Category Archives: addictions

Lost + Found

Lost + Found

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I got through 21 days of Whole30 before succumbing to a glass of Pinot Noir last Saturday. I meant to complete the program—which I was also calling Sober October—but found another glass of wine in my hand on Monday night, out to dinner with family, and yet another while out to dinner with colleagues on Tuesday night. And so on. I expressed some self-serving (not to mention wine-serving) thoughts about the ‘magical thinking’ around needing to complete 30 days. And how much I loved Whole30, even while quitting it.

Here’s what I lost: a few pounds, maybe three, but more significantly a narrowness around my waist. I have a pair of pants, purchased this time last year, that had begun to make me feel bad and sad—tight around the waist which caused my stomach to look wide and round.

Here’s what I gained:

  • My attachment to wine in the evenings, as a means of changing my moods. Before Whole30, I felt deprived if I couldn’t pour a glass after work; now I feel slightly repelled by the thought of the wine-induced shift in brain chemistry.
  • My hunger for grains—pizza, pasta, sandwiches, popcorn. I craved those kinds of carbs. But now I don’t.
  • A super-productive run of weeks—a renewed interest in getting things done, as compared to the dulled and restless mood I felt before the program

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Continue with moderate drinking. No rules come to mind, but I’m thinking about them, at the very least.
  • Continue with the zero-to-minimal grains. For instance, in the airport very early this morning, I was thrilled to find RxBars, which satisfy so completely.
  • Continue with the focus on protein—was that the key to my improved energy?
  • Continue to avoid entirely sweets and salty snacks, which I’d protest are not a weakness of mine, until I consider the late afternoon candy, pretzels, popcorn and whatever else is being dispensed at the office.

Here’s what I’m still missed: a creative urge, the inspiration to write, this post notwithstanding. I’m writing it but in a workaday way. Same applies for reading. I can’t find the intellectual curiosity to take up ambitious novels, favoring pulpy women’s literature (The girl/woman in the window/on the train/in Cabin 10 and in all sorts of other perilous situations) and murder mysteries. And somehow connected to this is my aversion to yoga. The task of emptying my mind seems impossible; worse, it doesn’t appeal to me. At all. Where have you gone, mind of mine? And when will you return?

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Women + Wine

From Quartz, an article that promises to reveal “the real reason women drink too much wine.” The writer, who is now sober, points to the literal wash of alcohol all over the media, her office, the birthday card rack and even billboards: “Driving home from work, I pass billboard ads for Fluffed Marshmallow Smirnoff and Iced Cake Smirnoff and not just Cinnamon, but Cinnamon Churros Smirnoff.” The birthday card thing is something I’ve noticed too — with their jokey invitations to “rose all day” and also:

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But, no, the real reason she’s an alcoholic is that she is an alcoholic, as it turns out, and it’s really damn hard to be a women in this world.

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Cleanse Day 17

What’s most revealing about this process is discovering the foods I really crave and those I never think about. Meat, for instance: Don’t need it, never crosses my mind. Cheese, pasta, bread and sweets (except for a brief infatuation with a slab of fudge last night): same.

Wine, though, a deep red on a winter’s night, or a fizzy Vinho Verde after work. I miss the way it alters my mood, mellows my jangliness. I imagine a Friday without a nice glass of something and it feels like a desert of virtue. Work, followed by more work, followed by finally folding myself into my covers, as sober as a vicar. I think I’m a wino.

 

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the always available elsewhere

“When you sense that a lull in the conversation is coming, you can shift your attention from the people in the room to the world you can find on your phone…You can put your attention wherever you want it to be. You can always be heard. You never have to be bored,” From the NY Times article, “Stop Googling, Let’s Talk.”

We see families at restaurants or even — if we’re honest —in our own living rooms lost to their own devices. In each others’ company but communing with others: texting, posting, Instagarmming. The Times laments the rising generation and its inability to converse. But it’s just as prevalent among my generation and in the company of my own husband. He needs to know something that, in his mind, will add to the conversation, bringing up a relevant fact or YouTube clip. But it’s distracting and even the kids hate it: “Stop Googling,” they say.

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cheers

This just in from the American Journal of Public Health: binge drinking rates for women rose nearly 36 percent between 2002 and 20012, with a “binge” described as consuming four or more drinks per sitting (or slumping at that point). Unhelpfully, this Huffpost article conflated a different admonition from the CDC, which deems eight or more drinks per week “excessive.”

One source felt this was “really, really scary.” Another, a guy who sounds as if he were piped in from the 1970s, pointed to changing social norms — “it’s now more acceptable for women to drink in the manner it’s long been acceptable for men to do.”

I’ve been thinking about drinking, so I popped over to Amazon to have a look at a book written by yet another of the article’s sources: “Her Best-Kept Secret,” amused to see as also recommend a book called “I Need to Stop Drinking!”

I have nothing to add at this point but it makes me wonder if this is another Meryl moment. Would anyone care if this were about men?

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