Sixty-four days ago, I decided to cut the booze and challenge myself to go 90 days without alcohol. Not because I felt like I had a problem, but rather because I felt it was getting in my way.
I want to blame the decision on the fact that my husband and I had just returned from two boozy vacations (holy crap weight was up nearly 7 pounds), but if I’m super honest, that’t not it. I’ve had this nagging feeling for roughly a year that alcohol was hurting me rather than helping.
I’ve been a weekend drinker for a long time – heck since my teenage years. When I first started ETP (5 years ago), it was more than that. My kids were toddlers, and the minute they were in bed, it was wine time. It was my reward for successfully (or maybe not) navigating the tantrums, diaper changes, and frustration of not talking to an adult for hours on end.
My weight crept slowly upward – finally reaching a point where I was heavier than right before I gave birth.
We used to buy those boxes of wine and you never really knew how much you were pouring. Not like you could watch the bottle slowly dwindle. No guilt if the bottle’s never empty – right? And trust me, I found a new appreciation for how well Goldfish pair with Cabernet.
When I got serious about weight loss, I cut out the nightly wine and compromised to just weekends. I was able to lose weight – but slowly. It was a long series of two steps forward, one step back.
But here’s the thing. Your brain has a way of subtly nudging you when the person you want to be doesn’t match the person you are. Problem is I think too many of us just ignore these nudges. Maybe you know you’re in the wrong job, or you drive by a gym everyday and think you should go but never make that turn. Maybe you want to take up a new hobby, go back to school, re-kindle a dream you had when you were younger. Then the business of life gets in the way – or in my case – it’s Friday night and the girls are hanging out at your favorite patio and invite you to their “Chardy party”. Chardy – for Chardonnay. And there it goes, that thought that maybe you’re not living up to your full potential flies away faster than the sun setting over the horizon.
And then, in my case, you wake up one morning and decide enough is enough. I’m going to give this a shot. See what it’s like to socialize, relax and be fully present for everyone in my life. What will happen as far as my performance and fitness goals? The jury is still out, but I have no question this was the right choice for me. I don’t plan to give up alcohol forever but cutting it out for a period of time was necessary for me to understand the effect it was having.
I want to talk more about what happens when your identity fundamentally changes. What well-meaning friends and total strangers have said to offend me in this short journey because I think it’s the same when you decide to tackle weight loss and make health a priority. How hard it is to change who you are. And I will, but this is getting long enough for now.
See Part 2 here.
By Suzie Glassman, Eat To Perform Coach