Posted by: realisticrecovery | July 11, 2014

Video: SHAME Part 4 – The Signs of Love Addiction

SHAME Part 4: The Signs of Love Addiction

Runtime: 11:03  Speakers: Various Panel, see below

Sex experts and sex addicts speak about sex and love addiction during a panel discussion in Los Angeles following a special screening of SHAME at American Cinematheque at Aero Theater on April 17, 2012.

Clips from SHAME courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. © 2012 FOX. All Rights Reserved.

“SHAME and Sex Addiction” documentary video produced by Center for Healthy Sex.

Anna David, Executive Editor of

Alexandra Katehakis (author of “Erotic Intelligence: Igniting Hot, Healthy Sex While in Recovery from Sex Addiction”,)
Chris Donaghue (host of Logo TV’s “Bad Sex”,)
Ethlie Ann Vare (author of “Love Addict: Sex, Romance, and other Dangerous Drugs”,)
“Miles” from SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous,)
“Bud” from SCA (Sexual Compulsives Anonymous,)
“Carmen” from S.L.A.A. (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.)

Posted by: realisticrecovery | July 11, 2014

Video: John Bradshaw – Addiction and Addictiveness

John Bradshaw – Addiction and Addictiveness

Runtime: 1:31  Speaker: John Bradshaw

John Bradshaw is a Senior Fellow at The Meadows treatment program in Wickenburg Az discusses the importance of deep feeling work in the process of addiction treatment. Bradshaw is a Senior Fellow at The Meadows, which is located in Wickenburg, Arizona. Learn more about the Meadows at

John Bradshaw is a world-famous educator, counselor, motivational speaker, author and one of the leading figures in the fields of addiction, recovery, family systems and the concept of toxic shame.

Specializing in helping individuals recover from the effects of relationship trauma, drug and alcohol addiction as well as sex addiction, The Meadows of Arizona addresses the underlying issues with the most comprehensive array of therapeutic and holistic services to be found anywhere. The Meadows Treatment and rehab center is the most trusted name in trauma and addiction recovery. Learn more about the Meadows at or call toll free 888-289-6177

Posted by: realisticrecovery | July 6, 2014

10 Simple Ways To Overcome Depression and Sadness

10 Simple Ways To Overcome Depression and Sadness
By Jay White ,

We’ve all been upset. Sadness is a totally natural emotional response to certain environmental stimuli. Most of us have support, or systems in place to overcome sadness, reach balance, and go on to be happy as quickly as possible.

There are two groups of people that have prolonged sadness, or depression.
One group consists of those that have a severe chemical imbalance, which requires a doctor, and possibly medication to treat. This article is not geared for that group. Rather, this is directed to the people in a funk or seem stuck in a rut, those that lack the tools, know-how, and support systems to bounce them back.

In my opinion, and I’m no doctor (BA, Psychology; MS, Biomedical Science), the latter group of people are wise to seek natural treatments instead of simply medicating the symptoms. That’s why we’re going to look at 10 ways to overcome sadness, without the happy pills.

        Set Goals
Something special happens the moment the paper meets the pen and we write down our goals. Our brain chemistry changes, neurons fire, hormones are deployed, and we start thinking about how we can achieve those goals.

Getting the right amount of sleep is healthy for our body and mind. Some argue that sleep deprivation treats depression, but I don’t buy it. I think it’s a cheap distraction that catches up to you within days. Get enough rest.

If you’re physically capable, try one hour of cardio (or as much as you can). If you’re tee-shirt is soaking wet, you’re standing in a puddle of your own sweat, and you can feel the endorphins pumping through your body, you did it right. Shower up and try not being happy, I dare you.

Many times we’re making ourselves sad for no good reason at all. People have been known to keep grudges for lifetimes (most religions and nationalities keep them for generations). When you forgive, you remove this weight off your shoulders and put yourself in a position to be happier.

Many times when we complain we can cause ourselves to be sad. Complaining is just a factor of not taking into account what we’re grateful for. Sit down and make a list of 100 things you’re grateful for right now (and I dare you not to feel better).

Certain people have a disorder, in which, due to a lack of sunlight, they experience seasonal sadness. I’m somewhat affected by this in the winter when the days are shorter. That’s why it pays to grab your iPod (or your friend) and go for 30 minute walks each day and embrace the sunlight.

This has always been my downfall; I don’t drink enough and chances are you don’t either. Some days I drink only 1 cup of water, and I feel horrible. When I remember, and drink 2-3 liters, I’m happy as a kitten on cat-nip, and productive as a bat out of hell.

Your life force, support system, and everything that matters. It’s not hard to make friends if you put the time in. Everyone wants to be heard, appreciated, and loved. Start off by listening, appreciating and loving, and it will come back your way.

Take a temporary leave from reality and bury yourself in one of your favorite books. A lot of wise people have been through what you’re going through and they made it through to the other side to tell about it.

This could be an escape but it doesn’t have to be. You can write about fiction, and transport yourself to another world, or you can write about what’s going on, and let your thoughts carry you through to a solution. Many great books were written by people who were, at least at the time, going through a period of pain and suffering.

Please visit the original source website:

Posted by: realisticrecovery | July 6, 2014

Fastest Ways to Get in Shape in 2 Weeks

Fastest Ways to Get in Shape in 2 Weeks
By Joseph Eitel

You’re two weeks away from putting on your swimsuit for the first time in a while, and it doesn’t fit like it used to. It isn’t easy to drop a few pounds in two weeks, but it is possible. The key is to boost the intensity of your workouts to burn more fat and calories and rev your metabolism. Diet is also crucial; focusing on nutritious calories can help you lower your daily caloric intake, which will help you lose weight fast. Consult your doctor before beginning any weight-loss program.

The process of losing weight comes down to the basic concept of creating a calorie deficit, which means you consume fewer calories than you burn. The fastest way to create a calorie deficit is by making changes to your diet. Specifically, eliminate unnecessary calories, such as those coming from soda and other sugary treats. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests eating a well-balanced diet consisting of vegetables, whole grains, fruit, reduced-fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat. It points out that adult women can consume lose weight at a safe rate by eating 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day, while men need 1,200 to 1,600 calories each day.

Interval Training
A vigorous exercise such as high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, can help you get in shape fast. According to Dr. Len Kravitz of the University of New Mexico, HIIT is more effective than moderate aerobic exercise when it comes to burning fat, improving aerobic capacity and building muscle. He explains that vigorous exercise effectively stimulates the fat oxidation process in the body, which means your body burns fat for fuel when you exercise. Three days per week of interval training can lead to fast results. Do 30 to 60 seconds of moderate exercise followed by 30 to 60 seconds of vigorous exercise; repeat this cycle for 20 to 30 minutes each workout.

Resistance Training
Resistance training, such as weightlifting, helps you burn more calories and promotes muscle growth. Increased muscle mass helps to tone your body, and it can help you lose weight faster than aerobic exercise alone. Muscle tissue burns far more calories than fatty tissue, so by increasing the amount of muscle you have, your body becomes more efficient at burning calories. Perform a resistance-training workout two or three times per week — 30 to 60 minutes per session — to start seeing results by the end of the second week.
Everyday Changes

Although the consumption of a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you meet your goal of losing weight in two weeks, making a number of everyday changes can also play a role. Consider such changes as rising early and taking a short walk or bike ride before work, walking around the block during your lunch break and playing outside with your kids in the evening. Even simple, household chores such as cutting the lawn can burn calories to help you create a calorie deficit.

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Posted by: realisticrecovery | June 16, 2014

The Proactive Twelve Steps for Mindful Recovery

The Proactive Twelve Steps for Mindful Recovery

The Proactive Twelve Steps outlines how you can take a proactive approach to life, gradually stepping up from feeling stuck and powerless to enjoying a more balanced and happy life. The specific steps were inspired by the original Twelve Steps, but rewritten to describe a process of mindful personal growth. This short book (60 pages) defines the “steps” pragmatically, as a self-directed process, as opposed to a mystical process in which change somehow happens to you.

The Proactive Twelve Steps

  1.     I get it. What I’ve been doing is self-destructive. I need to change.
  2.     I see the big picture: The way to stop relapsing into self-destructive behaviors is to build a healthier sense of self.
  3.     I have an action plan: From now on, I am squarely facing everything that is in the way of feeling satisfied with my life.
  4.     I honestly look at the effects of my actions on others and myself.
  5.     I take responsibility for my actions.
  6.     I see that my knee-jerk reactions have to do with being in the grip of more or less conscious fears.
  7.     I strive to find my motivation in a deeper sense of who I really am, rather than fear and defensiveness.
  8.     I stop blaming and feeling blamed, with a willingness to heal the wounds.
  9.     I swallow my pride, and sincerely apologize to people I’ve hurt, except when this would be counterproductive.
  10.     I live mindfully, paying attention to the motives and effects of my actions.
  11.     I stay in touch with a broader sense of who I really am, and a deeper sense of what I really want.
  12.     A growing sense of wholeness and contentment motivates me to keep at it, and to share this process with others who are struggling.

The Proactive Twelve Steps were originally written for people who are not part of the “Twelve Steps” culture, and who are not comfortable with references to God or a Higher Power.  Over time, many people involved in 12 steps recovery have found inspiration in these “proactive steps”: Not necessarily as a replacement for the words they are so familiar with, but as a way to gain a new perspective on them.

Source: The Proactive Twelve Steps for Mindful Recovery ( page where you can download the entire book as a PDF file. Also please check out the rest of the “Proactive Change” ( website.

Also : here’s an entire article on  The Proactive Twelve Steps on the AA site. (

Posted by: realisticrecovery | January 5, 2014

New Link: Procrastinators Anonymous

New Link: Procrastinators Anonymous (Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.)

I finally got around to adding this link on the “Useful Links” page, seriously, no joke intended.- Mike H – is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

P.A. Tools for Recovery
  1. Break It Down: Break down projects into specific action steps; include preparation tasks in the breakdown.
  1. Visualization: Plan what to do, then imagine yourself doing it. The more specific and vivid your visualization, the better. See yourself doing the task, and doing it well.
  1. Ask Yourself Why: While you are visualizing doing the task, see if you can detect what it is about the task that feels odious to you, what uncomfortable feeling you are avoiding. Knowing what’s behind the avoidance can help you get past it – for example, address real problems or ignore irrational fears.
  1. Focus on Long-Term Consequences: Procrastinators have a tendency to focus on short-term pleasure, and shut out awareness of long-term consequences. Remind yourself how panicked and awful you’ll feel if the task isn’t done, then imagine how good it will feel when the task is finished.
  1. Avoid Time Bingeing: One reason procrastinators dread starting is that once they start they don’t let themselves stop. Plan to work on a task for a defined period of time, then set a timer. When the timer goes off, you’re done.
  1. Use Small Blocks of Time: Procrastinators often have trouble doing tasks in incremental steps, and wait for big blocks of time that never come. When you have small blocks of time, use them to work on the task at hand.
  1. Avoid Perfectionism: Procrastinators have a tendency to spend more time on a task than it warrants, so tasks that should be quick to do take an agonizingly long time. Notice this tendency and stop yourself. Some things require completion, not perfection.
  1. Keep a Time Log: Increase your awareness of time by logging what you are doing throughout the day. This is a great diagnostic tool for discovering where your time went, and an excellent way to become better at estimating how long tasks take.
  1. Develop Routines: To help structure your day and make a habit of things you always need to do, develop routines for what you do when you wake up, regular tasks of your workday, and what you need to do before going to bed.
  2. Bookend Tasks and Time: Use the Bookending board on the P.A. Web site to check in throughout the day, or at the beginning or end of specific tasks you are dreading. Details are at the top of the Bookending board (

Please visit for more info!



Posted by: realisticrecovery | January 5, 2014

Video: The Chemistry of Addiction

Video: The Chemistry of Addiction

Published on Nov 18, 2012

This video from SciShow (on YouTube) describes how our brains respond biochemically to various addictive substances and behaviors and where those responses have come from, evolutionarily speaking.

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Posted by: realisticrecovery | October 13, 2013

Eating a Healthy Diet in Recovery

Eating a Healthy Diet in Recovery

by Kelly McClanahan from Addiction Recovery Basics

Most people vow to eat better, exercise more, be generally healthier when ushering a new year. Eating healthily is especially important for recovering addicts. However, recovery is fraught with opportunities to shift addictions from one unhealthy lifestyle choice to another, and due to the nature of the addictive personality, many recover from drug and alcohol addiction and begin to participate in other addictive practices and behaviors, setting themselves up for another crash and burn into yet another 12-Step experience.

Food is an essential element of life. Many addicts have some kind of eating addiction or disorder. While they may continue to participate in the addictive patterns, they are courting disaster with relapse by practicing that particular addiction. They may revert back to drug/alcohol use to substitute for food and/or sugar, depending on which type of eating disorder or addiction they may have.

Then there are those who use certain types of drugs that seem to have a strong correlation with sugar consumption, usually those addicted to opioids or narcotic pain medications. Alcohol is made from fermented fruit, and primarily consists of sugar, which is addictive. Therefore, many who quit drinking or drugging are prone to switching to consumption of vast amounts of sugar. What little liver and pancreatic damage already done to their bodies by their addiction is exacerbated by overconsumption of processed sugar.

Learning to eat healthier foods is a process that will take time in recovery. Most addicts are not aware of the feeling that a healthy diet versus an unhealthy diet will produce for their bodies. They have skipped meals, used drugs or alcohol in lieu of meals, and generally ignored their physical health to the point of malnutrition. Most addicts in early recovery, even those who present with obesity, are undernourished and suffering from malnutrition. It will take time for them to regain dietary health.

Beginning with including more fresh fruits and vegetables in their diets is important, because that is the fastest way to regain lost energy and stamina. Eating an apple instead of a doughnut is a good way to restore vitality and health to a depleted and suffering immune system and sluggish digestive tract. Learning how to eat balanced meals, with appropriate amounts of lean protein, heavy focus on healthy, complex carbohydrates, and only a tiny bit of good fats is a great way to kick-start recovery. Snacking on healthful fruits instead of sugary and fatty sweets or fried treats is very important, as these will convert to sugar and increase their chances for a fatty liver or diabetes, two risks most addicts have already increased in likelihood by their drinking/using behaviors. To help their liver, kidneys, and pancreas heal, it is necessary to begin to feed the body good foods that will help them heal.

Coffee is another addiction that many addicts participate in heavily. While there is a balance that is healthful and appropriate with caffeine and carbonated drinks, it is important to replace some of those with filtered water and teas that do not tax the kidneys so heavily. Cleansing the system with lots of water is important, as well, to help remove the toxins that have accumulated throughout their addictive behavior. All in all, a healthy diet and beverage regimen will pay off in rich rewards for the person who practices it with glowing good health and a surplus of clean, vibrant energy.

Kelly McClanahan has an MSW in clinical social work, with a specialization in substance abuse treatment. Having worked in this field for over 20 years, she is currently working on her certification as an addictions’ counselor.

original source: Addiction Recovery Basics (

Posted by: realisticrecovery | October 13, 2013

Am I a Food Addict?

Am I a Food Addict?
To find out, answer the following questions as honestly as you can.

  1. Have you ever wanted to stop eating and found you just couldn’t?
  2. Do you think about food or your weight constantly?
  3. Do you find yourself attempting one diet or food plan after another, with no lasting success?
  4. Do you binge and then “get rid of the binge” through vomiting, exercise, laxatives, or other forms of purging?
  5. Do you eat differently in private than you do in front of other people?
  6. Has a doctor or family member ever approached you with concern about your eating habits or weight?
  7. Do you eat large quantities of food at one time (binge)?
  8. Is your weight problem due to your “nibbling” all day long?
  9. Do you eat to escape from your feelings?
  10. Do you eat when you’re not hungry?
  11. Have you ever discarded food, only to retrieve and eat it later?
  12. Do you eat in secret?
  13. Do you fast or severely restrict your food intake?
  14. Have you ever stolen other people’s food?
  15. Have you ever hidden food to make sure you have “enough”?
  16. Do you feel driven to exercise excessively to control your weight?
  17. Do you obsessively calculate the calories you’ve burned against the calories you’ve eaten?
  18. Do you frequently feel guilty or ashamed about what you’ve eaten?
  19. Are you waiting for your life to begin “when you lose the weight”?
  20. Do you feel hopeless about your relationship with food?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you may be a food addict. You are not alone. FA offers hope through a real solution to food addiction. – Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous – FA is a 12-step program of recovery for people who suffer from overeating, under eating, bulimia, or obsession with food or body size.  There are no dues or fees, and meetings are open to anyone who wants to stop eating addictively.

Posted by: realisticrecovery | August 14, 2012

How to Start Meditating

How to Start Meditating
By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

Meditation doesn’t require making big life changes.

Meditation doesn’t require changing the way you eat. It doesn’t require changing your religion. And it doesn’t require ditching alcohol or becoming celibate, said Tobin Blake, meditation teacher and author of Everyday Meditation: 100 Daily Meditations for Health, Stress Relief, and Everyday Joy.

All you need is a few minutes out of your day. “Meditation can be the simplest of practices,” he said. “Meditation generally focuses on releasing thoughts about the past and future and becoming grounded in the present moment.”

Below, Blake offered his tips for starting to practice meditation.

1. View meditation as a simple relaxation technique.

Meditation is an opportunity to release everything that’s stressing and irritating you, Blake said. “[This is] not another chore, but something for you; [you’re] investing in yourself and your own peace of mind.”

So meditation is simply “sitting down, closing your eyes and intentionally relaxing,” Blake said, adding that you can start with as little as three to five minutes twice a day. Eventually you can work your way up to 20 minutes.

Don’t worry if 2.5 minutes of your 3-minute meditation is spent feeling restless and distracted by surrounding sounds, Blake said — feeling relaxed for just 30 seconds is still a powerful thing “that reshapes our thinking.”

2. Choose a particular style.

Blake doesn’t use any particular meditation technique, although he believes beginners can benefit from one. For instance, he suggested a simple mantra meditation that uses one word, such as “peace,” “joy,” “soft,” “light,” or “God.”

Blake also suggests finding a comfortable spot to sit; sitting up (it keeps you alert); taking several deep breaths; and intentionally relaxing your body by tensing and relaxing your muscles. After you feel relaxed, on your next inhalation, breathe normally and repeat the word “peace” either aloud or silently. Then repeat the word as you exhale.

If you’re a visual person, focus on an image as you’re meditating, such as watching ocean waves go in and out.

The goal is to pick a practice that “relaxes you enough to the point you feel that inner click.”

3. Schedule it.

Schedule your meditation practice so you’re consistent about it, Blake said. “Make a firm commitment from the outset.” Many people think they’re too busy to practice. But, as Blake said, “If you can’t spare 3 minutes a day, you need to make big changes to your life.”

4. Don’t resist your thoughts.

Many people get upset with their monkey minds. But “your thoughts are a part of this experience,” Blake said. He likened it to a body builder doing bicep curls. They don’t curl just once. As they curl a dumbbell their muscle flexes; as they uncurl, their muscle relaxes. “It’s natural during meditation to go deep into the practice and then get back to the ordinary thinking process,” he said.

Acknowledge your busy brain, and let your thoughts come and go, Blake said. “Meditation is more about introducing peaceful thoughts into your thinking,” he said.

Also, this is why starting with a short practice is a good idea. At first, it’s much easier to focus for five minutes than for 15.

5. Reprogram your thoughts.

It’s hard to meditate when negative thoughts bombard your brain. Blake teaches his students to reprogram their thoughts by using positive, affirming phrases. Such sentences “give you a place to refocus and calm your thinking, free from judgment,” he said. You can use sentences that are meaningful to you from books, poems or even something you’ve seen on TV, he said. “Use words that will reinforce happiness in you.”

He gave the following examples:

I love who I am.
I love the people in my life.
I am strong.
I am healthy.
I am beautiful.
I am well.

Repeat these sentences during your meditation, he said. Repeat them anytime you feel the opposite of that affirmation, he said. Or better yet, repeat them every hour, Blake said.

Blake never leaves his house without spending a few minutes becoming aware of his thoughts and deciding the type of day he’d like to have.

For more information on meditation and Tobin Blake’s work, check out his website. (

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