Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Addicted to the computer, ha ha.

Hello. Something e said yesterday has given me a prompt for this post. She said, 'I have a coffee out habit that I need to stop, that's the next to go'.

My first thoughts are, well no, that doesn't have to go. Something that is enjoyable and gives pleasure makes life fun, and we all need some of that. To deprive ourselves of pleasurable experiences would make life pretty miserable and would get us down over a period of time.

There are good habits and bad habits. A good habit makes us feel happy, a bad habit causes us grief and makes us unhappy. It's a sliding scale, it's about knowing when a good habit becomes a bad habit, and ultimately becomes a problem.  Drinking copious amounts of coffee every day would be a punishment to our bodies and our purses, in the long term it could make us ill and skint.

At some point a bad habit would then become an obsession, and then an addiction, something to be avoided at all costs. Addictions can cause us to lose all sense of normality, a place where we would like to get back to before the blessed addiction took over our lives.

Seems like a habit could be the start of a slippery slope to me, and I'm not just talking about drinking coffee, it could be anything you do to excess. Best nip it in the bud before it takes hold. Easier said than done because that takes will power, and there is no one size fits all. Everyone has different levels of will power.

We all know the term, 'everything in moderation', and I agree with that. No need to deprive yourself of anything. Instead of having a coffee out every time you go out, you could take a drink with you from home on alternate days, make gradual changes over a few weeks instead of making your self miserable by suddenly stopping.

Now this method of weaning yourself off something may not work for all if you are a long way down the slippery slope and your life is controlled by a destructive addiction. Some people can go cold turkey then have to endure all the withdrawal symptoms that go with it. Suddenly stopping something and hoping your life can be changed by that one decision might work for some, but not everyone. Knowing your own personality comes into it, do you have the support you need around you, and do you ultimately know the place you want to be. Of course it goes without saying, if controlling your addiction is likely to affect your health, you must seek the advice of a doctor first.

So how do I incorporate the 'everything in moderation', into my own life? I like a Magnum ice cream when I am out for the day, but it's not always on my mind to buy one. If I see a fridge with a selection of different flavours they beckon me to lift the lid and choose one. I may walk away and resist the temptation because I don't fancy one, or I had one not so long ago. The longer the time scale between treats the more of a treat it is. A Magnum every day would be boring, make me sick, and at £1.80 each they would cost me a whopping £657 a year, madness.

Same with a bottle of wine. I only buy a bottle when I actually fancy it, to drink that day or the day after. I will pay £5 for it because I like the taste, and I don't know what expensive wine tastes like so I can't compare. My wine purchases are about two bottles a month now, and I see these as a treat. To drink it every day would ruin my liver, my heart, and I would put weight on. There's no danger of me becoming addicted to booze.

So, moving on. I am not trying to dictate here what anyone should or shouldn't be doing. The old sayings that have been around for centuries, like, 'Everything in moderation', and 'Variety is the spice of life', are actually true. We can have our treats, and we can try new ways of doing things. The world out there is for exploring our beliefs, our bodies, our relationships, and our minds. You decide whether you are doing something to excess, you decide when you want or need to make changes, and you decide whether you are in control or something is controlling you.

Slowly but surely, bit by bit, you can make the changes you want. It doesn't need to happen overnight, but the determination to succeed must be there in the first place. Good luck, and I hope you get the life you strive for. Best wishes,
Ilona

PS, and now I have broken my rule to write short posts in the summer because I want to do other things. Trouble is, that if something is on my mind, and an idea is triggered by something I have seen or read about, I have to go with it. So now I'm going to get of this chuffin computer and go outside. Toodle pip

19 comments:

  1. Why is outside good? A question I have never seen answered adequately yet it seems almost universally agreed that it is. I quite like out doors now but I have always preferred indoors, right from a child when I was dragged off for eight mile walks every weekend when I wanted to read my book, sew or draw and cuddle up to the cat. It didn't get me to appreciate it at all, the reverse in fact.

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  2. The human body thrives on sunlight and fresh air.

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    1. Thank you for answering that, you are right of course.

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  3. Ilona did you know that Poundland sells Magnums?

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    1. No, I didn't know that. There is never a Poundland nearby when you want one :o)

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  4. Excellent post Ilona - you talk such common sense. SueM

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  5. Summer ? You have summer ?

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    1. Yes, it's sunny here with the occasional shower.

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  6. Well said Ilona - very sensible. I've tried to follow this advice while losing weight. Instead of my morning coffee with lots of cream and sugar as I arrive at the office I've gradually switched to a Skim Milk Latte with just 1 sugar around every 10 days. Like you I love ice-cream, but I don't dare buy a litre for home as I'd eat it all in a couple of days - instead I allow myself one small ice-cream sandwich maybe once a week if I really want it (and I usually do) and just factor in the calories with my daily total. Deferring these small pleasures, but not cutting them out entirely means that I save money and calories but don't have to feel totally deprived - I just have to have a bit of patience. :-)

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    1. Hi Margie, Very inspiring comment. I can't buy tubs of ice cream or boxes of cheap Magnums to take home, because they wouldn't last five minutes in my freezer before I would scoff them. I don't care if an individual portion costs more to buy, it is better for my health that I keep them as an occasional treat.

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    2. Margie
      Can you please explain what an 'ice-cream sandwich' is? Surely you don't put ice-cream between 2 pieces of bread? Do you? It sounds a very obscure sandwich filling. Amanda

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    3. Hi Amanda. When we were small mum used to buy a block of ice cream, cut it into slices, and sandwich them between two wafers. I assume this is what Margie means. I could be wrong. A sandwich can be anything as a filling in between two outer layers.

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  7. White chocolate Magnums are my favourite but I only ever buy them when they are on offer. Iceland recently had a box of 4 for £1.79 so I bought 3 boxes - I certainly enjoyed those at one a day - now I'm waiting for the next offer, but I'll wait, even if it's a few weeks :)

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    1. Yes, I like the white ones, Lesley. I hope you don't mean you eat one every day, but eat them one a week over several weeks.

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  8. Yes,ice-cream sandwiches are lovely, and some ice-cream vans sell nougat wafers. These are a posher take on the plain sandwich wafer,where there is a layer of nougaty-marshmallow and chocolate which sandwiches your ice-cream. Yum! Oh, and not to forget the oyster,which is two shell shaped wafers with your ice-cream in the centre. Lovely as a summery treat.

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  9. You're right again, life without its little pleasures would be very boring indeed!
    I have a very sweet tooth and I do love a Magnum too (although I prefer Ben & Jerry's, which I only buy when it's half price, seen as it's normally nearly £5 a tub!) but my biggest weakness is lager, ha ha. I'm not a big drinker but I do like 3 or 4 pints on a Friday night to unwind after a week at work,and maybe a few on a Saturday. I could give up chocolate and ice cream entirely if I wanted to, but lager I could not. I enjoy it far too much to ever give it up, so why would I want to? You have to live a little after all :)

    Alex

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    1. A drink or two at the weekend is normal, just don't get in the habit of boozing every night, it will kill you eventually.

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  10. Great post! Since going vegan it's been much easier to stay away from candy, ice cream etc, since most of the conventional stuff contains milk or other animal extracts that I truly don't want to consume anymore. Even stuff I used to love has turned into some weird stuff that I don't view as food anymore!
    On the other hand, there has started to come more and more vegan items, so I don't feel deprived... If I really want something I can buy it or make it myself :)
    By the way, Ilona, have you tried buying dry beans or chickpeas, and cooking them yourself? Really cheap and healthy. And tasty if you have a clue with spices ;) even the water from the chickpeas or beans can be used as an egg replacement in baking for like meringues!) and cooking (what about vegan pancakes!). It's commonly known as aquafaba or AF if you're interested :)

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Emma. I have tried dried pulses and chick peas, it doesn't work for me. I don't want to be planning what I'm going to eat 24 hours before, and all the faff of soaking and cooking. Opening a tin or a packets of frozen suits me better. I am not a kitchen angel, I'm a quick in and out, simple meals that can be made in ten minutes, or no cooking at all. I don't use my oven at all, so no baking. Your tips are good.

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