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Good-Bye To Addictions

Sunday, September 09, 2012

I've noticed a couple strange side effects of my time off from running, in the form of addictions that just seemed to slide away when I began to cross-train with swimming. I didn't even realize these until one day, I just thought, "Hey...I usually do this and I don't anymore. Huh."

I don't offer any explanation whatsoever about why these things seemed to fall away while I was in the boot, off the roads and in the water. It just sort of happened. It seems odd. So I thought it'd be cool to mention them.

1. Coffee

I was a coffee ADDICT, you guys. I would drink one cup of coffee with creamer every single morning. EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. It had gotten to the point that I was literally SAD and depressed and felt awful during the day if I hadn't had my coffee.

One day, I had a cup of coffee and I felt really sick. This is not unusual...it has always bothered my tummy...but I usually just ignored that. But, for some reason, that time it REALLY bothered my tummy. It was during my protein shake phase and I wondered if all the protein was just changing my stomach or something? Anyway, I tried it again once about a week later and felt sick.

The most amazing thing is...I haven't even WANTED it. You know, you give something up because it makes you feel sick (like McDonald's or Coke) and you still have a huge YEARNING for it, right? Well, no. Not with coffee. It's like one day I just woke up and I was done with it. Isn't that WEIRD?

2. Music

Not music in general. LOL. Music while I'm running. I didn't notice this until last week, when I was going on my second "real" run and I didn't even think to take my iPod with me. I started to think about it while I was running and I realized I just didn't WANT music. I am pretty sure this is because I did so much pool work while my ankle healed and I never had music then. And when I bike, it doesn't occur to me to take my iPod (and, truthfully, I like to hear what's going on around me when I'm going that fast...still not totally comfortable on the bike). So, I guess I'm just used to no music.

Yesterday, I ran an entire race with no music and I actually really loved it. I used to rely SO heavily on that music to get me through a run. No more. I don't NEED it. I'm not saying I won't ever listen to music on a run again. Who knows? But...for now...I kind of like my inner monologue. I'm very entertaining, you know. LOL.

And...it gives me time to really try to connect with God. And I think that makes running even more special. Truth be told, there's a lot of stuff going down in my life right now and I am looking to capitalize on every single moment I can possibly get alone with the Big Guy. We've got STUFF to do, you know??? I can't have music interrupting those chances.

3. Television

OK, this is not just from my injury time. I've noticed this since May, when I really started running. Not only was I beginning to skip TV time with my hubby because I had to get up at 5:30am to run, but I also just wasn't interested in sitting there for hours when I could be reading a cool new book on running or reading a magazine on running. And, I'm not a total freak. I do read OTHER things! Haha. I've been wanting to read SO MANY books...and I just haven't had time with work and mommy stuff. So my only time is in the evening after the kids go to bed...that one special hour or so before I can't keep my eyes open any longer. You know what...if it's between TV and a great book, I'm so going off by myself to devour that book.

I was addicted to more shows than I can count. I was literally really emotionally invested in the plots and characters. I made one change in my life (getting more active) and it's like it all just fell to the ground and died. I couldn't care less about TV anymore. It was actually hard for me to watch the Olympics because I just wanted to go out and do stuff all the time...I didn't want to be chained to the TV. And...yet I did. Haha. Olympic addiction did NOT go away!!!

Anyway, just some strange things I've been noticing. Did any of you notice any addictions just fall away easily once you started your health journey???? I'm curious if I'm the only one.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Fantastic! emoticon
    2014 days ago
    Total awesomeness!! I've noticed the same thing about TV - no time for it now!! I gave up coffee some time ago but it wasn't as easy - because I WAS so addicted that the headache was crazy. But I did ween myself away from it - its wonderfully freeing not to have to depend on the cup of coffee!!
    2019 days ago
    coffee is my daily indulgence. I have only one cup now instead of the whole pot a day (unless spark has it in my plan)........where I got stuck alot was Pepsi. I drank that all day and all night like it was the water of life. Just when I started two weeks ago here on spark. I forced myself to drink only one Pespi a day. I split it between lunch and dinner. 6 oz. each meal. Then I noticed I wasn't drinking the whole thing. So I said to myself "self" "lets see if we can actually go a day without any of it?" That day turned into an entire week. I am Pepsi free 7 days now...woot....Sorry went on a rant that I may use in my blog today...lol. You did a great job with it all though. T.V. is just good background noise for when you are alone......:)......your doing so awesome. your very inspiring!!!!!
    2020 days ago
    You are training like a triathlete and you don't even know it!! Music IS NOT ALLOWED at these events! I started training without music awhile back and really enjoy my alone time. Seems like God speaks clearly to me when I listen ( I think it is just me!) I trained for a half ironman relay last year(the running part....) emoticon emoticon and I was able to run a half marathon without music.... it was amazing. Way to go on letting go of things.... you rock!
    2021 days ago
    I have totally noticed that! Actually, I was painting in my room last night and I had the tv on and I was thinking about how much I missed some of the characters in my favorite shows...but not enough to actually sit and watch them! emoticon

    Like you said, there are sososo many better things to do! emoticon
    2021 days ago
  • NEWSGIRL2177
    I have had the same thing happen. Coffee (and all caffeine) was the first to go. I had tried to quit before I started working out and eating better, and it was so painful. But this last time, it was easy. I didn't want it any more. It's been almost 3 years!

    Way to go!
    2021 days ago
    I definitely like riding my bike without music now...I was noticing that my pace would decrease when songs were not as lively, and ended up just leaving my mp3 behind in favor of hearing when traffic approached instead. I now use the time to pray -- distractedly, but better than nothing.
    2021 days ago
    I can so relate to the tv thing. I have no desire to watch tv unless I'm ironing now that I've been spark'd.
    2021 days ago
  • DJSHIP46
    I wish!!!
    2021 days ago
    My gf just started running without music and it has been great for her! I have been trying to cut down sugar in my coffee - and cut down on my coffee but I haven't been able to give it up yet! I used to have 3-4 coffees a day with extra cream extra sugar. Now I am down to 1-2 a day with ONE sugar so I think that's an improvement at least. I used to always have an afternoon coffee and have started drinking unsweetened green tea instead. I like it! Great job btw!!!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2021 days ago
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    2021 days ago
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    2021 days ago
    Back when I was running I never used music -- I needed that time as "me" time, for my brain to work out the problems of the day and for me to enjoy the world at large. For what it's worth, the feds are thinking of requiring towns to paint reflectorized (and no I'm not making this up) "LOOK UP"s on roads by dangerous intersections, so many runners and walkers have been killed listening to ipods and ignoring the world. So you are in the safe group! emoticon
    2021 days ago
    Interesting, what you said about TV shows. I feel the same way, about my investment in the characters and plots. I just look forward to when the shows get cancelled, so I can quit them. I've quit a couple of the reality shows without their cancellations. It's gotten a bit better, my TV addiction, but I try to do a little bit of activity while I watch, whether it's cleaning up or exercise.
    2021 days ago
    What a great example you are to others. Thank you for sharing this.

    Deena from Jerusalem
    2021 days ago
  • MISSLISA1973
    You are right. You are definitely entertaining! emoticon
    2021 days ago
    2021 days ago
    I'm not much on TV either... my DH watches football, news, crime shows ad naseum but I spend my time on the computer, reading, sparking, etc. Sure do wish I could kick my diet dr. pepper habit to the curb. Maybe one of these days it will happen... but in the meantime congrats to you!
    2021 days ago
    Well, I haven't given up coffee but TV has fallen by the wayside. I used to sit and watch hours of a series I liked, on Netflix, without moving, and now I hardly watch anything on TV. Music is nice but I too like the time to connect with the Big Guy. Keep up the great work!
    2021 days ago
    2021 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    It's funny you mentioned this. My husband and I were just talking about this. I started Spark in May and my husband started two weeks ago. He was telling me he stopped needing to snack at night and he doesn't crave things like he used to. I think he wasn't eating enough before, so when he was snacking at night it was because he needed more to eat! He maintains that eating food that is nutritious and well-balanced is what made the difference for him. I think that's true for me, but I think exercise has really changed things for me.

    I've found the same things that you have! I know neither my husband nor I crave sweets as much. And now that you mention it, I have one cup of decaf coffee in the morning and I used to drink 4 or 5 cups a day. If I watch television at all now, I can stand about an hour and then I have to go do something else. I used to watch a whole lot more! While I enjoy listening to music, I also enjoy the quiet. I walk on the treadmill and I can meditate as I walk. Sometimes I have conversations with God, too.
    2021 days ago
  • DONNA5281

    Your blog was great as always. I haven't really noticed anything but since you talked about it.
    I will have to watch for it now!

    emoticon emoticon
    2021 days ago
    Hi Leah,
    Your blog today is really interesting. I really think, that as we eat healthier, our tastes for things change as well. If you were used to eating fatty foods and drinking sodas and you've been cooking more at home and drinking more water, then the next time you have a fast food burger, it just might not taste as good as you once remembered.

    When I was younger, I couldn't stand dark chocolate. It seemed bitter to me. Now, milk chocolate tastes too sweet and leaves a film in my mouth. I LOVE dark chocolate now, but don't need to have it. Maybe one or two pieces a week, and I'm good.

    Ice cream...I haven't had it in ages, and don't really miss it.

    Coffee...this is interesting. I had a really bad spring with a couple of sinus infections and strep throat. I lost my taste for coffee completely. I drink tea now, and not nearly as much tea as I used to drink coffee. It's mostly water now.

    So, you're not alone!!
    2021 days ago
    Sundays used to be a struggle for me and food. I always felt "entitled" to overeat on Sunday. (Must have been all the huge family dinners on Sunday growing up.) Last week my husband and I started going to the high school track on Sunday evening for a brisk 2 mile walk. Today I didn't want to overeat at lunch because I knew I wouldn't enjoy the walk as much this evening. This is a great new habit for us. The enjoyment/anticipation of the exercise does make it feel like the Sunday overeating problem is just falling away. We'll see.... And the same thing happened with me and the coffee.
    2021 days ago
    I think my cravings are disappearing. I still want stuff but it's not the physical gonna die without it. I think it's the veggies and the connections I feel in my life that are taking the place of food. I have actually done the opposite. I never ran with my ipod before and now I do.
    2021 days ago
    I have to comment or else you will think there is something wrong with me!
    But I am going to use this space and time for a quick vent...
    It drives me CRAZY that people comment on blog comments just for the SparkPoint credit...
    I browsed through a comment or two and was just kind of irked..
    I wish there was a should shrugging smiley...cause that is what I need right now!
    2021 days ago
    Very interesting! I'll have to think about changes I've made without realizing it.
    2021 days ago
    I'm proud of you! What an accomplishment! emoticon javascript:void(0);
    2021 days ago
  • FIT4MEIN2013
    Interesting blog. While I haven't found any addictions (like my Diet Coke habit) decreasing....WAIT! I'm not online nearly as much as I used to be. Some days I feel like I could skip it altogether. Weird.

    I do have some new addictions though. Like fitness. I MUST get some kind of physical activity in every single day. I feel frumpy if I don't. Funny how life changes things.

    2021 days ago
    I've been reading more as well.

    I always enjoy your blogs. Thank you for sharing with us.
    2021 days ago
    I enjoyed this blog, as I often do when you write. I'm still pretty new to my journey to declare victory on an addiction, except perhaps for donuts. I used to be a regular to a local donut shop especially as a "treat" for Friday. Since I've started this journey I've made on trip back to the shop, but this last Friday I didn't even think of my "treat" and have no plans on going back anytime soon. Will never eat another donut? Not likely, but not again as a regular Friday thing.
    2021 days ago
  • SJOHNS30
    Nice!! Ive been reading more too.
    2021 days ago
  • MOM-MOM8
    I noticed that when I started drinking water I stopped drinking soda. Now soda tastes too sweet. Now chocolate, I don't eat as much as I used to, but usually have one or two pieces when I am at work. If I am home I do not usually think about chocolate.
    emoticon for making me think about some of the changes that have occurred. emoticon
    2021 days ago

    More positive changes
    for the New Leah

    Have a Wonderful Week

    emoticon emoticon


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    2021 days ago
  • KIPPER15
    It is amazing how we change and don't even notice. Now if I could only get myself to give up chocolate. LOL!! Great job. Leah. emoticon emoticon
    2021 days ago
    I never paid attention
    2021 days ago
    Well... I managed to give up soda, but it made my coffee addiction worse. Guess I still have an oral fixation or something. I know at some point I am going to want to give up the volumes at least of coffee, but for now... I've got all on my plate that I can handle in terms of lifestyle discipline!

    I have always preferred to run without tunes... I like the sound track of traffic, breeze, wildlife in parks, barking dogs, laughing children in the neighborhood (obviously this involves a daytime run)... and if I'm going to run when it's relatively isolated, I want all my senses available to tactically observe my surroundings!

    As for TV... still have my addictions... TV while on treadmill, particularly. It's both a "if you have to watch TV, you must not sit your duff on the couch" and that some TV shows are motivating to movement.

    What I find fascinating is that we *do* change, and in surprising ways. Good for you!
    2021 days ago
    I loved this blog it made me think. I have given up soda with no real problems and not having really thought about it. I watch far less tv as well and the music thing I didn't give up as much as I have noticed I feel more productive and run better with no music. I noticed changes in what I am reading. I used to read mostly non fiction and.parenting magazines..now I am an avid reader of Runner World and books on.running. I laughed at myself when I noticed how excited I got.when.my new runners world showed up on my kindle. I also find myself wanting to do things I never did before like when my kids are playing outside I find.myself playing with them rather than reading or watching. I have reintroduced letterboxing to my taking and I haven't been known as the outdoors kinda girl. it always amazes me how much can change when you make this lifestyle change! Have a great night!
    2021 days ago
  • JILL313
    I'm still addicted to coffee and know I drink way too much of it. I love to make iced coffee and drink it black off and on all day. The studies now say it is good for you and full of antioxidants but in healthy portions and mine are way too high. You're becoming more and more fabulous all the time. God Speed to you! I also rarely watch TV as there isn't much on I'm interested in and I'd also rather be reading a good book, magazine, talking on the phone or internet. I love listening to music but now it's more of a distraction if I'm trying to concentrate on something else. Well, I'm a work in progress. You are doing a super good job--good for you!


    2021 days ago
    I used to get on the computer and play games by the hour. But since I've been on Spark I would much rather learn something about nutrition or read about someone else's journey. I have so much more energy and my back no longer hurts so I feel like DOING so much more. I go outside and spend time in the garden or take the dog for another walk. Really, Another one? But it's better than just sitting! I spend more time finding music for my stationary bike rides. I still need it to stay motivated, but I can see where it's becoming less important.
    I wonder what will happen next. Who knows!

    2021 days ago
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