I made a decision several years ago. I decided that any time that I said ‘I need a drink’ I would not have one. I would not use alcohol to solve my problems, reduce my stress, make my life easier. Why? Because from what I could tell that is one of the easiest ways to become an alcoholic.
I don’t know exactly when I made that decision, but for the most past I have stuck with it. There have been a couple of exceptions – I remember not getting a job I was really expecting to get, and finishing a particularly good bottle of scotch. I also remember discovering a particularly disturbing fact with regards to my life about a year ago, and without going into details I spent much of Saturday evening trying to rid the Roppongi district of single malt Scotch whisky. I am not proud of that evening, but it did redouble my resolve to not turn to booze to try to solve my problems, because all it accomplished in both cases was a bit of a hangover… and in the case of that second night some blurred memories.
For those of you who know how the last year of my life has gone, you will know that I have had a lot of opportunities to think that drinking would (or could) solve my problems… I am pleased to say that throughout the entire year I can only think of one occasion on which I had more than two glasses of whisky (or any other drink)… and that was the night of my friends’ Cam and Amanda’s wedding.
Food, on the other hand, has been a very different story. I wish it wasn’t so, but I have over the past year (as has been my habit since I was a teenager) turned to food in times of celebration, for comfort, for many other reasons. I have eaten emotionally for most of my life, and that is one of the main reasons my weight ballooned to what it was (and even to what it is, which 40lbs down is still beyond reasonable). With everything that I have learned over the past year with regard to nutrition and portions, this habit above all is one that I had to curtail.
When I am under 200lbs I am sure I will be able to break this, but as I work hard to get there I have to remember that there are six reasons to eat: breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning snack, afternoon snack, evening snack. There is never an excuse for not logging my food into MyFitnessPal… and it is important to remember that the only person I would be cheating if I didn’t enter it accurately is myself. So the hamburger and french fries that I had for lunch last week are in there, as is the extra snack that I took yesterday afternoon. For the time being I have to work toward being a healthy weight… and veering from the path will only impede my progress.
So on the days that are emotionally the toughest, the most stressful… the days when at the end of the day I want to throw up my hands and cry, I have to go home and cook dinner for myself, rather than going next door to the pub and getting a large order of Buffalo wings (and I am told that QB’s makes spectacular wings). Rather than being in the position on those days to fall back on the ‘there’s no food in the house’ excuse, I have to plan in advance – make sure there is food in my freezer that can be defrosted and cooked (and I am not talking about prepared foods). I have to make sure that there are cans of tuna and salmon, there is pasta, there are fruits and vegetables. I have to make sure that there are healthy snacks and food that I will want to eat so that while the Buffalo Wings might be tempting, the healthy alternative is still very palatable.
…Which reminds me, I think I have to go shopping today!