Hobbies and activities

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One of my RC airplanes, a custom-painted Hungarian Fw190.

I was taught at a young age that hobbies are important for people to have. It gives you something to enjoy, to spend time doing that is pleasant and enjoyable, and that can even bring you together with other people who enjoy the same activity. I was encouraged as a child to grow in my hobbies, and I took on quite a few of them. I’ve had to give some of them up (stamp collecting) in favor of putting more of my energies into others (flying radio controlled aircraft). Why do I mention this as part of a health and fitness blog? Because having a hobby and engrossing myself in it has helped with me on my journey towards being healthy.

I’ve often said that one of my strategies in combating cravings is to find something to do. If a craving hits, and I am able to identify that it’s due to boredom more than it is from having not eaten enough at my previous meal, I find something to do. That something has to take all my mind’s concentration, so I will typically do something related to one of my hobbies. Whether that’s cleaning some firearms, servicing one of my RC aircraft, or cleaning or even smoking one of my pipes, it causes me to concentrate on the task at hand and makes me forget all about the craving. If the craving passes quickly (and it usually does), then I know that it was a boredom craving and as a bonus, I get to engage in an activity within a hobby I enjoy.

Not all hobbies are active. If scrap booking is your thing, then do that when you get hungry. You don’t even have to make a page; just go through some stamps or borders or plan out the next page. Just engaging in your hobby will make you forget all about eating. As a last resort, you can always go out and do some exercise. Nothing makes my hunger go away as fast or as efficiently as running even when I am legitimately hungry. I can count on losing any hunger or craving for at least the duration of the run and an extra 30-45 minutes. That’s typically long enough for me to make it to dinnertime with my wife.

If you don’t have a hobby, then find one. No, seriously. There’s got to be something you enjoy doing. Engage in that. Do some reading. Go down a rabbit hole on the Internet. Do something, but make sure it engages your mind. Your life will be richer for it (and healthier!).

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