healthy lifestyle · running · Uncategorized

Slippery Slope Syndrome

A few weeks ago, I decided that I was indulging way too much in wine and beer, especially on the weekends, and it was leading to bad nutritional decisions.  Because I’m in the midst of marathon training, I decided that I needed to stop drinking.  Period.  For 30 days.

Yesterday was day 23 of the challenge.  Out of those 23 days, 20 of them were alcohol free.  A couple of weeks into the challenge, my husband and I went on a much needed weekend getaway, and I ended up drinking and eating way too much.  But my husband and I had so much fun that weekend.  We ate some delicious food and went on a 20-mile bike ride.  We stayed at a wonderful bed and breakfast and had a really awesome time!  As soon as we returned, I got right back on track.

After being back on track for a couple of weeks, and spending this last weekend alcohol free, I’m feeling really good, but I was finding myself wanting a glass of wine this week.  Sometimes in the evenings, especially after a stressful day, I like to have a glass of wine.  Sometimes I just like to have a glass of wine with my dinner.  And yesterday I started to do some real soul-searching of why I was on this 30-day no alcohol challenge.

I think I finally figured it out.  I have a fear of what I like to call the “slippery slope syndrome”.  I worry that if I’m not perfectly on track with my eating and exercise all of the time, I will gain weight and go back to when I was overweight and unhealthy.  I worry that if I allow myself to indulge in a treat, I won’t be able to practice moderation and stop.  It’s a legitimate fear.  In the past, one unhealthy meal on the weekends would often lead to eating like crap the entire weekend.  One glass of wine would often lead to three.  I have a fear that I don’t have control over myself and that if I allow myself any slack, that I’ll snowball out of control.

I realized yesterday that I have to give myself some credit.  And I need to be much kinder to myself instead of beating myself up and keeping a tight rein.  I’m suffocating myself trying to be perfect.  I’ve made a lot of progress over the last several years.  I have established a lot of healthy lifestyle habits.  My fitness level improves every day.  Every day it gets easier to resist unhealthy temptations.  I need to stop being so afraid that one indulgence will lead to 1000.

After realizing this, I decided to give up the challenge yesterday.  Last night, I had a glass of wine with my healthy dinner.  Just one glass.  It was delicious and I have no regrets.

I did learn some important lessons during this challenge, though.  First of all, I learned that I am able to resist alcohol.  I’m around it quite often.  My husband likes to drink, my friends and family like to drink, so I tend to be in situations often where I’m around alcohol. However, saying no wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  People didn’t look at me weird or give me a hard time.  I could still have fun, even without a drink in my hand.  Learning that was really important for me, I think.  I think I thought that alcohol had some sort of control over me, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t.  I can say no.

I think that practicing moderation is always going to be a work in progress.  Some situations are probably going to be better than others.  But I think that the no alcohol challenge has given me a much-needed confidence boost!

How about you?  Are you able to practice moderation, or are you more in the “all or none” camp?

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9 thoughts on “Slippery Slope Syndrome

  1. People often DO look at me weird when I don’t drink! But hey, that’s their problem, no mine. It’s just not something I miss or want.

    Now, chocolate, OTOH . . .

    I’m constantly striving for the right balance of enjoying treats and not depriving myself too much. It isn’t easy, and I definitely STILL have food issues I’m working through. Even after all this time. I probably always will. Some of us really are just wired differently when it comes to food.

    And sometimes it’s important to step back from something we’ve come to take for granted and see whether or not we’re indulging because we truly love it, or because it’s just become a habit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, I just have to find a balance. Giving up treats completely is just too stressful, but I also have to learn that I can indulge too much, so I just have to be careful! But stepping away from one of my great temptations, alcohol, definitely gave me perspective and even though I didn’t complete the full 30 days, I still think it was a valuable challenge and I’m happy I did it!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I was raised in a household where dinner was always followed by dessert, and more than on type of processed cookie was always available. This year I cut out any kind of prepackaged cookie, and I also stopped eating jam. Now I make my own fruit spread every few days by cooking some blueberries or raspberries with a tsp of maple syrup and a bit of ginger or cinnamon. This is a big deal as these things were a regular part of my life for 50 odd years!
    As for wine, I chastise myself for having a glass even though I know it helps with the stress of having my 87 year old mom live with us. I wil often have a spritzer with carbonated water and organic wine. Still, feel pangs of guilt. Funnily enough, my mother has half a glass of sherry every single day followed by a spritzer of her own. Why should I feel guilty?
    I am all about eating and drinking in moderation. I read every label, and portion everything out.
    Your post has given me permission to relax a little bit. Thanks.

    I love your new header, by the way.

    Did you see where Bailey’s is coming out with a dairy-free vegan almond-milk version?

    Like

    1. Don’t feel guilty about your glass of wine! You live a healthy, compassionate lifestyle, so you definitely have no reason to feel guilty! I did see that Bailey’s came out with that. I’m not really a big fan of alcohol that isn’t wine or beer, but I think I may just have to make an exception and try out the non-dairy Bailey’s! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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