Dry January Day 30

Pictured here is a little vignette I like to call “Husband Working Late: 2018 vs. 2017.” On the right side we have how I would have handled a weeknight solo prior to Dry January. On the left side we have my night tonight. Either way, #imomsohard (obviously) and that pint of Enlightened Snickerdoodle is SO going down (only 7 smart points!). But besides the glass and the ice cream, I am gobsmacked by how my habits have changed in just 30 days.

I had another dream last night that I drank an entire bottle of wine and actually woke myself up in a panic before the relief of reality set in. As much as I dislike interrupted sleep, I have to have a moment for how refreshing it is to wake up and feel relief instead of regret!

Tonight when I was putting this photo op together, even just holding the bottle of wine made me feel very strange. I’m still not ready to say goodbye forever, I don’t think. But even though my husband won’t be home until late and I have a rare and welcome night to myself I was not tempted to open that bottle AT ALL.

At the beginning of this month, and in fact for several months and years prior, I never could have imagined getting myself to a place like this. A place of zero temptation. It feels like a miracle, truly.

So I’m going to relish the silence in my house and have a moment for mama. Some time to reflect and celebrate. To feel exactly where I am mentally and emotionally as the last day of January looms beyond tonight’s full moon.

Am I ready for it? I’m not ready for it! Am I?

Yes, I am. Yes I am.

Dry January Day 29

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Twenty-nine days.

Twenty-nine days of feeling proud. Truly, actively proud of myself.

Twenty-nine consecutive clearheaded days.

Twenty-nine days of mind-bogglingly consistent energy instead of a moody roller coaster.

Twenty-nine days of awakened creativity. Increased patience. Increased zeal or passion or zest or whatever you want to call this feeling of being engaged in my life on such a deeper and clearer level.

Twenty-nine days without numbed senses. Without hazy memory. Without regret.

Twenty-nine days of living an exquisitely raw, unfiltered life.

What a gift this month has been.

 

Dry January Day 28

I have been keeping my vintage She-Ra* action figure close at hand lately as a reminder.

  • A reminder that I am stronger than my cravings.
  • A reminder that I am more than a number on a scale.
  • A reminder not to take things too seriously.
  • A reminder that muscles matter.
  • And most important, a reminder to strive to be the strong and healthy person my daughter will look up to as a mom, a grown-up, an athlete, a human being.

Four weeks of Dry January. Achievement unlocked.

I don’t know what I will encounter on the scale tomorrow morning. I do know that I have not gotten enough sleep this week and so I am heading to bed early tonight. I also know that whatever tomorrow’s number is, I am damn proud of these four weeks. 28 days without alcohol. 28 days of self-care and self-re-discovery. It has been awesome.

*After posting this on Connect, a kind reader corrected me. This is not, in fact, She-Ra but Teela.

 

Dry January Day 27

I am staking my claim. Planting my flag into the dirt of this beautiful day. Posting early so that I can spend the rest of the day being totally present and productive with my family and focusing on clean eating.

Today I shall #SaturSLAY. It’s on, y’all.

Workout done: another awesome #ww_warrior Peloton ride, onto which I tacked 15 minutes of abs and 10 glorious minutes of stretching.

Today I will score a blue dot which eluded me yesterday as I dug deep into that damn bag of small batch artisanal restaurant-style tortilla chips. (Why can’t I quit you???)

And no booze of course!

The sun is shining, the deep freeze has lifted, it’s Day 27 of Dry January, and I’ve left yesterday in the dust.

It’s a good day to slay. How will you slay today?

Photo credit: my 6-year-old daughter (who can’t read yet – ha!)

 

Dry January Day 26

I woke up this morning feeling so strong and svelte and, alas, am ending the day feeling gross and guilty. But at least I’m not drunk! So there’s that.

My doctor’s office told me I had to fast until 1pm today – nothing but water. I can’t believe the impact that it had. By the time I got to my annual wellness visit I felt like I was barely functioning. As soon as I had the routine blood draw, I pounded a Quest protein bar in world record time.

The bar brought me back, but it was not enough to resist the restaurant-style tortilla chips that were back in stock at my local fancy grocery store where I stopped for lunch after my appointment. Cut to the present and I’ve consumed half the bag. Ugh.

Points are tracked. Weeklies are decimated. And I am reminded that these chips are one of my last remaining trigger foods over which I have little to no control. Time to be exiled from my shopping cart for the foreseeable future, chippies! No chip, no matter how perfectly salted, can stand between me and #bikinigoals!

So I settle my bloated self into this Friday evening, seltzer in hand and zero point dinner planned. Hoping that with two days of clean eating before my weigh-in on Monday I can maintain the almost 2lb loss I had as of this morning.

And the kicker? My doctor told me I didn’t need to fast in the first place. Doh!

As guilty as I feel for gorging on those (admittedly amazing, seriously our whole town is addicted – I didn’t see one shopping cart without them!) chips, I am happy and relieved to be feeling negligible wine cravings tonight. And I received these beautiful flowers pictured here for leading a nonprofit volunteer project to great success. It was either a pic of these gorgeous flowers – a reminder that I am putting good work into the world – or the decimated bag of chips.

Day 26! I’ve never felt healthier at a check-up than I did today. I’m reaching the “Naked Mind” part of This Naked Mind – a good note on which to bring this month to its conclusion, though the journey will of course continue. Into the final Dry January weekend we go!

 

Dry January Day 25

Day 25! Already! And, you know, no biggie. Which still boggles my mind but that is, in fact, how I feel. No biggie. Which of course is a huge triumph for me.

I feel like I have a LOT in my head right now and I kind of just need to let it percolate tonight. I’m starting to take stock of this month’s journey, while still plowing through This Naked Mind, trying to reach workout and blue dot goals, and being a Supermom to my two aspiring superheroes and their two doggie sidekicks.

A lot to ponder, plan, and achieve. And I’m rocking it, but feeling a bit overloaded at the moment. Not hopelessly overwhelmed like I used to be, but more like my life is opening up before my eyes and I need a moment to take it all in. So I’m taking tonight to get some extra sleep and hope for some subconscious sorting of all this awesomeness.

One more thing that’s on my brain:

I have a well visit with my doctor tomorrow afternoon. For the first time in my life I am looking forward to stepping on the scale and not stretching the truth about the number of drinks I have per week. I am interested to see what my numbers are and how my weight loss and not drinking for 25 days have impacted things. But mostly I’m just stressing about having to fast until 1pm. So there’s that.

Tomorrow will be an interesting day for sure. Bring it, 26!

 

Dry January Day 24

Except for having no control over a pint of #Enlightened ice cream this afternoon, today has been a wonderful, reaffirming, milestone-making day.

My daughter lost her first tooth this morning! Milestones are fewer and farther between nowadays, so this was a big one. The tooth had been very loose for several days and there was excitement, but also a lot of apprehension on her part. What would it feel like? Will it hurt? Will there be blood? All understandable concerns. You can’t forget the feeling of losing a tooth, but do you remember not knowing what it would feel like? Pretty crazy to see my own daughter grappling with that!

In the end, it just fell right out. We were in the middle of a project this morning and all of a sudden she exclaimed, “My tooth just fell out!” She was ecstatic, giddy, and bursting with pride as she held the tiny tooth in her hand.

I will never forget that moment. Not just because it is such a huge milestone, but because I was there. I was 100% THERE. Completely present. Not fighting a hangover, dehydrated, puffy, and full of regret. After what has been kind of a meh week, experiencing this milestone with my daughter this morning completely re-charged me and made me appreciate, truly appreciate, how much better my life has been without alcohol.

There. I said it. And I mean it. My life is better without alcohol. EEK. I just typed that.

I still crave it. I have anxiety dreams about it almost nightly. I still can’t imagine my life without it.

But this morning I got to experience my daughter having her big kid breakthrough moment with such pure, crisp clarity and complete presence that I also can’t imagine going back to where I was. So to this profound gratitude I cling, and I remind myself to take this one day at a time. And this was an excellent day.

… Oh, and I had the creative energy and wherewithal to make her a tooth fairy pillow (shown in this post’s pic)! I haven’t used my sewing machine in months and my day was jam-packed, but I got it done and she adores it. Woohoo!

 

Dry January Day 22

After a disappointing weigh-in today (0lbs lost… which of course can also be looked at as 0lbs gained!) I decided that today was going to be an non-scale victory (nsv in WW lingo) kind of day. I tried my best to put the scale out of my mind and instead stay present and focus on all of the nsv’s throughout my day.

Here they are:

  • I slayed at kickboxing class despite feeling very tired today. And by “slay” I mean I worked as hard as I could, learned a lot, and had a blast. I am still a newbie but I’m enjoying it tremendously – even just enjoying exercise so much is in itself an nsv for me!
  • I took my son to lunch at Whole Foods, where I looked for the cleanest thing I could find to eat (fish and kale salad). And I had a cute date to boot!
  • I baked with my kids when my daughter got home from school (nsv: staying present with my kids).
  • We made our first Mudhustler recipe – the Elvis Cake! It was delish!!
  • … and I managed to not eat the whole thing!
  • And of course, no wine. Which I have started to take for granted, but since today is an nsv kind of day I am consciously reminding myself that any night with no wine is a big nsv for me!

22 days down. BOOM.

 

Dry January Day 21

Alcohol-free for three weeks: check!

During intense and exciting football playoff game: check (even though there was a lot of buffalo chicken dip consumed)!

And through another weekend with relative ease: check!

I’ve got this.

And here’s what else I’ve got:

  • More energy
  • More patience
  • More space in my brain
  • A clearer brain
  • A more creative brain
  • Increased productivity
  • Clearer, brighter, more glowing, less congested skin (and I have always had problem skin)
  • Less belly bloat (inching – or at least millimetering – my way to #bikinigoals)
  • Deeper sleep

And a huge one for me that I am just now starting to believe:

  • Less anxiety.

This is not a comprehensive list. This is just off the top of my head on a tired (but happy!) Sunday night.

The anxiety piece is something I want to read more about. I have dealt with varying degrees of anxiety since I was a kid. I never thought about the impact alcohol had on my anxiety. Never thought to connect the two. But it occurred to me at some point this weekend that I have not felt anxious in, well, about three weeks. I am cautiously embracing the liberation I feel. Trying to stay present. And eager to explore this further in the coming days.

I weighed myself this morning (the day before tomorrow’s weigh-in) and I had gained a half-pound. Which was discouraging, considering how clean I ate this week and how great my exercise routine has been. In my discouragement, I ate too much junk today. I’ve stayed within my weekly points, but I’m expecting a perplexing gain tomorrow. Disappointing, BUT at least I have been sticking with Dry January like a boss. Tomorrow is a new day and a new week and I’m so proud for making it this far.

 

Dry January Day 19

Here’s a screenshot of my Dry January app. Look at all those sweet little teacups! I feel very proud when I mark this calendar every day. Every little teacup is a huge victory for me.

Something that seemed impossible and torturous three weeks ago – to forgo alcohol for one entire month – is now my new normal. My routine. I still have at least 20 bottles of wine in my house and while I do still get nightly cravings, I am not even tempted to open a bottle. That would be cheating myself out of this life-changing gift I have chosen to give and to receive.

Now that we are more than halfway through the month, thoughts creep into my head about where I will go from here. Will I be able to moderate? Will I even want wine? Will I stay alcohol-free? Or will I fall right back down a boozy black hole?

When I think about what I will do on February 1, I get a little anxious. I’m afraid one glass will turn into two which will turn into three which will turn into a bottle. I’m afraid I will fall right back into old habits and I will be in the same place (with the same puffy face) on December 31, 2018 as I was on December 31, 2017.

Starting to get caught up in the anxiety, I remind myself to stay present. Yes, I am more than halfway through. Yes, I can now see the light of February 1 at the end of this sober – and sobering – tunnel. But what matters is today. Today’s tiny tea cup with a little umbrella in it. Today’s flavored seltzer on the rocks in a wine glass. Today’s blue dot. Or not! I have lots of weeklies waiting to be used.

Wherever this month is taking me, it’ll be a better place than the one in which I’ve spent too much of my adult life. I am only beginning to grasp where I was, now that the booze fog has lifted. I still have a lot of processing, reading, and pondering to do. And I just have to trust that I’ll never go back.

So, here’s to today. Not tomorrow, not next month, not next year, and not forever. Today is everything. Today is enough.