Tag Archives: addiction

Too much? Too little? Ahhh . . . that’s just right!

Goldilocks knew what was "just right."

Goldilocks knew what was “just right.”

Oh, the beauty of balance!  Yes, you can get too much of a good thing.  A new study claims that people who run a lot – not moderately – tend to have similar risks of dying as those who do not run at all.

A little running – say 3 to 4 miles a few times a week – has health benefits.  Run too much and it loses its health benefits.  Of course there are individual differences as with any human studies, but logic always seems to come back to balanced living for better health.  Ultramarathoners: you would definitely not be considered moderate.  Isn’t 26.2 miles enough of a challenge?

Balance is not an easy concept to define with precision, but it is still a good basic guiding principle for healthy living.  Believe it or not, we all “know” where the point of balance is for our unique bodies.  The problem is that not many of us trust that we know.

Let’s face it.  We are addicted to information, and there is plenty of it out there:  the TV, magazines, newspapers, friends and acquaintances, and  the internet.  All of these sources are external input.  What about the internal indicators we might get if we tuned in more often to that channel instead!

With increasing information about what to eat, when to eat, and why to eat – not to mention the many versions of advice and “proof” – our diet-crazy culture has lured us away from the true messages of our wants and needs.

Too much?  Feel sick, stuffed?  It could be a response to thinking you need less than you do, failing at that craziness, and “blowing it.”  Or, it could be the result of not taking true care of emotional needs.  Emotions need balance too.

Too little?  Feeling starved, weak, deprived?  Your true balanced self would tell you it’s crazy not to eat!  External messages that imply (or come right out and tell you) it should be enough are not in your best interests either.  And what about all those ads that show what fun you will have if you eat all those tempting gooey treats?  Just more confusion.

Tune back in to your needs!  It will likely feel uncomfortable at first.  “Who me?” you ask,  “I’m the expert on balance?”  Yes, you are!   Here are a few tips:

1.  Feeling sick to your stomach = too much

2.  Irritable, hungry, worried about eating too much = too little

3.  Enjoyment of a balance of healthy AND delicious food in the quantity needed for a vital life and a mind that is not overly-fixated on the next meal = perfect balance

It’s really that simple.

Snack Food Companies Are NOT Looking Out For Your Health

An interesting article appeared in last week’s New York Times Magazine, “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food“.  It is no surprise to me that snack food and junk food peddlers are not interested in your health.  I have read other accounts of their intense efforts to fuel overeating (of their products, of course).  Still some of the marketing techniques could truly be called “evil”, especially the ones aimed at kids.

I was especially struck by the reference to a Lunchables add campaign that plays on the theme of being in control of choices.  “All day, you gotta do what they say . . . But lunchtime is all yours.”  They even tried marketing to 3-5 year olds with Lunchables, Jr.  Filled with chemical additives, sugar, salt, and fat, Kraft played on the convenience of their Lunchables line to peddle junk food disguised as lunch.

Other take-aways from the article:

  • Potato chips are the single most addictive food – the perfect combination of salt, fat, and sugar
  • Cheetos are remarkable for their “vanishing caloric density”.  They pleasantly dissolve in the mouth, leaving the eater to feel less guilty and satisfied, craving more.

My editorial comment:  Don’t let food companies take away your will power.  Knowing what they are doing can help.  Keep exposure to junk food to a minimum.  If you really want something, remember that there is a challenge in front of you, but you are a person with free will.  You can eat a little of it and feel proud of how you outsmarted the multimillion dollar efforts to hook you.  That means YOU WIN!

Another “Off” Message

They did it again!  Lucky Magazine, that is.  It shouldn’t have caught me off guard – I noticed a similar ad last time I picked one up – but sitting under the dryer at the salon this morning, I did not expect it.

My accessories are the only things that fit.  Fill the void.

My thoughts about this one are the same as last time, when the message was even bolder . . . check it out.  Apparently this is a regular theme now (“Fill the void”).  I don’t wonder why.  It certainly caught my attention.

You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me!

On my recent trip to California, I picked up a guilty pleasure, Lucky Magazine, to help pass the 4-1/2 hours in the air.  It’s fun to see what is new in fall fashion, not to mention how it helps me avoid pairing the wrong shoes with my outfit – serious stuff!  Anyway, there is not much I need to add to this.  Take a look and tell me how it hits you.  My jaw dropped.

I talk a lot about how food fills a void for many people.  Alcohol is a void-filler for others.  Here is an in-your-face example of another method of filling the void – shopping.  It made me feel sad to see this, because I know this is one more symptom of all the voids so many of us feel in our modern stressed-out world.

“Fill the Void” stickers were even provided on the preceding page of the magazine to help the reader identify specific ways (ie THINGS) to fill their personal void.  If only it were so easy.  Did you catch the price tag on those little “void-filling” shoes?  $990!!  That sounds like a void creation to me – a big hole in the bank account!

I Am An Addict

Hi, I’m Kim and I am an addict.

My substance of choice?  The constant chatter of my own thoughts.

This may not seem like much of a problem.  After all, thinking is intellectual, right?  Thinking is creative, right?

True, and true again, but like many addictions, a moderate amount can be good, or at least OK (for example, food or alcohol), but too much is a problem.  While there is a positive side to my active mind – I get good ideas from time to time – I am beginning to realize how unproductive chatter seems to continue almost nonstop.  While it does not really get in the way of my daily life and I function at a high level, there is a price to pay in terms of optimum contentment and the effects of stress on the body.

I only recently began to see this as a problem.  Yes, there have always been annoying times when thoughts have kept me up at night and I can’t seem to shut them off, or a song would stick in my head.  A little bit of neck and shoulder tension does tend to creep up on me too, but that’s normal stress, right?

Yes, all of this is what we label “normal” for human beings, but I have become less and less tolerant of mere “normal” standards for my happiness and contentment lately, ironically as I find more and more of both.  A recent trip gave me more of a slap than a gentle nudge in the right direction . . . Continue reading

More goodies – more happiness?

I have a relatively new “rule” for new clothing purchases.  Whatever I am eying has to be something I truly need or something that I like better than something I already have, . . . AND then I have to give the inferior item away.  This keeps me from needing to rent extra closet space at a warehouse somewhere(!), and it also helps me sleep better at night. Continue reading