Today’s Realization

Instead of our normal Sunday routine, in which DH and I putter around the house after our morning Starbucks and grocery shopping, we met some friends in Berkeley for an afternoon of hanging out and catching up with one another.  My brother came too.  It was really nice to see them all – especially since most of their get togethers happen when I’m at work or have other plans.

The morning started out OK.  I woke up with a headache and a bit of an achy back and neck.  Grr…  I weighed myself for my Sunday check-in and found that I’d lost 6 pounds in the past week.  Don’t get too excited or worried, though.  I know a lot of that was probably water weight that I’d gained from eating those bags of chips and theme park food the week before.  The weight loss should slow down to something more reasonable soon.

After that, I put together a menu for the week and a grocery list.  We headed off to Starbucks where I was able to make a deliciously healthy decision because of the nutritional info from their website.  Then it was time to buy some groceries before we headed out to Berkeley.

We wandered around downtown for a bit.  I found a great cookbook at Half Priced Books.  A man with some kind of mental illness tried to talk to me.  DH and my brother wondered if I knew him because he was so excited to see me.  I don’t – I just give off pheromones for homeless and crazy people.  We met our friends at Games of Berkeley (great shop BTW, and locally owned too), followed by a late lunch at Jupiter.

I perused the menu and picked out a delicious red and gold beet salad with goat cheese and champagne vinaigrette.  I paired it with a refreshing beer and enjoyed my time with friends.  About 3/4 of the way through my beer – long after my salad was eaten – I was hit with a familiar craving.  If there was a plate of cookies in front of me, or a cake, or brownies, or ice cream… any sweet yummy goodness really… I would have eaten it without thinking twice.  I would have kept on eating until it was all gone or I was too stuffed to eat another bite.  Luckily there weren’t any sweets nearby, and I was forced to ignore this craving until it went away.

We came home and I had another beer. And started another.  I know, I know, you don’t have to tell me that multiple beers don’t fit in with a healthy eating plan.  About then, I decided to make our lunches for tomorrow.  I was so excited to pack those pre-packaged snack packs that are about 100 calories and contain those special little treats.  You can imagine my heartbreak when I flipped over the individual packs to read several hundred calories and way too many grams of fat in that little nutritional box.  I guess DH is getting all the snack packs he can stomach.  Me? I get to make healthier decisions.  *sigh*

I finished my beer and put the bottle into recycling.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw a forlorn little cookie snack pack.  I said “I need to eat the cookies!” I opened the package, took one cookie and popped it into my mouth.  DH immediately jumped up and said “Give me those cookies.  They’re not good for you.  I’m supporting your healthy eating and you can’t eat these.”  I knew he was right, but I pouted anyway.

OK… so this long, rambling story has a point: I can’t drink and make healthy eating decisions. I realized this as I was pouting in my corner of the living room, acting like a child because my loving husband saved me from making a decision that I would become upset about later.

I had been reading this book called Almost Alcoholic (ISBN 9781616491598), which is about recognizing and addressing drinking that can’t be defined as alcoholism but is still outside the realm of “normal” drinking.  The authors explain that a lot of people become depressed when drinking habitually because alcohol lowers inhibitions, including your inhibitions towards certain feelings.  That’s why people who are normally mild mannered may become angry or mean when they drink, and shy people may become more outgoing.  In my case, alcohol not only lowers my resistance to cravings for sweets, it also lowers my inhibitions when it comes to pursuing them.  So, I’ll avoid drinking except under planned special circumstances so that I don’t make decisions that I’ll regret later.

By the way, the book is really interesting, and is the first in a series of “Almost Effect” books.  The idea is that there are a number of behavioral and physical problems that fall outside the realm of “normal” but aren’t quite enough to be considered “full-blown.”  I don’t think I’m on the “almost alcoholic” spectrum, but I do recognize the behavioral change that happens when I drink.  Since sweets are usually pretty easy to get my hands on, I’ll just avoid the trigger (alcohol) to control my intake of sweets.

Just thought I’d share my epiphany for today.  Now it’s time to head to bed.  I have an early, busy day tomorrow.

 

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