So this title is a little misleading, the year before I gave up alcohol I actually gave up the scales.
In the theme of letting go of things that do not serve you, I realised that I had spent my teenage and adulthood obsessed by what the scales said. It got to the stage that I would weigh myself 3 or 4 times a day, working out what time of day was best to eat, and if I maybe I took a nap, would it make a difference.
At the time I didn't think I had a problem, but looking back it was an addiction (thank you my ‘all or nothing’ personality), and an unhealthy addiction at that. It also got me nowhere, I was never happy with how I was, and if I did lose weight then I could never keep it off.
Comments throughout my life on my appearance gave me a deep loathing for my body. Yes I was grateful for it and in awe that it had delivered the miracle of 3 healthy babies, but I forever felt like I took up too much space, uncomfortable in my own skin.
My initial dabbling with sobriety came from my desire to drop weight. I would give up alcohol, and eat healthily for a month, lose more a less 14 pounds within a month, but then I would turn back to my habitual drinking, followed by the ‘fuck it’ attitude that came with alcohol and so back to the unhealthy food. Over the subsequent couple of months the weight I had lost would pile back on; I lived like this for years. The classic yo-yo dieter, despite being a health and fitness professional.
Until January 2018, when something changed for me.
I gave up for my normal 30 days with the intention of ‘treating’ myself to a drink once a month, but as the month came to a close, I started to think ‘who am I trying to kid?’ If I really want to treat me and my body right, it was to not drink again.
With sobriety, all of a sudden I found I had extra hours in my day. Instead of cracking open the wine at 5 and spending the rest of the evening sitting in front of the TV with calorie dense wine and snacks, I had hours I could fill. So I signed up for as many classes as I could manage, fitting them around the kids activities. Zumba, Yoga, Indoor Climbing, I tried them all.
The mornings that were once wasted to fatigue and hangovers were now time that I was feeling bright and full of energy, and so I got my shit organised and for the first time in years got back to the daily walking that I had loved before I had kids.
The healthy eating that I had always been so concerned about (I am a qualified nutritionist and swear by whole foods ... that was until I had a drink!) suddenly became much easier to stick to.
So, here I am 2 and a half years into my sober journey, and I am probably the smallest I have
ever been. I still do not weigh myself, and have no intention of doing so. But my clothes are all 3 sizes smaller than they were in 2018, and for the first time EVER i feel comfortable in my own skin.
Sobriety isn't a magic diet pill, sure cutting out the empty calories consumed in alcohol helps, but it is the lifestyle change that comes with it that makes the real difference. The motivation, the discipline, the extra time in the day, and the clear head in the morning together mean that you have the potential to reach fitness and weight goals maybe you never thought were possible, I know that is true for me.