Day 7 of no alcohol and Day 4 of juice fasting!

Other than being ever so slightly hungry, I feel like a million bucks, seriously!  I can’t believe how good my body feels for giving it this gift of cleansing.  It has made abstaining from alcohol easier the past couple of days, because I’m focused on the cleanse and detoxing.  For the past four days, I’ve been drinking fresh juices and water, with mixes made from veggies and fruits like carrot, celery, apple, kale, parsley, beet, pear, ginger, chard, cucumber, and oranges.  I’ve never felt so healthy since I was a child.  It’s weird.  My vision even seems clearer!  I have a natural energy that I know I’ve felt before but it’s been so many years that it’s a foreign feeling.  

Today is a bit hard, only because it’s Saturday and the husband and I are lounging around the house with no plans other than to relax and watch a movie or two tonight.  He just went to pick himself up a burrito (swoon) and some organic berries and mint for me to make myself a dessert juice.  Sounds good, right?  It’s going to be my mock wine.  Only better.  But seriously, lounging around the house with time to relax definitely makes me want to drink.  I associate relaxing with wine.  It’s the weekend!  Relax!  Pour a glass of pinot and have some lovely cheese and crackers!  (Okay now I’m really making it harder on myself.)  I’m wondering when those thoughts will dissipate, or if they ever will.  It’s a learned behavior — for so long I’ve had wine to relax at home.  I’ve loved nothing more than to curl up in front of a favorite show or good movie, snack away on something fun and delicious, and wash it down with some fancy wine.  I live in wine country after all!  It’s a way of life here.  

I need to experience the discomfort of creating new habits, and it’s hard.  (Whine.)  Today in yoga my teacher kept saying that the true practice of yoga is to experience happiness in times of discomfort.  In a challenging pose, for example.  That concept translates to life off the mat and I find it extremely useful to meditate on it when the cravings hit hard.  I am happier sober.  This has proven itself to be true, time and time again.  If I can breathe through the craving, breathe in that happiness I feel when I wake up hangover free in the morning, and breathe out the craving, breathe out that urge for a vice whose happiness is a lie, it helps.  

On that yoga-geek note, I’m excited to say that I’ve signed up to start my training to attain my yoga teacher 200 hour certification!  This is something I’ve wanted to do ever since I really started a regular practice in May of 2011, and I’ve decided that this is the perfect time to dive in.  So I’ll be busy for five weekends starting in February.  When I am practicing regularly, I am better able to handle everything, including quitting drinking.  Plus, having yoga training on weekends is that much extra incentive to be alcohol free… drinking and yoga teacher training just do not go hand in hand.  

Staying focused on my goals and breathing through the hard parts… that’s my mantra today.  What helps you through a difficult craving?

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Day 6 and back to counting

I was hesitant to say I was counting days again until I made it through new years and even then, I felt like I needed a couple of days to strengthen my resolve.  Today I feel like I’m back on solid ground, so I’m comfortable taking a look at what day it is… day 6.

This is take three of my attempt at 100 days sober.  I seriously have learned so much from my first two attempts.  Even the fact that I’ve been attempting this means that my days of drinking have been seriously cut down in the past six weeks or so.  To have stints of sobriety and then times when I slipped into drinking has taught me loads about what triggers me to drink, what the after affects of drinking are (I could never tell before what was from alcohol and what wasn’t, because I never took a break), and simply how much better I feel once I’ve been sober for a few days.  The feeling of health is something I didn’t even realize I was missing.  I never thought I was hung over on weekdays, but looking back it seems comical that I didn’t think I was.  I woke up every day with a fog in my head.  It was hard to remember things.  Everything seemed difficult.  I had trouble breathing.  I was nauseated.  But still didn’t think of that as being a hangover.  Read = denial.

A couple days before new years my husband and I watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.  It totally inspired us to buy a juicer, which we did.  We’re still waiting for it to arrive, but in the meantime, when we got up on new years day we decided to go to Whole Foods and get a fresh juice for breakfast.  We spent the day lounging around, except for me going to yoga.  I felt so good after the juice that I decided to turn it into a juice fast to let my digestive system rest and detoxify a bit.  So for the past three days I’ve had lots of fresh vegetable juice, kombucha tea, detox tea, and tons of water.  I’m slightly hungry but most of today I have felt pretty amazing!  I’m surprised at myself for doing this even though I know the benefits of a fast every now and then.  I probably haven’t done this for ten years.

Usually, the thought of fasting was too much for me because I would have to have no alcohol and there was always something coming up where I’d “have to drink.”  It’s so liberating to not have that mentality going on right now, that I have to drink just because some event is coming up.  Because really, that mentality included every event.  Every dinner out, every time I met with a friend, every party, every social interaction, period.  And if I tried to abstain at something, a friend would inevitably say, “Oh, come on and just have a glass of wine.  It’s [insert special occasion here].”  What they didn’t know, and what would make me cringe inside, was that I would have been drinking at home every night that week and was exhausted from my solo “special occasions.”  Even times when I didn’t feel like drinking when out, or at least knew that I should ease up or take a break, I would do it anyway because it’s the socially acceptable thing to do.  I’d muscle through the first glass of wine even when it tasted bad because my body was begging me to stop.  Once that glass sunk in, the rest went down just fine.  And that’s how I kept going.

To not have that compulsion ruling my life right now really does feel amazing.  I feel like a weight has lifted from my whole body.  And maybe this is the vegetable juice, but it actually feels like my cells are thanking me.  I’m going to try and stick to this fast for at least 7 days.  They recommend 10, but not sure I can pull that off.  Whenever I feel like I need to call it off I will.  But for now, it feels perfect to be allowing my body to heal itself and rid itself from toxins.  Perfect way to start the new year.

I’m going to email Belle (tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.wordpress.com) and start my count over at 6.  This time I am more determined than ever to make this 100 days happen.