Christmas is around the corner, and with it comes the challenge of overindulgence and... alcohol!
Now don't get me wrong! I am not out to bad mouth it. I don't drink through choice. When I was on my weight loss journey I decided I preferred good food so that's when alcohol left my life.
But moving on, alcohol in moderation can have a place in a balanced, healthy diet, if you want to enjoy it. And therein is the problem - what defines moderation?
Here is how you figure this out:
Can you temporarily go without your regular alcoholic drinks for two weeks without feeling uncomfortable? If not, then you may not be drinking in moderation. Alcohol may be helping you cope with things. And it may be time to face that.
Life is definitely stressful sometimes. We all look for ways to calm down and comfort ourselves.
Some ways may be helpful. A good run outside in the sunshine, or a blast-the-music session of smashing a punching bag, can usually kill a bad mood.
Other ways, not so helpful. We might buy unnecessary items on our credit card to feel the rush of buying something new. Or gamble. Or glaze over in front of the TV eating junk food. Etc.
For many of us, food is our self-medication of choice. Others choose exercise — occasionally to excess. Still others use the control of their food, eating, and exercise as a way to manage anxiety and feel in charge.
And then of course, there's alcohol. (Remember, the occasional drink or two in moderation can have a place in a healthy diet.)
Alcohol helps some of us cope. Takes the edge off. Chills us out. Helps oil the wheels of social interaction. Makes us feel like part of the crowd — our "friends" might even hassle us when we don't drink around them.
Plus depending on our booze of choice, alcohol can be tasty. It can go well with a meal or provide the perfect ending (like liqueur or port).
So when is alcohol just part of a normal "fit person" lifestyle, and when is it a problem?
If the idea of giving up booze even for a short time is freaking you out… that's probably a problem.
Today, ask yourself:
1. How is alcohol important to me?
2. How often do I drink, and how much? In what situation?
3. What am I using alcohol for?
4. If I feel uncomfortable not drinking, why?
5. Does my drinking have any relationship to my food and eating habits? If yes, what?
Finally, if you think you might need help with your drinking, reach out to someone for help. You're not a weirdo, you're not bad, and you're not alone.
Many of my coaching clients struggle with this topic. And they find that addressing alcohol habits head-on helps them make great progress elsewhere in their weight loss journey.
If you’d like to take your health to a whole new level in 2019 then click the button below to have a free Discovery Session with me. At the very least you’ll come away with some tips to start you off and some clarity about where you’re headed.
Click below to listen to a podcast episode I was interviewed for, about building resilience and my journey to being a Health Coach