I never hesitate to admit that I probably initially got sober for the wrong reasons. I figured I could be even better at my job, and it would be easier to aim for perfection in all areas without the distraction of my drinking. One huge area that I wanted perfection in was my body. Its also worth mentioning that eating and weight disorders are directly related to addiction issues. My particular theory was if I quit drinking I would never wakeup hung-over, and therefore never skip the gym, or have anything other than a consistent, amazing workout. I figured I would eat nothing but leafy greens and power proteins and ease my way into a size 2 jeans in no time. So I’m sure you know what’s coming next…the whole…it didn’t play out that way….and it soooooo didn’t. In my first year of recovery I gained 10 pounds and continued to stuff my face with sugar and simple carbs. Before I quit drinking I prided myself on the fact that I NEVER liked sweets. I would go around touting, “Oh, I’m not a sweets person.” That’s just because I was consuming the sugar equivalent of two pints of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream every night in wine, vodka, or tequila. I was absolutely a sweets person but I didn’t realize it was all coming through my alcohol!
If you are ready to cry your eyes out because Jan 1 was going to be the end of your drinking and the beginning of your new body, please read on! The good news is your body will be healing over time on levels you cannot begin to understand and in ways you never even thought of (adrenals, hormones, cortisol, serotonin, dopamine, etc.). The bad news is just like every other part of an addict’s world; it won’t ever seem soon enough for you. What I do know in dealing with addiction is that my body, mind, and spirit had a whole lot of healing to do, and still does. When I was finally so determined to get sober, everything else had to come last even if it meant a pint of cookie dough ice cream was a necessity instead of drinking.
I am in my third year of recovery now and have finally been able to see with acute awareness how sugar and simple carbs make me feel horrible, not just immediately after consumption, but even for days after. I am also leveling out as far as truly understanding what type of workouts my body needs. I was a college athlete who just assumed I needed to continue pounding my body. What I have come to understand is that when I work out that hard I eat double the food to make up for it. After years of brutal self-talk and the “no pain no gain” approach, I am learning that my body thanks me when I use the softer approach of yoga, running, some weights, and lighter foods. When I take the time to meditate in the morning or even to sit and feel what my body needs, I am better able to address it accordingly. None of this was possible with alcohol in my life and not really even in super early recovery.
For me, dealing with addiction and every other aspect of my life now is about doing the inside job first, and having the patience for the outside stuff to follow. The goal is to have a loving and healthy dialogue with my body instead of just pounding it into the pavement to look good. Something else that has helped in my understanding of addiction, is that typically when my addict mind thinks I am taking a shortcut, it ends up that path is actually the long and painful one. Choosing the slow and steady way to heal my body is finally paying off.
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about the master coach
Danielle, the Founder & Master Coach of RealYou Revolution, is a woman in long term recovery with a passion for helping others overcome their own personal demons – whatever they may be.