cult of wellness, but you know more about healthy living than you give yourself credit for. The benefits of being a pleasure seeker, besides a guilt-free attitude, is that you can genuinely stick to new habits that feel like fun. If you find a kale-packed dinner that is delicious, you are in. 

Self-care for you really feels like self-care. There’s no to-do listing or worrying about the scientific impact of your choices. You grab life by the balls, ice cream and all, and let the good times roll. 

Pleasure seekers prove that sometimes good health comes down to your attitude, not how many different adaptogens you put in your morning smoothie. Do you even know what an adaptogen is? Probably not! And that’s ok. You’re just doing your own thing and not stressing about the long-term repercussions, which can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When we think of the extreme side of the pleasure seeking personality, the image that might come to mind is your friend’s great aunt who lived to the ripe age of 96, and enjoyed her daily martini and pack of cigarettes until the very end. In fact, as a pleasure seeker, this mythical woman might be the justification for all your choices! YOLO. 

Unfortunately, not every pleasure seeker manages to skate by unscathed by their more hedonistic choices. Some sort of bodily misfire may have already forced you to start rethinking them. Luckily, there are plenty of ways for you to embrace indulgence and still do right by your body. 

The pleasure seeker’s biggest strengths:

  • Worry-free attitude

  • Living in the moment and embracing all that nourishes the spirit

  • Ability to become addicted to good habits if you can find the pleasure in the

Biggest growth edges for pleasure seekers:

  • Health habit procrastination in favor of instant gratification

  • Lack of motivation and reliance on convenience

  • General skepticis  

  • Unwillingness to tune into your body for fear of what you might learn

How do you use your personality to your advantage? 

For pleasure seekers, ignorance is bliss. You wear your blinders, avoiding inconvenient information about health ramifications, maintaining some delusions that the rules don’t apply to you. You are the kings and queens of “I’ll change tomorrow” or “one day when I’m older.”  

You’re so committed to your normal, that often signs of trouble go unnoticed or get brushed under the rug. The idea of change is too jarring. And plus, that post-pizza stomach ache isn’t really THAT bad. Isn’t diarrhea the usual price for eating what you want? 

While there’s something to be said for your fortitude and commitment to carefree living, you run the risk of waiting until it’s too late to deal with latent health problems. Which is a shame, because unlike some other personality types (I’m looking at you, quick fixers), you actually have all the ingredients for making lasting change. 

All you need to do is be willing to try a new way of living for a short period of time. Usually, the results will be so compelling that you’ll realize that a different type of pleasure was there waiting for you all along. If you can trick yourself into exploring new healthy activities, you’re likely to find something that you genuinely enjoy. 

Exercise doesn’t need to feel like exercise. Healthy food doesn’t have to taste bland and healthy. Natural skincare products can be even more luxurious than your anemic conventional counterparts. Best of all, once you discover how good you feel going for long bike rides, subbing almond milk ricotta on your homemade gluten-free pizza, and getting that new face oil glow, that’s all the convincing you'll need.  

Sometimes you may fall off the wagon, but doing so is a valuable source of information. You don’t feel the shame that other types feel. Rather, you realize that stomachaches and chin acne—your old normal—didn't actually bring you as much pleasure as you thought.   

Three things to try this week:


1. Try an elimination diet. 

Unlike quick fixers, you don’t naturally gravitate towards 30-day challenges and trying on new habits for size—especially if sometime told you to do it! And yet, you’re the most likely to benefit from seeing if the grass is greener on the other side. Many pleasure seekers, being food lovers, will ignore sensitivities and intolerances. In fact, they might be your biggest barrier to good health. Which is why I suggest taking on something a little more extreme—like an elimination diet—instead of one small baby step. You are someone who doesn't feel particularly motivated by research and reason. What you really need is to see the black and white contrast of your experiences, and towing the line with your habit changes won’t give you the experiential convincing you need to stick with them. 

2. Treat yourself to a physical challenge. 

Julia Cameron’s concept of the “artist date” is something that can be applied to physical activities. The idea is to treat yourself to an afternoon, or in this case, we will make it an hour, of doing something outside the box. This may be something you do often for other areas of your life—you’re a pleasure seekers after all—but probably not for your physical wellbeing. So this week I want you to choose one physical activity that feels like fun and try it. It could be throwing around a football in the park, cardio kickboxing, rollerblading, archery, rock climbing—anything! If you do this a few weeks in a row, hopefully you will land on something that gets you excited to move and doesn’t feel like typical exercise. 

3. Establish a healthy reward. 

Chances are there are probably some pleasures in your life that are actually good for you—or at least good for your spirit in ways you may not have given them credit for. Make a list of all the things you enjoy. It could be watching SNL reruns, going to the dog park, reading trashy magazines, taking a luxurious bath until you’re pruney. Use this list as your guide and when you’re feeling a craving for something less healthy—say a pie of pizza—try giving yourself one of these indulgences instead.  

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