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Avinash

Hi everyone, I'm Avinash and heres a bit about my story

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Hello everyone,

First of all I'd like to thank Cam for starting this forum and everyone else whose been part of it. I'm Avinash from Bangalore, India and I'm 27 years old. I started gaming since I was maybe 6 on the some of the old computer systems. When I first started to use the PC I was really fascinated by what this machine was and I wanted to learn more about what it was and I loved the strange looking parts, noises and lights that came from it. This started my passion for making sense of how computers work. It wasn't long before my interest in learning about the computer changed into mostly focusing on gaming. Like many gamers I was an introvert who used gaming as an outlet. I found many friends who shared my interest and it was great. We played console games, pc games, arcade machines and whatever we could get our hands on with whatever little money our parents gave us. During my teenage years I started to explore Counter strike and started visiting cafes and then found a lot of people who played as much or more then I did. It was great. The internet was just starting to spread back then and it was so amazing that I could sit in my room and play with someone across the world. I played cs 1.6 mostly, some console gaming and spend a lot of time outside cafes talking games day in and day out. As I got better my love for it grew. Professional gaming was something I was starting to consider. Long story short, I stopped playing cs 1.6 like many of my friends and we then moved on to online games like Ragnarok Online and World of Worldcraft. This was when my gaming life took a whole new turn. My grades and interest in school and college dropped dramatically. I was skipping classes spend all the money I had playing video games. I had started to drink and smoke cigarettes. Playing world of warcraft all night , getting drunk and smoking pack after pack felt good for a short period of time. Soon the smoking and drinking started to affect me to the point I wasn't able to sleep at night because I'd just be coughing up stuff all night, barely getting sleep, often thinking to myself - "Why am I doing this to myself? This has got to change", only to wake the next day and repeat the entire cycle. Eventually my respiratory system started to get affected so much that I woke up one day with an Orbital cellulitis and was hospitalized for a week. After going through surgery, I decided this was it, I was going to live healthier and make changes in my habits. I was successful at trying to live healthier for a short period of time before giving up and repeating the cycle all over. I was back to smoking upto 20 cigarettes or more a day, getting wasted and PvPing all night long on WoW. Almost everyday I kept telling myself that I should reconsider my habits. But it continued for a atleast 2 years. Eventually I stopped playing WoW because many of my friends quit. I then started to meet other friends , some of which were non gamers. We spent a lot of time getting drunk. I started to drink more and more - to a point when there was a whisky bottle at my desk almost all the time. Over the years, after attempting to quit smoking and drinking multiple times, I finally succeeded. Its been almost 3 years since I put a cigarette in my mouth or had a drink. Doing so made me realize - If I can put my mind to giving up alcohol and cigarettes (Something that a huge part of the world has a tough time with), what else could I accomplish with a determined will?

I started to learn to play guitar and code HTML, CSS and PHP (Hoping to resume my passion for learning about computers). I worked on maybe 25 websites so far and then started to miss gaming because I had given up my vices and felt like revisiting that feeling. I thought since I don't drink or smoke cigarettes , gaming would be alright. I started playing a bit of cs 1.6 , cs:go and then moved on to League of Legends. I played it for a few months, many days in excess of 10+ hours. I was getting a bit of exercise on some days. But once again, there was a part of me that wasn't happy with the choices I was making. I ignored that part of me and continued.

In the recent times, I had put more conscious effort into quitting it, many times uninstalling and reinstalling it again. I felt like the pattern from my teenage days was starting to begin. Last week I decided that it was starting to affect my health and motivation to do other activities that I had been procrastinating about for weeks. People had been waiting on me for weeks to get back to them about web projects because I got too caught up in playing LoL all night and day long. After going a few days without it, I realized how much more peaceful and calm not gaming was, and also how my whole life my brain had been wired to revolve around gaming. I have had my moments of "hmm maybe just a few games with a different attitude" , but that approach has always ended in a relapse so far. Yesterday , I reinstalled the game (after a few days of not playing), tried playing two games and then proceeded to uninstall it with a smile on my face, because I had seen the other side. Playing LoL taught me a lot about team work and working towards objectives. I used to play mostly a support character and I liked to be the guy that supported the team. But in the bigger picture I felt like I was still constantly engaging myself in a system that was rooted in conflict and battle. Not very spiritually satisfying to me. I realized that I could take my desire to help people with other activities. Today marks day 1 of gaming abstinence. I'm going to pay close attention to anything resembling withdrawal symptoms. I've decided to put more time into pursuing my interests of exploring astral projections, lucid dreaming and learning code. Getting more physical exercise is something I am really looking forward to. I hope doing so will accelerate my restoration of dopamine levels to more or less normal. Improving my breathing techniques was also something I have been focusing on since I was mouth breather for as long as I can remember, which happens to be one of the reasons that I used to play games and drink and smoke a lot (From my understanding and experience it seems like mouth breathing can result in lower oxygen levels leading to more anxiety and/or restlessness and that making me want to seek activities that I think might provide relief like gaming or drinking or smoking). I've also decided to get more veggies and fruits and avoid added sugar from my diet aswell. Thanks for reading and if I can help you out in some way, let me know :)

Edited by Avinash

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Congratulations on quitting the cigarettes and alcohol. :)

And your gaming addiction journey too, gratz on finding this self-relaization and taking the next step.

If you put up a blog or journal post it here and you got a follow :D

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Hey Avinash! Great to see you here, looking forward to you being a part of our community. I definitely agree with avoiding sugar, especially soda/pop. I plan to talk more about this in the future, maybe in a podcast episode with a friend who's a sugar "addiction" expert.

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Soda was the first thing I quit :) Like any addiction, the best way to quit something is to replace it with something better and healthier. It turns out that the main reason your body craves sugar is because it is missing important macronutrients. I realized this when I started eating healthy, balanced meals. Do I ever crave sugar? Definitely! I take it as a sign that my body needs sustenance, so when I crave sugar I know its time to eat a well balanced meal. Once I do that, I am more satisfied than if I were to eat some quick sugar. The body craves sugar since it is the quickest easiest source of energy, but it likes healthy food better. My point is, if you are trying to quit extra sugar and eat healthier, make sure to eat balanced meals of mostly unprocessed foods, including protein, carbs, and fats. Fats are extremely important and healthy, and I don't think most people know that. If you don't get enough fats in your diet, you are unsatisfied and start craving unhealthy quick fix foods.

Seriously, I found cutting out sugar from my diet to be easier than quitting video games.

I think its great that you are considering working out. And if you become interested in serious workouts (like weightlifting until muscle failure), then you may even want to include more sugar into your diet! Again, sugar serves the purpose of providing immediate energy, which is what you want directly after a workout. There is absolutely nothing unhealthy about consuming pure sugar directly after an intense workout. But you only need it if you are super active. There are TONS of benefits to intense physical activity for 30-60 minutes every day. One benefit would be a release of dopamine after strenuous physical activity. If you are trying to recover dopamine levels from addiction to other activities, why not develop a healthy addiction to a healthy activity which isn't very time consuming?

Edited by Zane

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I plan to talk more about this in the future, maybe in a podcast episode with a friend who's a sugar "addiction" expert.

?Looking forward to seeing it!

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Congratulations on quitting the cigarettes and alcohol. :)

And your gaming addiction journey too, gratz on finding this self-relaization and taking the next step.

If you put up a blog or journal post it here and you got a follow :D

?Thanks PureDiscipline (Nice name btw :D)

I haven't put a serious thought into it yet but I considering it now :). Will keep you updated on that if I do..

Hey Avinash! Great to see you here, looking forward to you being a part of our community. I definitely agree with avoiding sugar, especially soda/pop. I plan to talk more about this in the future, maybe in a podcast episode with a friend who's a sugar "addiction" expert.

?Thanks Cam, it feels good to have posted my thoughts and decisions on the forum. I was shy about it initially but now after doing it I feel good about doing so and being a part of this forum in general :) I'm looking forward to the podcast aswell, cheers

Soda was the first thing I quit :) Like any addiction, the best way to quit something is to replace it with something better and healthier. It turns out that the main reason your body craves sugar is because it is missing important macronutrients. I realized this when I started eating healthy, balanced meals. Do I ever crave sugar? Definitely! I take it as a sign that my body needs sustenance, so when I crave sugar I know its time to eat a well balanced meal. Once I do that, I am more satisfied than if I were to eat some quick sugar. The body craves sugar since it is the quickest easiest source of energy, but it likes healthy food better. My point is, if you are trying to quit extra sugar and eat healthier, make sure to eat balanced meals of mostly unprocessed foods, including protein, carbs, and fats. Fats are extremely important and healthy, and I don't think most people know that. If you don't get enough fats in your diet, you are unsatisfied and start craving unhealthy quick fix foods.

Seriously, I found cutting out sugar from my diet to be easier than quitting video games.

I think its great that you are considering working out. And if you become interested in serious workouts (like weightlifting until muscle failure), then you may even want to include more sugar into your diet! Again, sugar serves the purpose of providing immediate energy, which is what you want directly after a workout. There is absolutely nothing unhealthy about consuming pure sugar directly after an intense workout. But you only need it if you are super active. There are TONS of benefits to intense physical activity for 30-60 minutes every day. One benefit would be a release of dopamine after strenuous physical activity. If you are trying to recover dopamine levels from addiction to other activities, why not develop a healthy addiction to a healthy activity which isn't very time consuming?

Hi Zane, ?I agree. I have been more consciously watching what I eat and I've added more green leafy vegetables and tried to get more carrots, tomatos, cabbage, and nuts, and whatever else I can get my hands on for nutrients. I had no idea the body craves sugar because of missing macronutrients, thanks for the tip :). I still crave sugar too but with practice of avoiding crystal sugar, I feel like the cravings have gotten lesser over the months. I used to be a sugar fiend lol on many days consuming the equivalent of more than 60+ teaspoons a day. A well balanced meal is what I will target. I intend to eat more oatmeal, and brown breads, nuts and grains. The reason I decided to quit eating crystal sugar was because I wanted to give my brain a break from the constant stimulation. I used to feel mood swings and emotional roller coasters from eating a ton of sugar everyday. Its a craving I don't expect to fade away as of now but with I can keep it to a minimum. I won't neglect fats. My understanding is that poly unsaturated fats are a good source of fats and saturated fats are the ones to cut back on. I've also been taking omega 3-6-9 fish oil capsules at least twice a day. Its great that you found cutting sugar easier lol, its a habit I found almost as challenging to give up as smoking lol. It used to be my smoking alternative for sometime and my vice pretty much my entire childhood. My sugar intake in the last few months has been a LOT lesser though. As of now my workout plans include working the upper body and lower body twice a week each (Using mostly body weight). I haven't signed up at a gym yet. Yep I agree, I think sugar is absolutely important for intense workouts. I decided to target sugar from fruit , nuts oats and other sources that don't include crystal sugar because I don't want to build on that habit again. What else do you recommend for quick energy? I have a ton of healthier activities in mind that I started to work on :D

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My understanding is that poly unsaturated fats are a good source of fats and saturated fats are the ones to cut back on.

http://greatist.com/health/saturated-fat-healthy

Actually, saturated fats are very healthy for you, but unfortunately we have been told otherwise for years. Saturated fats, or animal fats, are part of what has been the primary food of humans for thousands of years. And, they taste good :) It's trans fats that you have to watch out for. Those are the fats found in foods that you shouldn't eat: fried foods, margarine, and processed foods such as crackers, chips, and cookies. That kind of fat is not meant to be consumed by the human body and therefore they mess with cholesterol levels and cell membranes. Basically, those kinds of fats are really bad. Stay away from them :)

I've also been taking omega 3-6-9 fish oil capsules at least twice a day.

?You may even want to stop taking omegas 6 and 9. We get so much of those in our modern diets but so little omega 3 (unless you eat lots of fish!)

I decided to target sugar from fruit , nuts oats and other sources that don't include crystal sugar because I don't want to build on that habit again. What else do you recommend for quick energy? I have a ton of healthier activities in mind that I started to work on :D

?Eating fruits and other sources for sugar is good. If you are trying to lose weight you still need to watch it. If you're like me and you're trying to gain weight, it's not an issue.

For quick energy? Try a banana, that's my favorite. It has fructose and is low glycemic, so it provides short term and long term energy, and its healthy (a good source of potassium), whereas crystal sugar is high glycemic and supplies short term energy.

Also, drink lots of water. Drink at least 120 ounces per day, or 6 regular water bottles. And if you tend to feel sick or tired in the morning, try eating protein within 30 minutes of waking up. I eat 3 eggs each morning and I haven't felt sick in the morning ever since.

?

Edited by Zane

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The processed sugar and fast food addiction dies down after a while of not having them too which is nice :D and then you don't even need to think it

Yep, I agree.. I feel like I've felt lesser cravings over the months of drastically cutting back.. I remember reading some information about tastebuds evolving around new foods habits aswell..?

Welcome!

We can get through this!

?Hi wookieshark88, thanks :) Yes we can.. Its easier and more fun with support from you guys

http://greatist.com/health/saturated-fat-healthy

Actually, saturated fats are very healthy for you, but unfortunately we have been told otherwise for years. Saturated fats, or animal fats, are part of what has been the primary food of humans for thousands of years. And, they taste good :) It's trans fats that you have to watch out for. Those are the fats found in foods that you shouldn't eat: fried foods, margarine, and processed foods such as crackers, chips, and cookies. That kind of fat is not meant to be consumed by the human body and therefore they mess with cholesterol levels and cell membranes. Basically, those kinds of fats are really bad. Stay away from them :)

?

?Thats interesting, I will add more saturated fats in my diet, thanks for the info!

?Eating fruits and other sources for sugar is good. If you are trying to lose weight you still need to watch it. If you're like me and you're trying to gain weight, it's not an issue.

For quick energy? Try a banana, that's my favorite. It has fructose and is low glycemic, so it provides short term and long term energy, and its healthy (a good source of potassium), whereas crystal sugar is high glycemic and supplies short term energy.

Also, drink lots of water. Drink at least 120 ounces per day, or 6 regular water bottles. And if you tend to feel sick or tired in the morning, try eating protein within 30 minutes of waking up. I eat 3 eggs each morning and I haven't felt sick in the morning ever since.

I'm trying to gain actually. I'm about 5'10" and weight maybe 58kg (127 lbs). Okay, I will keep the fruits coming.. Wow 6 bottles of water atleast? I didn't think I'd need that much. I used to piss out a lot every half hour or so. I thought I was drinking too much lol. Will get more eggs too. Thanks for the info :D. Btw do you study about nutrition at school or college?

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I'm trying to gain actually. I'm about 5'10" and weight maybe 58kg (127 lbs). Okay, I will keep the fruits coming.. Wow 6 bottles of water atleast? I didn't think I'd need that much. I used to piss out a lot every half hour or so. I thought I was drinking too much lol. Will get more eggs too. Thanks for the info :D. Btw do you study about nutrition at school or college?

Hey I weigh about the same! If you want my advice on how to gain weight, the best way is to eat around 3000 calories per day, with balanced meals every 3 hours, and working out at least 4 times per week. If you do this, your body is constantly using the nutrients you absorb to regrow muscles after you "break them." There are of course two ways to gain weight: fat gain, and muscle gain. You want to build muscle, not body fat. Of course with muscle gain there is always fat gain, but how you do it is what matters. If you are working out and lifting weights, your muscles will be constantly broken and regrown to be larger. This is what leads to muscle gain. But, to allow your muscles to regrow, you need to be constantly absorbing nutrients, especially protein. To gain lean weight, you need to do both. If you only lift weights, your muscles will not grow, and you will not see improvement, and you run the risk of hurting yourself. If you only eat more, then the excess energy will be used to pad your tummy instead of being sent to grow muscles.

Also, you should hold back on cardio, not stop entirely but keep it to a minimum. You've seen runners; they're all skinny as fuck. Running will never allow you to bulk up, unless its kept to a minimum (warming up for weight lifting by running is a great way to warm up.)

Yes, I say at least 6 bottles per day. I drink around 8 or 9. I only have to pee every 3 hours or so. And yes, I know exactly what you mean! I used to have to go every 30 minutes too! But if you get into the habit of drinking more water, your bladder will expand to normal and you wont experience the problem anymore, I promise :) In fact the reason people have small bladders is because they don't drink enough water. Its the same with stomachs. When people don't eat enough food, their stomachs shrink, and they can't eat as much. These people become really skinny, but also unhealthy.

As long as you remain active, eating more does not make you fat. Especially if you are a hard gainer like me. If you are gonna eat eggs each morning, make sure to eat oatmeal too! Oatmeal is a complex carb which provides sustained energy for several hours and can help propel you in the morning :) And yes, you are right, when you stop eating unhealthy foods, you stop craving them because your taste buds change. When I drink soda now it tastes flat and syrupy to me and I don't like it. When people offer me cake I shake my head with a smile :) And because of how much water I drink, I literally have more strength than other people in the summer heat. While everyone else is feeling tired and groggy in the heat I feel like I'm in an air conditioned house. Summer used to make me miserable but drinking water makes it bearable.

Actually, no I didn't study nutrition at my college. I did take a class in high school and learned some good things, and I also saw Fathead (http://www.hulu.com/watch/196879), a good documentary satirizing the government and fast food industry as well as inaccurate documentaries like SuperSize Me, which was a popular documentary that raised false beliefs about foods. However, most of my nutrition education I received from my personal trainer. She is a 40 year old woman with the body of a fit 20 year old and she has a masters degree in biological science. She knows how the body works with food and stuff. In three hours with her I learned more than I did in two years of biology and nutrition class. :)

If you want to hear more about this topic or have more questions, let me know! I could post about it in the nutrition topic on the forums.

?

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