A dear client rocked into the gym a month or so ago and announced: “Kate, we’re doing Dry July!”
It really wasn’t something I had to think about. My answer?
A definitive, “Thanks but NO THANKS!”
In todays show I’m weighing in on: What Is A Nice Amount Of Vice?
I feel the need to share a caveat before we get rolling. Of course I support the fundraising component of events such as July July. The proceeds go to adults living with cancer.
I seemed to be surrounded by a lot of people keen to do Dry July this year. My client would say that’s a sign! However here’s the thing, when I look at every single person they are not yet in a consistent routine with their eating and exercising.
To quote a close mate he’s “All or nothing!” Now this is a dear friend who’s preparation for Dry July involved hitting the pub for beers most nights a week. And his actual Dry July lasted less than a week.
That’s the first thing that concerns me about Dry July: I’m down with the 31 days booze free. It’s just the heavy drinking that I’ve seen happen time and time again PRE and POST those 31 days.
My belief is that if you feel like your drinking is outta control and you want to cut it down, then that’s really something you need a strategy to do sustainable-ly long term. Not just for a month. Same with chocolate. Ice-cream. Whatever YOUR vice is.
The second thing that concerns me about Dry July: What habits are going to creep into your routine to take the place that alcohol filled?
I draw attention to my love of wine because I want to emphasize that’s it’s normal and human and okay to have vices and completely realistic to expect to be able to enjoy your vices and still have the body you want!
Yes, there are better and worse choices. In fact I go into some of these the last time I chatted VICE in the #247 show.
Whatever you choose as your VICE here are 4 keys to consider so far as: What Is A Nice Amount Of Vice? Oh, and it’s in acronym format because that’s the way I roll:
V.ALUES. What do your values have to do with vice?
Everything. As I covered in show #095 your values are those emotional states you seek out before all else. As such, they guide your decision making. The easiest way to know if you’re indulging in a nice, normal amount of vice OR if perhaps you need to cut back a tad is: What is vice costing you so far as everything else that’s important to you?
Perhaps Freedom, Integrity and Love are 3 of your top values.
Maybe you see Freedom as the ability to rock around in a body you love or earn a great income or choose how and who you spend your time with.
Maybe Integrity is sticking to the goal you said was important to you. Practicing what you preach and leading by example… whether that is in relation to health or business or family.
Maybe Love is spending quality time with those who mean the most to you.
So, if your VICE… be it alcohol or fast food or gambling is meaning that you consistently don’t get to experience your values of Freedom, Integrity and Love then it’s time to set some firmer boundaries for yourself.
I.NDIVIDUAL. What works for me may not work for you. The only thing I can assure you of is that you can enjoy pretty much any vice and achieve your body gain goal. In fact I believe you should.
I can last a week or 2 MAX, in super-crazy-Kate-discipline-and-RESTRICTION-mode.
Then I start to question is it really worth this much pain? I get irrational and I always arrive back at the point of “Hell, life is for living, just chill out and enjoy that Shiraz (or whatever it may be that is currently stalking my thoughts) girl!”
At this point (glass in hand) I laugh at myself, because I really do know better.
YES, at times I have to remind myself to take my own advice. Discipline is never a long term solution. If the actions you HAVE to take are feeling restrictive then you’ll give up on them at some point.
So it’s simply a matter of discovering what actions work for you. How much vice can YOU enjoy before opportunity cost rears it’s head and you realize your attraction to vice is becoming a limiting obsession.
C.ORE NEEDS. The 6 Core needs are a Tony Robbins framework that I discuss in depth in show #046.
The correlation between the 6 Core Needs and your most fav vice is explained by addiction. Addiction and Vice go hand in hand right? And I guarantee anything you’re addicted to is going to satisfy at least 3, possibly all of your 6 Core Needs.
This will mean nothing to you if you don’t know the 6 Core Needs so here’s a quick overview. We all have a natural desire to satisfy each of the following needs:
- LOVE & CONNECTION
Additionally we will each prioritize 2 over everything else. You can meet these needs in a resourceful way that improves the quality of your life OR in an un-resourceful way that is detrimental to your own (and others) quality of life.
Back to our original question: What Is A Nice Amount Of Vice?
If you’ve discovered you have a vice that is costing you so far as living aligned with your Values. Maybe it’s a vice that others can ‘get away with’ however as an Individual it really isn’t working for you… then it’s time to choose a new Vice and in doing so, for it to fill that gap your old detrimental vice just left it’s going to have to satisfy at least as many of your 6 Core Needs.
Otherwise the new vice habit just won’t stick. It won’t be as attractive… as addictive to you. That’s part of why the “just chew gum instead of smoke” or “choose mineral water instead of vino” is generally not a solution in itself.
I’ve never been a smoker, however I’ve had a girlfriend explain in depth how smoking satisfies ALL of her 6 Core Needs.
Equally I know I don’t get to enjoy that same old certain, reliable “This is that lovely feeling” as I sip on my second, third and fourth mineral water… And a big night on the minerals would never provide the same exciting, unpredictable variety of experiences and encounters… I definitely never strutted into a club with the confidence and Ha Yes, perceived significance after downing copious amounts of sparkling mineral even with fresh lime and a tall glass. You get the picture right?
I don’t need to explain Love and Connection as it relates to my vice of choice? 🙂
The thing to consider here is making vice work for you is always a work in progress. You don’t have to get it right from the outset. In fact it’s likely going to be an aspect of your life in which you constantly…
E.VOLVE. The ability to continuously improve and evolve is a bit of an underrated gem in body gain.
As much as it’s be nice to think there was one approach to follow and know that you’ve got this whole health thing nailed… you know what to do for the rest of your life (!) the thing I’m learning to accept is that things change.
Often things change without us even being conscious of exactly how, when or how much.
Like the EXTRA little nutritionally-void-high-caloric-density-snacks that have crept into your day (5 days a week!) at work thanks to that new lady and her generous tendency to bring in home baking.
Or maybe the 20 minutes a day LESS walking you get now that your partner is on a different schedule and can pick you (and a bottle of vino to share!) up after work each night.
Possibly that healthy green smoothie has 3 TIMES the carbs that your porridge had and yet still leaves you hungry and seriously deserving of some banana bread for morning tea…
It takes stepping back and accessing that original question: What Is A Nice Amount Of Vice?
To take the time and consider: What works for YOU?
To check: What is vice costing you so far as everything else that’s important to you?
AND when necessary, to evolve or upgrade that old vice that maybe once you got away with in your 20’s.
Maybe you have to work a little harder to stay in your best shape now or possibly it’s just that your goals or values or lifestyle have changed and while your vices like mine are natural, normal and human – if they are not currently working for you then they do need to get with the times!
To get actionable today: How does your #ONE FAV VICE stack up?
Is it an enjoyable part of your routine OR is it costing you too much?
That’s it for me today. I hope you can join me for the Friday FAQ show where I share: How To Strengthen Your MINDSET.
If you liked this you’ll also like: Fat Loss for those with a Love of VICE
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.