Thanks so much to our regular contributor, Dr. Mike Tremba.
Because this column has been running almost ten years, I’m taking a leap of faith and assuming not everyone started reading it day one. Therefore, especially with a title of, “Striving for Imprefection,” (sic) one might not easily comprehend why I write so often about weight and diet.
Born overweight and battling obesity through my early and teen years, I for the first time in my life, reached my correct weight when I lost about 100 pounds at age 17. However, I put it back on when I was in my twenties (sigh…), having to shed about 80 pounds, and thereby becoming a leader/facilitator for a major international weight loss company. In those days, I was a rarity; being male and “young.” Moreover, my primary meeting had a weekly attendance of over 100 people. To further cement my bona fides, I was chosen as one of twenty people in the entire U.S. and Canada to be a role model for the company when they celebrated their 20th anniversary in New York City in 1983. We were escorted to Broadway plays, received a complete “make over” (which made me look ridiculous), and I got to meet the founder of the company. (Oh yes, we were indeed treated to copious amounts of food at five-star restaurants.)
Despite my “rock star” star status in weight loss circles, I stopped attending meetings due to a dispute I had with a supervisor.
To “teach her a lesson,” I regained about 70 pounds. Old feelings of humiliation and self-loathing re-manifested themselves, and yet I did everything I could to avoid returning. My back pained me 24/7. My marriage was a mess; my attitude was worse. People who know me today consider me “positive.” They would not have used that adjective then. I was forever unhappy.
Yet, I still refused to seek help, thinking the shame of returning was even worse than the nagging unhappiness and hurt that refused to leave.
On my 39th birthday, after everyone had gone to bed, I got down on my knees, bent over the garbage can, and ate the leftover birthday cake I had placed in the tin earlier that evening. Am I proud of this? Of course not. However, it is part of me and I’ve learned to release the shame I hold about poor choices. More importantly, it was the turning point that made me decide to seek help once again.
Having a hobby is encouraged and considered a positive trait by society.
In a healthy individual, hobbies may act as effective creative outlets and stress relievers. Sometimes, though, hobbies can take on a darker role in our lives, essentially becoming an addiction that needs to be overcome, often with the help of outside sources. Read on for five simple ways to tell if you’re addicted to your hobby. [Read more…]
Breaking an addiction can be a very challenging task, and it is almost impossible to do without finding new ways to spend your time, money and energy. A solid path to recovery can be paved by entering a program such as gulfcoastdrugrehab.com, and by engaging in outdoor activities.
Here are five outdoor activities that can help you break an addiction, in no particular order.
Going for a nice walk or light jog for five days a week is a great way to rejuvenate your body, tone your muscles and clear your mind. The feeling that comes during and after a good jog can actually itself become addicting, which is infinity times better than afflictions such as substance abuse or gambling.
Many people see kayaking as an inaccessible activity that involves high levels of skill and expenses, but the plain truth is that hundreds of lakes all over this fine nation have kayaks available for rent on any given summer day. Calmly gliding through the water is a very peaceful experience, and can do wonders for clearing and retraining the mind into more healthy habits.
Joining a Softball League
Unlike the first two activities, which are often done alone, joining a softball team will allow you to be exposed to a new group of potential friends. Having a few nights a week set aside to do a really fun activity such as playing in a softball game will help to structure your schedule in a way that makes you much less likely to relapse.
Planting/Maintaining a Garden
Creating and caring for a garden has been proven to help people get over addictions and other self-destructive tendencies. Watching something go from seed to fruit is a special experience that often bonds the grower with the Earth, which is another path to the inner peace that will help put addictions in the rear view mirror for good.
This is the least expensive of the activities on this list, and a small to medium-size garden can actually be started with about $20 and a few hours’ worth of enjoyable labor.
Bicycling is another sport that an amateur can fall in love with very quickly. A steady bicycling routine is good for the cardiovascular system, as well as the entire muscle structure. Many people have found solace in riding their bicycle around the park every evening at a time when they would typically do something such as visiting the bar before heading home. Before long, hopping on the bicycle becomes far more enjoyable, meaningful and fruitful than past indiscretions.
About the author: Annabelle Smyth is currently a loving and caring mother of two children. She lives outside of Milwaukee, WI and loves cheering for the Bucks and Badgers. She is a blog enthusiast and loves writing, if she is not writing she is cleaning up after her two lovely angels. She can be contacted at Annabellesmyth@gmail.com
“There is now yet another addition to the ever-elongating list of recreational drugs, although worryingly these are more easily available than most. Although still relatively new in concept, synthetic drugs are increasing in popularity.”