Waste not Waist

I did it!

I drank one glass with dinner and poured the rest of the open bottle down the drain. No more open bottles around the house for the foreseeable. This is good.

Having the glass with dinner was good for me in a few ways:

  • It helped soften the blow of “wasting” this wine, as I am still at the beginning of the process of retraining my brain to understand that it is better to have it go to waste in my drain than in my body;
  • It confirmed for me what I experienced on Sunday, that drinking is just not as pleasurable as I perceived it to be (though no sneezing this time); and
  • I was able to observe how, after drinking, I just wanted to keep eating and started craving crap – how on earth would I ever have reached my goals if I had kept drinking the way I was before Dry January?!

And of course having this glass of wine was bad for me too:

  • I felt instantly dulled and sluggish;
  • I didn’t like the taste; and
  • I lost self-control and ate too many bites of my hubby’s sesame chicken takeout AND had dessert, busting into my weeklies and losing my blue dot today.

So. Lessons learned, the wine is gone, and tomorrow is a new day.

 

A Successful Snow Day

We are deep into the witching hour (read: kids going bonkers), I spent too many points on snacks, and our house is surrounded by slush, but I’m calling this snow day a great success. Not only because of what I accomplished but to recognize how far I’ve come.

I managed to spend some good quality time with my kids doing games and crafts, and while they were planted in front of a movie I accomplished some house projects that have long been lingering on my to do list (such as organizing our new reclaimed wood shelves in our dining room, pictured here!).

I have also spent some time today reading through some of my posts from Dry January. I remember the first snow day we had that month and how difficult it was for me to even contemplate a snow day without wine. And to be honest, the open bottle of wine in my fridge has been taunting me. But instead of surrendering to it and drinking it, I listened to the Rachel Hart podcast on “What is Enough” and why we are so reluctant to “waste” something even if it’s not good for us.

I am a lot closer to pouring the wine down the drain than I was. And maybe I’ll even do it tonight. The important thing is that now I have an understanding of why I’m so reluctant to “waste” it. And I also understand that if I don’t “waste” it by pouring it down the drain, it will go to waste in my body instead. Why would I want that? What benefit will I get out of drinking the rest of this wine that sent me into a sneezing fit the other night? None! And yet I haven’t poured it out yet. Ugh! But I’m proud of myself for taking this time to contemplate why, and attempt to retrain my brain. I can’t believe how deeply ingrained this notion of not wasting wine is in my head. But I accept it and I will continue to battle it truthfully.

 

More About that First Glass (ACHOO!)

So I had a glass of wine at our neighbors’ house yesterday. I had pre-tracked two glasses, but stopped after one. What an interesting experience it was! The first few sips were delightful. And then I started sneezing. And I didn’t stop sneezing for several hours! I ended up finishing the glass more out of curiosity than desire. And I had absolutely no desire for that second one.

What a gift it is to be able to begin to understand this process. The first few sips felt delightful because of the dopamine that my brain released in anticipation of having this “treat” – not just the wine itself, but being able to drink with my best friend after five weeks of abstaining.

The sneezing I actually can’t explain though I think it must be connected. I did a quick Google search this morning and found a couple of articles about the fact that histamines exist in wine, but nothing about an allergic reaction being instantly triggered like I experienced. I suppose there’s a chance it was not connected to the wine but I was not sneezing before drinking that glass, and the sneezing is gone today.

Once that initial dose of dopamine wore off, about 1/3 of the way through the glass, I keenly felt my dulled senses. I felt less excited. Less clever. Less happy. Off-kilter. More dehydrated. Slow. Gross.

It is hard to think about how far I let myself fall before committing to Dry January. To have witnessed the effect that one glass of wine had on me last night and then to think about the fact that I was drinking 3 to 4 glasses of wine almost every single night… It makes me sad. To say the least.

Still so much to process and ponder. The open bottle of wine is sitting in my fridge and I have no desire to drink it but can’t quite bring myself to waste it by pouring it down the drain. But why shouldn’t I? It will do nothing positive for me, whether it sits there and goes bad or I consume it. What’s $10 down the drain in return for empowerment and peace of mind?

 

Free February

I have decided that I am going to think about this month as Free February. Which is a bit contrary to my rule-following nature so I’m interested to see how I do. Here are the freedoms I am granting myself this month:

1. Free from labels

2. Free to explore my relationship with alcohol

3. Free to commit to Freestyle

4. Free to not track while I am in London with my family

5. Free to love and accept myself just as I am

As I wrote yesterday, I am feeling the need to be free of labels right now. I am not ready to label myself as “sober” or “alcohol-free” and that is ok. I need to be free to continue to explore my relationship with alcohol. To take my own authentic journey through this tricky territory.

I am also going to stop stressing about whether or not to commit to Freestyle and just give it more time. This weight loss journey is a marathon not a sprint.

And since we are taking our kids to London in a couple of weeks, I am also going to spend some this month not tracking. I plan to make good choices – some of the time. I also plan to eat all of my favorite foods without guilt, knowing that I will get back on track as soon as I get home.

This month I am going to make an extra effort to love myself just as I am. Even if I drink wine. Even if I eat an entire jar of Nutella while in London. Even if I gain weight.

I hereby embrace my flaws. I hereby love that I am a work in progress. I hereby accept that life is a constant recalibration and I love that I have come so far in achieving a healthier overall balance.

Five days in to Free February, and on my first February weigh-in day, here’s where I am:

  • 0 lb lost
  • 1 lb gained
  • -19 weeklies
  • 4 blue dots
  • 5 workouts
  • 1 glass of wine

Relieved the gain was just a pound considering the degree to which I allowed Super Bowl Sunday to be an excuse to overindulge. This week I will get back to six blue dots, maintain my workouts, and stay within my weekly points.

More on that glass of wine in my next post.

 

Breaking Dry

Getting ready to head over to our neighbors’ house to watch the Super Bowl. I’m bringing a bottle of wine. And I’m going to have two glasses. I am pre-tracking them. And I hope no one will think less of me for choosing to drink tonight.

I am a rule follower. Which is one reason why I thrived during Dry January. Clear rules and a finite amount of time.

Now I feel like my eyes and mind have been opened to the realization of a life with a lot less alcohol, and maybe even without alcohol. But I am not ready to label myself yet. I need to spend some time exploring my relationship with alcohol. I need to do more reading. I need to go out and drink and go out and not drink. I don’t plan on going full Annie Grace and taking a video of myself drinking an entire bottle of wine – in fact I don’t plan on ever drinking an entire bottle of wine in one night again. But I do want to have some tonight and see how I feel.

And honestly? I’m hoping it makes me feel like shit. Because I now know what alcohol really is and the impact it has on my body. I also know that I haven’t had any wine in over a month and I have a kickboxing class tomorrow morning so I better watch it!

This is where I am on Super Bowl Sunday 2018. Where will I be next year? Where will I be next month? I don’t know. All I know is I’m so grateful to be on this journey.

Post-Game Update (Congrats Eagles!!): I had one glass. First few sips were fun. I still like the taste. But then I started sneezing! I think I may have had some sort of allergic reaction! Crazy. Finished the glass, kept sneezing, felt no good buzz at all. Just felt less sharp and less happy. Kept sneezing. Ate way too many of my hubby’s homemade chocolate chip cookies and dreading my weigh-in tomorrow but so much to think about. I’m kind of relieved I didn’t love drinking again, I must admit!

Wine not?

Funny that this was the dish towel I pulled out of the drawer today, as it was also the question that was in my head all day long. Today is February 1. So Dry January is technically over. And coincidentally tonight I have a date night with my husband and we are going out for our first nice dinner together since before the holidays.

So I have been debating all day. Wine? No wine? In my gut, I have to admit, I don’t feel ready. But on the other hand, this is the first time my husband and I have been to this beautiful restaurant and what’s just one glass? Wine not?

But for me tonight, it’s “Wine? Not.” And that’s OK. And it would also be OK if I did decide to drink tonight. For me personally, I feel in my gut that I want to finish reading This Naked Mind before I drink again. (And with the Super Bowl coming up on Sunday, I better get crackin’!)

Not to mention the points! Alcohol is a LOT of points! Tonight, I’ll be spending those points on dessert instead.

I’m trying to remind myself that there is no right or wrong here. If I’m not ready, I’m not ready. And that’s OK. If I never drink again, that’s OK. If I drink a few glasses of wine on Sunday, as long as I have the points for it, that’s OK.

For tonight: wine? Not. But dessert? Bring it on!