#Introduceyourself: Hi I'm Chris. How I turned my life around ... and how you can too!
Hey, this is me as real as it gets! 🤳 😀
I was told that it is good practice and common decency on Steemit that the newcomers introduce themselves to the community. So after about one month of hanging around on Steemit, I guess, it is about time to formally introduce myself. 😜
A short introduction
My name is Chris, I'm 34 and I am a Vienna-based clinical psychologist. I stumbled upon Steemit about a month ago. I have to thank @jerrybanfield for this, as his video tutorials on YouTube led me the way. A big shout-out to Jerry - thank you, Jerry!
I was also told that in order to have a good start in the community, it is of paramount importance to take the introductory post seriously and put a lot of effort into it. So, in order to impress you all, I even tried to be an artist and put back into use my coloured crayons which I had used in primary school. ;)
I really tried hard to bring not only some colour but also some movement into this posting. hehe 😂
Please also look at my self-made Steemit T-shirt. 👍
Maybe also a few words about my professional background are in order for a proper introduction:
My professional background
Currently I am working as a crisis psychologist in the area of psychosocial acute support in emergency situations. Previously, I have also worked in projects aiming to reduce violence and bullying in schools, and in psychiatry helping people suffering from various psychological disorders.
In my current job, my main task is to support people who have lost their loved ones in the hours after their deaths. Often, I help traumatized people to cope with their feelings of sadness, loss, shame, guilt but also to support them with organizational things such as calling the burial service and helping them in the interaction with coroners. I also collaborate with the emergency medical services.
That should be enough for now about my work. This is not the proper place for a detailed description as I would like to focus on different things. I will in the future, however, certainly write a few postings on my professional experiences. So please stay connected! 👍
If you ask me, a good introduction should also include my previous actions on Steemit.
So what have I accomplished on Steemit so far?
Although I have only been on Steemit for one month, I have not been lazy during this time!
- According to www.steemdb.com, I have made 676 posts and comments so far. My reputation is currently about 42, and I have 169 followers. I have also voted for two witnesses (@jerrybanfield and @teamsteem) so far, are there any others I should vote for?
- I have taken part in four five contests (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5 ) and in one poem contest (#1), and have won one bonus prize so far (yey!).
- I have taken part in one real-life Steemit meetup in Vienna and have got to know really wonderful people! ❤️ (I hope that some of them can also verify that they have met me in real life! 👍 e.g. @mammasitta @flurgx @nicoletta @street.yoga and others)
However, I decided to take my Steemit engagement up a notch and have begun actively creating and organizing new things on Steemit:
- I am organizing a real-life meetup for vegan Steemians (and those interested in a vegan lifestyle) in Vienna:
Click on the picture to read the announcement post.
I am very happy that at the moment we are already six people - and counting! :) If you are interested, don't hesitate to comment!
- I am also hosting a vegan contest right now called the #dailycupofcoffee challenge. I put a lot of effort in writing-up the contest announcement, so I hope that finally some people will participate (So please, participate. Don't let the contest die. 💥 😜). Btw, you don't have to be vegan to enjoy vegan coffee. ;)
Click on the picture to read the announcement post.
Coming back to the actual title of this post:
Let me now tell you why I chose the following title for this post: "How I turned my life around by making sustainable lifestyle choices... and how you can too"
This is a very recent photo of me now (as a matter of fact, I did it yesterday). Currently, I weight about 82 kilos (~180 lbs) and I feel totally healthy.
However, it was not always like that...
This was me about 10 years ago:
As you can see, since then, I have changed a lot. And I like to believe to the better!
About 10 years ago, I had about 115 kilos (~255 lbs) and my doctor told me that I was morbidly obese. I had high blood pressure and fat buildup in the liver. In a nutshell, my health was in a really bad condition. Although I was very active in science (spent a lot of time sitting in front of the computer), I was not active at all when it came to moving my body (my slogan was "sport kills").
As you can see, this is not about fat-shaming, it is about health and life quality!
So, you see, I have changed a lot during the last 10 years!
You might ask: "That's awesome! How did you do it?"
- Did I undergo liposuction?
- Did I have to take a lot of medication?
- Or did I just hire a Photoshop expert?
None of these answers are right! So, what did I do?
This sounds very easy. However, it was not!
Almost nobody comes to an insight and motivation by themselves and overnight. It was a journey that took me years to change my everyday routines. In general, I think two sustainable changes were very important: 1) changing my diet and 2) incorporating more movement and sport activity.
One big obstacle is that most of us tend to see only the big goals. We visualize the big goals we want to achieve and we want to achieve them very quickly. However, this endeavour is doomed to fail. When thinking this way it is very likely that we succumb to quick fixes and short cuts that may not be sustainable and eventually makes our sitation even worse.
Looking back, the most important strategy that let to my success was not overwhelming myself with one big goal, but structuring the way to this big goal by the consistent planning and executing of a series of small steps, that is, small achievable goals. Theses small goals were doable and reachable. This gave me motivation to carry on.
One should never underestimate the power of small steps!
Remember the old adages:
- Every journey starts with a small step.
- A little step may be the beginning of a great journey.
I am really convinced that there is much truth in them!
No matter how big the goal is that we want to achieve, we can only achieve it by beginning with the first small step. Without doing the first small step, our journey towards the big goal would never exist. Thus, dreaming big without ever starting with the first small step is not helpful at all. We should become aware that every journey consists of a series of small steps. Every single step of the journey is meaningful because without the next step we would stop our journey.
So, now you know it, the real reason behind my username SMALLSTEPSCHANGE.
My first big change: adopting a vegan diet
If you ask me, the most important change in my life was moving away from my previous diet towards a wholefoods plant-based (vegan) diet. Again, before changing to a vegan diet, I had to do a lot of small steps, particularly when it comes to changing my perspective and actively introducing changes. This was a long process, also involving ethical considerations.
In this context, I would also like to mention one person that was very important for me in bringing about this big change.
It is Dr. Michael Greger. His goal is to find relevant scientific literature and make it accessible to the masses. For this goal he has founded a nonprofit charity organisation that hosts NutritionFacts.org a first science-based, non-commercial website with free daily videos and articles on the latest discoveries in nutrition science.
I had the pleasure to meet him and to talk with him in person. I have so far also contributed to nutritionfacts.org by translating some of his videos into German (i.e., providing subtitles). I am also a big fan of his new book "How not to die", which I can recommend to all of you. In this book he provides a recent review of relevant scientific literature on how to reduce the odds to die from the most prevalent diseases of our civilisation.
Vegan recipes and meals
Now you may say: Vegan food? That sounds dull and bland.
However, I can asure you that this is absolutely not the case!
That is why one of my aims is to bring deliciously healthy vegan food recipes to Steemit!
Here is a short overview of some vegan meals - for most of them I have already provided a recipe and a step-by-step photo instruction (you will find them in my Steemit blog).
And of course, you don't have to give up delicious desserts!
My second big change: Move your body & Sports! 💪🏋️♂️🚴
I started slowly but steadily to introduce more movement in my daily life. I began with introducing more walks. Instead of meeting my friends in a pub, I asked them to go for a joint walk. Then, I started to introduce some further activities, such as swimming and riding on a stationary bike (Spinning). And after some time, I added weight training (Body Pump). You name it! :)
One person, that was very helpful for this big change, was Scooby. You might know him from YouTube. 💪💪 I really liked this videos and this authenticity. In comparisons to others, he really doesn't want to sell you stuff. The only thing I disagree with him completely is diet. 😝 I also had the opportunity to get to know him. 😀
Rounding up my introduction
In order to round up my introduction, I want to add that I really love nature! I love hiking and taking a walk in the woods.
I never get bored in nature and I always find a way to entertain myself - even in winter! 🤣
I also have my small garden - consisting out of several planter containers outside on the pergola. I especially like my lemon balm and my peppermint plants! :)
I also like to travel! I have already made a post about my trip to Malta.
In the last months, I have also become interested into cryptocurrencies and in Bitcoin.
I have also written some postings here on Steemit about this topic.
Here you find, for example, a quite comprehensive list of different Bitcoin forks. Another example is my post about what you need to know about Ledger hardware wallets.