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Bad rut: need advice.

Milgue ToastMilgue Toast Registered User new member
edited September 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I am new to this forum. It seems pretty cool and I've been looking for one that has more than 5 members. HA. Those google searches suck at finding forums. Anyhoo: I have a dilemma. And its gonna sound like I'm bitching, but.. well, I am bitching. But it actually really is a big problem in my life.

So, I am attending college and taking five classes MON-THUR. And I work at a furniture store on the weekends. I am also about 20 pounds overweight. My problem is (besides being overweight) that my life consists of TV, internet and food. I never study except when absolutely necessary and even when I do that I have to keep checking my facebook every ten minutes. I feel like a fat, lazy, robot. I basically have no real life because all my time is spent in front of a TV or computer screen with food. I want really hard to start exercising and studying regularly. Its just that over the years, I have gotten into a routiine and now I am SET in it. I know, I know, it sounds like Im bitching but it is a huge drain in my life. So, have you guys ever experienced being in a rut in your life like me? Do you have any advice for me? Thanks :mrgreen:

Milgue Toast on

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    Synthetic OrangeSynthetic Orange Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Sell the tv and cancel your internet plan. Go to a library or netcafe if you really need to check something up. Join some clubs at college. Get the fuck out.

    Synthetic Orange on
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    LailLail Surrey, B.C.Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    No one can change what happens in your life except you. If you're tired of watching TV and checking Facebook...then don't. If you feel fat, go exercise.

    Fitness Advice Thread - Read the OP then join the discussion. It changes lives.

    Lail on
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    FendallFendall Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Best way to spend less time online and more time studying: Stay at college for an extra hour. Just chill in the library

    Fendall on
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    DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Try to meet people who seem to be doing the things you want to do, make friends and hang out with them.

    Drake on
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    Joshua368Joshua368 Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Fendall wrote: »
    Best way to spend less time online and more time studying: Stay at college for an extra hour. Just chill in the library

    I'm in my college library right now, that plan won't always work. :P

    Joshua368 on
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    MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    If you've found that the TV and the computer are a drain in your life... why not get rid of them? It's like an alcoholic living next door to a bar. As long as he has that temptation available, he's very unlikely to beat it.

    MagicToaster on
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    ChanusChanus Harbinger of the Spicy Rooster Apocalypse The Flames of a Thousand Collapsed StarsRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Joshua368 wrote: »
    Fendall wrote: »
    Best way to spend less time online and more time studying: Stay at college for an extra hour. Just chill in the library

    I'm in my college library right now, that plan won't always work. :P

    At least you got off yer duff and went outside to get there. =)



    Yeah, life doesn't just magically change, and simply saying "I want to" isn't enough. You have to kick yourself in the ass and it's going to suck... a lot... at first.

    Once you get into a rhythm, though, it compounds itself. You'll start wanting to exercise and socialize because you'll have energy -- something you don't generate sitting in front of the TV and shoving food into your face.


    So, to the point: Just start doing it. Suck it up and know that you're not only doing something good for yourself, but that it will get easier as you do it.

    Chanus on
    Allegedly a voice of reason.
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    HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Whenever I'm in a rut I've found it's helpful to think of things in baby steps like Bill Murray in that movie "What about Bob?" Mostly because it can be really overwhelming and self-defeating to think of things as an overall huge goal.

    For example: Being overweight and just sitting around. If you think of it in an all or nothing way "I've got to stop sitting around, go work out every day, eat better, and be in better shape!" then chances are you'll think to yourself, "I can't do that, I'll never get there, why even try?"

    Instead it's easier to get out of your rut by breaking it down into stuff you could do that isn't easy, but isn't hard either. So you could say, "I'm going to walk up the stairs to my classes every day." When you're tempted to take the elevator, just say to yourself, "It's only 2 flights and it isn't like it's a big thing, I can do just 2 flights." Once you're managing small changes you can break things down again into other small changes you can make, eventually you'll start to see how far you've come and it'll help to motivate you to take bigger steps.

    Another way is to make it harder for yourself to do things the way you're doing like people have said, I'd recommend starting small though so it doesn't drive you nuts and make you relapse. Going to the grocery store when you're already full and trying to pick out healthier stuff to eat is a great example. Don't go overboard and just buy stuff you won't want to eat unless you're starving, just try to pick things that are healthier or lower calorie than what you had but that you'd still be ok with. Sure, you might prefer ice cream but if you think you can get by on a granola bar then buy the granola bars. Then when you get hungry at home and that's what you've got to eat, it makes it easier to stick with it.

    Sorry for the spamminess

    Hypatia on
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    MrMonroeMrMonroe passed out on the floor nowRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    What are you studying at school?

    Do you give a shit about it?

    MrMonroe on
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    Milgue ToastMilgue Toast Registered User new member
    edited September 2009
    Thanks guys. Okay, I will start with baby steps. I sound like a loser saying Im addicted to food, the internet, and TV. But I have been this way for a long time and have gotten into it. It really made me feel optimistic when Chanus said how it will be once I actually start changing my life around. I just have to get my ass up and work. And, I am studying nursing and I do give a big shit about it. :)

    I cant get rid of the TV and computer because I live with my parents, and it is their TV and computer. I do have the opportunity to move in with my best friend though, and she has no computer or TV. Plus, if I live with her I will feel more self conscious if all I do is waste my time eating and sitting in front of screens. But, moving out scares the shit out of me because there is really no turning back...

    Milgue Toast on
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    Hamster_styleHamster_style Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I second the baby steps idea.

    Moving out might be a big change, but I would say that it's necessary; however, rather than jump right into that, I'd work up to it by maybe being out of the house more, be it hanging out or at the library or whatever...baby steps!

    Also, way to go on the nursing! Sounds like you know what you want to do and enjoy. That's a huge plus!

    The cool thing about college is that they'll probably have a ton of intramural sports that are great for beginners. I'd look into this. And, you don't have to join a team sport; there are a lot of individual sports as well. College is a great place to just walk on these sports and learn! Another upshot is that they can give you a more or less (depending on how laid back the team is) rigid weekly timetable for you to exercise on, such as every tuesday - thursday, so you have something tangible you can try to make. Rather than just putting it off "until you feel like it."

    Hamster_style on
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    Brodo FagginsBrodo Faggins Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    What are you studying at school?

    Do you give a shit about it?

    Very important question here. Answer it, and if you realize you don't give a shit, I would take a year off and go travel. Everyone can benefit from traveling at some point through their college years.

    http://artofmanliness.com/2009/06/22/the-benefits-of-a-gap-year/

    This article lays it out way better than I ever could.

    Brodo Faggins on
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    Toxic ToysToxic Toys Are you really taking my advice? Really?Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    My advice. If you have public transportation, have at it. Take a day trip where your closest bus, subway, train, ect... will take you.

    It's a small step into doing something different. It will put you in a different space and it can clear out your head.

    Toxic Toys on
    3DS code: 2938-6074-2306, Nintendo Network ID: ToxicToys, PSN: zutto
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    DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2009
    But, moving out scares the shit out of me because there is really no turning back...

    Oh man, it is so much better than living with your parents, provided that you can afford to move out.

    When I started playing WoW and other MMOs again, I promised myself that I would only play if there was absolutely nothing social to do. Before starting it up, I'd call friends and see if they wanted to meet up and play basketball or have a couple of drinks.

    I actually became a lot more social and outgoing because of it. You can do the same thing with TV or the computer.

    Doc on
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    jeepinryanjeepinryan Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    And, I am studying nursing and I do give a big shit about it. :)

    You could also try pretending you're a nurse already and giving advice to someone in the same circumstances as yourself. What would you tell that person? In my opinion, being in the health care industry means you should probably practice what you preach :)

    I totally agree with everyone else on the moving out thing. It's scary at first, but it is so worth it once you get out on your own.

    jeepinryan on
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    LailLail Surrey, B.C.Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Well, move out if you can afford it. If you're only working weekends, I doubt you can afford rent, food, etc. It seems like a pretty big move just because you watch too much TV. You're going to school and should milk your parents for as long as possible.

    It would suck if you moved out, realized you can't afford it and had to drop school because you had to start working more.

    Lail on
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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Sometimes people like social support, such as you might in these forums, because they provide them with a sort of escapism. You can talk about how you'd like to fix your problems and how you'd accomplish that, without actually doing anything to change your life.

    Don't do that.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
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    GahmriousGahmrious Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I always put things on paper. It sounds stupid but seeing your short-term goals and long term goals on a piece of paper and thinking about it really helps me. Write down what you want to do and make a timeline that you think you can accomplish this stuff in. *shrug*

    Gahmrious on
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    RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    The more time you spend in front of the TV and on the computer the less interesting a person you will be. There seems to be a proportional relationship there that I see all the time.

    Read books, hang out with other people, go to the university gym, play sports.

    RocketSauce on
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    CognisseurCognisseur Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Moving out is 99% a good idea and 1% chance that you'll break down, go crazy, and have to live with the Indian and Jack Nicholson for the rest of your life.

    Joking aside, stress and change is good. It forces you to grow as a person. Moving out will be tough and will have its stresses but to be honest, looking at the rut you're in, it may just feel like an exciting adventure and relief that things are changing.

    And all the people who tout willpower and all that, eh, it's really not that simple. Sure, some people can pull it off. Most people can't. Most of those who can't make New Year's resolutions like "I'll get in shape" and obviously quit their resolution fast. A minority of the people who don't just have iron willpower are smart enough to recognize that and sign up for a class at a gym. They create external forces to help shape their lives.

    Sign up for a club. Maybe it'll make you feel bad to cut it and that'll help offer incentive to go. Move out from your parents. You sound like you have some self-esteem issues and living with your parents certainly won't help that. Get out there and make life change you. Then just hold on, don't go insane or break down, and you should end up happier.

    Cognisseur on
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    GafotoGafoto Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Kill two birds with one stone: join a club involving some kind of physical activity. Could be martial arts, kayaking, hiking, rock climbing, whatever. You'll meet people quickly, learn new things and get in shape.

    It's hard to meet people just sitting in the library or watching TV but clubs and activities encourage communication and connection.

    Gafoto on
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    Milgue ToastMilgue Toast Registered User new member
    edited September 2009
    Wow, I really like this forum. Thanks for all the great advice. :) Ya, Ive realized that I do not have iron willpower. Like, I envision myself doing all these great things and in the meantime I am doing nothing... I have gotten into this habit of daydreaming about things rather than doing them.

    Well, I realistically can move out because my best friend will not make me pay any rent or utilities, which I know sounds weird. :/ But, I will have to pay for internet, for the both of us :) So, if I move out the TV will be gone. So that's good because it will cut my problem in half. I am just going to have to fight to get myself out of this rut that I personally put myself in. If it helps at all, I do not have self esteem problems, but I do have something called Social Phobia disorder. Its not well-known so I doubt many people have heard of it. So, that has contributed to my home-bound behavior in a big way too. I'm not saying it is not my fault but that has aided it, I think.

    I am taking baby steps. I am trying to cut out the fast food. I seriously will eat fast food 5 times in a week. So, I am trying to only eat it once a week. Also, my parents own a treadmill so I will try to run on it once a week. Its just difficult because if I eat good and exercise for a day, I will think, "Well, I am just going to bing tomorrow, so whats the point?" Arghh.

    Milgue Toast on
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    ChanusChanus Harbinger of the Spicy Rooster Apocalypse The Flames of a Thousand Collapsed StarsRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Is Social Phobia Disorder like Social Anxiety Disorder? Basically agoraphobia?

    I have a friend like that. He'd come home from grocery shopping and tell me he about had a panic attack just being there, and for no apparent reason to himself (he's not diagnosed or anything, so he probably doesn't really understand it). It's frustrating as hell at times, just because I want to see him out and having a good time with the rest of us, but I understand. He's fine when it's just around our group of friends and in an environment he knows, so we try to be accommodating in that regard.

    Anyway, yeah, if you can move out it might be good just having a different setting. Shaking up your routine can be quite motivating as you don't have all the familiar places (like the couch in front of the TV) to fall back on. It will help break your habits.


    As to the idea of eating better, switch to wheat bread (or even better, multi-grain bread). Not just sandwich bread, but hotdog/hamburger buns and anywhere else you would normally be eating white bread. You'll be amazed and it's usually not any more expensive.

    Chanus on
    Allegedly a voice of reason.
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    CognisseurCognisseur Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Wow, I really like this forum. Thanks for all the great advice. :) Ya, Ive realized that I do not have iron willpower. Like, I envision myself doing all these great things and in the meantime I am doing nothing... I have gotten into this habit of daydreaming about things rather than doing them.

    Well, I realistically can move out because my best friend will not make me pay any rent or utilities, which I know sounds weird. :/ But, I will have to pay for internet, for the both of us :) So, if I move out the TV will be gone. So that's good because it will cut my problem in half. I am just going to have to fight to get myself out of this rut that I personally put myself in. If it helps at all, I do not have self esteem problems, but I do have something called Social Phobia disorder. Its not well-known so I doubt many people have heard of it. So, that has contributed to my home-bound behavior in a big way too. I'm not saying it is not my fault but that has aided it, I think.

    I am taking baby steps. I am trying to cut out the fast food. I seriously will eat fast food 5 times in a week. So, I am trying to only eat it once a week. Also, my parents own a treadmill so I will try to run on it once a week. Its just difficult because if I eat good and exercise for a day, I will think, "Well, I am just going to bing tomorrow, so whats the point?" Arghh.

    Running on a treadmill once a week? Fuck that. You run on it every day. You figure out a time that you're home every day (with no social life it can't be that hard to predict) and you run your fat ass on it. Teach yourself willpower. It's not just some innate skill some people are born with. Running is an excellent way to establish it; both because it requires willpower to get up and do and because it requires willpower to maintain while you're on it.

    Pick a time. Set it as an alarm on your cell phone. Do NOT let the alarm snooze or whatever. When it goes off, get up, go run. Let us know tomorrow what time you ran, and you better run or we'll be disappointed in you.

    Cognisseur on
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    cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    If you work at a furniture store, offer to lift some heavier pieces.

    cooljammer00 on
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    DaemonionDaemonion Mountain Man USARegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Also, anyone you do choose to live with/socialize with will have an impact on you.

    Example: one of my best friends in my town is a runner, like me. What do we do all the time? Run. When I stay at my cousin's house, he plays a crazy amount of video games. What do I do while I'm there? Play a lot more video games.


    Consider this if you do decide to get a room mate. Good luck.

    Daemonion on
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    SilverCatSilverCat Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Chiming in with Cognisseur to say run on that thing every day without fail. Once a week ain't good enough.

    Running will make you feel less lethargic and more eager to do something with your day like study.

    Once you've been for a few runs you'll feel better about yourself and probably WANT to run and/or do exercise. It does become addictive i find, and thats a better addiction than tv or food :)

    SilverCat on
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    ShawnaseeShawnasee Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Thanks guys. Okay, I will start with baby steps. I sound like a loser saying Im addicted to food, the internet, and TV. But I have been this way for a long time and have gotten into it. It really made me feel optimistic when Chanus said how it will be once I actually start changing my life around. I just have to get my ass up and work. And, I am studying nursing and I do give a big shit about it. :)

    I cant get rid of the TV and computer because I live with my parents, and it is their TV and computer. I do have the opportunity to move in with my best friend though, and she has no computer or TV. Plus, if I live with her I will feel more self conscious if all I do is waste my time eating and sitting in front of screens. But, moving out scares the shit out of me because there is really no turning back...

    You don't feel self concious about what your own parents think of you?

    I know you are comfortable around family but think whats going through your parents minds:
    Where did we go wrong that our son has no ambition? He is a grown man in college and is still acting like he's in high school.

    I wonder how worried they are that you're going to turn into a 350 pound dude, with no romantic prospects, a college dropout, and working at McDonalds for the rest of your life?

    Getting out of an environment in which you are 'stuck' in sounds like the best plan.

    Barring that, running on that treadmill just once a week isn't going to cut it. Everyday is a good goal but you need to work up to that. There are some good routines (I hope) in the Fitness thread that should help.

    Shawnasee on
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    HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I am taking baby steps. I am trying to cut out the fast food. I seriously will eat fast food 5 times in a week. So, I am trying to only eat it once a week. Also, my parents own a treadmill so I will try to run on it once a week. Its just difficult because if I eat good and exercise for a day, I will think, "Well, I am just going to bing tomorrow, so whats the point?" Arghh.

    That's because you're thinking too big again, rather than saying to yourself, "Even if I eat right today I'll just screw it up tomorrow" or "I have to work out 5 times a week" or something, instead look at it on a smaller scope. In fact, don't even look at it as a daily thing, look at it instead as a triumph on its own: This meal, I'm going to only eat half of it and stop because I don't really need all of it, and that's my goal. Once you've eaten half, don't tempt yourself with it, take it to the trash can and dump the rest out. Then say to yourself, "You know what? I did it! I only ate half my meal!" and bask in the triumph of that. Acknowledging small victories in your baby steps is going to make it easier for you to take the next bigger steps and to keep taking them.

    The same thing goes for working out, don't tell yourself, "I've got to run on the treadmill every week." I will make a point that running is hard, that's why it's really good for you, maybe try one of the Learn To Run programs so you work up to it. Again, after you work out don't say, "That was 1 out of 5 times this week, 4 more to go", instead say, "I did it! I worked out today! That's a success!"

    It sound really touchy-feely and all of that but in my experience it's a lot more likely to keep you positive and to keep you going than beating yourself up over the stuff you didn't do and the ways you're going to screw it up. To briefly get on a soapbox here on the topic of "it isn't hard, just do it", not everyone works like that so the baby step thing is an alternative way to do it. When I used to get depressed my ex used to tell me, "Then cheer up!" Not everyone can just say, "I'm gonna run" and run every day, not everyone can just say, "I'm going to eat less" and then eat less and lose weight, not everyone can say, "I'm depressed so I'm going to cheer up" and suddenly be happy. Don't think in terms of good enough or not good enough, take each triumph as you achieve it and be happy about it. The happiness will make you want to have more triumphs to be happy about and to be proud of, which will in turn mean more change.

    Hypatia on
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    DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2009
    hundredpushups.com

    If you can find friends to do it with you can call you a pussy if you skip a workout, it helps a lot.

    If you aren't already in shape, it will take more than 6 weeks to do 100 in a row. I'm doing well over 200 push-ups (non-consecutive; they are broken into sets) in the mornings now, and I started out being able to do 25 from a rest less than 4 weeks ago.

    Doc on
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    noobertnoobert Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Make a list each morning of the things you hope to accomplish that day. Try to include something related to your Education, physical health and social life. Before you sit down infront of the tv/computer, ensure that you have done everything on that list.

    My list for today, for example:
    Ride 23km
    Work out card layouts, apply to assignment
    PreRead Mondays lecture
    Get Vacuum cleaner fixed

    If you have the self control to stick to that list, you should find that you get everything done in the mornings and can then slack off and not feel guilty!

    But as others have said, focus on what you can do today/right now. And do it.

    noobert on
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