Andra here, As some of you know over 2 years ago i decided to give up processed food. Though the path has been a slow one, with some bumps along the way, i can now say that i eat 98% unprocessed food. Amazingly i do not crave pizza or brownies any more, and if i ever forget my resolve i quickly reminded after a splurge that my body feels SO MUCH better eating clean unprocessed food. I felt so good after making this change i began to wonder what else i was putting into my body that was weighing me down physically and emotionally. I did not need to look much further for the next obvious suspect…Alcohol.
I decided to cut out alcohol in september of last year, and i have now been over a year alcohol free. I wish i could say that this transition was as easy as cutting out the processed foods, but it was not. Alcohol for me was a bridge to the uninhibited socialization that i thought i craved, It was a coping mechanism when things got too stressful, it was a reward at the end of a long day or week, it was a celebration to be had when accomplishments were achieved, it was my little quiet moment at the end of a long day, it was kind of a big deal. When you remove something that you believe has all these magical powers your mind gets all flippy-floppy and says things like: “Andra, this is a very very bad idea”, You didn’t really have a problem, so whats the big deal”, “everyone else is having fun drinking, you should join in, it is the normal thing to do”, “you deserve a drink, why are you depriving yourself”. … Just for the record, normal drinkers with casual alcohol use do not have these thoughts, and though this little voice in my head was very convincing its persistence also made clear that i had long ago departed from a healthy use of alcohol. The first 3 months of this process were tough, but i gained support from reading blogs on-line by other people who had made the leap to an alcohol free life and i was truly inspired by them. If they could do it so could I. After about the 3 month mark, it became relatively easy to not drink if i was in my normal routine. The challenge came in when i was hanging out with friends or in situations in which i previously drank alcohol. The thing that motivated me, and has continued to motivate me to not return to drinking is a huge list of positive lifestyle gains. I feel happier than i have since i can remember, i always felt like there was this cloud hovering just out of sight that could zoom in and make me feel blue and discontented, the cloud has all but disappeared and has been replaced with blue skies. I am not saying that i do not still have my somber moments, but they do not sweep me away like they did in the past, and i am able to ride the waves of my natural emotional shifts with much more grace. I sleep better, enough said! I am mentally more focused, curious, and productive. I feel more comfortable and at ease in social situations. I have more energy. I have more fun, and i am more light hearted. I am able to remain emotionally open during conflict and conflict resolution, where before i would often shut down. I could go on and on, but you get the point, the change to being Alcohol free has been a true transformation for me, mind, body and Spirit.
Lately i have been thinking about other habits in my life that i feel do not serve my overall well being. At the top of the list is Caffeine and Sugar, followed closely by on overconsumption of social media, and last but not least my habit to procrastinate and make excuses to forgo my daily yoga practice and meditation.
I have decided that 2015 will be my year to take on these remaining lifestyle changes. I am excited for the challenge, and to see what is on the other side of letting go. I am excited to dig deeper, to peel back the onion layers. To discover what is inside.
Here is my vision for the new year: Alcohol free, caffeine free, sugar free. Incorporate a daily yoga practice (30 minutes minimum) and a daily meditation practice (30 minutes minimum) . Keep social media to a minimum by checking and interacting only twice daily.
I will keep you up to date with how these changes effect my day to day life, and the big picture.
Real change is an inside job, and not always easy, but worth the effort! Are you interested in letting any habits go in the new year, or maybe adding a new healthy habit? I would love to hear about your adventure!