I wanted to share a post I wrote a couple of years ago but have never shared. I am now, as it reminded me of my (ongoing) journey to feel great in my body. I was taking the first steps to make change, having felt unhappy with myself for too long.
Drinking had become a bit of an issue for me as it was my only outlet to chill out after work. It had become too easy to fall into a pub or bar after work for a couple of drinks, which often lead to a few too many, followed by food binges. Initially I wanted to stop drinking to lose some weight so had decided to commit to taking a month off. I also knew it was affecting me in other areas but had never really given myself the time to see how.
Doing the month off started me on my path to realising how good I feel when I stick to something and it gave me more reasons to add to why I wanted to change my life. I started to see how good I could really feel. These reasons have added up over time, so I have continued making changes for me, and I am in a place I am happy with today.
When something in your life isn’t working the way you want it to you always have a choice. The reasons for making change can vary but it’s the small things over time which add up to the biggest change. So I want to encourage you to keep going. You might fall off the wagon, you might go back and forth with making change – I have done since I wrote the piece below. And that’s okay. Just start again and keep reminding yourself of your reasons for why you are making the change you want.
Hope it helps in some way.
I haven’t had alcohol in one month
It’s a month today since my last drink. I feel good. I’m proud of myself for sticking with it and more importantly I realise I’ve not actually missed it at all. I’m currently slowly changing my life to practice as a health coach, I qualified some months ago but didn’t feel confident enough to start because of my weight, and this is all a part of that process.
Not that long ago I was the one that was always up for after-work drinks, to be honest, I initiated most of them. I could party ‘til 2 in the morning and still get through the next working day, with a bad hangover, and a severe hunger, which could only be fulfilled with something carb-heavy and protein-rich to keep me awake (and comforted) whilst I got through the day.
Whilst I’ve seen some instant benefits to not drinking this past month:
• A tonne more energy (I actually need less sleep in general).
• I’m more alert and can focus on what I need to do better.
• My digestion has massively improved.
• My skin is clearer and my eyes are brighter.
• I like myself better, I might even be starting to love myself, and isn’t that what we all want?
It’s what the alcohol was doing to me as a person I have really realised:
• My self-confidence was plummeting – the day after even only a couple of drinks I would feel quite low and not want to do anything with other people, or put myself out there – preferring to escape in countless episodes of some numbing TV series.
• I was getting anxious feelings and thoughts that would spiral in a negative way, and I’d find it hard to pull myself out of them.
• The obvious weight gain – especially around the belly and face. Even when I’d been eating healthily and exercising I would be distinctly bloated and unable to shift it if I was also drinking.
• I was very unproductive and didn’t do many of the things I said I was going to do, even cancelling pre-booked arrangements (a lot!) and saying I’d make up for it, which didn’t happen.
Perhaps I’m more sensitive to the effects of alcohol than others, but the positive effects of cutting down coupled with the negative effects of what it does to me have certainly made me think. Now, I don’t think I’m saying goodbye to alcohol forever, but I would love to get to a place where it isn’t my only outlet.