Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Road to Being a Healthier Gamer: June Update!

What's the subtitle for this month's update?  Probably something along the lines of "When you're in it for the long haul…"

…though to be honest, it should be more along the lines of a sound born of frustration, want to revert to bad habits and lack of immediate gratification…

Maybe I'll just  stick with "When You're in it for the Long Haul".

Hey, I said I was going to be honest, right?

One of the things I promised when I began this journey is to hold myself accountable to you all of you, though, and how could I not when so many of you have voiced your support on the blog itself, and more have done so outside of it.  See, I think this has most likely been the most difficult month out of the past 8 months of this journey that I've had so far.  I've had to buckle down and accept a few things, one of which wasn't exactly easy to swallow and admit to. 

It seems that I have a bit of an addictive personality when it comes to food.  I like to eat.  I like the act of eating, the pleasure it brings, and the comfort it bestows after a stressful day.  I like to eat when I'm reading, I like to eat while I work, and I like to eat while I'm spending time with my boy during Saturday morning cartoons.  You know where that reliance on food that makes me feel good gets me?  Well, I can tell you where it got me.  It got up to 281 pounds last year, that's where it got me.  It got me to the point that I couldn't play with my son outside without feeling like I was going to keel over.  It got me to the point that I was about to go shopping at the Big and Tall stores just to find a pair of pants that would fit my waist.  And I'm not tall, people!!

I swore back in November that I wouldn't be that way any more.  For my wife, for my son and for myself.  You know what I caught myself doing this past month?  Longing for those bad habits once more.  Wishing I could just have something to eat when I really wasn't even hungry, but just to eat to make myself feel better during a stressful time.  Even today I caught myself staring at the vending machine at work with a dollar bill in my hand. 

Now of course I'm not saying that grabbing a bag of chips from the vending machine is going to make me join a 12-step group, nor am I comparing myself to someone who has a very real and serious eating disorder.  But I could see a glimpse of where I could be if would give into those temptations again and not care about the consequences.  I didn't like where that glimpse led.

I began to struggle a bit to try and tie this particular topic into the hobby at first.  I mean heck, this starts out kind of depressing in a way, right?  Our hobbies are supposed to lift our spirits.  But what happens when they don't do that any more?  When you, or someone begins to dread painting their figures, begins to troll forums and curse the game they used to love so much, but just can't stop playing it? 

Well, When You're in it for the Long Haul...
…you realize what's causing you harm, and you remove yourself from that.  If it's the temptation to eat crap at work because you've got a couple dollars on you, you leave money at home and bring healthy snacks that are portioned properly instead.  If it's the temptation to keep playing a game that you used to love, but now feel some kind of obligation to play just because you always have, and you're no longer enjoying it?  That's right, you stop playing the game or at least find a new game to give yourself a break for a while.

When You're in it for the Long Haul…
…you make a positive change and you stick with it, realizing that it's not just a band-aid, but a true lifestyle change that is mean to last.  If you're that means that you have to cut certain foods out, replace them with something that you'll still enjoy but is healthier for you.  If that means that you own hundreds of dollars of product for a game system that is literally just collecting dust for years, causing a sort of depressing thought whenever you see it, you get rid of what you aren't going to use and maybe hold off buying anything new until you do something with what you have left.  Sure there will be temptations to revert back to old comforts, but there needs to be the realization of what could happen should you give in.

When You're in it for the Long Haul…
…you surround yourself with friends and family who will support you and not tempt you down a road you don't want to go.  If that with food, then those friends and family understand when you don't need fast food, and suggest healthier restaurants instead.  If that's with our hobbies, then it's with friends who don't try and pressure you to play a game that is causing you stress rather than enjoyment.

I really could go on, but I think you get the picture.  I may have struggled to tie this into our hobbies at first, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that we can have the same addictive personalities towards our hobbies as we can with anything in our lives. 

So where does this leave us this month?  Well, I am blessed to be able to say that I have some of the best friends and family in the world.  None of them in these past 8 months have ever tried to tempt me to not stick to my new way of living.  Nor would they.  In fact, it's the exact opposite!

Even today, one of the salespeople at my work walked up to me out of the blue and told me that he can really see a difference in my weight and health, and they I can hit my goal and crush it.  That he knows I can because I would have given up by now if I wasn't going to.  That completely random act of support truly helped strengthen my resolve, even if it's just for the day, the week or the month, it helped me to realize that the change I'm making isn't in vain, and it so completely worth it.

I suppose I should update you on my weight as well, eh?  I did indeed weigh in last night.  240.0 pounds.  I lost .4 pounds.  Even with the struggle that this past month was, I still lost weight.  Might not be much, but it's something.

It's worth being in it for the long haul.

- Tim


  1. I empathise with you Tim. Old habits are certainly hard to give up on. The real test in all this (As you've written) is to carry on toward your goal regardless of the temptations.

    Keep on working hard regardless and keep up that all too appropriate positive attitude.

    I really need to get off my arse and stick my unused minis on Ebay,...

  2. Doing good Tim. The more time goes on, the harder and harder it is to shave those lbs. Just gotta realize that the work you are doing isn't just effecting your weight, but your health as well. (More energy etc). Something that might aid you, is if you get a physical and compare it to the previous years. Heart rate, BP, cholersterol are probably all down (and good CHL up if eating lots of healthy stuff).

    One thing I also found helped, was as I was on my own journey of weight loss, my initial "no thank you" when people at work would offer a cupcake or slice of cake from someone's bday, turned into my weight loss effecting their journey to a healthier life, to the point that eventually you start influencing the people around you with your good work!

  3. You have the right mind set. Keep at it you are doing great things :)

  4. It happens. Just recognize mistakes were made and then work to change the behavior. You'll get it. It simply takes time and patience.