Give Up Your Vice

What’s your vice? You know, that one thing, no matter how hard you try, you cannot seem to give up? That something you have a ‘loose-all-self-control-when-it’s-put-in-front-of-you’ soft spot for. That one thing you just can’t say NO to. Your Achilles Heal. Your weakness. Your addiction.

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Is it Coffee? Smoking? Wine? Is it technology – your phone, computer or TV? Perhaps it’s social media – Facebook, twitter or instagram? (in which case you should have a little read of my previous article here). It could even be a habit you have developed, like having a sweet treat at the end of every meal, or having to check your phone first thing each morning upon waking?

Or is it a certain food – chocolate, lollies, chips, cake, ice-cream, bread, pies, burgers… the list goes on.

Whats mine? Mine is nuts. I love nuts. Almonds, cashews, macadamias… om nom nom. I can’t get enough of them. Put a bag of any of the three (preferably a bag of each) in front of me and I will instantly loose all self control. That being said, I’m not really prejudice towards any particular variety – give me any type of nut and I’ll be sure nibble them all up. I’m talking, put a bowl of nuts in front of me and a bowl of lollies and I would choose the nuts, every time. I just love nuts. You could even say, I’m nuts for nuts.

I’m not even kidding (despite that terrible joke). It’s bad. I could probably eat my own weight in nuts. Maybe. Actually probably not. But I’d certainly give it a go.

I know what you a thinking.. ‘Nuts? Really? That’s your vice? That’s hardly anything to worry about’. Yes nuts are good for us – they are a great source of protein and healthy fats, making for a fantastic snack! And yes, I get that ‘there are much worse things to be addicted to’ (as many people keep saying to me) but when you start to exceed the recommended daily intake (RDI) excessively, day after day, it kind of out does any of the health benefits and suddenly becomes an issue. When you start overindulging to the point that a ‘snack’ turns into the calorie-intake equivalent of a meal, well that’s a little different.

So it’s time for me to admit it to myself and to the world…
Hi my name is Eloise and I’m addicted to nuts.

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This is how I see it, when your ‘love’ for something turns into an inability to exercise self-control, that is when you need to take a step back and realize that ‘yep, this is a problem’.

Last week, upon realizing this, I decided to take action against my nut addiction. Take matters into my own hands, take control and attempt (yes, attempt) to give up nuts! Just one week. No nuts. Easy, right? Wrong! I failed.

I lasted 3 days with no nuts at all. Bam! ‘I can do this’, I thought. On the 4th day I faulted and had a handful as a snack whilst at work – which I justified by the fact that my stomach was eating itself and I was better off eating some nuts (the only available food at that time) rather than nothing at all. I also managed to stop myself at a handful, which was a major feat in itself. I was still doing well. But then Friday evening rolled around and I fell victim to the delicious lure of macadamia nuts. Dammit! So close, yet so far.

What did I learn from this little, I’ll call it ‘challenge’? I learnt that giving myself rules and restrictions just doesn’t work. That depriving myself from something is a sure fire way to make me crave it that much more. I find that the more I am ‘not allowed’ something the more I think about it and therefore the more I want it.

The more I thought about not being allowed to eat nuts the more I wanted to eat nuts. It’s like when you tell someone ‘don’t touch that’, all they want to do is touch it. Or when you tell a child they can’t have a toy, all they want is that toy. I guess that is just human nature… And we can probably blame Adam & Eve and the forbidden fruit for that!

But seriously, like I said, I believe a ‘vice’ only becomes a ‘vice’, a problem when you can no longer exercise self-control. There is a difference between enjoying/appreciating/loving something and actually being addicted to something. Only when it starts to negatively impact on you, your health, your wellbeing and your mind is when you may need to look at it as something requiring a solution.

But when we do come to this conclusion, how on earth do we conquer it? Clearly going cold-turkey didn’t work for me! Nor did complete restriction. It might work for you though? Maybe you have more will power than I do. What about sticking to the whole ‘everything in moderation’ mentality? Maybe you could find an accountability person? Set up a rewards system? (Actually I tried that also, and that didn’t stop me from giving in to those tasty tasty nuts).

What is it for you? What is your vice and how do you deal with it? Would love to know what things you have done in the past or continue to do in order to control your little weakness or vice. Personally I have decided that I am going to allow myself to eat nuts. It is amazing how much I no longer want to gauge myself on them, now that they have lost their forbidden fruit factor.

Feel free to share with me your thoughts.

Love Elo xx

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