An Intersection Of Bitcoin And Health
Many people are beginning to recognize a relationship between Bitcoin and physical and mental well-being. This is one Bitcoiner’s journey with fitness.
Today, I would like to return back to a discussion that is relevant to all individuals and groups within Bitcoin as well as those outside. Particularly those outside, in fact. I have a story to tell: one of health, longevity, fitness, self-efficacy and self-esteem. A story of looking into the proverbial and physical mirror, acknowledging that reality is not what was desired and accepting the responsibility and accountability that is necessary to produce a life that an individual is proud to find themselves in.
I know what you’re thinking … and no, this is not my story. Below are interview questions which the woman in question was graciously willing to answer for me in a written interview. I have added anecdotal information that was also provided via phone interview, as well as a few insights of my own.
This is a story of an asset shifting perceptions and ways of thought in such a way that one individual actually moved to improve her health and fitness because of money, because of a strong and honest money — because of bitcoin.
Her name and personally identifiable information such as work, residence, etc. have been left out to protect her family — but her “nym” (short for pseudonym) that she goes by on Twitter will be provided later on in the article. For now, I would like the focus to be on her story, not her online identity.
Mike Hobart: “Did you live an ‘active’ lifestyle prior to going down the bitcoin rabbit hole?”
“I would say yes, I’ve always liked to challenge myself. But every challenge and goal met was quickly followed up with nonsensical self-defeating behaviors, essentially undoing everything I had set out to accomplish. This resulted in many years of being gravely disappointed in myself, and at one point, just accepting that I will never be, could never be, the person I had always hoped to be.”
This is a series of hurdles that every one of us often find ourselves up against when we are staring face-to-face into a mirror of a reality that is found lacking according to our dreams and aspirations. Whether the issue(s) in question are body composition, nutrition, alcohol consumption, illicit drug use, difficulties with mental health, etc., many of us fall into a psychological snare that my friend found herself in. A mental and emotional trap that is most commonly experienced around a very painful and tumultuous word that I personally aim to avoid at all costs — “dieting.”
You see, when reality gleans upon us, our vulnerabilities, our imperfections and those areas of life where we know we fail to do the best we can, it is quite natural, in some sense, to seek out reprieve from the routines we adopt with the aim of realizing a desired outcome. However, this is natural only when we are perceiving the engaged activity as a punishment — we don’t seek opportunities to actively disengage from something we view as rewarding or something that we are gifted with the opportunity to act out. Viewing a healthy meal as “dieting” tends to be immediately met with psychological resistance built upon the mentality of preferring to eat something that is more “tasty.” I have scare quotes around this because in reality most of the food choices that we find to be delicious, that are also not healthy, is due to a significant amount of sodium and sugar contained within the foods we would prefer to be consuming — maybe even craving.
“Imagine you’re walking down the street and a stranger approaches you and asks ‘hey open your mouth… close your eyes, and let me put something in there…’ How are you going to react? This is precisely how our relationship with processed food producers and our food choices operate today!” –a hilarious point made by another humble Bitcoiner who wishes to remain anonymous
MH: “How did Bitcoin affect your personal views on lifestyle and health/fitness?”
“Everything, bitcoin really changed the way I view everything.
“All the fundamentals of the Bitcoin network are somehow superimposed upon a lens through which I now experience the world — don’t trust, verify; proof-of-work; time and energy; put in the work and get rewarded.
“Time and energy were the first fundamentals I started incorporating into my life. And, from there, putting in the work. Measuring the work with metrics, and finally, seeing the rewards. It’s so strange if you think about it, using code … a network, to inspire success in your life. While at the same time, given the Bitcoin network’s fundamentals, it makes perfect sense.”
This is a powerful thing that our woman-in-question brings into view: when someone reaches that point of revelation, when it finally clicks that within an organic system, big changes are made slowly, minutely, with consistency; that the very same reasons big changes take many consistent, small events over long stretches of time to change the world, big changes in our bodies will also require extended, measurable stretches of time.
MH: “What has the lifestyle change or upgrade resulted in? (Results)”
“In some ways, changes happened unbeknown to my conscious self. It wasn’t until much later that I would realize how effortless yet impactful these changes were. Other changes were quite intentional while painful and necessary.
“One of the most impactful changes was that I stopped making excuses. I stopped telling myself I couldn’t accomplish what I set out to do. This wasn’t intentional however, this was a byproduct of that lens I was now experiencing the world through.
“Through this same lens, I took an intentional and critical look at myself. I mean this quite literally. I looked in the mirror and verified that this person staring back at me … wasn’t okay. It wasn’t the ‘me’ I felt on the inside.
“I think it’s important to note that I had additional motivating factors that fueled my journey, like the fact COVID wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon and a doctor’s appointment that was embarrassing for me to attend. The shame I felt presenting this disgusting physical representation of years of excuses and failures to my doctor. It was different now, how could my doctor trust what I was saying if she could very easily verify on the outside it wasn’t true?
“This series of events resulted in a series of significant changes in my life. I’ve lost 30% of my body weight throughout this six-month journey. I put in the work and now I’m rewarded with a physical representation of how I feel on the inside. I essentially reprogrammed myself.”
Now, I wouldn’t be acting responsibly with my exercise science background if I didn’t add a caveat to our discussion here: this is not a claim that anybody (nor everybody) will also experience such fantastic and rapid results. Not only are each of our bodies different from each other, but so are our environments, relationships and lifestyles. There’s also a dynamic of diminishing returns, which many of you have likely heard discussed with regards to investing, especially around Bitcoin’s adoption cycle. Our bodies adapt, just like markets.
This story belongs to a woman a few of you may recognize speaking in Twitter Spaces from time-to-time by the nym of “HumbleWarrior.”
My favorite part about Humble’s story is the beautiful intersection of Bitcoin, low time preference, investing, discipline and many more concepts. Over the last few years I have been discussing how investing in Bitcoin is a poetic parallel to investing in health. But it isn’t just physical health; mental health is also a major benefactor of both of these disciplines, as some of the most common mistakes investors make (particularly amateur investors) are around psychological states of fear, anxiety and confusion, or dealing with biases like sunk costs.
I hope that Humble’s story helps inspire you to make an improvement in your life. Regardless of how much wealth bitcoin may bring us and our families, in the future it hardly matters if we don’t have the physical and mental health to appropriately enjoy our lives and to remain present in the moments that matter most.
The benefits that Bitcoin is poised to bring extend far beyond just the monetary or economic plane, both in number and in depth, and as long as we all work hard to continue to defend the Bitcoin network and its decentralized operations, I believe we can actually enact radically positive and powerful changes in our world.
Not just in the health of each other, but the health in how our countries and states are governed and led. One of these biggest points would be the separation of money from the grip of the state. If you agree, I ask that you check out the Declaration of Monetary Independence, and if this document strikes you as it did myself and many other members of the Bitcoin community, then I empower you to sign it … as Humble and I have done.
This is a guest post by Mike Hobart and Humble Warrior. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.