Alcohol

This week was so hectic that when Friday night rolled around I felt I “deserved” my one drink of the week. But, instead of using sense, I found the biggest glass I could and poured the whole bottle in to it. What fun, right?

I sat up with my husband and watched a movie. Popcorn, some dark chocolate and wine. Lots and lots of wine.

wine

In fact, I could probably post the picture of the empty bottle of wine by the very full glass and caption it: “I drank it all.” I would get a lot of “LOL, That’s awesome” type of responses because this kind of abuse is very socially acceptable. Abusing alcohol, as I did last night to get drunk after a busy week, is totally okay. People are very accepting of it, unless you do the unthinkable like “get drunk alone” or do it every night of the week. If I was in to pot and took a photo of me taking one toke after the kids went to bed I would be arrested. Getting drunk last night and being tired all day today, however, is fine.

I am not an extremist. I don’t want people that do indulge sometimes to think I am lecturing them. If you happen to be out dancing and have 5 drinks instead of the one you planned and leave tipsy, I am not going to scold you. I’m not straight-edge and think the occasional drink is fun in certain settings- but I do think this society is a bit hypocritical at times.

I am getting off track. This is not the point of my post.

Did drinking a whole bottle of wine while watching a movie help me to understand the plot? Did it make my night feel like a stay-cation and the best night ever? Did it retroactively make my week less busy? Did it inspire some greatness or productivity? No to all of those, of course.

Instead, I had trouble sleeping, trouble waking up, and trouble getting things done today. My body hated me in all kinds of ways. I am tired, sweaty, achy and lethargic.(I am actually grateful to feel partially hungover. Once that stops it means my tolerance is up. I won’t get hungover but my liver will be suffering).  A potentially productive day became one where I just went through the motions of eating and getting ready so slowly that it took hours instead of minutes. Not only that, but as I get older I know the lethargy will stay around for a couple days and my brain will remain foggy. I will feel forgetful and life will seem stale.

When I started my ab workout challenge four weeks ago, I also started Alton Brown’s guidelines to moderation in eating. I felt that, since I was putting so much work in to the challenge, I should see results. And I did. Changing my eating and drinking less alcohol worked. I still have work to do, but the progress is promising.

IMG_8553

My skin is clearing up, I am seeing some of those ab muscles, my gut is happier, and I have way more energy. In fact, once I started sticking to the “one drink a week” rule, I started to notice how much I was actually drinking! Beers during hockey games, drinks out with girls, wine nights at my girlfriend’s house, a quick cocktail with supper after a long day….it wasn’t “high functioning alcoholism” by any means, but it was becoming a problem. I was turning in to a female Don Draper (minus the infidelity).

When I stopped drinking 3 times a week I felt so much better. My skin started clearing, my memory improved, my gut functioned better, and I stopped using it as a safety net. I was more productive and my emotions more stable. After a tough day I would meditate or craft; or make myself a special tea or flavoured water. It worked wonders. I attended a night out and a family dinner without my “two drinks to feel comfortable around large groups/new people” minimum. Being slightly introverted and really sensitive, I often get anxious before going out or being in large groups. Not only did I survive, I found I had as much fun. It was not as painful as I imagined. Also, I could drive there and leave when I wanted without waiting for my ride or shelling out cab money. The money I would have spent on alcohol could be saved or spent elsewhere (this time it went in to the tattoo fund) and I didn’t have to waste my weekend “sleeping it off”.

 

From now on, I think my one drink a week will be just that- one drink, not one bottle. I function better, think more clearly, love more easily, and my body thanks me for it. Plus, it is more enjoyable to sip the sweet nectar than to gulp it down.

 

*Have a magical week*

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