I never do anything because of Jesus or for Jesus but I like to think that as far as icons of belief go – a Jewish carpenter who consorts with prostitutes and people losing limbs to disease while spouting messages of love and acceptance and nonviolence – he seems like a pretty cool drinking partner. I just can’t figure out how American conservatives and the people leading the Inquisition got themselves hooked up with a guy who wouldn’t let you stone a whore without stoning him with her? I consider this the ninth wonder of the world.
I said I was going to be sober for 90 days and lose at least 20lbs during that time and I did both of those things. I didn’t drink a drop of alcohol for 3 months and I lost 31lbs. I didn’t overeat during that time or crave cigarettes as the chemical dependency counselor suggested I might. She should have listened to me. I also didn’t ever actually crave alcohol the way I craved cigarettes when I quit smoking. I was über-cranky for the first week and then most Fridays. I discovered that life without alcohol isn’t bad – it’s just BORING.
Last night I had a few beers in celebration and answered a question I didn’t know I had: yes, your tolerance level goes way down after 3 months of not drinking. People, I can’t drink very much without getting tipsy now. And that’s fine because even though I don’t regret partying last night (I did, after all, accomplish something amazing) I am now going to discover how to have alcohol in my life in a moderate fashion.
Except for at parties or events where there are a lot of human beings I don’t know and have to interact with. All bets are off when I must interact with GROUPS. Even small groups. ANY GROUPS.
Socializing, period. Shut up. Just because your nervous system is shiny and solid and mine has the tensile strength as wet tissue unless held up with old sticks and booze is no measure of superiority.
I want to thank all of you who did this challenge with me – in whatever way you participated – and for all of the support you’ve all given me for months now. It made a big difference to me. !!
I’m so far from done. I have set new goals for the next 3 months:
Lose at least another 20lbs – as of right now I still have 82lbs to lose to get to where I want to be physically. I want to get most of the way there by my 45th birthday.
Drink only moderately on the weekends (see above exception) – I want to be able to enjoy a couple of glasses of wine at home or a couple of beers out – but not both on the same night. I want Saturday to be the same. “Moderate” for me would be somewhere between 1-3 drinks a night.
Don’t drink at all 4 days a week* – I need to keep up this lower tolerance and I need to remember how easy it is to not drink most of the time. When I forget this my liver cries.
Eat more whole foods and fruits, less cheese – already happening but I want to continue working on this. Aside from being a vegetarian I refuse to do any exclusionary diets. (All kinds of opinions on stupid-ass diets that will NOT be names are being held back that would otherwise be filling this space)
Exercise 20 minutes a day at least 5 days a week – walking, bicycling, whatever. I’ll lunge across the house in tight pants if I feel like it. I’d have to get tight pants first, obviously. You fitness nuts can hold your tongues right now. For me, just 20 minutes a day on a regular basis will be a great improvement. Don’t give me your statistics on how much more I should be doing or what kind of movement I should be doing. It’s none of your fucking business to school me on your religion. Fitness isn’t my faith. Getting back to my usual level of physical activity is what I want and need at this part of my physical recalibration. I was always a really active person and the only thing that’s held me back in the last few years is all the physical pain and injury that results from being active and also obese.
That’s enough for the next 3 months and it starts tomorrow: April 9th and will end July 9th**. Anyone who doesn’t believe I can lose another 20lbs in three months or that I can’t learn to drink more moderately can get off my boat. I don’t need anyone around who doesn’t trust me to meet goals that are this important to me.
This is not three years ago. Three years ago I was waking up wishing I wasn’t. You can’t look at failed goals back then and hold them up to my face now. I succeeded in surviving my secret suicidal ideation and getting myself out of purgatory. I kept saying I was going to lose weight but then not dealing with the bigger crisis in front of me. I was trying to run a race from inside a locked cell. I was trying to knock down a wall with my bare hands.
Now I have a hammer.
*As before, I will not count bitters in mineral water as an alcoholic beverage. My goals, my rules.
**Not counting precise days now – just months.