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Socially acceptable; Sober Addictions.

Plenty of recovered drug addicts can tell you about a whole host of new, societal acceptable addictions that they have tampered with or are even currently caught up in. Many people find that after going through all the pain and work of kicking their addiction on something truly horrendous, they’re left craving something more mundane non-stop.

Preparing yourself for the reality that you may be spending half of your paycheck at the coffee shop will set you up to be less disappointed with your new lifestyle, less likely to relapse, and maybe even less likely to order your 4th latte of the day.

Food

Socially acceptable; Sober Addictions.License: Creative Commons image source

We’ve all heard of comfort food, and it’s easy to see how southern fried goodness ended up with the name. Really, any food that tastes good could be considered a comfort food, because eating delicious food makes us feel better. Foods with a high fat and sugar content send our endorphins soaring, and after beginning a relationship with these types of foods, we start to develop an intense, emotional need for their continued presence.

The best way to kick this addiction in the butt is to find healthy and delicious foods that fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied. Keep fatty sweets out of the house so that you don’t even have the option of downing an entire package of Oreos (as appealing as that sounds), and instead, opt for sweet fruits and homemade smoothies. Cooking at home helps monitor what goes into your food as well as helping to kill some of the time that might have otherwise been spent ordering appetizers at the local diner. If you do find your waistline thickening, don’t despair too much.

Lots of people find that food is the first thing they look to after leaving an addiction, but with time they learn to moderate their eating habits.

Cigarettes

Sober Addictions.

For countless drinkers, alcohol and cigarettes go hand in hand. Replace alcohol with your drug of choice, and you’ve got a lot of people puffing on the cancer sticks. Nicotine is intensely addictive, and people going through one or two packs a week are likely to find that their need doubles or triples when they stop drinking or doing drugs. Some sponsors will tell you to give yourself time before trying to kick the cigarette habit.

The unpleasant side-effects of weaning yourself off of cigarettes just might be enough to get you thinking about the stuff that will kill you sooner. So give it time, try not to spend your entire budget on cigarettes, and set yourself up with a plan in the near future to say goodbye to cigarettes, either cold-turkey or with the aid of patches.

Caffeine

Socially acceptable; Sober Addictions.License: Creative Commons image source

It makes sense that getting clean can come with a new respect for caffeine. Handling responsibilities that once were forsaken and actually waking up when the alarm clock goes off could have you refilling the pot at home and office throughout the day. Don’t be too alarmed – you’re just like most everyone else in the developed world. If, however, you find you’re getting too jittery or having trouble sleeping and expect that caffeine is the culprit, then try switching to warm teas for at least a few of your daily lattes.

Even caffeinated tea has less caffeine than a cup of coffee, but be careful, because drinking the cold stuff can easily replace water if you’re not careful, and the tea/caffeine combo can keep you up for days.

Exercise

Socially acceptable; Sober Addictions.License: Creative Commons image source

Fortunately, this new love affair is harder to abuse, though it’s definitely possible. Exercising regularly lends itself to more exercise, so get on those hot pants and hit the trail! One of the reasons people fall in love with exercising is the cocktail of different, pleasant chemicals that are released in the brain during a sweat session. Be careful, though, because it’s these same chemicals that we love to chase, making it possible for us to actually over-exercise. Don’t push your body past its limits, don’t forsake date night for an extra gym session, and talk to your doctor if you feel that you’re losing too much weight.

Some healthy goals to aim for when beginning a workout plan are to: improve muscle tone; gain more energy; have a healthier heart; and improve endurance. Losing weight should come secondary, and should only apply to those of us already overweight. If you have a healthy BMI and still find yourself obsessively trying to sweat off weight with the Stairmaster, then talk to your doctor or personal trainer for advice on moderating your exercise to a healthy level.

 

 

 

 

Henry Hernandez is a life coach and nutritionist who writes about healthy habits for a life well-lived. He works for www.stephouserecovery.com. Henry can be found on Google+.

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