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Jeremias

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Around the 2 week mark is when I found it challenging too, just hang in there and try to avoid anything game related. I found I watched a tonne of Netflix in the early stages of my detox.

Keep up the good work. :)

 

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Eh... do you not tell them, that you wanted to stop gaming?

I have a history of talking the talk but not walking the walk. I have decided that it is time to change that bit about me... I really like the idea of pulling it on my parents that I haven't played video games for a 3 months!

Thank you @Falky and @Cam, I'm sure it'll be easier when I'm not sick anymore - I'll hang in there until then. 

12/05/2016

Detox - Day 10 complete.

I've made it through the hard part of the week; more than anything right now I'm excited to run the half-marathon on Sunday, despite not exercising since last Sunday. Doing valuable things at work resulted in a very enjoyable day at work. 

My accountability and myself have started working towards challenges on a daily basis. This is yet another benefit of the Game Quitters forum that'll help us on our way up.

Gotta sleep :) Seeya tomorrow

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I wasn't sure where to let it off my chest, so I'll add a quick note here in this journal. I'll be making a full post tonight.

I'm feeling very strong cravings at the moment, but I have not relapsed. Some observations:

  • I'm bored on a Saturday morning by myself. 
  • I'm not feeling the urge to play any of the games I used to, instead wanting to play board games that have been turned into multiplayer games over the internet. I'm subconsciously trying to justify it to myself  - reasons such as "it's just a casual game, it's not competitive" and even the dangerous "I'll only play one" are coming to mind. 
  • Watching videos on youtube when bored was a precursor to these thoughts. 
  • I've started carb-loading for the run tomorrow, so I have a lot of energy which I have been unable to use due to my illness.

I will now take a shower, go for a walk to clear my head, head to the shops to get some things done and do my daily challenge for my accountability partner. I have no plans for tonight just yet, so I'll think about what I can do while I'm out.

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I wasn't sure where to let it off my chest, so I'll add a quick note here in this journal. I'll be making a full post tonight.

I'm feeling very strong cravings at the moment, but I have not relapsed. Some observations:

  • I'm bored on a Saturday morning by myself. 
  • I'm not feeling the urge to play any of the games I used to, instead wanting to play board games that have been turned into multiplayer games over the internet. I'm subconsciously trying to justify it to myself  - reasons such as "it's just a casual game, it's not competitive" and even the dangerous "I'll only play one" are coming to mind. 
  • Watching videos on youtube when bored was a precursor to these thoughts. 
  • I've started carb-loading for the run tomorrow, so I have a lot of energy which I have been unable to use due to my illness.

I will now take a shower, go for a walk to clear my head, head to the shops to get some things done and do my daily challenge for my accountability partner. I have no plans for tonight just yet, so I'll think about what I can do while I'm out.

Cravings will come and go, just notice them and do something positive to shift them like getting out of the house, going for a walk, etc. What can you do in the next few days to make sure you aren't bored next Saturday morning by yourself?

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Great job on making it this far! Once you find beneficial activities (outside of gaming related ones) which you find engaging, interesting, and enjoyable, then you can focus on filling your spare time with it; with no regrets on how you're spending your time. For example I find programming, reading self-development books, and playing the guitar to be both useful and enjoyable.

All the best for getting through your detox! :D

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15/05/2016

Detox - Day 13 complete.

Today, I ran a half-marathon in 1:35:28, 4 minutes and 31 seconds per km! I'm pretty stoked.

That said, it has been my hardest few days yet with regards to the 90-day detox challenge. It has become clear that I normally resort to physical activity by myself or the reading the Game Quitters forum whenever I feel any kind of urge to game. This habit was disrupted by the need to rest over the last few days for today's big run. 

In my marathon training plan, I have made notes on what I should do in the event that it was raining, or in the event that I don't have enough time to complete my scheduled run. However, I haven't made plans on what I can do to avoid gaming at home when I am bored and unable to exercise (which I haven't been able to recently due to illness). My illness has been a little aggravated by the run today, and with the winter just beginning in Australia there will definitely be more nights where running may not be an option. Thus, I should settle on something that engages me while I am at home; I will think about this over the next couple of days.

I have enjoyed reading development books but I think I will take a break from them once I finish reading The Slight Edge. A lot of them repeat similar messages, and I feel that my time would be better invested in becoming a know-it-all in my industry, or whatever takes my interest on the fly. :)

In addition to physically preparing for the half-marathon, I slept for a very long time over the weekend and got boring jobs done. I have cleaned my room in preparation for a possible new hobby.

I sincerely would like to thank @Paul, @Cam, @asquerade for the support when I needed it.

Keep going strong team!

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16/05/2016

Detox - Day 14 complete.

2 weeks. Eyyy

Had a good day. 

I still haven't made significant plans for the weekend, but I should fare just fine for this week. I'm finding work much more enjoyable than I did before I began my detox. 

Again, gotta sleep. Seeya

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16/05/2016

Detox - Day 14 complete.

2 weeks. Eyyy

Had a good day. 

I still haven't made significant plans for the weekend, but I should fare just fine for this week. I'm finding work much more enjoyable than I did before I began my detox. 

Again, gotta sleep. Seeya

Happy to hear that! It will also transfer into other areas of your life as well.

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In my marathon training plan, I have made notes on what I should do in the event that it was raining, or in the event that I don't have enough time to complete my scheduled run. However, I haven't made plans on what I can do to avoid gaming at home when I am bored and unable to exercise (which I haven't been able to recently due to illness). My illness has been a little aggravated by the run today, and with the winter just beginning in Australia there will definitely be more nights where running may not be an option. Thus, I should settle on something that engages me while I am at home; I will think about this over the next couple of days.

When I was testing last week,  I read an article that said you can still run in inclement weather, and that it can even be fun, as long as you are prepared. But if running in rain just isn't in the cards for you, you can always go to the gym. 

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20/05/2016

Detox - Day 18 complete.

Hello again. 

I've had a great working week once again. When I began this challenge, I used the GQ forum as something I resort to whenever I was thinking about gaming. During the week, I would end up checking the forum around 10 times per day, just to occupy myself when I was bored; I now find myself checking the forum once or twice per day. 

I'm making good incremental progress on the things I'm supposed to be making incremental progress in. I have recovered quickly after my half marathon, and my illness has all but disappeared. I ran 5.5km on both Wednesday and Thursday, and I'm resting tonight in preparation for parkrun tomorrow. I am hoping that I can run the 5km tomorrow in under 20 minutes!

As a replacement for reading on my commute to and from work, I am starting to learn Portuguese using Duolingo. The application is free, doesn't use very much data and has kept me engaged from Wednesday to Friday. I can now use reading as a pastime on the beach or on my bed without associating it with my commute to and from work. 

I still haven't really made plans for the weekend, but I have a lot of friends who I haven't spoken to in a long time so I will be keen to catch up with them over the phone. I made myself a little bit of work for my parents on the side of my main job, so I'll probably get it knocked over this weekend. 

If anyone has learnt to play guitar to a good standard, I would really appreciate some advice on how to make progress over a long period of time. In the past I have found myself using my knowledge of bar chords to learn basic pieces before giving up when I become overwhelmed with the difficulty of some other pieces. 

I hope you are all faring well

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23/05/2016

Attempt 2 - Day 1

I relapsed over the weekend. In this post I will recount how it occurred, how I was feeling and how I'm going to move forward.

On Saturday 21st, I ran 5km for parkrun at a PB of 20:01 - agonisingly short of my goal of under 20 minutes. I gathering tips from some of the other regulars after I had finished, and more than anything I was excited to come back next week and beat my goal time. Unfortunately, there's only so much you can train each day...

After returning home and whipping up pancakes for the family like last week, I found myself at home with nothing in particular to do. If you go back and read the journal entries I made over the last week, you'll notice that I saw this coming and still failed to make any plans :( After aimlessly watching YouTube for an hour or so, I justified to myself that a little bit of gaming wouldn't hurt. I estimate that I ended up playing around 5 hours on Saturday and 4 hours on Sunday.

Observations:

  • Upon restarting gaming, I immediately reverted to my old habits and mindset despite my intentions - there was no middle ground for me in terms of moderation. The act of playing reduced my need to actually make plans for the weekend ahead, resulting in even more free time that I ended up filling with gaming. Clearly, it will take more than 20 days to shake myself free from this behaviour.
  • I stayed up until 11:30pm on Saturday (relatively late for a night alone at home), resulting in not enough sleep that night.
  • I was more moody over the weekend.
  • I noticed my eyes stinging a bit whilst using the computer on Sunday night.
  • More so than usual, I would walk into my room and ignore any mess in preference of sitting down at the computer
  • I'm disappointed more than anything that I have been talking the talk on this forum but not doing what I am telling myself to

The fact that I resort to games whenever I am bored and have already exercised for the day and have no plans with friends highlights that I have a problem. I have very quickly transitioned from having seemingly no time (due to gaming filling all the gaps) to much more time that I know what to do with. The ways in which I have filled this time up to this weekend has been very beneficial.

I'm excited more than anything to start a very intense 16-week marathon training plan, but I'm feeling pretty down as I reflect and write this post. I generally set my standards ambitiously high, and am hard on myself whenever I fail. However, this is the longest period of time I have gone without gaming probably since the age of 9 or even younger (I'm 21 now). Re-framing it this way, it doesn't seem so bad. 

Going forward:

  • Maintain my running schedule.
  • Be more proactive in starting conversation with my friends. I will consider an appropriate daily goal related to this, for example speaking to at least one of my friends each day.
  • Clean my desk and pull out an old plastic model I have half completed as a kid. It can partially and temporarily fill the need for entertainment I have when I'm bored at home by myself.
  • Alternatively, become a master of the pool table if I'm bored at home alone. I'm liking this idea the more I think about it.
  • Make journal entries on weekends.

This relapse is a wake-up call. It is clear that I cannot control myself after 20 days, so I must complete the 90 days whatever it takes.

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24/05/2016

Attempt 2 - Day 2

Today

  • Had a good day today, as is generally the case when I'm busy all day long. I'm generally being proactive in looking for useful things to do.
  • I went to sleep at 9:30pm last night in anticipation of doing my running training in the morning instead of the evening. Doing this will allow me to run on the road when there are fewer cyclists and drivers awake.
  • I've been eating plenty of carbs and protein to keep my body healthy and prevent injury. I've got my post-run stretching routine down. Avoiding injury/overtraining will be a real challenge whilst attempting to run 5-6 times per week, so I'll be listening closely to my body in case anything feels off.
  • After speaking to one of my old friends who does a lot of running, I may have found a partner for some of my long runs on Sundays

Tomorrow

  • Flying to another city nearby for work. I should get a solid run in around the lake before heading back home.
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31/05/2016

Attempt 3 - Day 2

I thought I made a post last Thursday, but it doesn't seem to be here. I have kept track of every day using Onenote and I have a lot written there over the last week, but I guess I forgot to copy-paste it here.

I relapsed AGAIN over the weekend, despite having a couple of parties on and various other things to do :(

Since I first attempted to detox approximately one month ago, I have implemented many small improvements in my lifestyle. I have been sticking vaguely to a running plan. I'm on better terms with my family, and I've recently started speaking to my friends each day (for the last week). I've started playing pool more often, and am making small but noticeable improvements. I'm more awake and productive at work due to better sleeping habits. I'm either learning a language or reading on the commute to and from work.

Yet, I still seem to have trouble with long (>1-2 hours) periods of time at home. I happily spend each weekday commuting, working, eating and training until the day is over. In between these, I will happily spend shorter amounts of time doing jobs, watching YouTube or playing pool. However, weekends give me more time than I know what to do with. Additionally, I associate activities such as reading, language learning (Duolingo) and posting on this forum with my weekday routine, and I enjoy them less when I try to do them on the weekend. 

I am against the idea of planning out my time hour by hour, but I think that is what I should do before this weekend even if I don't stick to it :) 

Today

  • 8 and a half hours of sleep was not enough this morning, so I should get an early night tomorrow
  • I need to leave work a little bit early today
  • Interval training Tuesday - Focus on speed and form rather than distance, and finish early if required
  • Family dinner before early night
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 01/06/2016

Attempt 3 - Day 3

As the calendar flicks over one more month, I decided to check back on some goals I wrote down for Q2-2016. One of these was becoming a morning person naturally, which I have accomplished without the use of an alarm clock! I now wake up at around 6:45am each morning. My second goal was to run a half marathon, which I completed a few weeks ago and was very happy with. 

The third and final goal on this list was taking steps to become more financially independent. Whilst I am working full time, it is a temporary placement and I don't believe that it constitutes for actively taking steps towards financial independence. I'd rather not make this post too long so I'll save the specifics for another time, but I'll be thinking more about this in the next few weeks. 

I've almost completed making a cheesy timetable for the 48 hours of this weekend, full of activities that I can resort to if I am bored. It's not complete, but it will be a good guide for if I'm struggling with the cravings. This weekend, I will be prepared :) Maybe I should just embrace my inner work-a-holic and get a part time job on Saturdays? We'll see.

Today

  • Slogged my way through a slow day at work, boring only due to me not having much to do.
  • Strength exercises tonight with focus on glutes and core.
  • Head to bed around 9:30pm

Tomorrow

  • Wake at around 6am for an easy run. Purpose here is solely to focus on my form and activate my glutes whilst they are recovering from the exercises I'll do tonight.
  • Get excited for the new project tomorrow at work
  • Rest & recover at night
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Planning is the first step to make things done. It will not always be possible to get everything done as planned, but action will certainly bring you closer to better life. And that's the reason why the whole detox struggle is worth it.

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