Happy Monday! This topic is something I talk about with my clients quite a bit, and it seemed fitting to share on here as well. If this post motivates even one of you, then I've done my job here.
I visited my college campus recently when I was down in Orlando and it was very bizarre to be back. I wanted Ben to see where I went to school, so we drove around and I told him story after story, surprising myself with how much I remembered about each building and the memories I made there. I realized that I don't think about college too much because I was so different back then. I was incredibly unsure of myself and pretty uncomfortable in my own skin. Health and fitness were sadly not priorities for me back then. I cared about Kappa, shopping, and getting good enough grades to keep my parents happy. I was well-meaning but clueless, aloof and materialistic.
I had one and only one healthy habit back then: I barely ever drank. My then-boyfriend didn't care for drinking, and so I didn't see a reason to do much of it, either. We were both Type-A control freaks and a real pleasure to be around. But once I became single and moved to Manhattan, I began to appreciate alcohol for the social lubricant it is. And in a way, I think I felt like I was making up for all of the symbolic partying I voluntarily missed out on in college.
I admit, drinking became more fun once Perri became legal.
Looking back, there were tough moments in my life when I definitely hit the bottle too hard, as I think many of us do... Back in 2009 I was battling depression and at my lowest point I lost 13 pounds in a month. I looked great but felt awful. There were days I'd eat only a package of 100-calorie Fig Newton Minis and then have several glasses of wine, only to pass out soon thereafter. And I definitely had a few tequila-induced breakdowns in the weeks following my mom's passing.
These days, I rarely drink and here's why:
1) Sleep is a huge priority to me and I know if I have even 1 glass of wine, it'll mess up my cycle. This is probably the number one reason (literally) I rarely drink anymore. (And by the way, my definition of "rarely" is a glass of wine every two weeks or so.)
2) The calories and carbs aren't worth it to me. 99 times out of 100, I'd rather have dessert.
3) In the past few years I've noticed I experience hangovers much easier (and worse) than I used to. Feeling awful in the morning is no longer cute or funny.
4) Feeling good and doing my workouts are always my priority. Drinking is a slippery slope that can lead to poor decisions (eating crap, sleeping less, etc.), derailing your health goals.
BONUS) When I am pregnant someday (God willing) there will be no, "OMG, you're not ordering a drink?!?!?!" give away. I'll keep everyone guessing ALAP! Muahahaha!
Honestly though, when it comes down to it, I just don't feel the need to drink. When I first started "getting healthy" 6 years ago - working out, exercising portion control, etc. - my motto was, "I'd rather be thin than drunk." This was tough sometimes because I was single and drinking when you're single in Manhattan can feel like it's required. I forced myself to look inward and ask, "What's my REASON for drinking?" Sometimes I'd have reasons that felt valid - IE "I'm single and I'm loving life" or "I'm celebrating" or "I'm grieving". But a glass of wine on a random night for no reason? No. My birthday, Valentines Day, a special date night with Ben? Yes!
If you're on a journey to become a healthier you and think you could cut back on your own alcohol consumption, I challenge you to look inward and find the WHY. When I look back and think of the bleakest nights and the worst mornings in the past 10 years, I was almost always drinking to forget something. I wish I'd found exercise I'd enjoyed years ago and battled out my depression and insecurities on the gym floor.
I love Golden Pear iced tea more than wine.
A lot's changed in my journey, and that's precisely why it's not called a destination. I used to care about being thin, and now being strong is my priority. Either way, for me, drinking just isn't important anymore. For the most part, I enjoy life without it. I know there are plenty of other fitness professionals out there who balance partying and training, and that's their choice. This is mine. And if it makes me a "nerd", "boring" or "lame"... I'm TOTALLY okay with that.
And by the way, I've had plenty of people say to me, "But I HAVE to drink. It's part of my job!" I have to call BS. Yes, I understand that entertaining clients is an important part of the job for some of you, and entertaining often includes drinking. However, don't let your professional life derail your personal one. There's nothing wrong with limiting yourself to one drink with lots of water. I'd imagine many people would actually be impressed and inspired by your commitment to well-being. On the flip side, I've also talked to some people who entertain their clients by taking them to SoulCycle or Fhitting Room or another kind of workout. AWESOME!
Two tips/rules for those of you trying to cut back:
a) Limit yourself to X amount of drinks per week. If you're someone who usually goes balls to the walls on the weekend, limit yourself to 4 drinks maximum for the whole week (2 max per night) and see how you feel afterward.
b) If you're trying to lose weight but not quite ready to give up your glass of wine, count it as your carb and have it with protein and green veggies. Skip the potatoes/rice/whatever else.
As always, this is MY story and I'm sharing what's worked for ME in hopes it inspires one of YOU. If you have any questions or want to learn more about health coaching or personal training with moi, shoot me an email.
Love you all!