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Florian

90 Day Candy Detox Report

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90 Day Candy Detox Report 2016

This is a review of my 90 Day Detox. It’s not about computer games. It is about candy and snacks. I am not that addicted to computer games in the first place, but I appreciate our community because to me, ultimately, it is about one decision:

Will you stop looking for easy relief from your problems – by fleeing into an addiction - and instead develop your purpose and work towards it?

Let me say right here that I finished it. I'll write my experiences up for each month January - February - March - to see the development I have taken.

Why did I do the 90-Day Detox?

1.              Health and fitness: I wanted to lose body fat, and one efficient way to do this is by avoiding carbohydrate rich food.

2.              Financial health: Sweets drain my financial resources, especially since I prefer the more expensive imported snacks from Germany.

3.              Mindset changes: (a) I wanted to get sweets completely out of my system (hence 90 Day Detox). (b) I wanted my mind to learn that I can’t flee reality into “sweet nostalgia”. Nostalgia is sweet, but I should not need actual sweets as a trigger. (c) I wanted to challenge myself to do something difficult. 3 months without snacks is hard, at least to me.

January

Setup your mind, reduce your temptations

1.              The whole detox does not work when there are sweets around: I tried the detox before and succumbed to candy (november 2015).

2.              Don’t bang yourself up about past problems: I reframed all instances in the past where I “fell off the wagon” as “test-run”.

3.              But also don’t allow yourself an easy out: I actively chose before I started the 90-Day Detox in January 2016 to really get through those tough times when temptation to cheat was high. I wanted to see what happened when I would stay steadfast.

Body Fat

1.              See picture attached – I went from 27.3% to 26.2%. 1.1%. That was disappointing to me, because just two years ago I had cut out carbs for a whole month and lost 2.4% - more than twice as much. I guess I am not getting younger!

2.              I actually started at 27.3%, then was still at 27.3% after a “sucky” week. One week more, I was at 27.0%. Not very motivating, but I did not give up.

3.              The body fat curve is actually a great proxy for a lot of other things we want to change in our life. Sometimes, from one day to the other – even from one week to the other! – things seem to stagnate or get worse, despite our best efforts! But on the long run, the effects manifest themselves. From 27.3 to 26.2% in one month is “just” a little more than 1%, but imagine after one year? 15%! Half a year more, and we would be at 8%. Likely it gets harder the more you try to lose, but even if you need 3 years to get to 8% bodyfat – isn’t that time investment worth the outcome? So whenever we feel like there is no progress, it helps to look at real numbers tracked over a longer period of time. Change is there, even if it is not noticeable at first. The days are long, but the years are short.

 

Finances

4.              2015, average: $717.47 per month for food and groceries.

5.              2016, January: $494.54. for “normal” food. $222.93 savings. No kidding: without snacks, I can save $3,000 per year. $3,000!

 

What was my mood like?

1.              On several days, I experienced massive cravings for snacks. Usually once or twice a week.

2.              During the third week, sweets and snacks started fading from my mind.

 

How did I get my emotional state back up?

1.              Visualizing how much better I will look after a loss of body fat.

2.              Read books and blog posts of people that are in shape and healthy and appreciate their positive mindset. Ideally people who went through a detox or something similar as well.

3.              Reminding myself that I commited to the lent and that achieving the 90-Day Detox will make me happy.

4.              When I felt nostalgic, I made myself some nice tea.

5.              I also recalled that sometimes, when I binged on sweets in the past, my stomach would ache. Remember how sometimes happiness can turn to annoyance! Just by having too much. Thoughts like these help remind me that not everything is as desirable as it may seem on first glance.

 

This was month 1. I’ll give a report on month 2 - february - in the coming days.

 

 

January 2016 Body Fat Loss.jpg

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Great analysis, Florian.  You inspired me to start charting some of my own goals.  

I'm at 1 week of no gaming, but I'm also eating healthy and fighting binge eating.  I understand the lure of sweets all too well.  Like the One Ring of Power, sugar rules me if I fall prey to temptation.  I'm happy to share I've lost 10 lbs in the last month (this is a healthy amount, 2lb/week lost, I'm big overall)

I feel "clean" and less hungry, but the cravings do spike at times and that's dangerous if I'm careless.

Weird observations - 

1 - meditation and yoga reduced cravings.  Not to zero, but it turned them down.

2 - cutting out diet soda helped a ton.  It does spike my cravings.

3 - sometimes a handful of nuts and fruit or a tiny! dip of peanut butter satisfies the cravings without leading to an overdose.

4 - group settings with desserts, birthdays, buffets, are the most dangerous - i have to avoid them or skip a meal beforehand to compensate.

5 - late night / secret eating is a problem for me.  learning to go to bed with just a glass of water instead of a bowl of cereal or a pbj or a cookie is tough.  

6 - it helps if I imagine the light hunger not as denial, but as my body transforming and rewiring itself.  I visualize using my fat stores to nourish my body, as nature intended!

Keep up the good work

Out!

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Thanks ManGodWhyNo,

this is quite an ambitious goal, fighting binge eating and gaming. It makes sense to slay two dragons at the same time, but be aware it is going to be much harder than taking care of one discipline alone. I definitely suggest you don't just define yourself via blocking two things, but replacing them with positive things. Like, in your case, healthy eating. Are you on the 30-Day Challenge? This video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAm-1dnPzTI

also stresses the importance of having a purpose, otherwise you are just cutting out gaming, leaving a void that wants to be filled.

It looks from your points you have a pretty good handle on that too. 

#1 - Meditation and Yoga - I started with the 10-minute meditations from headspace.com. I haven't yet found a handle for myself on meditation, however: I am writing 1,000+ words every day, that is my way of externalizing all my thoughts and ideas. My form of meditation. So I'd keep up what you are doing. It certainly helps to be more aware of your body. And:

Your body is a temple for your mind. You gotta keep it neat and strong and go visit often!

#2 - Diet Soda is pretty toxic. It works for some people - I myself get sick from it in 20 - 30% of cases though. Did you know we have bacteria in our digestive system that are in contact with the rest of our body and might just help keep the weight down? The research is still fresh, I just can't imagine Diet Soda is good for those little bugs.

#3 - Nuts are healthy. What worked for me as quick and simple meals were: pineapple dices with cottage cheese. Or oatmeal with blackberries and apple: 2 cups oatmeal, 3 cups almond milk, one cup of squashed blackberries, slice and dice 2 apples and add them. You can add honey to make it more palatable, if you want.

#4 - On group settings, if you are sitting at a table, you can just order an espresso for dessert ("because you are still full from this delicious meal"). If you are at a buffett, yuo can load your plate, talk to people and then conveniently "forget" your plate. What you don't want to do is tell everyone about your new diet woes. Well, you can. People will be impressed. Some of them. But for me personally, it always worked better to simply handle these group settings discretely.

#5 - What helps to quell your desire is to not have any snacks at home. Or: you could allow yourself a late night snack, but you have to first go to bed. If you are tucked in, the urge to go back to the kitchen und make yourself some cereal could be just much less than before you go to bed.

#6 - Visualization is an interesting aspect. Keep me updated how that goes!

Good luck with your Detox. If you find it hard to go without gaming and snacking, do allow yourself a cheat day once a week. Otherwise, if one dam breaks, the other gets flooded as well. Meaning: after 3 weeks of successful dual snack-gaming detox, you get massive cravings. You fall for an ice cream, and now your mind says "screw it, I'll restart the detox tomorrow". You don't want that. Instead, notice your cravings and allow yourself a cheat day for your candy, once a week, to take some of the pressure off. So you can completely focus on the gaming detox.

All the best!

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90 Day Candy Detox Report 2016, part II

Month 02 of my candy detox.

Quick overview of my "why":

Why did I do the 90-Day Detox?

Health and fitness: I wanted to lose body fat, and one efficient way to do this is by avoiding carbohydrate rich food.

Financial health: Sweets drain my financial resources, especially since I prefer the more expensive imported snacks from Germany.

Mindset changes: (a) I wanted to get sweets completely out of my system (hence 90 Day Detox). (b) I wanted my mind to learn that I can’t flee reality into “sweet nostalgia”. Nostalgia is sweet, but I should not need actual sweets as a trigger. (c) I wanted to challenge myself to do something difficult. 3 months without snacks is hard, at least to me.

February

Body Fat

I went from 26.7% to 24.8%. 1.9%. Almost twice as much as in January (1.1%). At some point you gain fat faster than you loose. But in the end, you loose.

Consistency is simple, but it can also be very difficult, since constant small actions don't give you much of an immediate feedback. It is important to have a realistic goal. That's why I use Excel to draw a linear regression through my values that gives me an approximate projection where I will be landing by the end of the year.

I had originally planned to be at 8% by the end of the year, yet I see that my values project more towards 15% by the end of the year.

And that is totally fine. I can't eat less than "no candy". And I am not setting myself up for failure. I'll get towards 8% by the end of 2017. Or 12% by the end of 2017 and 8% by the end of 2018. 3 years instead of one year - honestly, who cares? 

Put in the work and be realistic about the outcome. Track your progress that you always know where you stand. If you put in consistent work, you will notice your are advancing in some form.

Finances

4.               2015, average: $717.47 per month for food and groceries.

2016, January: $494.54. for “normal” food. $222.93 savings. 

2016, February: $424.05. $293.42 savings. Yes!

Observations

1.              Sometimes, I ended up depressed. I countered that with either (a) focussing on the moment, get into a slightly meditative state – as long as I focus on what my hands are doing and where I am standing in that moment, I take my focus away from cravings. Or (b) I started becoming active. Writing. Walking. Talking to people. Activity makes us happy.

2.              If I ate around 2,500 calories, my body fat increased even without carbs. Only reducing my caloric load under 1,700/day aided in effectively losing body fat. It definitely paid to count calories. It is not that difficult to cut calories either. For example, simply cutting out the butter from my steak and vegetables took 300 calories off the plate.

3.              Having something nice every day as a little reward also helps “ease the pain”. It is important to notice that a 90-Day Detox is not something that you should do forever. You can definitely reintroduce candy or computer games or TV or whatever you wanted to cut out during the detox, as long as you do it a couple of times a week only. The point is to know you went through your detox once and thus trust yourself that you are strong enough to live without your vice.

 

Body Fat Loss February 2016.png

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Thanks ManGodWhyNo,

this is quite an ambitious goal, fighting binge eating and gaming. It makes sense to slay two dragons at the same time, but be aware it is going to be much harder than taking care of one discipline alone. I definitely suggest you don't just define yourself via blocking two things, but replacing them with positive things. Like, in your case, healthy eating. Are you on the 30-Day Challenge? This video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAm-1dnPzTI

also stresses the importance of having a purpose, otherwise you are just cutting out gaming, leaving a void that wants to be filled.

It looks from your points you have a pretty good handle on that too. 

#1 - Meditation and Yoga - I started with the 10-minute meditations from headspace.com. I haven't yet found a handle for myself on meditation, however: I am writing 1,000+ words every day, that is my way of externalizing all my thoughts and ideas. My form of meditation. So I'd keep up what you are doing. It certainly helps to be more aware of your body. And:

Your body is a temple for your mind. You gotta keep it neat and strong and go visit often!

#2 - Diet Soda is pretty toxic. It works for some people - I myself get sick from it in 20 - 30% of cases though. Did you know we have bacteria in our digestive system that are in contact with the rest of our body and might just help keep the weight down? The research is still fresh, I just can't imagine Diet Soda is good for those little bugs.

#3 - Nuts are healthy. What worked for me as quick and simple meals were: pineapple dices with cottage cheese. Or oatmeal with blackberries and apple: 2 cups oatmeal, 3 cups almond milk, one cup of squashed blackberries, slice and dice 2 apples and add them. You can add honey to make it more palatable, if you want.

#4 - On group settings, if you are sitting at a table, you can just order an espresso for dessert ("because you are still full from this delicious meal"). If you are at a buffett, yuo can load your plate, talk to people and then conveniently "forget" your plate. What you don't want to do is tell everyone about your new diet woes. Well, you can. People will be impressed. Some of them. But for me personally, it always worked better to simply handle these group settings discretely.

#5 - What helps to quell your desire is to not have any snacks at home. Or: you could allow yourself a late night snack, but you have to first go to bed. If you are tucked in, the urge to go back to the kitchen und make yourself some cereal could be just much less than before you go to bed.

#6 - Visualization is an interesting aspect. Keep me updated how that goes!

Good luck with your Detox. If you find it hard to go without gaming and snacking, do allow yourself a cheat day once a week. Otherwise, if one dam breaks, the other gets flooded as well. Meaning: after 3 weeks of successful dual snack-gaming detox, you get massive cravings. You fall for an ice cream, and now your mind says "screw it, I'll restart the detox tomorrow". You don't want that. Instead, notice your cravings and allow yourself a cheat day for your candy, once a week, to take some of the pressure off. So you can completely focus on the gaming detox.

All the best!

Florian, thanks for the feedback.  I hear what you saying about the 2 dragons.  I've successfully dieted before and had a workout regimen.  I'm really doing well with eating over the past months (down 12 lbs!), I've discovered that eating less meat, more vegetables and lots of water is great for hunger control.  

Writing- yes, yes, yes to the words, words, words.  Like self-hypnosis, each post, each breakthough is another layer of my committment to change and my ability to see my behavior and make good choices.  I'm a big "celebrate each victory" guy.  

I wouldn't choose to fight on multiple fronts, but binge-eating and binge-gaming are built on the same triggers for my life - shame, stress, anxiety, boredom.  Pick a trigger.  I've also got top-notch support from my angelic gf, a high-quality therapist, and this community (shout out to WorkInProgress, Cam, kortheo, GoldenGains, and everyone who has wished me well and offered help.)  

As for gaming lapses, I follow the research advice to not make a big deal out of them.  Like ignoring my dog until she is calm before giving her a treat, I didn't freak out when I found myself playing a marginal game for hours.  It happened several times in the first few days.  I confessed to my gf, and we talked about how I lost control.  I blocked the site and erased the game and save file.  I don't play with fire, however.  I'm going to unsub from the usual subreddits and set up some rules to send game adverts to junk mail.  I feel like I've got some "Mo" going, wind at my back.  Watchful but confident.  Actually, proud of my little week of change.

Those sound like really good recipes - i'm hitting the stores and I'll grab some more nuts.  I'm not on a total detox from sweets, because I have continued weight loss with the occasional piece of cake, cookie, etc.  Yesterday I worked next to a plate of cookies for 3 hours and I never touched one.  

It was such a heroic moment for me.  I felt like twinkly Edward resisting Bella at the Forks High School Prom... (ahem!), I mean, like a man in control of my life.  Yep, that's it.  Last week I went to a restaurant for a business lunch.  I chose the non-buffet option alone out of my companions, and I didn't finish the meal.   

I DIDN'T EAT EVERYTHING.  Yooge epic victory.  I used to be disciplined for not cleaning my plate, even of awful, poorly cooked food.  It scarred me and forced me to override the natural feelings of fullness and stopping before the point of pain.

Those are really good tips about socially acceptable ways to avoid an unwanted food temptation.  I also avoid the restaurants and food courts and specific food combinations that lead to binging.  

I agree, it's best to replace a habit versus extinguish.  I started yoga and 11 days later I was able to finally quit smoking.  My SO and I have gotten much closer in the last week, in some ways it's like a little honeymoon.  

Positive postscript: No gaming != no achievements.  There are plenty of achievements to unlock in the real world.  Great graphics, native multiplayer, permadeath, crafting, jobs, skill-based leveling, what more could you want.  And it smells good.

Good luck to you Florian, wish you (un)sweet success.

Out.

 

 

Edited by ManGodWhyNo
Missing words, 1 line.

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Good analysis here.

I have dieted in the past and managed to lose a lot of weight and get really fit etc.  I did this via the Body For Life program.  But I always fell off the wagon later, got injured or just got sick and tired of a) Cooking all the damn time and b) Missing out on stuff other people were enjoying.

I've just started the 90 day detox for games, wish me luck!

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