Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Waving Goodbye to Wine

Oh, those interesting wind-down hours of the day, where the baby starts to get extra fussy and tired and you're TOTALLY over it, yet you feel a strange excitement for this witching hour, because that's when the oven clock changes from 4:59 to 5:00...
Not sober...happy
It's wine time, buddy.

Saturday night. Tuesday night. Every night. It don't matter. Because parenting is SO much easier with a slight buzz. (I read an article once about how wine is a more natural choice than Xanax, so there's that.) My edges soften, my patience stretches. I felt like a damn fool I hadn't started this ritual sooner!

A little excitement for mama. A patient mama for baby. Sounds like a win-win!

But when does a ritual turn into a habit? It's a feeling you have. A little seed of guilt starts to bud. Then your husband stops drinking entirely, and you do, too, to show support, then you realize how big of a part drinking played in your life.

After four weeks without alcohol, I do miss it. I thought fondly of it probably every other day! Thinking about not being able to visit wineries, or taste beer at baseball games, or toast champagne at brunch. But here's what I don't miss:

1. The expense! Although I have replaced this with an essential oils addiction. (Must try what I call my "liquid Xanax" roll-on oil...you will love it! Click here)

2. The muddy brain. Mom-brain is bad enough, without killing off more brain cells with a wine habit. Seriously, I've never felt so clear in my life. You don't realize how foggy you've been, until you're not.

3. The lack of motivation. Funny how when you drink, that's, like, the whole END GOAL of the day. Now, once baby's sleeping, I do yoga, write business proposals, catch up on reading, etc. My business is booming, my sights seem limitless and my mental and physical health has never been better! Speaking of health...

4. The wine-belly. Think about it, 2-3 glasses of 90+ calories each...and whatever buzzed snacks will follow...piles up around your waistline. No booze has definitely been a factor in my 10-pound weightloss, in addition to replenishing my body with bioavailable vitamins and a metabolism-boosting essential oil (you must try it - click here). I feel like alcohol throws your body out of balance, and once your liver doesn't have to work so hard on cleaning alcohol out of your blood, it can work on detoxifying your skin and other organs of day-to-day pollutants. People have said I'm glowing!  

Sober...happier!
5. Powerlessness. This might be a little too new-age for some of you, but in yoga, the "solar plexus" chakra - or energy center - represents your personal power. Its housed in your stomach area. I have always struggle with belly fat...but not lately. I intuitively believe it's because i have my personal power back - willpower, empowerment, power to influence my own life - now that I'm not drinking. When your power chakra is in balance, your stomach, well, looks awesome! I have never seen abs before, and they are starting to peek through. 

6. The crutch. Without alcohol, I have allowed my true personality to blossom, and emerge in social situations. I have learned a lot about myself; I'm a little quieter than I originally thought, I have an underlying nervous energy that's only still when I drink, meditate or do something productive. I've also found I get silly over weird things; I'm a good listener, and feel passionately about social issues (and have the brainpower to speak intelligently about them).

So how does one eschew the sauce in a nation where Budweiser owns two-thirds of it, people see marijuana as a drug but not alcohol, and every luxurious experience comes with a glass of bubbly?

1. I've never drank so much LaCroix in my life. Or coffee. Or any colorfully packaged, low-cal drink that can spark at least some of the excitement of a perfectly pink, organic, dry Rose.

2. Telling people I'm on a "cleanse." I know how annoyed I used to get when people would tell me they don't drink. "Why, 'cause you're better than me?" I'd think. So, I just leave it at a very non-preachy "cleanse."

3. Unless I confess that I'm not drinking, and have a really cool conversation about it. Some of my friends have really meant it when they said they wish they and their husbands would stop drinking, too. I have noticed a common pattern in women getting more sensitive when they drink, and men getting less sensitive, causing some troubled waters when wine gets involved. So I'm just gonna leave that cork unpopped.

4. Go on adventures. The weekends used to be bad for us because we'd get bored chasing a baby around all day. So we'd crack open a bottle a little earlier. But now, we go hiking, camping, to the museum...anything to keep us off our couch, craving a drink. And when we do get home, we toast a fizzy drink and maybe even indulge in a sweet treat.

5. Be realistic. Don't think you won't miss it. It's hard for some people to switch lifestyles. But know that the benefits outweigh the buzz, and you're going for long-term gains over short-term relief. And if you find you're REALLY missing it, take the opportunity to explore what's lying under the surface. You might be amazed at what one session with a shrink or Life Coach can do for your peace of mind.

As the witching hour approaches to start winding down with my son, I get a little spark of excitement over that incredible, intoxicating sigh I'll take after the silence from his crib, when new adventures become open to me. And that, I'm learning, is a more-than-sufficient way to celebrate the end of the day.