There are more glamourous addition’s out there, but this one is just as powerful and destructive.
It’s an incredibly emotional and powerful subject. Even picking out an image for this story was tough.
Today I want to talk about an addiction. One that’s not made glamourous by Hollywood.
It’s not a sex drugs and rock’n’roll addiction either.
The patterns of self-destruction and ruined health are the same though.
I’m talking about that most modern of addictions…
One definition of an addiction is:
Addiction is when the mind and body need a substance to function. Taking that substance away causes physical and psychological withdrawal.
Having been there and come out the other side. I can tell you that addiction to sugary and high carb/fat content food is real.
It’s a real addiction with real consequences and real health issues. It’s also very tough to quit.
Like other addictions, you are never cured. All you can do is recover and try every day not to fall back into it.
The reason I write this is to highlight this issue and share with others. So that they don’t have to go down the same path of discovery.
They say that you are what you eat, it’s taken me about 32 years to work that out.
My diet was awful, sugary drinks and snacks between meals. The meals themselves pizza, burgers, fries. All my own choices, all addictive and all destructive.
Through my twenties, my health declined and at my worst, I weighed 145kgs or around 320lbs.
I was morbidly obese and pre-diabetic. Over time I have lost over 30kgs/60lbs of that weight and regained my health. I’ve also regained my fitness, although I still have around 20kgs/40lbs left to lose. It’s an ongoing journey.
The hardest part of it all? Changing my eating habits.
Recovery and Reeducation
It took me months to work out what was happening. I could go for a few days eating well, drinking water or tea, and exercising. I would feel good when I made those changes. But the next thing I knew I was 8 cokes deep into the day, sitting eating junk food at lunchtime.
As much as I tried, I was struggling to break the cycle. After a lot of soul searching and research, I finally worked out I’m addicted.
I always have known I have an addictive personality, it’s what’s made me terrified of drugs for example. I just never made the link between the food I was eating and the chemicals being released in my brain.
Once I understood that I could begin to tackle my issues properly. This is an addiction like any other and it needs to be treated accordingly.
I can relate to that, I should be getting married to my better half in a little over 6 weeks time.
Between hotels being closed, us stuck in one country while the wedding is planned in another plus the headache of needing a visa for my partner which we can’t get because the embassy is closed, all bets are off.
We need to re-arrange, which at first looked like it would be a nightmare.
What are the options???
As anyone who is planning a wedding will know, they are not cheap, so the first priority in our case was cancelling what we could and minimizing the financial impact.
Once we had done that (nothing like pouring over contracts to suck the romance out of the room), we quickly worked with the vendors to get money back or make settlements.
This was purely because we had fixed dates for being in the UK, and if those did’nt work we needed other options.
If you can delay, then use that option as it gives you time to get back on track, extra time to pay and you don’t lose deposits etc. just make sure you read the contracts and understand what the options are…
A back up plan fit for the king….
Uh-Huh, the back up plan is for us a stroke of collective genius.
We have a deadline to get married due to a pending work move and visa requirements. Looking at all the options and also being people that focus a lot on fun, we did some research.
Turns out Las Vegas even with flights and hotels is a very economical way to get hitched.
Having a suitable fake Elvis tie the know for us should also be great fun and give us some great memories, albeit we won’t get the special day with family and friends that we had planned.
While this works for us I understand it may not be the answer for you. Its important though to talk things through with your partner and work out what does the back up plan look like and how you will achieve it.
It can be a bit if a kick in the teeth to have to cancel, delay or rearrange, but as the saying goes:
A smooth sea, never made a skilled sailor
Life will throw curveballs at us from time to time, this is just a big one. There are plenty of options available without having to sacrifice money already spent.
Just make sure you know what the impact is for you and talk with you partner to work out the back up plan that works for you both.
If you can control that then it one less thing to stress about.
You could even be like us and take a trip to the meet the King, just make sure you don’t make a booking at the heartbreak hotel.
The age of the internet really does mean that the world seems smaller and is certainly more connected than ever before, but that doesnt mean we should’nt take the change to explore it.
The magic of travel
The experiance of the sights, sounds, smell and culture of the places you travel to and experiance, just cannot be replicated by watching or reading something online or in a book.
The magic of travel is soaking up all of those things in person, meeting the people, visiting the landmarks, travelling between places and trying new things, new experiences.
Travel broadens the mind, but often empties the wallet
This is one of the single biggest fears that a lot of people have.
While I can’t say that this isn’t totally untrue, travel today is much cheaper than we tend to think it is, and in fact there are more opportunities to be paid to travel for work than ever before.
Budget airlines, air bnb and group travel options all make it cheaper than you might think to go take a life changing trip.
Or you could explore the career options which allow you to travel for work, these are almost endless and go from long distance track driving and sailing through engineering, sales, management, the list of jobs and list of industries is endless.
If you want to travel and see the world, the options to do that are endless.
The world really is smaller and more connected than ever before, yes they are some challenges and getting out there right now, but once those end the world is out there.
If you want to make the most of it and see what you can, then the options are there.
Goals that are not written down and don’t have an action plan are dreams.
If we think of the typical goal that doesn’t make it to reality, the old classic the new years resolution is a good example of that.
Its typically something that we tell ourselves, we may even tell friends and family but, very rarely do those new years resolutions make it as goals, they remain dreams unfulfilled .
Ok so what’s next?
The first step is taking those dreams from your head and writing them down as goals to be achieved by a specific date on paper.
The way that works for me is they are front and center on page 1 of my notebook, therefore I see those goals every day, but whatever works best
for you, is correct for you….
That’s it that the first step and the goal set.
Once the goals are written down, you can make you connection to them stronger, by using visual boards and mind maps, to visualise the steps you need to take to achieve the goal and also what the goal looks like once its achieved.
These are powerful tools which cost nothing but time to use.
If you have some dreams which remain unfulfilled what’s stopping you from writing them down and turning them into goals then reality?
Its a collection of images, pictures and sometimes motivational quotes and aspirations, which are typically glued onto a simple board and set up somewhere in your home where you can see them.
The images and pictures should be things that are linked to your goals. For example they could be:
Images that make you feel good, and reinforce the way you want to feel.
Images of the way you want to your health to be
Images of the home you want
Images of a goal you want to achieve like writing your own book
Images of a vacation spot you want to visit
Images of an educational goal
Images of an event you would like to attend
Really anything linked to any of your life goals can go on the visual board.
The quotes and aspirations can be either linked to you goals or can be motivational to help keep you going towards those goals, there are no rules here.
Whats the purpose?
Did you know that visualisation is one of the most powerful mind exercises that you can do?
Essentially the vison board, is a prompt to help achieve your goals through visualization of them.
Because the board is set up somewhere that you can see it often maybe in the bedroom or living room for example, you eye see it often which means that subconsciously your visualizing your goals often. Your also experiencing the feeling of accomplishment or realization of those goals.
This is turn triggers your thoughts towards your goals and sets up powerful connections between your goals and the thoughts and action of success in the brain.
Athletes have been using these techniques for decades to help them improve their performance.
Studies have shown that a weightlifter for example using this technique has the same brain patterns when lifting weights as they do when visualizing lifting the weights.
If we have no mental barriers to sucess and accomplishment in life, it means the physical barriers are much easier to overcome.
Again there are no rules here, whatever works for you is best.
There are lots of tools and techniques out there to help us with our goals, whatever those goals may be in life.
Vision boards are certainly one of the tools that we can use to build success and have the following advantages:
Easy to set up
Utilize the power of the brain and its association with visual guides
Take very little time to maintain, since the brain sees the goals often and goes through the mind exercise of visualization subconsciously
Im not suggesting that the vision board is the one and only solution you ever need to help achieve whatever goals you may have in life, however it is a low mainteance high impact tool which can help along the way.
This week I’ll be sharing some more on the other tools I use to help set me up for success in life, however what I will say on the Vision Board is that I use it daily and it definitely helps me keep going especially when I’m in need of some motivation.
If you ever wanted to try, there is no time like the present
If you have always wanted to write and didn’t know where to start, or if writing is a more recent dream, I have great news for you, its never been easier to get started, to learn from others on the same journey as you, and if you wish its never been easier to publish.
Writing can be a strange and frustrating pursuit if you let the process take control of you but it really doesn’t have to be that way.
There are so many ideas about what writing is and is not, and when you can really call yourself a writer.
None of them actually matter, the truth is writing is such a personal thing that, the only correct answer is the one that fulfills your passion and yuor expectations.
The important thing is to start at a pace that works for you, you may be shy, you may not know where to start and like most of us who want to write, you may be overthinking the whole thing.
The great thing to remember is that their really is no right or wrong, a word on the page or the screen, leads to a sentence, which leads to a paragraph which can lead to something magical.
It doesn’t matter if it takes five minutes, days, months or longer as long as its comfortable for you.
You could start journaling for yourself with pen and paper, a lot of people starting out enjoy the challenge, it lets us play around with words and structures and also has the really wonderful benefit of getting thoughts and feeling out of your mind onto a page, reducing stress and anxiety and also clearing your mind.
You could set up a blog, all you really need is a fantastic resource like medium or a website such as a free WordPress site and a smartphone and your all set to share your writing with the world.
You can draft and edit and play about with your writing as much as you like, and if you want to publish your writing and share it with others your one simple click of the mouse or touch of the screen away from becoming a published author.
As your confidence builds and if you want to pursue writing as something more than a hobby you could even apply to join the medium partner program and be paid for your work.
Again what you do with your writing, if and how you share it and if you want to make it more than a hobby are all up to you. No one is right and no one is wrong, what works for you is best.
One thing I can guarantee you though from someone who spent a long time, overthinking it and terrified to share anything in public, is that your far from alone, there is a whole community who stood in those same shoes and made the first step. In turn that means there is huge amount of help, resources and support out there to get you started and writing with confidence.