Some people, like me, have addictive personalities. I’ve been this way ever since I was a small child who obsessively watched the same movie over and over again on repeat until I got sick of it. I’ve done this throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, with everything from movies to TV shows to songs to books and even to people. It’s an odd pattern of novelty becoming comfortable, then too familiar, then boring and/or annoying, which triggers a need for something new… until the pattern itself gets annoying and I return to something old and known until I again wear out my interest in that and need to go back to the new again. I don’t know what it is that makes me this way, but I know it’s always been how I am, and I therefore have no expectation of changing it.
Obviously, the worst place where this special little cycle of mine pops up is with food. Remember Oreo Cakesters? You don’t? Well, you must have been sleeping during that period where they existed, and I ate them all before you had a chance to try them. (They have since mercifully been discontinued.) I also had a Papa John’s phase, a fried chicken phase, even a freaking Hamburger Helper phase, just to name a few. These were all bad food-addiction/compulsion-fueled habits I had before I had the thing that changed it all: a routine.
Now that I have a framework within which to conduct my daily life, everything else is so much easier. I’ve learned to adapt my addictive personality to a healthy way of life, which means preparation, preparation, preparation. I’ve also learned that you can apply a potentially dangerous pattern to a positive endeavor by simply replacing the addiction. (Simple in concept, of course. It’s certainly a challenge in practice!) I’m no longer obsessed with filling my belly; I’m obsessed with shrinking it. I’m addicted to exercise.
Yesterday was the first time I’ve attempted my (formerly) usual elliptical run since before I got sick, which was well before Thanksgiving. I’m still not entirely recovered, and my body is not keeping that a secret; I was coughing and my nose was running from just a couple of minutes in. In the end, I was only able to do one mile of my usual 3+, but I’m happy to report that my speed is still intact (under 12 minutes!), and DAMN, it felt good to sweat from something besides a fever!
I’ve amped up the fitness addiction by signing up for more Diet Bets. As of yesterday, I am now committed and paid into a total of FIVE (one of which I’m hosting — join me!) between now and mid-February. I’m still trying to recover the lost ground in my Transformer, and it doesn’t look like I’ll quite get there in time for the round 4 weigh-in a week from now, but I WILL win the game. I’ve also set a pretty ambitious goal to hit for the end of the year. I won’t be crushed if I don’t hit it, but I WILL totally redeem myself — and be a total fucking champion — if I do.
Finally, I set up another follow-up appointment with my fabulous doctor for January 19th, 6 months after my last visit with her. I can’t wait to hear what she’ll have to say at that visit! It gives me extra motivation to reach my goals.
Through replacing the addiction, I’ve become so singularly focused on achieving my fitness goals that I’ve gone back to not even caring about my old trigger foods. Those plates of temptation are just masses of needless calories that will sabotage my plans and make me mad at myself. Why go down a path of destruction? I’ll pass. Gym, please.
Sorry, Christmas cookies. Maybe next year!