When you look at my photo, I hope it makes you smile. A funny mama in her 30’s that loves her “grapes”… Almost. It is more than that. So much more.
I shared a status on my personal Facebook wall this past weekend:Self control at an open bar... only took me 31 years to get it right! Click To Tweet
It was met with a lot of likes and a few laughs… but it really got me thinking about what that status represented. The night before, I’d enjoyed a beautiful Newport wedding of a friend of 10 years by the side of my husband of 7. I’d asked Dave to help me limit my drinks to 3. A good social number, I thought. Cocktail hour, dinner, dessert- with a sip or 2 of champagne.
The hardest part of weddings:
Though the bride’s father started his speech off shaky- it took a direction of nothing less than a pure and true love. It had me imagining: what would my Dad have said? And in the moment, where I would have grabbed a shot of whiskey, I lifted a glass of lemon water to my lips, took a deep sip, blinked my tears into my napkin and toasted the beautiful words of a man to his child. Just a sip of champagne. It truly was a beautiful speech.
The parent/child parts of a wedding are always the hardest for me. Worst are when there is a healthy relationship between a father and daughter. I revert to that childish thought of why not me?
On this night, the mother/son dance was to Billy Joel’s Lullaby. This happened to be my father/daughter dance (which was danced with my stepfather in memory of my father). While I broke down inside, I only let a few silent tears fall.
It’s not your moment, I thought as Dave squeezed my thigh.
I felt like I didn’t need that drink.
I am not saying I am an alcoholic, though it’s no stranger to our family. What I am saying is that alcohol has always been an escape for me. It’s also been a way to have fun, relax, socialize, escape. Alcohol has worn many hats for me… but rarely has it ever been to simply compliment a meal and punctuate a conversation with friends in celebration. Not without being a few other unsavory things simultaneously.
At this wedding, I enjoyed the view. I enjoyed the company of my husband. Seeing my friends walk hand in hand, eyes glued to the other, as though they were reading words of love from the other’s soul. I relished in the love that surrounds weddings… instead of wallowing in the sadness that I’ve previously let in. …and I truly think it’s the little changes I have made that allowed me to do this. That gave me this one night to finally figure it all out.
Decide to make the changes:
I have been talking a lot about making decisions, small steps and how they will change your life. From better nutrition to finding workouts that I love, these changes have equaled more than I could have imagined they would. Quite similar to one of my favorite books The Compound Effect, it only makes sense to make small changes, watch them bank and then grow, making life more complete. Right?
What I haven’t told you is that taking these small steps for my health and nutrition have also lead to less alcohol consumption. Where I wasn’t an alcoholic, I certainly had a problem. A problem enjoying alcohol without it being too much.
The rich nectar of grapes guzzled by the 6oz glass, one after another with such little thought to the effect it had on my health. Mental and physical. The sulfites surely to bring a headache at 3am, which I knew. And ignored. Always telling myself I was with friends who were doing the same, so I wasn’t doing anything wrong.
But not last night.
Sure, I was glad I had a designated driver, of course, and I was warm and fuzzy- even after the hour and a half ride home. But in the morning? I awoke with vigor. Still glowing from the honor of seeing our friends married in one of the most beautiful venues I’ve ever seen!
I am not here to say DON’T drink or that drinking can’t be relaxing! We all deserve to relax however we relax. Maybe it is a good book, a bath, a night out with friends, a glass of wine or a beer, a movie, a workout.
Whatever your relax is, know its why, too. For me, I thought I was relaxing because I enjoyed wine… but that wasn’t it. My enjoyment of wine is in social situations, over dinner, or a bloody Mary at brunch. Not at 4:58pm on a Tuesday while cooking dinner. Alone. That is my body craving escape. Or sugar. Or both.That is the danger of a mind-altering substance. #makethechange Click To Tweet
I still love a glass of wine with dinner, or a mixed drink or two at a wedding, but when I am giving back to my body starting each morning, I find my relax is not in altering my body with a drug, but by enjoying a hot cup of tea, a workout, or a movie with Dave.
I can still change my body and mind with the release of hormones and endorphins, while being completely in control. That is a feeling I didn’t know I was longing for. A control I didn’t know I didn’t have.
So… that is my honesty for the week. I hope that sharing this brings you some clarity on your why. It’s been about 3 months, and my box-of-wine-a-week has dwindled to less than that in a month. This has opened my eyes to my problem. I don’t miss wine, or want it and not have it. It’s sitting on my shelf, right now, as I type. I just don’t have a delicious meal in front of me, friends surrounding me, and the desire to have a glass, as we chat about cook times, parenting, and re-mortgaging our homes.
This is about how giving back to your health and wellness can have life-altering side effects besides lean muscles and a few pounds off the scale. How caring for you is an all-encompassing journey back to you… or to a new you. And how amazing are new journeys to embark upon?
What’s the first step you’re going to take for you?