There are many similarities between these 3 types of people. There are many people who fall into 2 or even all 3 categories. The point of this section will become clear at the end. Some of these points might seem obvious but please bear with me. You need to read the last section!
All 3 groups tend to be in denial to a lesser or greater extent
- The alcoholic says that they could stop if they wanted but they enjoy it so much. They might say that they are social people and there are plenty of others that are worse.
- A drug addict might think that there are worse drugs out there, and at least they don’t inject. They might think that they are in control because they only take drugs at the weekend, or that they can’t be that bad because they still have a job.
- An obese person might say that they could lose weight if they really put their mind to it, maybe after Christmas or before their next holiday. Other examples of denial are spread throughout this book.
All 3 groups tend to let their appearance suffer
Whether it is the general look of malaise and ill health, or the choice of clothes. The drug addict or alcoholic will see clothes as less of a priority than feeding their addiction. Obese people are stuck in the trap of struggling to find clothes that fit, whilst trying to disguise their fat with shapeless or loose clothing. The state of mind related to being focused on an obsession, or an addiction will cause lapses in personal grooming or tidiness.
All 3 groups are likely to have financial issues
This won’t always be the case. If you are regularly hungover, going whole nights without sleep, paranoid, manic or feeling bloated or lethargic then there will be others taking your job. It is hard to create products or services and have people value you as indispensable.
All 3 groups experience social stigma
Drug addicts are generally frowned upon by the general population, we all know alcoholics regularly make fools of themselves. Yes, people do laugh or stare at obese people. That might sound harsh, but it is true. They say things like “I would never let myself get that bad, it is disgusting”.
All 3 groups will suffer from mental and emotional problems
All 3 will either be upbeat and over confident when they are drunk, high, or just starting a diet. Much of the rest of the time they will be depressed, negative, cynical, lazy, angry, upset or suffering from self-loathing.
All 3 will tend to hang around with people like them
‘Birds of a feather flock together’. All 3 groups will be more comfortable hanging around with others in the same situation. ‘Misery loves company’. To hang out with a successful, athletic go-getter might be just too much to bear for all 3 groups.
All 3 will let their business and personal relationships suffer
This point needs no explanation in relation to the drug addict and alcoholic. You might disagree about the obese person’s business or personal relationship’s suffering. There is a good chance that you are an obese person reading this who is successful in their career, or is part of a close loving family. My point is that these relationships are probably still suffering because of your weight problem.
- How will an early death through an obesity related heart attack affect these relationships?
- Can you run around and play sports with your children or grandchildren?
- Does your weight or associated health issues affect the commitment and energy you put into these relationships?
- How much more could you put into these relationships if you were full of energy, happiness and self-confidence?
I think you get the idea….
The ‘pearls of wisdom’ that I hinted about at the beginning
Now I want to discuss the similarities between EX alcoholics, drug addicts and obese people.
Do you know people who used to have an alcohol problem, were addicted to drugs, or lost a lot of weight? I’m sure that you can think of a few. I’m not talking about the yo-yo people that are going through a positive manic phase only to fall back to where they started. I am talking about people who completely changed, permanently.
When you have a serious problem and then you overcome it, you grow as a person.
It is only through problem solving and overcoming challenges that we can grow
Often when you come out of the other side of a crisis, you realize how resilient you really are. You realize that you have learnt a lot about yourself, who you really are at the core. You also understand more of life, of nature, of humanity and the universe!
This might sound a bit “new age” but I truly believe it. People can struggle for years or even decades in bad situations. Whether we are talking about a soul sucking job, a bad relationship or an obesity problem.
When you eventually figure out the truth, the reality in the situation, and then realize you had the strength to change all along… It can be overwhelming. The ‘Eureka’ moment that makes you want to dance or cry.
The new you is fresh, vibrant. You start to rediscover your emotions, to project an infectious positive energy, to regain confidence and self-respect and then, you realize that if you can achieve power over this addiction, then you can do anything! A whole new world of possibility opens.
So, what do ex-alcoholics, ex-drug addicts and ex-fatties have in common? You will see new realities such as:
- New clothes, that are an expression of a vibrant person.
- A challenging new career that involves passion and contribution.
- New travel plans, visits to places that have been on the dream list for a long time.
- A new, and far too young / sexy / rich / successful romantic partner.
- A new schedule of activities such as Abseiling, Surfing, Aerobics or Samba dancing.
- An excitement and enthusiasm for the big things, and the small things in life.
- A genuine warmth and affection for others.
“If my life was that great then I wouldn’t need junk food to comfort me!” I hear you asking.
Here is the thing… You have to start making the changes and acting like the person you want to be. Just as at work, if you only put in minimum effort to get through the week and get paid, you are unlikely to move up the ladder and get promoted.
You have to put the effort in first, then get the benefits later
This is how life works
Just as in the dictionary, effort comes way before result. (Sorry for the cheesy phrase I couldn’t resist!)
If you think that you will try a new physical hobby before you lose the weight, or think about getting a more rewarding job before you give up the heroin, this won’t work!
It is a ‘chicken and egg’ situation I know, how can you buy sexy clothes or search for a new romantic partner when you are at your worst?
It is all about goal setting. Write down every goal that you want to achieve. Write down every change that you would make if you were already slim. Think that you were at your perfect weight, body shape, energy level and self-confidence how would you be different? What would you be doing differently? Will you change your eating habits? What physical activities will you be involved in?
Spend some time thinking about this, and write everything down. Ideally you will have 50 or even 100+ points written down. Amongst these points there will be challenging goals, and easy ones. There will be ones that you can get started on right away. The idea is to systematically replace bad habits with good ones.
If the perfect vision of yourself involves travel and adventure that you can’t afford, I’m sure that there will be places to visit close to home, and internet or library research can be started right now.
If you see yourself eating nutritious food cooked for yourself with the skills of a Chef, then get started! Find a recipe, make a shopping list of nutritious food and broaden your horizons in the kitchen!
If you see yourself jogging in the park, but you get breathless walking up the stairs at home, start walking in the park. Not a stroll eating ice cream, have a plan. Measure distance, time, steps, heart rate and so on.
Create a regime that is regular, and gradually increases in time, intensity or speed. Just increase the overall energy expended each week regardless of the low base that you are starting from.
If you think that you don’t have the time to make improvements in your life, maybe you need to keep an activity diary for a few days
Keep the diary with you always and write everything down. Then analyze. You will see that denial and delusion is creeping in.
Remember that the perfect you, and the current you, both has 24hrs each day. Just like everybody else.