UGH. I have been in a sugar-and-salt spiral all week. I haven’t posted for awhile because I kept expecting myself to emerge from it so I could post something victorious: “I was in a spiral but I got myself out and now I feel amazing!”
But that is not my reality. In reality, I just ate two bowls of cereal.
This week, I have latched on to every excuse I can think of and raided my pantry with an embarrassing level of determination to dig and find any remaining chocolate from Christmas. The only tortilla chips I didn’t eat are in the bag that I bought my husband for Valentine’s Day (and covered in sticker hearts, so romantic) because I ate the other bag that I bought him when he was sick. My self-control has gone completely out the window and I feel disgusting.
But let’s focus on the positive. I completed my goal of four workouts. And after today’s 6am spin (live from Pyeongchang! Did anyone else do that Peloton ride? So fun!!) I completed a 10-min abs workout WITHOUT STOPPING. This is a big NSV for me because I have been attempting this same workout for months and this is the first time I have done it all the way through without taking a break.
My other NSV is that I have had no wine or other alcohol at home all week. My eating is out of control right now, but my drinking is completely in control. Completely. In. Control. As embarrassed as I am about my eating, I need to give myself permission to feel proud. Because just six weeks ago I never thought I would be in control of my drinking. I never thought I could make it through a witching hour without either white knuckles or a drink in my hand. I’ll admit that I have been more tempted this week than in previous weeks, and I’m sure that’s related to the fact that I have consumed epic amounts of crap. Vicious cycle and whatnot. But I AM breaking from that vicious cycle. I am no longer a wino, no longer a lush. My kids no longer see me clinging to my “mommy juice” every evening like my life depends on it.
I wish I had it all under control. If I had eaten clean this week as planned, I would be feeling amazing right now. On top of the world. But I’m not. I don’t have it all under control. I am not stronger than my food cravings right now, and that is incredibly frustrating.
But I own you, alcohol cravings. I am in charge. I’m the boss of you. And you are getting weaker and weaker. You tried to take advantage of me when I was spiraling this week, but I didn’t let you. Because I’m getting stronger and stronger.
So today I vow to forgive myself for my pantry trespasses. I vow to learn from my behavior this week, to remember how crappy I feel, to understand why I binged the way I did. And the next time the pressures of life make me want to stuff my face, I will do better.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!)