March Madness and Moving Day

Four weeks of craziness and I feel like my bones are made of cement. It is time for a change. My points reset tomorrow and so will my brain. Back to tracking, back to being alcohol-free, back to kickboxing and my beloved Peloton. Back on track or bust!

I am trying not to be too hard on myself, to accept the reality of these last four weeks, to accept that some of it has been in my control and some out of my control, to learn from it, and to MOVE THE F ON. Seeing as I am currently too tired to move much at all, I am taking some time now to collect and reflect. Keep what is important, ditch what is not.

Tomorrow is (mental) moving day.

I will keep the lessons that will serve me well as I move forward. Having alcohol as an option is too much of a willpower- and energy-suck right now, so it needs to not be an option for me for awhile. Again. Did I fail at moderation? No. But neither did I thrive. When we were in London, I drank a glass of wine with dinner the first few nights, and by the end of the week I was up to two glasses and felt like I could not let a night of vacation pass without it. Last Tuesday, when our power finally came back on, we returned to our 43-degree house and I immediately opened a bottle of Sauv B that had naturally chilled in a kitchen cabinet and drank the whole damn thing.

I am not panicking. I have more faith in myself than that. But I also know that I need all the energy and mental clarity and willpower I can get right now and removing alcohol from the zillions of choices I expend energy making on a daily basis will help a lot with that. So, it goes. Again. And I’m a lot less sad about it this time.

I will keep the fond memories of our wonderful London trip and travel adventures at Great Wolf Lodge and in NYC during our four-day power outage. Bringing our kids to London for the first time; walking them past our old house; seeing the thrill on their faces as they walked into Hamley’s, boarded their first double-decker bus, and ascended in the London Eye are memories my husband and I will cherish for the rest of our lives.

I will keep – but try not to torture myself with – the memory of how I feel right now. Drained. Bloated. Disappointed. Gross. Exhausted to my core. Some of this is due to stressful circumstances that were out of my control. We had no power for four days, five counting our 12-hour bonus (ha) outage yesterday. International travel is awesome but tiring. The jet lag/strep throat/head cold combo was a hat trick of heinousness that took about two weeks for me and my kids to overcome.

But I am also partly responsible for how I feel right now. I have burdened my body with booze and junk food. I have allowed my cravings to win out. I have stayed up too late. I have reopened my book of excuses and used them liberally to justify my actions in the moment.

This ends tomorrow. And a new chapter of this journey begins. I am starting Annie Grace’s 30-day Alcohol Experiment and I’m going to start reading The Food Therapist which I hope will help with my out-of-control cravings.

This is going to be a big week. My son is turning four, my dad and stepmom arrive to stay for five days (which is about three days too long), and we have my son’s birthday party on St. Patrick’s Day. (Oh, and I’ll be PMSing. Apologies if that’s TMI.)

The 2017 me would never have the guts to go alcohol-free starting on a week like the one I have ahead of me. The 2018 me is admittedly a bit daunted, but mostly excited by the thought of how damn proud I am going to feel a week from today.

Damn. Proud. I can do this.

Post-Binge Reflections

Not a perfect day. But a better day. I accept that, and I am so grateful. Weight Watchers has given me the ability to bounce back and the permission to forgive myself and move on from heinous snack attacks (and last night’s was truly epic) with grace. To move on with self-love and confidence even in the darkest and most embarrassing moments.

I consumed 96 smart points yesterday (I am given 23 smart points each day). About 15% of those points were healthy. The rest was absolute crap. I ate so much I felt sick. Part of me was hoping I’d actually throw up, and that is a disgusting and scary place to be. Thanks to my wonderful hubby I was able to laugh just enough to not be completely overcome with misery. We joked about the tortilla chip-chocolate-caramel corn baby in my belly and how I was experiencing third trimester discomfort coupled with first trimester nausea. Yeehaw!

That snack devil baby caused me to have sugar sweats all night. My daughter woke me at 3:30am and I was drenched, had a horrible taste in my mouth, and actually smelled bad! EWW. It was as gross as a bad night of drinking. And while I’m proud I didn’t drink, my eyes (and nostrils, sorry, TMI) are now open to the impact of overindulging in sugar and salt. It ain’t pretty and it ain’t cute.

One of my very wise and thoughtful friends on Connect reminded me today to think about what I’ve learned from Annie Grace and This Naked Mind and apply it here. She reminded me that WILLPOWER IS A FINITE RESOURCE. (Any lightbulbs going off for anyone else??)

I am already frayed from travel prep and helping my son and husband through yucky viruses last week. I used a LOT of willpower at a lunchtime play date yesterday, and then the afternoon struck, and various life stressors pushed me past being able to white-knuckle myself to dinnertime. I remain amazed and thrilled that I had no desire to drink. And now the realization that I can apply Annie Grace’s guidance to eating and not just drinking will be hugely helpful.

The picture above is a portrait of me that my daughter – then age 3 – drew of me the day before our family embarked upon our second cross-country move in 8 months. Yeah, I was a little stressed out during that time in my life. Not surprisingly, I was also at my heaviest weight. I laminated the drawing and keep it constantly at hand, as a reminder of what true stress really is and how the way we react and adapt obviously impacts our children.

In the grand scheme, last night’s sober snack binge is not a big deal. Nor is the fact that I’ve gone over my points again today. What’s important is that I am learning from every step of this journey – the steps forward as well as the steps back. And if I can stay in a place of gratitude and receptivity and resilience, one of these days I’ll turn around and see that I’m far beyond where I ever thought I could be.

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!

 

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 23

Still tired (i.e. Fred is me). But a solid sober day. And that in itself is an accomplishment.

I was able to carve out some reading time this morning and made it through more of This Naked Mind – coincidentally, the “Liminal Point” chapter on drinking to relieve stress and anxiety. It just hit me this week that my usual anxiety has been MIA for the past several weeks. I feel cautiously liberated from this ever-present mental burden that ebbs and flows between minor irritant and consuming captor.

I thought alcohol eased stress. I drank “to take the edge off.” But I was wrong. Totally wrong. Duped. And I know now I’m neither alone nor at fault.

As Annie Grace puts it, “Why do we believe alcohol helps stress and anxiety? Because it can make you oblivious to your stressors even when it’s worsening them… it inebriates you, which covers the pain for a short amount of time. As soon as it wears off, your stress returns and, over time, multiplies.”

Yup.

So. Day 23 in the bag. 6am Peloton spin class completed, blue dot earned. Aiming for more sleep tonight to start feeling more on my game tomorrow!