Addiction kills. Slower than a speeding bullet but not less painful.
I usually talk about tech, science and other random financial stuff but then I’m free to rant about anything I want, don’t i?
So here’s the gist for today – I’m looking for a very good excuse for not hitting the gym or scorching the jogging trail. I have tried to cajole myself, bought running gears, etc. But after few attempts, I simply discard my feeble efforts and move on. I have run out of excuses but trust Íjésá man like me, I need to pin this on someone or something. Whatever!
Am I undisciplined? Maybe not: I start my meetings like clockwork; stick to proper routines; some habit are even like rituals but still I still can’t break the exercise jinx.
The sad thing is I know that exercising is good for everyone and especially for me. Fitness is very important for good health; I’m constantly embarrassed how I puff like a Volkswagen diesel car every time I run up the stairs to do my daily ward round. My colleagues must be ashamed of me.
Fitness aside, exercising tones the body; nothing beats a flat tummy. Except maybe 6 packs but then that’s even asking for too much at this age of mine.
I guess quite a lot of us can identify with my personal demon but is this unique to exercising? Probably not. It seems almost every good thing we need to do always require so much stress and it’s never easy – getting to work on time, reading for exams, self-development, saying no to Coldstone ice cream, etc. We know they are good, even necessary to keep us alive but then we can’t just do them or keep at them.
This sounds familiar! Anyone who’s read or dealt with addiction knows how tough it’s to get off a bad case. In fact some addictions are so bad that they are physiological; if you stop using the drug you probably gonna fall down and die. Ok, not that dramatically but you are gonna die painfully.
By the way, we shouldn’t confuse addiction with OCD. You can read about the differences here, here and here.
So it got me thinking that maybe the portion of the brain that gets messed up (the reward system) when you get on an addiction train could also be responsible for you not doing what you need to do. It sounds stupid but then electrons and positrons are stupid too.
In fact, the following is a direct quote from Harvard help guide:
In the 1930s, when researchers first began to investigate what caused addictive behavior, they believed that people who developed addictions were somehow morally flawed or lacking in willpower. Overcoming addiction, they thought, involved punishing miscreants or, alternately, encouraging them to muster the will to break a habit.
Many of my friends and family have pushed me, threatened me (that doesn’t work) or enticed me to pick up one or two good habits but it just never works. I subsequently get labeled as difficult or proud. One of my sisters once called me a peacock even though I only wear white shirts and black ties all because I wouldn’t do what she “rightly” suggested.
This is something I have interest in and may read more scientific papers. Trust me, some mad hat scientist may have figured this out. But for the time being, let’s call the name para-addiction and I can at least satisfy the itch to write something today.