Wondering how I’m doing with my very brave “Sober October” manifesto?
We are halfway through the month… And in the interest of full disclosure – I did drink over Thanksgiving weekend – that was my hall pass. What have I observed about this process?
That some people think I’m nuts! And I get it! Why can’t I just not drink during the week and then have a glass on the weekend? Well…. As I said in my earlier post (https://mypuzzledlife.com/2015/09/30/sober-october/), the summer cocktail party had to end. But also – if I like something, I just want MORE! “That’s the best meatloaf I’ve ever had!” I want more. “That’s a very tasty cocktail!” Great! Give me another one! “That might be the best mini cupcake I’ve tasted since the last time I had a mini cupcake!” I had 3…. (which was noticed and pointed out to me by a friend’s husband – very appreciated…)
I think I have an obsessive/compulsive personality. This is good in some instances… It has allowed me to quietly and obsessively slog away at a yoga practise that I’m not very good at – I have attacked and learned a game which is quite hard to learn at an older age – when I have a project in front of me, I try to peck away at it methodically. But when I like something, I WANT MORE!!!!
And I do like my wine – and gin and tonics – and who doesn’t like champagne??!! So – I am going to try to persevere in October – more or less….
Recently, I spent a night at a friend’s, with a bunch of other gals after a delightful day of golf, to be followed up with some bridge. Our host suggested that October be dubbed “Sober October”.
I found this intriguing. My summer party has lasted into September – and there has to be an end in sight. Some discipline needs to be enforced!!!
Needless to say, the negotiations that ensued were quite hilarious… After the initial collective gasp of horror, we debated the merits of this notion. One proposal was reasonably suggested that wouldn’t it be enough to just not drink during the week? Well – of course, the definition of “the week” continued. I thought to myself that “the week” would be Monday – Thursday (that’s including Thursday). But one gal pointed out that a lot of social activity happens on Thursday nights – so how about no drinking Monday – Wednesday?
This continued down a path (away from sobriety) – wouldn’t it be enough to just drink one glass per night? And then – who are we fooling? – let’s be realistic and all agree to not drink more than 2/night.
There is one thing that we all agreed on wholeheartedly. We all need new doctors/trainers/nutritionists who won’t force us to lie about our habits! That would let go of a lot of needless anxiety – which probably contributes to the drinking in the first place, right?!
Having said all that… I really am going to try. What with everything going on with Henry right now, I need all the sleep/rest/calm/Zen I can get! This does come with a rider however… Thanksgiving is approaching (in Canada), and there’s NO WAY I’m hosting Thanksgiving without drinking!
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s the last day of September – and if I have any hope at all of achieving my goal, I need to go and get my fill before tomorrow!
Big talk you say… What could this gadget possibly be? Would it be the super awesome Nespresso machine, which makes creamy cappuccinos on demand? Could it be the Bullet, which smooshes and squishes a bunch of stuff into a superfood smoothie? Or perhaps a really good knife (which is indispensable – I have my favourite and routinely pass over it’s inferior cousins to the left and right in my knife drawer…) Well – without further ado – and before I lose your attention, it’s this….
It’s super cool!!
It’s called a Spiralizer!!! Just to remind everyone of what I’ve been doing lately – no wheat, sugar or dairy. Most people recoil in horror when I share this – but trust me – once you’ve started, it’s really not that hard to do. So – how do I live without pasta? I don’t – well kind of – but not really. Let me explain.
If I’m really craving something, we go to our favourite Italian restaurant at midday, and I order the Linguine Milano. I ALWAYS order the Linguine Milano. It has linguine (duh), chicken, snow peas in a cream sauce and I dump tons of fresh grated parmesan over it – and of course, they now have corn pasta, which at least, is gluten free. But for the day to day, and to continue my weight loss wellness journey, it’s verboten to have any grains at night. So what to do when you’re making something with a sauce that begs to be soaked up by rice, pasta or couscous?
Enter The Spiralizer!!! I’ve used it so far to make endless zucchini noodles and skinny sweet potato fries. Trust me on the zucchini noodles…. they are delicious. We ate them with a bolognese sauce, and they soaked up the sauce beautifully. We felt like we’d had a huge bowl of pasta, without that bloated, yucky feeling afterwards. I don’t eat them raw – I put them in a wok and stir fry with a bit of olive oil, before topping with the sauce. Yum… And the other night, topping them with shrimp curry…
Zucchini noodles topped with shrimp curry!
This making you hungry? Give it a go!
Hello Jaw Line – it’s nice to meet you… It’s been a few years!!
OK – so not the best title… too long. But I am 2 1/2 months into this process and thought that some of you out there might be interested in my progress. I am down 25 lbs.!! Wow!! That’s a pretty big turkey! Just to remind you – I’ve been off sugar, wheat and dairy. Here is what I’ve learned so far.
- You absolutely cannot undertake a process to overhaul yourself without the unwavering support and loyalty of your biggest fan (that would be Left Brain). When I’ve been discouraged, he’s there to listen. When I’m celebrating, he there’s applauding. When I’m trying out new recipes that might be kind of yucky, he eats thankfully. I don’t think I’ve gotten one negative vibe from him during this whole process.
- Surround yourself with a good team. Besides your partner (who is the most important person), find the right team. My nutritionist Krissy is awesome – she is encouraging, down to earth, and provides me with lots of new inspiration and ideas when I visit her (find her at http://eatplaylivenutrition.ca.) I have also been seeing a hypnotist; because I figured that there had to be subconscious reasons why I continued to lapse into the same old bad habits and I wanted to unlock that.
- I like kale! Who knew?! But there are some tricks to kale… My first kale salad was an exercise in mastication… As I was building up my jaw muscles, I looked over at Left Brain and he was patiently chewing; and chewing; and chewing…. I read somewhere once that you’re supposed to chew every mouthful 25 times. Have you ever tried it? I did – once. It’s gross… Not doing it…. You need to chop up the pieces really small so that the vinaigrette can soak in… And kale chips are great! But don’t use baby kale – the leaves are too delicate to stand up to baking at 400…
- Being over 50 is living in a new eco-system. Things that you could get away with in your 30’s and 40’s just ain’t happening anymore. So – have a moment of silence for your dearly departed tolerance for alcohol, or sugar, or wheat or whatever… and move on. I can only surmise that this state of being will only get worse the older I get. Something to look forward to!
- Shopping is fun when you have a myriad of choices. It’s also fun to fit back into stuff that you really liked at one time. I have a whole collection of golf clothes from LoudMouth – really fun colours and patterns that I haven’t been able to wear in about 2 years. We’re going to California in a couple of weeks to golf, and I’m looking forward to wearing my new “old” wardrobe!
- Some people are seemingly threatened when you decide to improve yourself. If you hear the words, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but…”, guaranteed – you’re not going to like what comes next! Run! Run away from these people – they are dealing with their own s–t – which has nothing to do with your s–t!
- Like Cortez, who burned all of his ships after reaching the New World, I am getting rid of all of my “big lady” clothes. In the same way that I have made this journey public, by ridding myself of the seeming security blanket of a bigger wardrobe that I can slip into, should I slip back into my old ways – I’m getting rid of the possibility. I will concentrate on how great I feel!
- If somebody tells you that they can eat or drink whatever they want with no consequences, you need to stop being friends with this person. Because they suck…. Even if the above were true, they should have the bloody good sense to keep that little tidbit to themselves… And it’s bulls–t… Enough said.
- I have become slightly OCD, with regard to eating on time. I absolutely have to have my snacks, and if I don’t, I eat like a ravenous wolf at dinner, and beyond. DON’T skip your snacks – it will bite you in the ass in the end.
- Now this might horrify all oenophiles out there (better spell check that one…), but I got through the entire holiday season by imbibing…. red wine spritzers. Now hold on – before you recoil in horror and immediately shut down this website… they’re actually pretty good. Use lemon or grapefruit Perrier, and lots of limes. They taste like a non-sweet sangria. Why bother, you say? Well – if you’re strong enough to just not drink at all – then good for you – and bugger off…. This was a good compromise. And just as a general rule, no drinking during the week – unless there’s something going on…. I try to stick to the “No Drinking At Home” rule – which actually hasn’t been that hard. Left Brain is not drinking wine anymore – he was over served about a year ago and that was that… He drinks beer – which I hate – so no problem.
- So – has this been hard? YES! At the beginning – but I’m Worth It!
This week I’ve been feeling kind of low… I injured my back in yoga this week, and as Left Brain keeps reminding me, “You are turning 53 and we are getting older and you have to expect this kind of thing once in a while…” Whoa, whoa, whoa…. First of all, I’m turning 52 next week, NOT 53…. He has to be reminded once in a while that he did indeed marry a trophy babe – he is waaay older than me – he’s turning 56 this year…. And after making that comment, he was pleasantly surprised by the response time of the EMS team… But back to the injury… I am pissed that I’ve been waylaid for the week, but the blues I’ve been feeling are a little more than that.
So, I tried to figure it out this afternoon – while I cranked the tunes to continue painting the basement TV room – which is basically only used by Son # 1 – Left Brain likes to call it the room where our son has sex in (!!!!) OK – ew… Even if I do acknowledge that in the far reaches of my mind, I don’t need it pointed out to me! I’m repainting because I have to look at this room on my way by to the laundry room! And I might use it occasionally, because Left Brain and I do not always agree on the Netflix selection for the evening – which he maintains has saved our marriage since the kids left in the fall…. But I digress… Back to the tunes – I had Supertramp going (I didn’t realize as a teenager how deep some of those lyrics are!), Phantom of the Opera (because what’s a work session without some show tunes?), and finally, ELO (Electric Light Orchestra for those out there who were born after 1975…). By the way, I challenge anyone not to “air drum” at the beginning of Evil Woman – listen to it again – you can’t do it!!
1977 – the era of the music… I’m wearing my railroad overalls – cool, man!
But while I was working and singing away, my subconscious was figuring out this latest problem. Why have I been so bummed out? While I was out in the car doing errands this morning, I called both of the boys (relax – I have Bluetooth…) And then it hit me. I’m missing them all over again. It’s like September again… I feel like I’m experiencing the Empty Nest all over again. I thought I had re-adjusted – but I guess not. Anyways, just figuring this out made me feel better – and belting out all those old tunes!
I cannot believe it’s 2015!!! But first – a few musings on New Years Eve…
- Ryan Seacrest is a poor substitute for Dick Clark.
- All of the other hosts on the other programs featured people I’ve never heard of….
- I also have never heard of most of the acts that were “performing” (doesn’t anybody just sing anymore? I’ve never seen so much lip-synching in my life!)
- I couldn’t care less whether or not I make it to midnight to see the ball drop!
- I’m not much of one for New Year’s resolutions. I’m more of a beginning of school, September kind of gal.
I did get to thinking about resolutions that we make around this time of year. Of course, there’s the usual losing weight, quitting smoking, getting healthier kind of fare. And these are all laudable goals. But why particularly, on January 1st? Aren’t these things we should be striving for every single day? It can also be rather overwhelming if you’re facing a goal of 30+ pounds to lose, or cutting out your regular 10 ciggies a day, or trying to start exercising if you hate it! But I think that if you break your goals down into small, measurable steps, you’ll be surprised at how far you’ve come when you look back.
And, if you are a parent to a child with special needs, the future can be quite scary. When we first moved into our present house 13 years ago, Henry was just beginning primary school. Besides the fact that it felt like we jumped through hoops to get him accepted to this school in the first place, the other things that I worried about every day could be rather overwhelming. Would he ever learn to read? Would he ever “get” math? Would he have friends? Would he get kicked out of the school for acting out? Never mind – would he ever graduate from high school, go to college/university, find a girlfriend, get a job, live on his own…. If I thought about these things, I would have driven myself crazy. So Left Brain and I learned very quickly to only think about the things that were directly in front of our face at that particular moment.
If I could share my New Year’s resolution wish for all of those parents out there who are frightened and worried about the future, it would be: “Deal with what you can at the moment. Don’t beat yourself up – and don’t sweat the small stuff.” As time passes, you might be surprised and amazed at how far you’ve come!
Ahhh – the good life!!
It was a dark and stormy Friday… but only over me. I went to see my nutritionist and AFTER DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT, AND GOING TO BED HUNGRY EVERY NIGHT!!!!, I did not lose ANY weight for the week! F**k!!! I have been off sugar, wheat and dairy for 5 weeks now. I am happy to admit that I feel a hundred times better – the pooch under my belly button feels SO much smaller. But COME ON!!!!
During that week, I went to spinning class twice, ashtanga yoga three times, and got “walked”* by one of my besties. OK – I will admit that during that week, I consumed 4 glasses of wine (and okay – one martini – because I was feeling especially cheeky and cocky that night…) And I don’t even want to tell you how much my alcohol consumption has dropped – but it’s at least by half (if not more….)
Left Brain was working at home that day – I went in to his office to commiserate. He immediately went into the “you have to look at the long game – think how much better you feel – blah blah blah…” Of course he’s right – but I just wanted to be pissed off and mad for awhile. And yes – to have a moment (or a couple of hours) silence, for my dearly departed tolerance for alcohol…
But here’s the good news…. In the past, I would have thrown up my hands and said “F**k it!” If I’m going to be miserable and deprive myself and still not get results, I might as well do what I want. Except doing what I wanted led to 30 pounds of misery – and not feeling like myself. I realize I’m moaning and this is definitely a first world problem. So – I put my head down, prepared a healthy dinner, and decided that damn it!! I’m Worth It! So I will keep trucking along, and do my best and feel better in the morning. (And I really did feel better in the morning – the scale showed a 2 lb. drop!!! Go figure….)
* Note to Self: “Self! Consider walking with friends who are slower and in worse shape than you…” Her dog is getting older and didn’t want to do the long jaunt that morning, so I got walked… I should have been wearing a leash!