Wow. Not just wow, but fucking WOW! The amount of supportive responses to me “coming out” about my sobriety yesterday were nothing short of amazing. My @flirting_with_sobriety Instagram account gained another 40-something followers overnight and this blog’s stats hit so hard, I set all-time records on the page. So, first and foremost, thank you. Thank you so very much for all the love.
Secondly, I was blown away by the amount of people who reached out directly to talk about their struggles with alcohol. I had no idea I had so many friends and family that have the same wiggling thoughts about alcohol. Maybe the words just needed to be said? Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my mind. To those of you that reached out, (or those who didn’t but my words resonated with) I hope you know that I am here for YOU. We can do this together.
I’d like to take a moment and talk about… sugar. If you’ve decided to step away from alcohol for good, or are taking the Dry January challenge, you may start to see an insatiable craving for all things sugar. Cake, cookies, chocolate, chips, bread, crisps (for my UK fans), carbs, carbs, and more carbs. It’s unreal, yo.
Be mindful. The goal isn’t to replace one addiction (alcohol) with another (sugar). BUT, be mindful that when you stop ingesting alcohol, your blood sugar levels may be slightly fucked for awhile. Moderate drinkers can have “normally” high blood sugar levels, while heavy drinkers can actually have “normally” low blood sugar levels. When you take alcohol away, moderate drinker’s levels can plummet while heavy drinker’s levels can increase. Or not. Easiest way to say it – when you stop drinking, your levels will be fucked. It really depends on how much alcohol you ingest.
I had some annual blood draws done a couple of weeks ago. Even after fasting for 14 hours, my glucose levels were through the roof. So much so that my doctor immediately ordered additional diabetes testing. They were negative, thankfully. This just goes to show that even after a YEAR of flirting with sobriety, my blood sugar levels are still wonky.
So, how to combat the intense sugar cravings…
1.) My absolute favorite sobriety tool is my pair of running shoes. Getting a little physical exercise does WONDERS at raising dopamine levels. Can’t or don’t like to run? Do something that gets your blood pumping. For me, I have a distinct moment where I can feel my runner’s high (a.k.a, dopamine) kick in. Find your moment. Embrace it.
2.) Food tracking. My husband groans and whines when I suggest tracking his food/drink intake. I hate counting calories too, but it really does help to stay in the moment and understand exactly what you are shoving in your face to compensate for the lack of alcohol.
3.) Food. Yep, I combat sugar cravings by approaching them head on. I make sure that I don’t get ravenous by eating several small meals a day. I ensure there is protein and healthy fats at every meal. Again, the goal is to be mindful here, so if you want a piece of chocolate, have a fucking piece of chocolate. Or four. Just don’t snort down the entire box of chocolates. Or do, and understand that this is a journey that you have to work for. And try again tomorrow. Some of my favorite items to have on hand: hard-boiled eggs. string cheese, fruit (fresh and dehydrated), kale chips, sugar-free pudding snacks, Greek Yogurt (mixed with 1/2 of a lemonade packet is awesome!), bags of cut up veggies, etc.
Moral of this sweet story – be mindful. Know that your body is going to go through some ups and downs. This too, shall pass.
If there is a topic that you would like me to post about, please don’t hesitate to reach out via eMail at viCARIouslyspeaking@gmail.com.