Monday, August 3, 2015


So my month of avoiding alcohol and sticking to my 5:2 Diet has concluded, and I couldn't be happier. I've managed to nearly reach my goal weight (I'm about 400 grams off!) and keep away from the wine for a month. I feel like my body is thanking me for it. A good cleanse now and then is a good thing, right?

Having said that, it wasn't always easy to stick to both. A couple of weeks ago I got to my Monday fast day and by mid-morning I knew I couldn't follow through. For some unexplained reason I was ravenous. My body was crying out for food, so I decided to listen to my body and give in to its request; eggs on toast for brunch, it was. Even though I pretty much felt the same way the following day, I made up for my non-fast day by fasting anyway, with one small adjustment: I allowed myself more calories. Up to 600 if I wanted. (The recommendation for the 5:2 Diet is 500 calories for women on fast days, 600 for men.) I got to 560 calories that day and felt satisfied. Still feeling hungry by my next fast day later that week, I allowed myself 550 calories, which I stuck to, and was able to go back to 500 calories the following week. I didn't beat myself up for it. I figured doing a little more calories for a couple of days was better than not doing a fast day at all.

As for the alcohol? Well, I have to say that even though for the first week I would cook something for dinner and think, Geez, a nice glass of white wine would go well with this, sticking to the no-alcohol thing was pretty much a breeze. Even one night, when Mr A, the kids and I met friends for dinner at an Italian restaurant - our first dinner out in ages - it crossed my mind that a nice glass of red would go down well with my meal, but by the time I'd started eating, I'd albeit forgotten about the wine.

It made me think: I never remember my parents drinking alcohol with any sort of regularity. Sure, they had the odd glass of something mostly on special occasions, but that was it. I guess by the time I was old enough to notice such things, my folks were already well in to in their fifties. I think age plays a big part in the choices you make (or forced to make) about your diet and general health. In my late teens and twenties, I could eat a large bowl of pasta for dinner, head to a nightclub, drink a number of glasses of wine, whip my body around a dance floor for hours, pick up a doner kebab on the way home and experience very few repercussions for doing so the next day. If I was to do the same thing now at age forty-four, I'd wake up feeling bloated with both a horrible hangover and an aching neck and body from all the dance moves. (Heck, just sleeping these days can sometimes give me aches and pains, let alone dancing!)

I'm slowly learning that by making a few adjustments, I can feel like I'm twenty again, even if I'm not. I don't need to drink each week, even if it's only a couple of glasses of wine two nights a week like I was doing before my cleanse. I'd much rather be feeling great most of the time than feeling a little heady with alcohol for a short amount of time each week.

There's no turning the clock back, but at least, going forward, I now know what small adjustments are required in order to feel better physically. Now all I need to do is step up the exercise again, and I'll be so healthy it'll be almost sickening! (And I'm fine with that.)

Stay tuned ...