Maybe the best thing that came from the most recent nutrition challenge I participated in at CFNE was my newfound relationship with alcohol.
Now, I am an all or nothing personality.
I hear about how dangerous chemicals are in so many of our cleaning products, so I remove every one of them from our home and start experimenting with recipes to make everything from laundry detergent to toothpaste and body wash.
I start weighing and measuring my macros and get so meticulous with my measurements that I even remove the perfectly sized blueberry from my dish because it’s tipping my scale 1/10 of an ounce over where it’s supposed to be.
And, I label everything in our home from the compartment in our refrigerator where all “Tomato Based Products” belong to the shelves in our laundry room so it’s clear exactly where the Queen sized sheets are, compared to the King sized ones.
So, you can imagine how dangerous my personality type could be when it comes to an addictive drug like alcohol.
Here’s the honest truth: when I’m having a drink, I’m already thinking about the next one. And, needless to say, I’m a fan of the “holiday pour”.
To make matters worse, I’ve also seen very unhealthy relationships with alcohol in my family and how those habits have really hurt all of us and made it really hard to be as close as we would otherwise want to be.
Lucky for me, I am more disciplined than I am obsessive. So, while I can feel that side of me wanting to drink wine every night and order 3 more drinks at Girls Night Out, I do have that switch in my brain that can shut down those cravings and remember that I will regret those bad decisions more than I will enjoy the short term pleasures that come along with them.
Yes, having 1 or 2 glasses of wine at night while I pull dinner together makes that chore more fun.
Yes, 3 or 4 rounds of cocktails at a bar makes me feel more “relaxed”.
And, yes, spiked seltzers on the beach every day in the summer make me really feel like I’m on vacation.
But, all of those things don’t last very long until I start getting so tired that Heather’s not “fun” anymore, or I start getting easily irritated with Ben for things that wouldn’t normally bother me, or I start realizing that I’m waking up groggy and my body isn’t primed for training like I know it could be. And, let’s not even get into how “squishy” I get when I start making too many of those bad decisions.
This January, when I gave up alcohol for a month for the nutrition challenge, I started to realize just how different it felt every morning to wake up without having drank anything the night before. I wasn’t “hung over” all of the time, but I did have a glass or two of wine most nights, and while I insisted that that wasn’t affecting me the next day…I realized after a month of not drinking at all, that it really was.
I have a totally different relationship with alcohol now, and I love the way I feel. I rarely drink at all during the week, and whenever I do drink, I stop myself way before I used to.
The repercussions of drinking more than I “should” just aren’t worth it. It’s just not worth my kids and husband having to deal with me, or my body not operating at it’s full potential, or setting myself up for long-term life threatening events and health problems.
I’ve worked too hard to create this incredible life that I have around me to let a alcohol ruin it all.