When I was drinking, I adored going to the gym. I ran on the treadmill, did a circuit of weight machines, and crunches interspersed with more cardio. I used to go twice a day. I had other motivation, a boyfriend that was as close to zero body fat as humanly possible, whose biceps were the center of my universe. Shallow, I know, but it worked to keep me in shape.
Then one day we broke up and my drinking got heavier and my working out got lighter. Amazing how alcohol became more appealing because it was always there for me. So I put on empty, pointless, regretful pounds from over-drinking, and over-eating to soak up the wine. By the time I made the decision to stop drinking, my body had transformed from slim and muscular to flabby and fat. Although I didn’t gain a ton of pounds, my body was a wreck, with a belly from wine and a complete loss of muscle tone.
So wallah! I stopped drinking! Look at my watch, look at the calendar, time for the pounds to drop off and my muscles to reappear. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the energy or motivation to go back to the gym twice a day, and I was hungry all the time, mainly for carbs, probably because my body was yearning to fill itself with what I had trained it to crave, empty calories. Not only was I fighting to stay sober, I was expecting other miracles to drop in my lap right away. They didn’t. And they didn’t for a while, but I decided that if I followed through with living without alcohol, the rest of my goals would eventually begin to move in the right direction. Because what no one wants to say is that alcohol kills everything good in your life. That’s right. It is a sneaky, sly and cunning addiction. It gave me a few hours of soothing and took away time that I could have spent with my daughter, my family, my friends, my partner and my work colleagues. Wine took my money, my goals, my focus, my energy, my brainpower and my values. And I readily handed it all over for years and years.
Living without drinking did take a while to sink in, and I had had close to a year of sobriety in the past, but this time I was older, this time I knew I had a chance at a better life, and I knew if I didn’t grab on to this chance, I might not get another. Sometimes chances to change don’t come again. So if you are sober today hold tight, don’t drink, use any assets you have access to; meetings, blogs, vlogs, books, sleep, eat or pray. Reach out to one of us sober peeps. We are all in this together.
I did lose weight, after about the sixty day mark my body realized I wasn’t going to feed it a diet based mainly on chardonnay anymore. It realized that nutrient rich food was here to stay and exercise was going to be jogging and yoga, and it started to give up the pounds. And by that point, I liked looking in the mirror so much better than I had for almost twenty years, that I didn’t really care too much about my body. I was beginning to love, myself.