Strange Addictions

19 Jan

Starting last week LP and I decided we were going to do our own roomy challenge to get our health goals going and find motivation in each other. I have done health challenges before and they have definitely helped as it would seem I thrive on competition. This time around, we customized our own instead of finding some squat/plank/arm/etc. challenge off the interwebs or completing a DVD series meant to kick your butt. I have done both and although entertaining and masochistically enjoyable, this time we were both looking for something a little different.

The basics areas follows: we each picked a few goals, made sticker charts, and are competing to see who can have the most days completed. I am aiming to get more active so I am earning stickers based on active days. Anything from yoga, a little jog, or even just completing my FitBit step goal on particularly busy days earns me a sticker, I just want to get my butt off the couch and moving around in the world. I added a bonus element to my goals by giving up Netflix and Hulu, really tv in general, unless it is a social activity, for the four weeks we are doing the challenge or until I have earned 25 stickers.

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It is nice seeing the chart start filling up and the first week went swimmingly (as first weeks often do). There were a few little things we both promised to do together as well. Surprisingly the things I thought would be difficult are not, and the things I thought would be easy aren’t that easy.

First, we both gave up edible weaknesses. Mine as of late has been the pounds of chocolate laying around the house since before Christmas. I gorged myself on the remnants and it has been incredibly simply to avoid temptation since. That will probably change, but for now I am glad to be standing firm.

The second thing we omitted was alcohol. This one has posed more of a difficulty, but I expected it to. It is not a healthy coping skill, but one none the less and especially on hard days I like to end the day with a glass in my hand.

The final item we gave up was the scale. Personally my goal was not to change the number this machine showed me every morning necessarily, but change the way I behaved, what I focused on. This relinquishment, however, has been astonishingly difficult to live without.

Which got me to thinking about addiction and self image. Every morning I run through the same routine. I wake up. I relieve my bladder. I wash my hands. I step on the scale. Often what it tells me is a gauge to how my day will proceed. If it has barely altered then more or less I move on and forget. If it has decreased I am elated and the first thing I put on is a smile. If the number went up by a significant amount on the other hand, I get discouraged and angry. I think back to what I ingested the last couple days and beat up my psyche for being so weak and lazy. You would think I would stop doing it, or at least limit my usage, but no, every morning I feel off if I don’t check in with the little white box.

It is not a thing I would have considered an addiction until this challenge. Until forcing myself to stop looking. It is seriously the only thing I have considered altering the terms around. I negotiate with myself that maybe just once a week is ok, or a least at the halfway mark. It is ridiculous! I am eating well, I am exercising, and feel good, and yet it feels incomplete without knowing what the scale is going to tell me. I am infuriated with myself. Out of all the things I have considered being negative habits in my life, I would have never listed this among them, and I wonder how it could have escaped my notice.

I could go into a rant here about societal lessons that are ingrained into us, but I won’t. I am sure you have heard it all before.

I just wonder what else is there under the surface I have been hiding from myself. What have you been hiding in your own subconscious?

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