My Alcohol Experiment: Day 3

Day 3 of The Alcohol Experiment: going to the root to do the work and dealing with discomfort.

So much material here! Is every day like this?!

Here are my answers to two of the questions from today:

What temptations have you had so far?

Excerpts from my internal monologue: It’s ANOTHER snow day, and I’m cooped up in the house all day with the kids. I want to drink to have “me time” and to chillax. This has been SUCH a challenging winter, I want to drink to ease the stress of it. I have wine in my house, I might as well drink it to get rid of it. I DESERVE a drink. I spend my day doing things for others, especially my kids, and I want to do something for myself. Tonight, my husband and I are going out for a date night and to toast the last night of our son’s threenagerhood. I want to toast with alcohol! I want to celebrate! How do I celebrate without alcohol?!

How do you feel when you look at the above statements?

I feel weak. I feel gross. I feel like alcohol has control of me. I feel uncreative and lame. If I give in, I feel good for the first drink and then spend the rest of the night trying to catch that same buzz – and I now know I never will.

… so why do I continue to put myself in that position of weakness?

According to Annie Grace’s doctor friend, I am walking in a trench that is over my head, formed from years of giving into alcohol cravings and dug by the neural pathways created in the emotional side of my brain.

But there is a way out! It takes effort and presence but we can break down the walls of the trench, climb out and forge a new path. Each day abounds with negative thoughts that can turn into false beliefs. The more we can deal with these thoughts in the moment, the less stable our mental trench becomes.

Annie Grace talks about going to the root to do the work. Instead of just relying on willpower, which will eventually run out and lead to self-sabotage, we have the capacity to understand what is truly happening and to tackle it head on. How empowering is that! I personally feel that if I can tackle my alcohol issues in this way, I’ll be able to apply the same methods to my issues with junk food cravings. A girl can dream!

I thought today’s lesson was a wonderful reminder that as we forge ahead, whether it’s with The Alcohol Experiment or with Weight Watchers in general, or anything you are currently tackling in your life, we should aim to do so in a state of grace and kindness. Let’s all be as kind to ourselves as we are to our friends and we can make incredible progress.

[The Alcohol Experiment is a free, interactive 30-day program designed by Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind. For more information, click here.]

My Alcohol Experiment: Day 2

Day 2 of The Alcohol Experiment: the drinking cycle [spoiler alert: it’s fundamentally same for all of us and it’s not our fault!] and SLEEEEEEEP.

This is one of the main reasons why I decided to go back to being alcohol-free. Our house is full of two young kids, one senior dog, and a puppy – and sometimes it’s like they are in cahoots to ensure that mama does not get a full night of sleep. One night it’s the kindergartener waking me at 2am, the next night it’s the puppy. Granted it’s not as bad as the newborn baby days, but an uninterrupted night’s sleep is still not a sure thing and may never be again.

Since I already have a house full of little beings conspiring against me, why would I want to conspire against myself? I realized during Dry January how great a sober, like-a-rock night of sleep truly is, and I ecstatically enjoyed the benefits of it. I couldn’t believe how much natural energy I had.

The last four weeks have been so crazy I am just pooped. I am desperate for energy, and I know that sleep is the key.

So, thank you Annie Grace for bringing home this point with a super helpful explanation of just how profoundly drinking affects sleep. Added bonus that the guy doing the explaining has an adorable British accent.

ANY amount of alcohol affects sleep. Right now I am so desperate to gain energy back that is a risk I am happy to avoid!

Will I ever feel really well rested ever again? Does any parent feel well rested? Ha!

 

[The Alcohol Experiment is a free, interactive 30-day program designed by Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind. For more information, click here.]

My Alcohol Experiment: Day 1

Whoa! I didn’t realize I would have homework every day of The Alcohol Experiment!

But that’s ok. I’m actually very intrigued by this process. Having written a daily Connect post during Dry January, I’m excited to let Annie Grace help guide my thought process this time around. I read her book This Naked Mind during Dry January, so the material she covers here is familiar to me, and I’m looking forward to taking my exploration to the next level with this interactive “experiment.”

“Excited.” “Looking forward.” These are good signs, right? I remember how nervous, sad, and scared I was to start Dry January. Now I am voluntarily embarking on another month without booze and I am excited for it. I am excited to give this gift to myself. THAT is progress, even if the last six weeks of attempted moderation have not been my best, I HAVE made progress. Phew.

So. Day 1 homework. Write two lists: why you drink, and why you are choosing to do The Alcohol Experiment. Behold how they conflict! Eureka!

Here are my lists:

Why I Drink

  • Drinking makes me feel giddy and happy and relaxed (at first).
  • Wine helps me cope with my kids are the end of the day, giving me an energy boost and helping me relax during the witching hour.
  • Drinking is something I can do for ME, not for my kids or anyone else. It’s ME TIME.
  • I drink to relieve stress.
  • Drinking helps me unwind.
  • Drinking helps me feel more confident and outgoing.
  • Alcohol makes me funnier.
  • I like the taste of some wines and mixed drinks.

What’s My Why (i.e. why am I doing The Alcohol Experiment)

  • I will not reach my weight loss goal if I continue to drink the way I am drinking.
  • I will not exercise as often if I continue my drinking habits.
  • I want to be thinner and more fit.
  • I want to have more energy.
  • I want to be more patient with my kids, especially in the evenings.
  • I don’t want to wake up feeling puffy, dehydrated and disgusting.
  • I want to start the day feeling AHEAD, not BEHIND.
  • I want my sin to look more clear.
  • I want to get rid of my “wine belly.”
  • I want to be able to be socially confident WITHOUT relying on alcohol.
  • I want to be free.

Today’s video is a “3D belief deconstruction” (basically a PowerPoint) on the concept of drinking alcohol for the taste, which is a popular reason why people drink. I certainly grew up seeing all the adults in my life seeming to enjoy alcohol. My first drink was a rum and Coke, heavy on the Coke to cover up the taste of rum. I remember not particularly liking it, but feeling like I should. I definitely did not like wine or beer when I first started drinking. So yes, I agree that alcohol is quite literally an acquired taste.

But do I like it? I still believe on some level that I do. I love margaritas. I like the taste of wine, some grapes more than others. I love pumpkin beer. Or do I?

Do I? Hmm.

 

[The Alcohol Experiment is a free, interactive 30-day program designed by Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind. For more information, click here.]