When the trek around the world started a few months back, I had a great fighting weight and was fitter than ever. More than 6 miles running every day, daily average of 12 miles on my Fitbit, balanced diet plus red wine. And then we went to Europe.

Fabulous beer for lunch, schnitzel, fries, pancakes, crispy rolls in the morning, even better beer for dinner. Look at all choices of Haribo and sweets I haven’t tasted since I was 16 years old, ice cream that’s so much better in Europe. My daily run and walks around the city had no chance against the onslaught of goodness. The toned abdomen turned into a slight belly and the beer continued to taste so great. Let’s have another one.

The repair job was not super easy but I have done it many times before: Have a real breakfast only every 3-4 days, keep it to muesli and coffee the other days. Salad, another oatmeal or fruit for lunch. Increase your running to 8 miles, try to walk at least 15 miles a day, pig out on evenings. Once a week don’t eat anything after 2pm. Everybody has their own formula and this works for me. It must be that beers are still allowed at night.

Controlling your intake might be the most important thing you can do to improve your life

Controlling food intake comes fairly easy to me and I have good mechanisms (running, working out) to balance indulgences out over time. Other intakes can be more challenging: Media, Friends, Family, Mentors, etc.

When I was 18, I started to block out my family. They didn’t to add to my life, they made it a miserable experience. I dosed the intake, let them in once in while and when my system felt shocked, I blocked them out again. All of us had the same experiences with friends. Over time, we tend to lose contact to the ones that don’t add to our life experiment, that make it harder to contribute to the world.

We are part genes and part all the other stuff we let into our lives. That doesn’t mean we have to read only Joyce, listen to Chopin in the morning and wander through museums all day. But it means that we are responsible for what we let in because that intake will determine your output. I love to hear about the latest Greek developments, was transfixed to the TV during the height of the crisis. When I look back, what did I get out of hours watching the drama? Sure, I can pretty much explain the complex story behind it. That’s about it. I could have read a great book during that time, enjoyed a museum, write something profound.

News is my crack

Just like an addict, I have to battle this disease one day at a time. Twitter makes it hard to stay away. I have to limit my intake, taking 2 steps forward, 3 steps back when a big event happens.

Facebook, on the other hand, makes it easy to stay away. It has become such a silly platform where entertainment reigns supreme and the algorithms determine what I should consume. Facebook picks for me what it lets into my life, ultimately deciding who I am.

No, this is not another anti-Facebook rant, just a reminder for myself that I need to keep filling my mental petri dish with the best, most diverse and cross-disciplinary ideas possible to be the best I can be.