Remembering what’s important

As you probably know, I gave up drinking alcohol nearly 5 years ago. One of the best decisions I ever made, but it doesn’t mean I think that other people shouldn’t enjoy a drink.

I’ll be honest and tell you that my main problem with drink was that I didn’t know when to stop: I was greedy with it.

I’d have 1, 2, 3 drinks and before I’d know it I’d have been out drinking from 1pm – 9pm on a Saturday. Then the whole of Sunday would be out. I’d sleep in, eat crap or fast food to get through the day and get up at 3pm before teaching swimming at 4pm. Crap food, hangovers, dehydration, regrets. Drunk Lorn wasn’t pretty and she wasn’t Super.

Sometimes I had hangovers which lasted 2-3 days. It wasn’t conducive to a healthy lifestyle or a lifestyle when I was expecting my body to perform. Not to mention the cost in calories, health and £s.

I’ve given up a few things in the last 6 years: alcohol, diet coke, regular fast food. I’ve turned bad habits into good habits and substituted poor food and drink choices for healthy ones.

See here for my best 10 decisions I’ve made:
https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2013/01/28/my-10-best-healthy-decisions/

I’m not on a diet, I’m not even restricting myself. I’ve simply changed my habits, have chosen not to have alcohol in my life, and I’m having other things I want (mars bars, chocolate, pizzas, ice cream) in moderation. They aren’t a daily habit, they’re occasional treats, usually on a day when I’ve exercised a lot and burned the calories already.

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I came across someone the other day who is trying to lose weight, but she said she sabotaged it at the weekend by drinking a bottle of wine (and having a three course meal because it was on a groupon deal).

She’s become disappointed in herself because even though she is trying to lose weight, the regular wine drinking, every weekend is ruining all of her hard work with exercise and healthy eating. She initially lost 5lb, now a month in she’s put back on 3 of those lost lbs.

No wonder, when the average bottle of wine has around 600 empty calories in it – or the equivalent of over an hour running. And she’s been having one about once a week.

Before I go on, here are some ways to improve your drinking:
– have dry periods: week, month, 3 months, or until you reach a weight goal.
– think about how good you feel, health wise when you don’t drink, and remember it.
– choose drinks with low calories, vodka and soda for example.
– limit to 1-2 drinks then go onto water.
– be aware of how many calories your drinking, run or exercise those calories off with increased exercise.
– give it up! :-O why do what everyone else does?
– If you do give it up, and someone asks you why you don’t drink, you don’t need to explain yourself, but if you must, you could say because you’re fed up off being sick and fat! :-O

Check out the drink aware website for more information about it here:
http://www.drinkaware.co.uk/understand-your-drinking

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Whilst I wouldn’t tell anyone not to drink (unless the chose to themselves), I thought the next three paragraphs from the book Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto, might help illustrate a good point:

‘Moderation’ is a fuzzy word in nutrition circles, but in the case if alcohol it’s usually defined as one drink for women and two for men. Doing this daily could add up to 14 drinks per week. That’s not moderation in my book. I strongly urge you to avoid daily drinking (or daily junk food eating, for that matter), because behaviours repeated daily become habits. Habits are hard to break and habitual drinking can escalate. Save drinking for weekends, or even less often – only for holidays or special occasions (you might enjoy it more that way too).

Binge drinking has no place in a fitness lifestyle, and hangovers aren’t conducive to good workouts. If you drink frequently or in large amounts, don’t complain about your fat loss plateau. Look in the mirror and admit the truth: ‘I’m not that serious about getting in shape. It’s not a high priority right now. I don’t want it that bad.’ At least you’re being honest with yourself.

The next time you’re in a bar (hopefully not very often), take a look around. You won’t find many successful fitness or body building champions hanging out there at 1 or 2am. And the next time you go to the gym, check out the bodybuilders and fit people. You’ll notice that they all lug around a bottle of water – all the time. Then look at how lean and muscular they are. Coincidence? Or do they know something you don’t? Drink up! Your H2O that is!

The second paragraph applies to alcohol and anything else which might negatively impact on your weight or health:
fast food,
chocolate,
sugar,
cigarettes,
drugs.

All of these things can be quite addictive, and are not conducive of a healthy lifestyle. They should be consumed or done in moderation, or not at all, for good health.

If your health or weight loss is really that important to you, you’ll give it up, or change your lifestyle and replace poor choices with better choices. You will live (better) without it. Trust me.

You might not want to give up Alcohol (or chocolate, fags, sugar or crap food) but you could have a dry month, or stay off alcohol / it until you reach a certain weight goal. Or you could reduce the amount you drink when you do have a drink. The choice is yours.

Habits can be formed and changed in 2-3 weeks. Change things now, and by next month your life could be on a better track: a new journey to fit and healthy.

I’m a kind of all or nothing girl, so I chose to have nothing alcohol wise, and I’ve found it works well for me. Fit Girl gave up drink too, so we both match each other well. And I’ve maintained my weight for at least 3-4 years, reduced my body fat by 10% and my weight by 15%. I’m smaller, lighter and happier.

I’m fit and healthy and can perform like an athlete every day if I choose to. I rarely get colds or feel run down (touch wood!!) My blood pressure is low and resting heart rate is one of an athletes. I’m never hungover and I’m fit, healthy and happy (and able to save for holidays and garmins a etc).

So, what are you going to do:

Recognise your weaknesses, make better choices and change some of your bad habits now – and say

‘I’m going achieve my goals, they are my main priority. I want it bad, it might take a while, but I’m going to take it bit by bit and do my best to be who I want to be’.

Or

Continue with your poor food or drink choices, and say ‘f&ck it, I deserve a treat’ when you really don’t deserve one and that treat will undo your hard work and effort with nutrition and activity:

‘I’m not that serious about getting in shape. It’s not a high priority right now. I don’t want it that bad. I’m never going to change or improve. I’m overweight and unhealthy and I’m going to stay that way.’

I know which one I’d choose.

What might you forgo to achieve your goals and dreams?

What is more important than having that bottle of wine every weekend or the regular McDonalds meal or chocolate bar every day?

Your health and your life perhaps? Your partner, your kids? Seeing your children grow up and being there for them? To see them get married and have kids?

Becoming fit and healthy? Getting back to the size and shape you used to be? Losing weight?

Improving who you are and reducing your risk of a stroke, diabetes or heart disease?

You can do it, you just need to try, set goals, take action and stay focused on what you want to achieve. 🙂

Remember what is important to you, and lay off too much of anything (except for being awesome!)

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