Monday, 9 March 2015

Different Problem: Same Solution

While I was drinking I had a degree of anxiety about gaining weight. I knew wine was exceedingly calorific (and G & slimline T just did not hit the same spot) and compensated with fewer and fewer food calories and as much exercise as my nauseating hangover allowed. Before a big night out I would exercise throughout the day and eat as little as possible. If eating out I would choose the salad (dressing on the side), no starter (more wine time whilst stomach empty) and definitely no dessert. Not even a consideration. Never.
And all this micro-management worked to a degree. Largely, my weight stayed acceptable (although I must have been malnourished) despite fluctuating with frequent morning after the night before carb and junk food fests.

When I stopped drinking, I did not lose weight. On the contrary: my anxiety has gone and I am more relaxed about everything. This is usually a good thing but being more relaxed about my eating and weight means 'Yes, I'll just have that, no, it doesn't matter, of course I'm having dessert'. The excuse of not having wine and lots of spare calories does not stretch to half of what I eat.
In the last few months I have tried endless diets, read 'moderation'. And guess what? It doesn't work. I've tried and failed so often it reminds me exactly of my attempts at moderating wine.
So, from yesterday I'm tackling my biscuit laden diet the same way. By having none at all. Not even one. Not even for a treat or on a special occasion, in an attempt to break the cycle of failure, eat clean, eat when I'm hungry and eat nutritious stuff rather than sweet treats. I'm doing the Cambridge plan: three meal replacement products and one protein based meal per day thrown in.
I've heard about the horrid 3 day cold turkey phase as carbs are lowered and sugar eliminated. I've never lasted beyond 36 hours due to fatigue and headache but this time I'm going to roll with it and ride the storm, putting my faith in those who have done it before me, who promise it gets easier and tell me I will never look back. Just like those sober for a longer time than me did to encourage me through the difficult start of that journey. I know it won't be easy but then neither was giving up wine. Perhaps I've forgotten how excruciatingly difficult those first 3 days were?
As I said to myself on Day 1 going AF, if I don't make the change now, what will it take to make me do it? And as ever, I'll be doing it one day at a time. Abstaining only for today, and tomorrow I will make that decision again. 


  1. I hear you but am still in the moderating stage of my sugar journey. Please take care on the Cambridge! :)

  2. I really have to eat pretty clean and healthy or I crave food like I did alcohol. I guess it is a common addict problem. I don't seem to do it without the processed crap in my diet though.

    1. That's really enlightening Mary. Perhaps I've been a bit naive about it. I've been beating myself up over not being able to moderate the crappy stuff I was eating. Thanks. x

  3. I can totally relate to this. Since I quit the booze a month ago I have bought an ice cream maker and eaten more creme eggs than is humanly possible. This week I am taking a step back and trying to figure out how to address this before it becomes a 'thing'. I love making things, crafty things but never seem to find the time for myself so I'm thinking maybe finding the time every now and again can be my treat!

    1. I don't think I would have survived past the first month without all these 'treats' though- only now after some degree of abusing them, do I see that they were not making me happy. all so familiar. Be careful. Baby steps remember!

  4. Hi. I love your blog. I decided to "just be healthy". Which means to me eating healthy most of the time. Getting plenty of exercise. Your weight should settle in on what it should be. I'm trying to just be a healthy person. Today is day 8 for me.

    1. day 8 sans booze or healthy eating? Either way it's a fabulous start. Changing everything from its day zero to day one is the hardest transition of all. Lets not go back there! x

  5. Hi Rachel

    Absolutely love the blog... have read it for a while now. Love the 'then and now' format, it rings so true for me... :)

    I have an addictive nature and alcohol was a thirty five year relationship. Friend and support. Refuge.

    Recently I came across a process called 'Focusing' (via a random Facebook post) which I find really helps to uncover and satisfy the inner forces that power addictive behaviour.

    So I mention 'Focusing' here by way of passing on the good fortune that I came across. Just in case it tweaks anyone's interest.... :)

    1. That's so helpful. I'm going to google it. In the meantime, do you have any sites you recommend? Always good to attack from many angles, simultaneously if possible! x

    2. Hi Rachel

      Glad you like the comment... :)

      There are many sites... and ones that appeal to me may not to you, and vice versa... so it's a process of checking them out.

      You could look at

      I love this quote on the front page...

      'Focusing is simple, natural, and in a way also revolutionary – because you are learning to trust your own inner knowing instead of relying on other people’s opinions'.

      Or you could look at the main site or perhaps

      You could learn it from a book or go on a course.... you could probably even pick it up from reading websites... it is after all a natural human function.

      Best wishes



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