Much like last week’s progress post, this isn’t really going to be about alcohol, as I have found it fairly easy to avoid alcohol so far this Dry January. I think this might be because I know that there is an end to this ‘alcohol ban’? The thing is, I don’t want to go back to drinking too much alcohol when January is over. I keep wondering if I should just continue to avoid alcohol, or whether I will be able to introduce alcohol back into my life in a balanced way.
As I mentioned last week, I want to be able to drink the odd alcoholic drink when I feel like it, without getting back into the bad habit of drinking half a bottle of wine each night. In the same way, I want to be able to eat a pizza or a chocolate brownie when I feel the need, but I don’t want to mindlessly eat foods that don’t make me feel good. I tend to move from one extreme to another: either being strict on myself or letting myself eat and drink whatever I want. In preparation for introducing alcohol back into my life in a more mindful way, I spent this week trying to find a balance between eating wholesome food, but also allowing myself what I felt I needed or wanted to eat.
If you are from the UK you probably know that ‘Clean Eating’ has been a hot topic this week thanks to the BBC Horizon documentary Clean Eating – The Dirty Truth. Unfortunately, being in Italy, I wasn’t able to watch it, but I have followed various discussions about it on social media. Most people seem to agree with the sentiments I included in my post from last week – the best approach to living a healthy life is to find balance, and any diet that encourages you to ban a food group, or uses terms such as ‘cheat foods’, is not good for your mental health (and possibly even your physical health) and is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term.
So this week I ate chocolate protein bars, had more bread and a pizza on Friday night, but I spent the majority of the time still making all of my meals and introducing different types of green vegetables, lean proteins, oats, nuts, seeds, etc. I felt I had more energy on the days I played tennis or trained, but I continued to feel less bloated than usual. The only thing that didn’t really work for my body was the pizza, and I woke up during the night feeling thirsty with an acidy stomach. Now, that’s not going to stop me eating pizza, but I think I will wait a while before I have another one. And to think I used to often eat more than one pizza a week! This process is all about listening to my body and finding out what makes me feel good (Find What Feels Good!), but that also fulfils the need I have to sometimes indulge without feeling guilty.
Next week I am going to London and then back home to visit my mum for a few days. This will be a good way to finish off Dry January as I usually drink (and eat) a lot more when I’m in England, so I know it will be more of a test than the past two weeks have been.