I asked myself about a (legal) addiction I have, specifically about 'the moment':
For a smoker, it's the moment when you thoughtlessly light up,
For an alcoholic, it's the moment when you unconsciously crack open a beer.
I fielded the question:
"What are you feeling in that moment?"
"Nothing. Complete numbness. Non-thought. Surrender. Helplessness."
I realised that the core of addiction is being in love with, and thus fiercely loyal to, helplessness.
It's an unconscious ritual dedicated to keeping helplessness alive in our lives.
For a loved one, you show them respect, hear them, are present with them -
All because you are invested on a core level with keeping that person in your life.
The same thing, albeit in a twisted way, applies to addiction -
We have automatically self-reinforcing rituals that preserve our relationship with it.
You don't even think about it -
You just do these things,
Acting on an engrained directive that originates from the most fundamental part of you.
Unwiring decades old addiction rituals -
whilst nothing in the blip of the cosmos, which you'll need to draw willpower from (more on this later) -
Relative to not doing anything about it at all, yes, it is - so don't shame or judge yourself for realising this is the case.
You have to enjoy the process, as they say,
And first and foremost with that is an environment free of self-judging.
Addiction is alluring for a reason. Look at it's core conceit and promise:
"Throw literally everything else in your life away, just for a moment."
Hence why addiction is often the shelter of the over thinker.
Clearing addiction for good is a permanent personality change.
It's creating a new being, falling in love with them instead, and leaving your old self behind.
In that sense, clearing addiction can feel like a betrayal.
As messed up as it sounds, even if a thing we subject ourselves to is evil,
If we do it enough, it becomes our norm - and we will always, always protect our norm.
Unless you change, that is. Unless you can follow through.
Being pulled by a vision is a divine method, and in my experience the only lasting method.
The day-to-day mechanical and practical realities of shifting ones patterns doesn't produce solace,
Not even close to the 'solace' that caving to your addiction brings.
This is how and why it wins.
And hey, I know there's no "it", there's just me and my choices,
But we are storytellers, and for me, it helps to start a new chapter,
Meet a new character - in this case, my new, near-future self.
I know what I need to do, and it's very simple. Four words, in fact:
Less in than out.
(or More out than in, same thing).
All the journal entry writing and planning won't do anything without being pulled by a vision of a better you,
One who is ready to finally let go of helplessness,
Even if it's become a habit.
Like anything that lasts over time, things need to begin definitively, but also gently.
A mountain didn't just appear, it built over time.
For me, this means a first, definitive "clean slate" moment.
Then, its like holding up the new truth,
patiently ignoring or gently pushing aside any of the old pattern's attempts to take it down -
Sublimated as 'freedom affirming' movies, which sounds so appealing ("why are you trying to change? Don't you want to be free to stuff your face at any time?") -
calmly tell it you're going for the greater freedom: the freedom to wear my clothes, to move around without labour, to feel more confident in myself, for how I feeling great about my health will make me see more possibilities for my life.
The truth needs to be a looping, conscious one, before it becomes a silent unconscious one.
Less in that put out.
Second are the practical steps,
Which must be simple, easy to follow (and thus easy to leave unquestioned), and most important true - and nothing is more unquestionable than numbers:
- 6/6 (6am and 6pm the only meal times • 12 hour fast) ease-bringing tip: room food.
- 200/200 (grams of each meal) ease-bringing tip: loose restrictions on food type.
- 70 (the most important number • the scale goal, calculated healthily). ease-bringing tip:
make this number your #1 thing you slap any resistances out of the way with.
Imagine yourself literally turning this number into a weapon shaped like it,
And anytime drags (aka invitations back to bad habits) pop up like "have a 3am feast!" or "have a joyful room-feast after a work day!"), you take this number and whack it out of the way,
And right then and there, every time, don't just say no, take a brief moment to envision how it will feel to stand on that scale and see that number, and most importantly, the kind of person you'll be.
The different you. The better you. The freer you :)
Bonus number benefits:
- $ (another big number in our lives), you'll be spending a lot less.
- 400/400. Think about it - when your goal is reached you'll literally be doubling what you were eating when losing the fat ('loss intake'). This is called 'maintenance intake', and will definitely include restaurants, ones where you'll be sitting whilst fitting into your clothes and feeling great (and looking great in dinner photos too <3).
Best of luck to those leaving behind helplessness-maintaining rituals. You deserve to be free of them,
So free yourself from them - live the truth that you are worthy of the greater freedom,
Not merely 'Nutella-any-time' freedom (which is addiction speaking with freedom's voice) -
You deserve that 'feel-good-all-day',
'Regularly-be-open-to-more-enriching-possibilities-from-life' freedom -
Otherwise known as actual spiritual, existential, psychological freedom.
Not satisfied without examples? Here they are, your Freedom Swap-Out list:
Swap "endless Nutella at 3am" fake freedom
"Not adjusting my body position moment to moment to hide my fat from people" real freedom.
Swap "a giant plate of chips with schnitzel AND a wrap AND a donut for lunch" fake freedom
"Never retaking a photo because of a double chin EVER AGAIN" real freedom (think of how many hours of your life wasted on adding filters and adjusting photos...)
"Sitting at home in my house because food is closer and I'm ugly-fat anyway so fuck the world" fake freedom
"Being among nature or people even if just people-watching and sharing your true energy with the outside world" real freedom.
Remember, especially early on in your change-making, your drags will very much 'pfft' at the real freedoms, but that's only because they're threatened.
Let the vision of real freedom pull you, definitively but gently, through all doubts and drags (and sometimes even through well-intentioned food-offering friends, simply smile and rain-check it for when you meet your goal in a few months).
Real freedom is out there, my friend - seize it while you can, and know that your body will get on your side real quick, once the new protocols reach your core (they take a few days, but remember the whimpering abused puppy, who snapped at the carer trying to pat it - your overweight body is that puppy now, and a well-intentioned change or 'loving pat' will look like an attack. Gently persist, and in three days of following your vision of real freedom, guaranteed, those pats will not only no longer feel scary, they'll feel more than welcome - they'll feel like, and simply be, your new norm.
Self-love and real-freedom as your new norm - what's not to gain from that on every life level?
To use a mood-lightening pun, honestly, the only thing you're not gaining is additional weight (:P), added padding that muffles the real you from coming out :) Now off you go:
1) 6/6 :)
2) 200/200 :)
3) 70 :)
(three unquestionable numbers)
4) Less In Than Out :)
5) You Deserve Real Freedom :)
(two unquestionable truths)