I’m really excited to report that I’m at the tail end of another successful Dry Lent (and by tail end I mean, when Kelly gets here from the airport tonight we’re cracking open a bottle of Pinot Noir!!). A lot of people have asked me how this years’ experience has compared to last year’s… and I wouldn’t say that it’s been harder or easier necessarily, just different. I’ve been taking the journey more seriously by not just cutting out alcohol but also being more mindful of the food I’ve been eating, which has changed the experience altogether.
When I decided to do Dry Lent, it was prompted by a really bad hangover. I wasn’t fully committed to doing it again this year, but after #dying that one karaoke-filled February night, I felt like I had no choice but to take a hiatus. Hangover aside, I was also in a weird place with my body. I was working out a lot, but I felt like I had this outer layer that I was trying so hard to unzip, but no matter what I did it just wouldn’t come off. So I started researching the Whole 30 a bunch and while I did not adhere to it, at all, I started taking it into consideration more when cooking and food shopping.
It should come as no surprise that changing my eating habits would affect me so much, but once I started thinking more carefully about food I felt a complete difference in my energy level. The goal of this month was not to lose weight – which was good, because I didn’t lose weight – but I feel stronger, healthier and much more in control than a month ago when I was dying on my futon. (Or, even from a year ago when I was doing this for the first time around!)
Last year I used this time to justify a lot of over-eating because I wasn’t drinking my calories. Well, I’m not drinking 5 beers tonight so might as well binge eat a sleeve of Oreos. NOT cute. This year I haven’t been super strict with my diet or even cut anything out, but I’ve made a point to eat less processed foods and cook more (heyoooo New Year’s resolution!). Basically, just using moderation as rule of thumb. I have definitely had my fair share of bagels/McDonalds/other junky delicacies… but more as “treats” or in special situations than regular occurrences.
Like I said, I feel great. I’m excited to drink again and enjoy all that Amsterdam and Paris have to offer (!!!), but it’s been a great detox. The no-drinking thing hasn’t slowed me down socially, either- I have still been out plenty, and I have to say it’s SO nice to wake up without a hangover. It’s always the hardest to say to beer with burgers, and whenever I’m in the presence of tequila I am SUPER tempted, but overall it’s been a good run. Next up, actually committing to the Whole 30 – just gotta figure out when!