Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Battle of the Health Nut Vs. the Alcoholic Monster

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I have two demons who live inside me who are at constant battle with one another. One one side, there is the health nut.

For the most part, I'm very happy that these two demons seem to be quite evenly matched. If one ever got too strong and destroyed the other, well let's just say that wouldn't be a good thing. I try to keep them evenly matched - although lately I've been thinking about nurturing the Health Nut just a little bit more. Maybe trying to cultivate a 65/35 balance in favor of the Health Nut. 

With that in mind and with a long holiday season of drinking and partying behind me, I decided it was time to take some time of drinking and go on a small detox. It was hard to find time in my busy drinking schedule to actually take some time off. Obviously, I couldn't stop drinking the week of the work kickoff. And obviously there is a lot of drinking to be done in London and Stockholm. I can't detox then. And after London and Stockholm, while I probably will NEED to detox but it's Valentine's Day and I will probably need to drown my dateless sorrows in copious amounts of wine... And then it's President's Day and obviously there will be lots of drinking on a 3 day weekend. So you see, my drinking schedule was kind of full but luckily I found 10 days in between that I could detox. 

In preparation for the detox, I decided to have a Sunday Funday and spend 9 hours in a bar drinking. But then sure enough on Monday Jan I went cold turkey. And I know you were all doubting me, but I'm pleased to say I HAVEN'T HAD A DRINK SINCE SUNDAY FUNDAY! Go me! Score one for the Health Nut! 

In addition to not drinking, I also wanted to kick start my body into eating a bit healthier. At first I was going to do some crazy detox diet or cleanse deal but then I realized that maybe I should start with something more manageable first (I mean, I can always do this again later, right). So, to make things really simple, I just decided to go vegan for  10 days and try to make healthier choices in general with a focus on vegetables, fruit and whole grains.

For the most part the vegan diet was successful. I did slip up a bit a couple times though but I think I had very valid reasons here.

The first slip up was last Thursday. Of all the days, this was hte most difficult. I was invited to a Bruins game with work. To the box seat with free food and free alcohol. I contemplated not going but then decided to just go and just not drink. Can't be that hard, right? OH MAN was it hard! First of all, I'd had a bad day and then I almost couldn't get into the game because I had my Ipad with me (for some reason no laptops or apparently Ipads are allowed in). I then had to basically sneak it in which was a big stressful fiasco. When I finally got in, I realized that cute co-worker was there and all flirting with another girl all night which made me really bummed out. All of that plus the tempting smell of Blue Moon beer (my new favorite) had me absolutely desperate for a beer.  Say nothing of the fact that my colleagues totally gave me a really hard time about not drinking and kept handing me beers all night. Peer pressure to the extreme. But I kept reminding myself that if I can't give up alcohol for 10 days, then I seriously might have a problem. In the end, I'm proud to say I didn't drink. However, I did eat a piece of pizza (with cheese). I figured it was the less of two evils.

I slipped up two other times on the cheese front as well. Once when eating with friends and the sandwich came with cheese - I wasn't expecting that. Since there is really no reason for me to not eat cheese, I didn't want to make a big deal out of it, so I just ate it. And finally today, I also had cheese. I was at a work lunch and there was not a single thing on the menu without cheese or fish or meat. And again, I didn't want to make a scene so I had salad with cheese (and it was oh so good). But all in all, I think I did pretty good. I did miss having milk in my coffee and cheese on my burrito but other than that it wasn't too hard. However, I could never give up cheese for a long time. In moderation, cheese is a wonderful thing. In general, I thin that  restricting my diet a bit made me think more about the food choices I make. Going forward I will make a better effort to put more healthy things into my body.

And as for the Alcoholic Monster, well I think he's a little weaker. I tried to drown him in copious cups of tea - which I even started to enjoy. And more shockingly, I stopped craving alcohol and didn't end up missing it as much as I thought I would. And it was so nice to not have a hangover! Instead I woke up clear headed every day and I had a great weekend full day-time activities with family and friends. I even found myself feeling sad that the detox is over. I wish I could have done it for longer.

Don't worry! I'm not going to give up drinking, but I do think I will try to moderate it a bit more. Maybe even try to take one weekend off a month. So, I plan to detox again soon - probably at the end of Feb. I may even try to do a more strict diet or a proper cleanse.

But right now, the detox ends tomorrow - which was the designated day. I plan to have drink at the airport before my flight.

Next up on the agenda is 3 parties in 3 countries in 3 weeks. Weather permitting (Boston is about to get slammed with snow again - enough already), I'm off to London tomorrow. I've invited friends and colleagues to join me for an after work drink at a pub on Friday night. Next week I will work out of the London office and then on Thursday I fly to Sweden where I'm having a similar type of event on that Friday in Stockholm. I'm so excited to see all my friends in London and Sweden! On Sunday I fly back to Boston and on the following weekend I'm helping Hot Married Friend L throw a Valentine's Day party in Boston.

I'm sure I will have lots and lots of updates for you when I'm back. I'm not sure that I will have time to post or comment while I'm away, but follow me on Twitter if you want updates (I'm going to try to post more there).

And I look forward to updating you on my adventures when I get back - and catching up on all your blogs! Oh and I should say welcome to my new followers. I promise to check out everyone's blogs soon.

Stay warm!


Julianna said...

Have a good time and be safe. :) We're on tap for Bruins in a couple of weeks too, haven't been to a NHL game since the Panthers went to the Stanley Cup. Should be fun. :)

jules said...

I have the same two demons in constant battle with each other. I keep meaning to do a detox too, but there is always "stuff" going on. Like today, we got the snow in MD and I'll probably be home today...and need to eat frozen pizza and back cookies. Obviously. I could never give up cheese forever, but going vegan sounds like a great way to detox. I'm trying to give up alcohol until my wedding at the end of next month, but its sooo hard!

Have a wonderful trip my friend! Enjoy!

Mademoiselle Hautemess said...

It's like you are inside my head! I am constantly trying to balance the desire to be fit and thin with the desire to drink all day long (leading to pizza and burritos and mcdonalds breakfast the next day). I legitimately told myself "no drinking this week until Friday" - but as soon as a glass of wine was waved in front of my face last night...BOOM! Away went the willpower. *sigh*

Have so much fun on your world party tour!!

Sara Louise said...

3 parites in 3 countries in 3 weeks sounds awesome@ Really looking forward to those posts!
Good luck with your battle :-)

On My Soapbox said...

I don't think I could live without cheese! Good luck getting out of Boston tomorrow....

Sarah B said...

I decided awhile back that in order to deal with my borderline alcoholism I'd need to eat relatively healthy...I sort of walk a fine line between healthnut and drunk. But sometimes, I eat Mexican food and then I just gorge on queso and tequila which makes me an unhealthy's not pretty.

Catherine said...

I'm trying to hard to curb the drinking! I never used to drink at all, but since I've been single, it seems like every event includes drinking. Too many calories and too much money for me! So, I'm feeling the pain too...