Clean Dopamine – Part 1: Background

I was a sporty man who ate a healthy diet. For a long time, I went to the gym regularly and then moved on to martial arts, because at that time, that was more efficient. I ate a lot of fish, seafood, nuts, other protein sources and of course other healthy dishes. And even though I allowed myself to sin once a week, that is, eat sweets or fast food, it did not appeal to me, and it occurred at most 1x a month that I sinned.

Due to a nose operation, I had to stop doing any sports for 6 months. Not even jogging was allowed, since the impacts might have had a negative effect on the healing process. So there I sat. Completely deprived of a hard sports routine.

The creeping process of dependency

It is very unusual not to do anything sporty, if you are used to regular exercise. Sure, because it was also a habit. But my brain did not really want to accept that there was absolutely nothing I could do. There was a constant urge to do something and get moving.

Everything that had to do with sports had now to give way. And suddenly, you have a lot more time and nothing to do with it. To start with a new hobby is out of the question because I will start again with sports after the 6-month sports ban. I was aware that I could not get back to the point where I stopped, but I definitely knew how to get there.

If you have too much time on your hands, two things will definitely happen. You think about life and you become complacent. Since for people who break a routine, the free thinking is very stressful and unpleasant, they tend to the latter. Quickly I found YouTube channels, where interesting videos were uploaded daily and finally I had enough time to see all the movies that I always wanted to see.

If you get entertained, you want something to nibble on and if the entertainment is exciting too, you want even more. Traditionally there is popcorn with sugar, chips and lemonade to go with the movie. It is not that bad, if it is the exception.

Being entertained takes up a large part of my daily time. No matter what room I am in. Be it the mobile phone, PC or other devices, there is always something on there to entertain me. And since entertainment has me eating, it is not uncommon for me to crush a bar of chocolate in one evening. Always followed by the excuse "This short video yet!“ and with the thought “After that, I will do something productive again," I regularly lie to myself.

Not only did I add new foods to my menu, but also I removed foods. After a few months, fish, seafood and nuts were no longer on my menu. But since I was now a complacent person, ready-made meals, mainly from noodles or rice, were often found as a complete meal.

Rude awakening

Probably, the one or the other attentive reader has already theorized that the re-start with sports didn´t happen. And that is exactly what happened. About 1 year after the operation I managed to half-heartedly do pushups and abs training every now and then. Another 6 months later, I was firmly convinced that under the fat layer on the abdomen lay my belly muscles. Maybe this even is the case, but why do I train my stomach when on the same day I wolf down incredible amounts of sweets that do the exact opposite?

Suddenly I find myself looking back; how fit, contented, lively and healthy I was. What happened to me? There were times when I wanted to eat sweets no more than 1x a month and now not a single day passes without me stuffing myself with a load of candies and other unhealthy foods. And such a bingeing session always takes place during a movie, series or YouTube videos.

Ok, I seem to be dependent on several things without having noticed it.

But how do I fight my addictions and do I get out of this misery again?

[Here is Clean Dopamine - Part 2: Realization yes, Action no]({filename}/]