Alcohol dragon strikes again


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I did my first Whole30 2 years ago and felt great!  It totally changed my life.  By eating less of certain things (grains, processed foods, dairy etc) and more of others (veggies, organic and/or grass fed meats, lots of fats) I really changed my physique in ways that I didn't think would be possible.  But more importantly, I just felt amazing, I was falling asleep within minutes every night and sleeping like a rock all night. Waking up and feeling awesome and not tired or groggy.  No afternoon slumps.  You name it.  All of this in turn had a profound effect on my self confidence.  


Anyway, my problem is that anytime I make good progress, I start to get too comfortable and take my foot off the gas a little bit. This is more the case with drinking than eating poorly, however the problem is that after a few drinks I let my guard down and sometimes decide that I can eat stuff that I normally would say no to.  So it's one of those endless circles.  


This has been a huge problem this summer, I did a Whole30 from late April - late May and felt and looked great. Normally in the summers I am a bit more strict with myself anyway, but this summer I kept using the excuse that 'oh it's summer and the weather is nice, I'll have a few drinks).  The problem is I have been doing that 3-4 days a week, if not more.  That sometimes leads to the poor food decisions. But even if it doesn't, I'm still loading my body up with the alcohol (aka sugar) and completely undoing all of the work I did to try to get into the mode of using fat for energy rather then simple sugars and carbs.  This of course means I've put on a few (or more) pounds, and worse, I am not feeling great most of the time.  Tired in the morning, tired in the afternoons, unsettled stomach, cranky etc.  


Also, if I have one drink, I'm having 6.  I don't moderate myself well at all, and this is a problem.  For me it's easier to say no to the first drink than it is to say no to the 2nd.  I've told myself numerous times this summer that I am going to take a week or more off drinking, and then 2 or 3 days later there is always some reason to have a drink- whether it's work related, or with friends/neighbors.  And it's not good clean alcohol like vodka or tequila...i'm making manhattans, moscow mules, margaritas etc...lots of sugary / sweet drinks.  So that's probably doubly bad.


The only way for me to actually NOT drink, is to do a Whole30.  When I am committed to that, there is no way I am going to cheat, and my coworkers and some friends know that, which makes it easier. 


The problem is that there is always something on the calendar that I don't want to be on a Whole30 for. 


My wife is due with our 2nd baby on Oct 3rd, and my goal is to have completed a Whole30 before then so that I can hit the ground running, feeling fresh, rested, energized etc when the baby comes.  I do not want to take how I feel now, which is not very good, and then make that feeling exponentially worse when I am not getting as much sleep with the new baby.  I also want to avoid having any drinks if I can help it while the baby is brand new, because I know if I do, I'll just have trouble waking up or falling asleep, and then feeling not very good at other times.  And that's the last thing I need.  


My sister and her kids will be in town for the next 2 weeks (visiting from England and I only see her every 2 years or so), so it's not realistic to start the Whole30 during this period since we will be spending time visiting family and eating in various places that she misses - not to mention having some wine with those meals.  So that means I will have to start the Whole30 right at the end of August, which will bring me basically right up to the due date for the baby.  I really hope I can do it, because I HATE how I am feeling right now.  


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You can do it.  You can!!!!!!  


Alcohol is a tricky one, sorry that you struggle with that! Can you put an alcohol sub in its place? I brew my own kombucha and now 95% of the time that there is drinking going on, I'll have that instead.  Sometimes I even say to myself "Self, start with a kombucha and then if you still want a drink you can have one.".  I never have one....something about drinking a "health tonic" and then chasing it with booze just seems wrong to me so it seems to work.  :)


I also love a glass of bold red wine at night in the winter with the fire going and something good on TV with my hubby.  I started subbing loose leaf teas and now have a huge basket of tea to choose from as well as at least a dozen cups, infusers and pots depending on my mood.  


I have found that over the last 15 months of choosing something other than alcohol more often than not has made it almost out of the ordinary for me to pick the alcoholic option.


Congrats on the baby, btw!  :D

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Ladyshanny thanks! - yes I used to be very good about substituting something else - usually a GT's Kombucha in the evening.  If I had one of those, it would usually do a good job of knocking out the craving for a cocktail.  My other option would be a cup of bone broth which I used to make weekly.  I need to get better about both of these, I have a ton of kombucha in the fridge, I need to get back on the wagon with that.  

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Realistically with your sister visiting you are probably going to still be drinking until you start your next W30 so can you start with making better choices there? Instead of G&T or a sugary cocktail have a gin & soda with fresh squeezed lime juice for example; this is now my go to drink of choice when I want something long. I also infused a bottle of gin with dried hibiscus flowers (they were supposed to be to make tea) and this with soda and a big splash of Angastura Bitters is really nice and the colour is gorgeous. 

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I can relate to this, because as I have fessed up to before, I love beer. I can stop with just one, but the problem is that I want that one everyday. It seems to be a situational thing for me and sounds like that's what it is for you.

If I am eating Mexican food, I want a beer....talking to my mom on the phone, I want a beer.....finishing up yard work in the hot sun (well, that's two beers)......

If I can avoid certain situations I never even think about it or want it. That's the way I can abstain and after awhile I don't even have to avoid certain situations, because the habit has been broken.

After your sister's visit maybe that would help a little in your quest.

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I'm a bad moderator too. I quit drinking over 3 years ago. I kept making bad decisions (not just food.. but all kinds of bad decisions). I couldn't stop after 1, and always had WAY too much. Maybe you should re think your relationship with alcohol? A Whole30 is just solving it temporarily...


just my two cents.


Good luck!

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