I, like most of you (I assume) enjoy a drink. I love my wine, my cocktails and especially my champagne. Lately however alcohol has presented itself to me as less of a friend and more of an enemy.
Regular readers of this blog will know that in February, I embarked on a ‘Whole30’ – a strict Paleo diet that included, amongst other things, giving up alcohol for a whole month. I felt amazing. My thoughts were clearer, I had boundless energy, I slept better. All in all, after a month of a clean diet and no booze, I was on fire.
I’m not a big drinker by any definition. I enjoy a few glasses of wine on a Friday night, a couple of cocktails on a Saturday and the odd bottle of champagne to celebrate on a special occasion. The month of March however has proved challenging for me on the alcohol front. I find now that I have a mere two drinks and I wake up feeling sluggish and foggy. Last Friday night I had four drinks (weak ones too – I had Campari and soda and Campari is not very alcoholic) over the space of about five hours, averaging less than one drink and hour, and I woke up on Saturday feeling slow and incredibly dusty. Actually, that’s an understatement - I had a hangover. And it did not feel nice.
I am trying to put my finger on whether I have finally come to the conclusion that my body just doesn’t react well to my poisons of choice or whether it is simply used to a month sans booze and is now desperately trying to adjust to the injections of drink it is getting twice weekly. Either way, I know this – alcohol is definitely not making me feel good right now. The longer I go without it, the better I feel. To admit this is difficult – who doesn’t love a drink? Alcohol is our social lubricant and it always turns an average time into an amazingly fun one. It was, at times, incredibly hard staying sober during February while out at fabulous New York parties and dinners, acutely aware the whole time that my friends were having the time of their lives. On the flip side however, I was equally aware that I would be the first one bounding out of bed the next day, bright eyed and feeling fresh, minus the craving for the world’s greasiest burger.
For now, I am going to just experiment, slowly, with reducing and monitoring my alcohol intake. I am no longer going to drink because I find myself in a social environment in which everyone else is partaking. I want to pay attention to what my body wants and react accordingly. At the very least, behaving this way will save me both money and unneeded calories. I have long ago tamed my Fear of Missing Out, so what else have I got to lose?