Nutrition

I have been taking a nutrition class the past few weeks. I have been enjoying it and learning a lot. It really makes me think before I eat something now. I have started counting calories to try to drop a few pounds before the summer.

It has been irritating some coworkers who are criticizing my healthy habits I have developed. One coworker asked me how I have lost weight this past year. I told her “first I cut out alcohol, then soda, then added sugars.” Her response: “I could never cut out alcohol! I don’t care if that makes me sound like an alcoholic!”

I thought “yea. It does.”

There is a lot of mention in almost every chapter about alcohol. Each time I learn something negative about it, it reaffirms my sobriety. It might say alcohol is okay in moderation but that means 1 drink a day for women. One drink! I don’t know anyone who has one drink! Everyone I know who says “oh but wine is good for you” usually don’t realize that means a glass and not the whole bottle.

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When discussing energy and calories in nutrition, it says:

When consumed in excess of energy needs, alcohol, too, can be converted to body fat and stored. When alcohol contributes a substantial portion of the energy in a person’s diet, the harm it does far exceeds the problems of excess body fat.

Alcohol interferes with the growth, maintenance, and repair of the body. It yields 7 kilocalories of energy per gram in comparison to 4 kilocalories per gram for carbohydrates and protein. And to think all of the times I would avoid bread because of the carbs but drank beer like it was nothing! No wonder I got a beer belly. (And beer ass and thighs.) I had all my excuses such as “I don’t go out dancing as much anymore” and “my work schedule made me gain weight” or “I walked less when I lived in such-and-such place”. But the real reason I gained so much weight was because much of my diet was beer and alcohol. And the more I got tolerant of light beer, the more I had to drink stronger beer to get buzzed. And the stronger beers had more calories. Plus, I did not eat the healthiest when drunk. Pizza at 2am! Greasy burgers were great hangover food.

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Anyway, I do not want to sound like a health nut. Looking at the nutritional side of drinking really helps me put my problem in perspective.  And not just the wasted calories, but all the diseases alcohol puts a person at risk for like cardiac disease, malnutrition,  and cancer. Most of my coworkers now know that I quit drinking alcohol, but I think (hope) they believe I quit due to diet changes. I am just still worried about the judgements of others if they know the real reason.

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Cleaning out the body

I have been trying to cut out sugar and add healthy items to my diet. The main reason is to lose weight but I also just read that sugar can be as damaging to the liver as alcohol.

“More people suffer liver damage from calories [in sugar] than from alcohol. Fatty liver disease affects up to 25 per cent of people in the United States, and the deadly disease can lead to liver cancer and liver failure,” the [American Liver] foundation said in a statement.

Fatty liver disease is the result of our livers filling up with excess fat. It is normal for livers to have some fat but if you have more than 5 to 10 per cent of your liver’s weight, it’s called fatty liver.

The article goes on to list foods you should try to eat or cook with a lot for a healthier liver:

-Seaweed
-Onions 
-Egg 
-Sesame Seeds 
-Avocado 
-Artichoke 
-Fennel 
-Ginger 
-Beans.
-Fish Oil
-Flax Seeds 
-Garlic 
-Broccoli 
-Cabbage
-Cauliflower 
-Kale 
-Brussels Sprouts 
-Collard Greens 
-Basil 
-Parsley

I read before about dandelion root helping to increase bile production to cleanse out the liver. I picked some up to add to my salads.

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And I picked up liver detox tea.
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I have also been drinking one bottle of kombucha tea per day. I learned about this fermented tea while in Thailand. I used to frequent a vegetarian place that made its own kombucha. There are a lot of health benefits to this drink. It has probiotics and antioxidants. I read a few articles debating whether kombucha is okay for alcoholics or not. Since it is fermented, it might contain 0.5%-1% alcohol. But some people say alcoholics should not use mouthwash or cold medicine. With all the other liver cleansing I am doing, I do not think kombucha is going to affect my sobriety.
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I wish I would have had lab work done at the beginning of my sobriety for comparison. But I do know my cholesterol was a little elevated when I had that tested about a year ago. It would be nice to see the health progression my body achieves with sobriety.

Mistake 190- I was visiting my friend who does not drink much. It was Thanksgiving weekend. She had old high school friends also visiting. We all went out. My friend was driving. I was doing a lot of shots with her high school friends. I do not remember much of the night. But I woke up in the front passenger seat of my friend’s car. I got up in a daze and went in the house. Thankfully she left the front door unlocked. I went to the bathroom to pee and when I came out, her 8 year old daughter was standing there. “Did you puke?” No I told her. She asked where did I sleep. She did not see me on the couch. I told her I slept in the car. “I do that sometimes because I am getting too big for my mom to carry me in.” I felt so embarrassed. Passing out in the car is what little kids do. Not grown women. (Unless passenger on a road trip.)

My friend told me how I was funny at the drive thru window. “We went to a drive thru?” I do not remember any of it. She said I kept making jokes about wanting rum in my soda and I was glad she doesn’t drink because there was no way I could drive. I ate my food and passed out right away. She couldn’t wake me once we got to her house.

Get Healthy: take 2

I was silly to try to start a “diet” a week before going to see friends. Especially with a kid in the car. Now I know I can not tell another woman how to raise her kid, but my imaginary offspring would only eat veggie snacks, milk and water.

Thankfully my friend was stern enough not to let me drink soda. I told her how I almost got weak in a store on Friday by myself. I picked up a Vanilla Coke and told myself “at least it isn’t diet” but then put it back and grabbed water. I also grabbed some energy flavor stuff to add to my water that is supposed to repress my appetite. Not wonderful stuff since it is chemicals but maybe helpful to steer me from my diet soda and sugar addiction.

And all weekend, I did not bother to question what I ate. Tacos. Pizza. Hashbrowns. Lots of sugar in my coffee. My friend offered me stevia instead of sugar but I thought it tasted like medicine. I really just need to wean off sugar. Maybe even learn to drink coffee black.

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I went to a women’s AA meeting last night. I enjoyed it. Three women spoke about their stories of 20, 24, and 30 years sobriety. That just seems so long. I was inspired but also a bit sad. Will I ever be able to celebrate 20 years? 10? 5 even? Sometimes I get so scared of the thought of drinking but it seems a life of longterm sobriety is as possible as finding Narnia.

I think I will start going to more meetings. I liked that a few women talked to me last night but did not pressure me. I feel I am in pre-AA. I feel I am training. Prepping. I want to stay sober but I am not ready for a home group or sponsor. I want to wait until after I move this August to a more permanent home. I will invest in AA then. I sort of wish there was a website to find a perfect sponsor for me. Like eSponsor.com instead of eHarmony. OKSobriety. mAAtch.com

Sobriety means a change in lifestyle. Getting healthy is a change in lifestyle. Part of me wants to move to Saudi Arabia. Maybe that is the change I need.

Mistake # 98- Two years ago, I was visiting a foreign city. I got drunk at a bar with friends. Made out with a guy I called Player. I wasted the whole next day sleeping off my hangover. I did not get to see any sites. That night, my friend had a party. Player and I made out again in a corner but I do not remember. At a party the next night, I had sex with Player. Then I found out he had a girlfriend. She was out of town that weekend. I was upset but I did not remember the sex. I just figured it didn’t matter. But I did get drunk and sent him many nasty texts.
When I returned to that city again, I avoided seeing Player again.

My Sobriety, My Health

I really wish people would not discourage others from exercise. “Oh you don’t need to lose weight” might be an attempt at a compliment, but usually comes off sounding condescending. Or is that my alcoholic brain thinking that?

I mentioned going to the gym the other day and my coworker told me I don’t need the gym. Who doesn’t need some physical activity in their lives? She told me I am not overweight. I asked her does that mean she had a consult with my doctor? According to my last physical, I am overweight and my cholesterol was slightly high. (Does beer affect cholesterol levels?)  She said “well if you are fat, then I am huge.” I said nothing.

It seems people are uncomfortable if others try to be healthy if they do not have healthy habits. And they belittle those that believe in physical exertion. They make fun of people for eating salads and call it “rabbit food”. They criticize organic foods. They say junk food just tastes too good to eat healthy. It is comparable to people being uncomfortable with other’s sobriety if they question their own drinking. Being drunk just feels too good.

My homemade salad

My homemade salad

I was uncomfortable around sober people. I used to feel as if a friend fell in battle when they quit drinking. They were no longer along side of me in the drinking war. I left them on the couch in the trenches as I trudged to the bar without them. I never considered they were rescued and sent away from combat.

I am now fighting for sobriety and health. Once again, thoughts have been creeping in some hidden part of my brain saying “maybe you can enjoy drinks again one day… ” It is like: I know I do not want to drink now, but I wish those thoughts of “maybe one day” would disappear. I also know I should not worry about the possibilities in the future. Except the possibility of being able to do push ups again. Right now that is my goal. I want to be able to do 10 push ups by the 90 days sober.

I need to ignore the naysayers and those that are cynical about exercise and sobriety.

YouStaySober

Mistake – #66-  I used to always excuse this one with “I was young and dumb.” But the alcoholism was already seeping into my inexperienced bones.

I was in a school full of Navy and Marines. I was sort of dating a Marine. I say “sort of” because he did not want anyone else knowing about it. And we did not go on dates. Ok, I was having casual sex with a Marine who wanted it kept hushed. I was naive enough to think it a meaningful relationship.

He had a party at a family member’s house where he was house-sitting. He invited most of the Navy and Marines that went to our school. I remember it was near Easter cause someone brought bunny shaped marshmallows and we toasted them over the grill. I got very drunk. The Marine I was “sort of” dating was ignoring me. A few of the people suspected he and I had a thing going. Someone told me they would pay me a dollar to push the Marine in the pool. So I did. It made the whole party laugh. But then I felt like shit and kept apologizing. Oh this really made the Marine mad and embarrassed. He ignored me more and began to talk to other girls.

A group of guys arrived from our school late. They were on their way to some clubs or somewhere else. Just a quick stop. They brought Taco Bell. One of the guys was sitting on the couch and I crawled up next to him. “Can I have a taco?” He hands one to me. “Want to join me in the bedroom?” He put down the tacos and followed me.

I remember it was a little girl’s bedroom in which we stumbled. We were passionately kissing and pushed some Barbie dolls off a bed. We were giggling as we undressed each other. And we were having good, drunk sex when people started to knock on the door. His friends were trying to find him and head off to their next party. We thought they would give up and go away. Instead, they broke down the door.

He jumped up to try to keep his friends out while trying to hide his nudity with whatever piece of clothing he grabbed. I hid under the covers. It was 4 or 5 guys and they pushed passed him to grab the blanket to identify me. Then they all laughed and told him to get dress. They were ready to leave. Once the broken door was closed (but it was now cracked), he came over and try to calm the crying me. I told him to go. So he did.

My friends came in and consoled me. I asked if the Marine knew. Yes, the whole party knew. I asked if he was mad. No, he was playing video games. He didn’t seem to care.

The Marine ended up getting in a lot of trouble from his family. The house was a mess. Beer bottles were in the pool. And they wanted to know how did the bedroom door get broken. Also, they found a used condom on that little girl’s bed.

Healthy

I have told a few people I quit drinking to try to be healthier. Maybe I should actually follow that advice. I signed up for a two-month gym membership today. And I bought 10 yoga classes. Thank you Groupon!

It is hard to quit a lot of things at once. I am finding it harder to stop drinking soda than alcohol. I am addicted to Diet Coke but I know the chemicals in it are bad for me. I keep telling myself at least I can still operate a car after a 6 pack. It annoys me that I have so many friends that codemn me for drinking soda but they would never encourage me to quit booze.

When I quit drinking for two months last fall, I was upset I did not lose weight. I really thought cutting out the calories of beer and wine would make me drop pounds. Hopefully adding exercise and proper eating to the sober thing will get me a size smaller before I finish the 100 Days Challenge.

Mistake #22- Ten year ago, I went to a gay club with some gay guys I knew. I used to be a regular there with another group of friends that all moved away or moved on. I got very drunk and passed out. The bouncers woke me up to kick me out. I ended up leaving with a very hot guy. This guy was very built and muscular. I think my gay friends were trying to hit on him but since he was straight, they encouraged me to get with the guy. My friends did not want to leave when I was kicked out but he offered to give me a ride. He took me to an after party. More drinking.

I went back to his place afterwards. I remember it being disgusting and messy.  We did not have sex that night. I didn’t know why cause I was too drunk. But the next morning, we attempted sex and he was having issues. I took a shower. When I came out, he asked me for a favor. He started to pull down his pants and I was about to protest what I thought he was going to ask. Then he handed me a syringe and asked me to give him a shot in his ass. I was relieved but then was shocked. “Steroids???” He smiled. No wonder he had performance problems.

I ignored his calls and never saw him again.