Healthy Choices

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Often our Tina use has been helpful to us in some way, or has an important function in our life. By the time we get to the place of needing help in cutting back our Tina use, or quitting altogether, the negative aspects have become more intense or important, so we seek change. However, thinking back to understanding the positive, short-term aspects of our use, or how our Tina use is rewarding to us, can help us better understand what need, or void, our substance use has been trying fill, cover up or medicate.

When we make a decision to change our substance use, to reduce, re-gain control, or eliminate, it is vital we find new, healthier ways to get our needs met. This dramatically increases the chances of falling back into old, problem patterns.

It is vital to substitute new activities, or return to old, formerly rewarding activities, when you begin to cut down your Tina use. Substituting healthier behaviours and activities and building up new habits makes the transition easier. Start by thinking about as many activities as possible that you could use to broaden your list of health options.

To be successful at creating a healthy life, we need different activities for different situations, and strong relationships with people who are also committed to our health and well-being, who will participate in these activities with us.

Further, we need a balance of activities we can do alone, and those we do with other people. Some activities are pre-scheduled and we need to plan for. Some, we need to be able to have available to do spontaneously when the need arises.

Brainstorm on a piece of paper as many recreational and social activities as possible. Here’s a list to get you going. See if you can add to it. Once you are done, highlight any and all activities that you can imagine doing.

Aqua Fit
Bowling, Curling
Fitness Training
Body Building
Camping, Fishing
Swing Dance
Ballroom Dancing
Horseback Riding
Hiking, Nature Walks
Billiards, Pool, Darts
Tennis, Badminton
Inline Skating
Roller Derby
Swimming/Water Polo
Gay Hockey League
Figure Skating
Gay Rugby League

Paintball, Laser Tag
Wind Surfing
Stand-Up Paddle Board
College Night Courses
Learning Annex Courses
Cooking Class
Writing Classes
Hosting Dinner Parties
Role Playing Games
Board Game Cafe
Escape Rooms
Video Games
Gay Gaymers
Painting Classes
Artists Collective

Amateur Theatre Troupe
Stand-Up Comedy
Film Festival: TIFF, Inside Out, Hot Docs
Library Talks
Out & Out Toronto:
Art Gallery Exhibitions
Volunteer for a Charity
PWA Bike Rally
Metro Community Church
Martial Arts
Meditation Class
Buddhist Temple
Toronto Unity Mosque
Wiccan Church of Canada

Daily Xtra! Events
Pub Night Events
Join Meetup
Evergreen Brickworks
Toronto Humane Society
Body Electric
Centre for Spiritual Living
Unitarian Church
NOW! Events
What can you come up with?

We suggest that each day this week, you take some time to investigate how you could prepare, participate, join or start any of the activities that you imagine yourself doing. Try to go through a list with a friend, or any support contacts you have. See if any of your contacts would be interested in doing these things with you.

Suggestions for Overcoming Barriers to Healthy Activities

Sometimes there are barriers that get in the way of us doing new activities. It is important that you develop Problem-Solving as a way to overcome barriers. Using Tina over time, can wear down our ability to Problem Solve, when we get used to Tina solving problems for us. Check out this section for suggestions in overcoming barriers.

Barriers Suggestions for Overcoming
Lack of Time
  • Identify time slots you are willing to give up sedentary activity (fapping to porn). Monitor daily activities for 1 week. Identify three 30-min time slots you could devote to exploring a new activity.
  • Do 1 new activity for 30 min first, before getting high
  • Add a new activity to your existing routine, that is on route to and from other locations, or near where you live
Social Pressure/
Social Influences
  • Explain your interests in new activities to friends and family. Ask them to support your efforts.
  • Invite friends and family to do new activities with you
  • Join a network, or social group of other people doing the same thing, e.g. Meetup or Out & Out Toronto
Lack of Energy
  • Schedule activities for time in the day when you have most energy
  • Play the tape forward: going out, especially doing physical activity, is likely to give you energy
Lack of Motivation
  • Plan ahead and make the commitment. Make the new activity as much a part of your regular routine. Write it in your calendar. Block off time for it.
  • Invite friends and family to join with you
  • Join a group doing this activity already
Fear of Rejection
  • Just go check it out, if you need to leave you can, but check it out first before you decide
  • Choose activities with smaller risk at first
  • Join amateur groups first
Lack of Skill
  • Select activities that require low-no skill
  • Join activities with people at the same level as you
  • Take a class to develop the skill
  • Find a friend who is will to teach you basic skills
Lack of Money
Weather Conditions
  • Develop several activities that are always available regardless of weather conditions (indoor activities)
  • Look at out door activities as “bonus activities”
  • Have alternative plans ready for outdoor plans
  • Experiment with putting “No PnP, No Chem Sex, No Drug Use” into your cruising profile when you go abroad and try out hooking up fresh in a new city
Family involvement
  • Involve your family as much as you can in your new, activities. You can spend time together as you do them