Better, but work in progress

Weigh in this morning – half a stone off.  Get in!

It’s been a pretty good week actually.  I decided last weekend (and last post) that sugar really is my enemy.  So I’ve really focused on planning healthy meals – albeit repetitive – and making my lunch the night before.  I don’t think I’ve ever put so much planning and effort into food in my life!  BUT it does appear to be working.

I have also decided that with all this confessing lark, facing up to my gremlins, I really need to go back to basics and focus on being healthy (no shit Sherlock), listening to my body.  As a result, and as predicted on my ‘About’ page, I have abandoned Weight Watchers for the Lifesum app.  It’s not only considerably cheaper, but is much easier to use in terms of identifying what my body needs.  It sensibly gives you an A to E rating based on the nutritional content of your food.  Funnily enough, it agrees with both me and the growing evidence that sugar is simply not very good for us.  So – I’ve had no ‘obvious’ sugar for a week, and I’ve also switched to using Lifesum.

To top that off, I’ve added the 5:2 into the mix – to kick start my weight loss, and partly to remind myself what hungry feels like … but actually more importantly to feel hungry when I wake up.  That might sound odd, but if you’ve spent most of your adult life just eating for the sake of it, it’s easy to feel that it’s ‘normal’ waking up already feeling sluggish and bloated.  I’m definitely sleeping better, and waking up with more ‘bounce’.

The other ‘poison’ that isn’t really my friend is most definitely alcohol.  Wine in particular, being my tipple.  I have exactly the same reaction to it as I do to sugar – although happily it’s not something I have to make a decision on at every mealtime, and is somewhat frowned upon at work.  As a habit, I don’t drink at home, as it’s very much a social thing for me – go out, drink, get wasted, get up again, endure hangover, sleep, recover. Meanwhile remembering with a slight cringe what went on, as I am gifted/cursed with a good memory for inebriated soirees.


Before I started on this year of wellness, and this confessional blog, I had sent an invitation out to various colleagues for a laid back gathering at the local pub.  By the time we reached the day (Thursday) there were 131 people on the list …  and being both an introverted extrovert (complex, naturally) and an addict, by the time we got to Thursday I really didn’t want to go out … because I knew exactly what was coming.

We had a great night!  There were about 30 people in the end, all having a good time, good laughs and the horizontal lubricant was flowing nicely.  Everyone got home safely – and while there were a few tired heads in the morning, it was deemed a great success! Calls for similar meet-ups every quarter were heard from a number of folk.  All good!

That’s one interpretation.  However, bearing in mind that I am an addict, and no good comes from addiction … here’s another.

I get to the bar, and immediately buy a bottle of wine because it’s cheaper, my colleague is drinking wine and so am I. Makes sense.  I was going to get some fizzy water to turn the wine into spritzers to slow consumption, but somehow I forgot. Naturally I’m getting louder and louder – I talk a lot when I’m drinking.  I’m very good natured, but I could probably bore myself out of a paper bag. I like a laugh, and it’s so much easier for me to join in when I’m pissed.  I manage to get two more bottles throughout the evening, and although I’m helped with the third, effectively I do get through two bottles between about 5:45pm and 9:30pm. I also end up with photographic evidence of someone’s bright red lipstick as a trophy on my cheek (not as bright as it had been as I had fun transferring it to others), gurning alongside one of my suppliers … in between nipping out for one or two cigarettes during the evening.  I end up getting into a taxi with someone the wrong way, then head back in the right direction – try to kip on the back seat as there appear to be loose horses on the road. Head’s spinning, so lying down with a window open is good.

Still all sounds like fun … but it’s a frenetic fun.  It’s a wine-fuelled, addict fun. I cannot conceive of going out and having just one, maybe two glasses of wine. It would never happen.  Clearly then this is not a healthy relationship either. I do realise that I’m not alone in this one – I know few people who would really go out for just one, when others are going for a good night – but that doesn’t mean that it’s healthy for me if I’m trying to calm my addictive personality.  Also, for me it means reaching for cigarettes.  I don’t smoke at all the rest of the time, but it becomes a driving urge when I drink. Thankfully these days that translates to just a couple – pre-smoking ban I’d be puffing away out of agitation in the pub.

It’s a good thing I don’t go out much as it would cost me a fortune – did I mention I’m terrible with money too?  Trouble is, it’s just so hard to contemplate not drinking at all! I think I’d have to be a hermit – the prospect of drinking soda and lime while others are drinking is almost too awful to contemplate.  It shouldn’t be – I should be able to enjoy the company of others and relax. But somehow I can’t. I don’t have the confidence, despite being confident at work. I have confidence in my ability, but giving colleagues the chance to converse socially without that ‘work-speak’ crutch?  Ooof.

So – given that this is a year of wellness … how long can it be before I decide to stop drinking?  Given the addictive tendencies, and that I’ve tried before, can I only drink in people’s homes?

The other big question being how socially acceptable do I then become?  Telling friends that you don’t drink any more engenders disbelief (in my case) and a certain amount of scorn.  Having said that I do think that my friends now (and certainly my family – both immediate and extended) would be supportive of such a change.  It would be harder than quitting sugar though, I have no doubt about that.

Food for thought.  Well, wine anyway.

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