Moments of Weakness

There’s something in the way my (everyone’s?) brain works that means that I have a strong propensity to lie to myself. Well, not so much lie as choose to ignore; to remain in denial, avoiding opening the blinds completely in an effort to hide away in the shadows of what I know, staying tucked away in my comfort zone.

I used to do this with regards to wine – at night I would lie in bed feeling for lumps as evidence of tumours, so convinced as I was that I had developed cancer as a result of my wayward lifestyle. In the mornings, I would stare at my haggard reflection, the dark circles below my eyes and magnified pores of the skin on my face, the flushed cheeks that had nothing to thank blusher for. I would berate myself for being an irresponsible mother, a less-than-perfect girlfriend.

And then, by about 5pm, there I would be, having a perfectly reasonable little chat with myself which would, absolutely guaranteed, end in a drive to the supermarket for a bottle of cold Pinot Grigio, perhaps a Chablis if I needed to feel as though I were ‘treating’ myself, and the merry-go-round would begin again.

The fact was that the health anxieties I was experiencing, the sorry-looking reflection in the mirror, the urge to overeat carbs each morning owing to consistent, nagging hangovers, they were all factors that resulted from drinking alcohol and nothing else; the simple truth was that if I had just stopped drinking, all of the negativity in my life would have vanished – which, I am pleased to say, in the end I did, and it did.

The reason I am writing this today is because it occurred to me over the weekend that I am now doing exactly the same thing with my weight. Ok, I’m not overweight, but I would like to lose about half a stone in order to reach my ideal size. Because I don’t drink and I run regularly, I do maintain a good weight for my height, but I know that the reason those last few pounds won’t budge is because I give in to that voice in my head that tells me that the Crème Eggs (yes, plural) I eat after dinner, or the pizza we order in on a busy night, when cooking a meal somehow seems to fall by the wayside, aren’t really that bad, the voice that tells me that those extra five or six hundred calories a day aren’t really going to make a difference.df-cadbury-creme-egg_300

Well guess what? They do. They are the difference, just as that bottle of wine, so easily scooped up off the shelf in Waitrose and plonked down amongst the bread, yoghurts and tins of baked beans, was the difference between what I was then, and what I am today.

It’s a moment of weakness, of denial, and the efforts to achieve your goal just vanish into the air like a puff of smoke, as if they never existed in the first place. This is why I’m going to try making some visual reminders of my goals.

Writing the reasons why you want to lose weight or give up booze down on pieces of paper and sticking them all over the kitchen, or wherever you feel your trigger points are most likely to occur (in your purse maybe, so you catch a glimpse of it just before you go to pay for that bottle of wine you’ve picked up on the way home from work), is one idea. Keeping a food/booze diary is another, or sticking a picture of yourself at your ideal weight up on the bathroom mirror…Keep a list of all the reasons why you hated yourself so much the morning after your last binge, and read it nightly so that you don’t forget.

My weakness now is chocolate – I’m pretty healthy in every other respect, but I know that my weight will continue to bug me if I don’t manage to lose those last few pounds. So today, I will put some of the above strategies into practice and hope that some/all of them work. I’ll keep you informed of my progress – maybe you could try it for whatever your weakness is, and let me know if it works for you.


11 thoughts on “Moments of Weakness

  1. andi broughton says:

    Ah Lucy you have been peeking into my psyche! Having sorted the wine I now need to lose 3 stone after also kicking the withdrawal sugar cravings. I too lie to myself and pop in the odd ( it won’t matter it’s only small) treat and pretend it never happened! I know I have done it with wine but really struggle with my beloved savoury snacks 😦 am set to give it a real push tho and have joined a slimming group so will see…

    • It is a struggle isn’t it? I’m going to make some lists this evening and stick them on the fridge door – it’s like I just forget what my goals are momentarily, eat a couple of Crème Eggs and then, bang! There go the good intentions. Good luck with your slimming club – let me know how you get on. I’ll report back on my lists and their effectiveness!! Lucy x

  2. I think this is great awareness! Kudos! Alcohol is fermented sugar so it makes sense that you are craving sugar and refined carbs because it’s all the same addiction with different consequences. I help people (especially healers: holistic practitioners, teachers, mothers) cultivate a sound food life and one advanced step is to eliminate alcohol consumption. You’ve worked from the other side and let go of alcohol first, now you need to adjust the food. I have two free food courses online if you or any of your readers would like to grab them and I share oodles of smart nutrition advice (like your blog posts) on my Facebook page. Keep up the great effort!! Best, Carla.

    • Hi Carla, thanks for this helpful info – makes a lot of sense. We are always looking for writers on Soberistas so feel free to send something in if you would like to share this in more detail with our members. It’s really helpful and useful info to be aware of when newly teetotal (or 2 years teetotal as I am!). Thanks again, Lucy xx

      • Hi Lucy~ I have spent a considerable amount of time since I last wrote creating The Healers Diet. In it I have a whole section that addresses alcohol and how it has no place in the diet of a healer. I would love to share this alcohol excerpt from The Healers Diet with your audience. Please tell me where to email it. In the meantime, you can see Thank you. Best, Carla.

  3. Sugar had been my battle after the booze left my system. In treatment we were told that we would have these cravings, and boy did I. The counselor also said that sugar was better than the alternative. Well, I took that as my manifesto and took the sugar world by storm. There was no surprise when I found I was still gaining weight after removing the booze (I was at vodka straight from the bottle by that time, so I didn’t get a ton of calories from that per se), and of course it was overeating, emotional eating…and sugar. Tons of it.

    I started to use sugar the same way I did alcohol – for the emotional effect of hiding and coping. I was hiding wrappers. I was binging. So one day I cut it out for good, cold turkey. It’s been I think like three months (I haven’t kept track) and while I was a bit militaristic about it at first, I have made the concession of having 5 g or less of sugar per meal or snack, which is still low. I eat 85% chocolate for those cravings. I once ate 70% chocolate and ate the whole bar, so I went back to 85%! I know that if I get back to sugar, I will crave it like I did booze. So abstinence is my way. I lost 20lbs in a month or less. The next culprit – eating late at night…yikes.

    We can do this!


    • Hi Paul, thank you. I remembered your comment this afternoon when I went for a coffee with my daughters after school. I was really tempted by a chocolate tiffin, but I remembered what you had written here about going cold turkey, treating sugar in the same way as you once did for alcohol, and I refused it! Then went to the gym and refrained from any sweet treats after dinner, thus today has become my very first chocolate free day for AGES!!Thanks again – your supportive comment got me through my first hurdle!
      Good luck with your next challenge – all the best, Lucy x

  4. kiah says:

    So its not just me…I have certainly replaced wine with chocolate! Recently, I realized I had 6 different bars in my cabinet! Its literally the only “bad” thing I eat though, and its usually organic and dark, so I have been able to justify it for “health” reasons, but mentally, addiction is addiction I suppose… Once this last bar is gone, I am not buying any more for a while. I think treats are fine but 3x a day is getting to be a bit much…However, I’m only 3 weeks into this no-drinking lifestyle so maybe a little crutch is okay for a while 🙂

    Good luck with your cocoa cravings! I’m not sure what your dietary needs are, but today I had fresh strawberries and plain yogurt mixed with cinnamon and pure raw cacao powder (contains no sugar). It was a nice treat with only a little bit of naturally occurring sweetness!

    • Hi thanks for your comment and no, definitely not just you! I have been working really hard these last few days to avoid sugary foods, and to go running more and also am doing 60 – 100 (depending on the pain threshold!) sit-ups every day to try and get rid of my caesarean bump :-). Seems to be working, as I have lost about 3 pounds…I just need to maintain it now. I think you are absolutely right to give yourself a break and concentrate on getting through the early weeks without drinking, without worrying too much about chocolate. Of the two, the latter is definitely the lesser of two evils!
      Good to hear from you, Lucy x

  5. Claire says:

    Putting a note in your purse is such a good idea, I am going to try that to make me think twice when I go to buy that bottle of wine on the way home from work that the silly voice in my head often tells me I deserve!! Thank you for your blogs Lucy I really enjoy reading them xx

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