Why sober?

23 Mar

Staying sober is SO worth all the heartache. It simply is. It’s glorious, sometimes. More pleasurable than the first sip of a drink ever could be for me now. 

After Friday’s monumental struggles, I decided to get stuck into the weekend and make it a full one. In the absence of being able to run (still injured, dammit), I planned lots of other things to keep me busy. I saw FIVE different groups of friends over the course of the weekend which was just brilliant. I had some heart to hearts, lots of belly laughs and good old fashioned fun. I realised how lucky I am to have so many groups of friends to even meet in the first place. What a lovely thing in itself! 

Of the five social things I went to, 3 of them involved sitting in pubs. If I’d drunk on Friday as I thought I wanted to, and spent the weekend in those pubs, I’d have consumed about 40 units over the course of the weekend, leaving me depressed and feeling worthless. 

Instead, I polished off my sober tiara that I’ve let get a bit dusty of late and went the whole hog on the socialising. I turned up, enjoyed the company and left when I wanted to, rather than endlessly sticking around so I could drink more. 

So all this is great stuff. But even MORE excitingly, an important shift seems to have happened too in terms of my self confidence at some point over the past few weeks. I was too buried in myself earlier this week to realise it, but I think the change happened slowly and gradually without me noticing immediately.

I’ve blogged before about my issues with weight, and eternally feeling fat even though I’m very athletic and reasonably slim. I was frustrated at not dropping weight quicker when I stopped drinking and suffering a real lack of confidence about my body image. At just over 9 weeks sober, that has ALL changed.  My physical appearance has improved no end, as my face isn’t bloated, my skin is clear and I look ‘well’ as people keep telling me. My body has changed somehow, too. I’m not sure whether I’ve lost weight as I’m avoiding the scales, but my body FEELS different, firmer and more compact. It’s not being confused by the influence of booze calories, followed by dramatic calorie restriction in a misguided attempt to atone for the binges… It’s finding its balance between energy in and out, energy that’s all coming from food, not bloody booze. 

But although the shift in my appearance is to some extent aesthetic, it’s about much more than that. I’ve gained a self esteem and a confidence that makes me feel more full inside, like a person of more substance and confidence, a person who has a little happy sober flame inside that is radiating a glow. And on a good day, this makes me feel sort of invincible. I love how I value myself more than I perhaps ever have done, and from the compliments I’ve been getting, I know this shows on the outside. 

I read this back and thank GOD I didn’t drink on Friday. I hate it when I admit to myself that I’m too far down the sober path to ever truly go back to drinking. If I did drink, I’d only have to crawl slowly and painfully back to sobriety. Now I’ve had a taste of ‘de good life’ andf know how much better it is than the Road to Nowhere that is drinking, why start on that road at all. 

What a weekend to be so happy and grateful to be sober, with such a close escape peeking at me from my rearview mirror. 

Happy Sunday one and all 🙂

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11 Responses to “Why sober?”

  1. One day at a time March 24, 2014 at 6:53 am #

    You deserve all this happiness because you work so hard at your sobriety. You should be confident and proud of yourself. You are doing an amazing job. Keep at it, you know it’s worth it x

  2. primrosep March 24, 2014 at 7:07 am #

    …and reading this post is a fantastic way to START the week! so pleased you had a brilliant weekend in your sober tiara and that you are shining out for all to see 🙂 🙂

    Can I just say I think you are amazing to be dealing with socialising in pubs, as I hardly have to deal with any of those sort of venues in my (possibly staider? middleaged?!) lifestyle. My demon lived in my kitchen and in some ways I think was easier to handle as it was completely up to me. There is very little social pressure to drink in my life. Well done you for not just coping with those situations, but rocking them! And I bet your different groups of friends were delighted to see this happy confident you, too.

    Really interesting what you said about how you feel your body is changing with prolonged sobriety. It sparked me to do some internet research on metabolism of alcohol. Previously I thought vaguely, oh, wine contains sugar, but that’s not quite right. Interesting article here: http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/how-alcohol-affects-metabolism.html#b

    So, alcohol must be metabolized right away to the detriment of all other processes; impairs absorption of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals; inhibits blood sugar control mechanisms; decreases the efficiency of metabolism of sugars and fats, and causes your entire metabolism to slow.

    Perhaps they should put THAT on wine bottle labels?! No wonder you are feeling and looking better!

    As Carrie says, even when we know all this the cravings DO kick in. Which is BONKERS. But you threw the whole wardrobe of sober tactics at it and it WORKED. So if those cravings show up again, knowing that is another tool in your toolbox. I would say that in my experience cravings subside when you don’t give into them. There may never be another craving as strong as that one for you. In a few weeks time you may be wandering around muttering, “It’s all TOO quiet. I don’t like it!” worrying where the cravings have gone.

    Well done you and off you go on the Road to Somewhere! P xxxxx

  3. lucy2610 March 24, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    Oh Lilly I’m so pleased! 🙂 The tone of your post is so entirely different from Friday – what a difference a few days makes huh? Will smile all day on your behalf 😉 xx

    • lucy2610 March 24, 2014 at 8:07 am #

      Err I must have been thinking of your twin when I replied FFF! 😉 xx

      • FitFatFood March 24, 2014 at 11:04 am #

        Hahah yes! I did notice that 😉

  4. Vodka Goggles March 24, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    This post makes me smile. I picture you so happy and carefree. I’m so proud of you for sticking it out so you could share this fantastic post with us.

  5. Rebecca A. Watson March 24, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    So glad you made it through your tough spot and good on you for doing all you could to protect your sobriety! I know what you mean about your body changing. I avoid scales also but I noticed the same thing you did awhile back. So glad you’re seeing some positive movement in that way…and what Primrose said, wow! She’s right. That should go on wine bottles!

  6. momma bee March 24, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    So happy you got thru Friday night! Take that achievement and hold it close in case you need a little xtra support again! So proud of you! I can hear your confidence thru your blog all the way across the pond! Hugs

    • FitFatFood March 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

      Ahhh thank you lovely Momma Bee 🙂

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  1. Progress not Perfection | FitFatFood- Blogging to Stay Sober - April 18, 2014

    […] whilst I might still have my wobbles and the urge to drink sometimes, it fades, whereas my little sober flame does […]

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