My Addictive Brain, Healthy Habits, and Making Changes for Good Health

I’ve written about this sooooo many times, and I have made a final decision (after talking with Robert who is a very balanced person and he agrees with me this time). I am doing something “black and white” (I’ve been striving for balance) because I know my addictive brain well enough. I’ve learned that the typical person isn’t addicted to food or sugar, etc. But as an alcoholic I’ve noticed that I have the same behaviors with soda that I do with alcohol.

No, soda isn’t as bad as alcohol is for ME, but I’m tired of feeling like crap. I feel terrible physically alllll the time and doing all the middle ground things isn’t working for me. I just drink and drink and drink even though I feel terrible. I have tried setting limits and cutting back, but I end up drinking even more. I’ve tried adding water, but I always choose soda first. I also notice myself using it as a coping mechanism and crutch. I tell myself that it’s not as bad as alcohol so it’s okay, or it makes me feel good emotionally so it’s okay. It gives me something pleasurable to drink instead of the alcohol that I used to drink all day. I obsess about it and think about it all the time. I make sure to always have a lot of stock at home. These are all behaviors that I had with alcohol. Though alcohol got me drunk all the time and I constantly made a fool of myself and threw up multiple times a week (and kept drinking anyway).

I hate being an addict, but I can’t change my brain. So I work with what I have.

Some things that I’m learning lately about healthy habits and where I stand with Balance 365:

1) I realized today (through talking about it with my wonderful hubby) that by only allowing myself to focus on one thing at a time (which is the goal of B365), I’m struggling to make any positive changes or move forward. So basically unless it’s something that I’m focusing on, I am allowing myself to #doallthethings that make me feel like crap and I have felt paralyzed. I’m not out living my life because I’m a rule follower and black and white and think that if I’m not following everything perfectly I’m doing something wrong. I know I’ve shared this before, but I feel like I’m ready to move forward now. Still only focusing on movement (the one I’ve been focusing on for a while), but also being okay with making my soda change like I talked about above and setting boundaries for my health in general. I don’t know if that makes sense.

2) My hubby and I decided to focus on movement together. He started bouldering again last week (our camp has a huge rock climbing and rappelling cliff as well as lots of bouldering walls around the camp). I decided to join him a few days a week, and he is going to join me in hiking a few days a week. Luckily we can leave our kids at home while we do this (the beauty of having bigger kids and living at a Christian camp). I told him that I didn’t think I could go bouldering because I have no strength and he reminded me that most people don’t when they start. It’s supposedly an amazing full body strength workout. And a couple of bonus things: it’s outdoors, and my hubby and I can do it together. He said that from just doing it 3-4 times in the past week or two, he has had more energy and has felt better. So that’s positive!

3) In order to get up earlier to go exercise (he has to be showered and ready to go at 8), we will go to sleep earlier which means plugging our phones in to charge in another room (because I can be on my phone for hours at night… it’s bad).

So, my main habit is movement, but in order to be consistent with it (or even just start), I will be exercising with my hubby. To do this (and because it gets hot fast), we will have to get up early. To get up early, I will need to go to sleep earlier. I guess this is a habit snowball. I’m not intentionally working on sleep, but it is going to be something that will happen as a result.

Also, I have an appointment with my counselor on July 2nd. I decided to “bite the bullet” and make an appointment with her. I feel like mentally I have been doing pretty great, but I felt like I should address all that I am still thinking through and struggling with. Also, as silly as this may sound, in 8 1/2 years, I STILL haven’t really addressed my brother’s death. The details still affect me greatly. I also feel like the trauma is what changed my brain to start having all of the issues that I’ve had ever since then (I have always had anxiety, but everything else is new since he died). In addition, I will be going back to the women’s AA group in that town. I haven’t been going because my friend and I started one in our closest town, but literally no one but her and I ever go. So I’m adding in the women’s meeting for now and I may drop the one that we started. We’ll see.

I’m getting back to things that are positive for me. I’m not focusing on food habits at ALL right now (well, except for the soda thing). I’ll get there.

I’m continuing my habits of meal planning and meal prepping which are things that I have done for years (mainly a veggie tray, homemade Greek yogurt, sometimes homemade whole wheat bread, and muffins or some sort of breakfast food), nighttime routine (skin care, meds/supplements, and teeth brushing/flossing), cleaning routines (I’m pretty good about keeping my house clean and laundry mostly caught up), my two very part time jobs (direct sales and working retail at camp), reading more (the kids and I read at the same time every day and I often read at night), and probably more that I’m forgetting!

Healthy habits (vs yo-yo dieting) are long-term sustainable and that’s my goal.  No longer will I try to change everything at once… just the few things that surround the main habit that I’m focusing on.  I love this program!

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