When I woke up on January 1 after a night of celebrating, I felt sick. Sure, the New Year is the time to celebrate, but I was finding that more and more I didn’t need an excuse to over-indulge. My body was paying the price. I needed change.

So, I signed up for a 5k in March.

In the past, when I’ve tried to get healthy, I didn’t have a solid goal. It was always just to “lose weight”. Guess how well that goes after about two weeks? Time and time again, I failed. The theory behind signing up for a race is that, my goal shifts from losing weight to being healthy enough to run 3.1 miles. The weight will just naturally fall off in the process of achieving the goal. So I found a work out buddy, and together we got a gym membership. I started eating the types of foods that would sustain my workouts.

Then, I made the biggest change – I quit drinking alcohol. Cheers?

Alcohol has notoriously derailed my fitness goals over the years. No more. All of those empty calories just before bedtime? Gone. Not to mention, the energy my body used to spend cleaning up after a bender is now spent building muscles. Drinking always meant waking up exhausted in the mornings anyway and feeling drowsy throughout the day, even with a cup or 3 of coffee. Plus, the excessive caffeine use was causing other health problems.

I am proud to report that I have successfully gone 1 month alcohol-free! I have also lost 8 lbs, and I can run nearly 3 times as far as I did at the beginning of January. My energy levels have sky-rocketed! I haven’t felt this good in years.

Today, as I attend my friend’s annual “Superbowl Bash and Celebration of Bacon” I know I can say NO to the things my body doesn’t need. People always say, Oh just try a little. Everything in moderation. But, you know, moderation is just a foot in the door of excess – at least where alcohol is concerned for me. I’ve boarded up the windows and doors to my old life. I feel good. I’m not going back in there.



23 comments on “Progress”
  1. nigel says:

    Best of luck.. I’ve been trying to keep up with my 5k routine… difficult with work though. Try fitocracy (it’s a website and an app)… you may get some motivation through there. I’m on there as well although I’ve stopped updating after my runs πŸ™‚

  2. I LOVE this line…”moderation is just a foot in the door of excess”…so insightful. Congrats on your success!

    1. Thank you, Michelle! I feel so supported here!

  3. Michael Brooks says:

    Congratulations! Keep on keeping on!

  4. exiledprospero says:

    I have kefir (which I make myself) for breafast blended with fruit, coconut and stevia.

    Kefir is a fermented drink made from milk. The fermentation burns up the sugar and is suitable for those who can’t take dairy, and it is, best of all, grain-free.

    Except from A Magician’s Breakfast (complete with a lengthy apocryphal apologia ).

    1. I hadn’t heard about kefir before. Will look into that. “A Magician’s Breakfast” sounds very intriguing…

  5. Rob Moses says:

    Nice photo and congrats on the 1 month. I kind of found the same things as you and in this past year I have only drank a few times and have been way more productive. Hope it keep’s working out for you πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank you, Rob. More productive – yes! In addition to that, though – it’s empowering to say NO to something you thought you couldn’t go without.

  6. exiledprospero says:

    Oh, you must keep that metaphoric door closed, and the bacon should remain on the piglet (that’s the ‘sensible eating’ melody i always hear in my head).

    Breakfasts are tough. Try to eat a grain free breakfast–it’s not that easy. But it’s a good place to start.

    Good luck, Jolene. And don’t cheat. We’ll be watching.

    1. The grain-free breakfast can be tough, Prospero. I find I can do it for a time and then I want something else. I need to work on a more diverse menu! I’ll try not to cheat too much… πŸ˜‰

  7. John says:

    Congratulations my friend — giving up the booze is a tough thing! Here’s to a record 5k time!

  8. You should be proud of your progress – well done, Jolene!

    1. Thank you, Lisa. I feel empowered now that I’ve made it a month. Now for month two… πŸ™‚

  9. Wow, Jolene — congratulations!! What an inspiring story. Alcohol does pack on the pounds. What I should give up is sugar. I’ve been cross-country skiing instead, at 11,000 feet. That burns OFF the pounds. I look forward to your posts.

    1. Ann – Sugar is still a hard one. Desserts are so tempting. πŸ™‚ Good for you on the cross-country skiing. That’s really good exercise.

  10. Nancy Tupper says:

    I’m not sure I could attend such an affair and say no and mean it as my final answer! Your fortitude inspires me, Jolene. Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Nancy! At least I haven’t said no to bacon… πŸ™‚ (Although I probably won’t eat as much as I want to.)

  11. Pam says:

    Celebration of Bacon? Directions please! Srsly, love this. So brave to share your story.

    1. Thanks, Pam. Yes, my neighbor Andy and his roomie are very serious about their bacon. Most get togethers revolve around it. ha. As far as the story goes, I think writing so much memoir material makes it easier to share these kinds of things. Maybe it can help someone else?

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