This is a topic that I decided not to directly bring up in my vlog, as writing about it is easier. Sometimes speaking out loud about things is hard to articulate properly, and since the internet is full of people who will take spoken words out of context, I figured I would take my time and just write it all down clearly.
For context, it’s worth noting that I currently live with (and care for) my mother, who is one of the worst narcissists I have ever known in my entire life. To answer the inevitable question of ‘why don’t you just leave?’, it’s simply not easy to drop everything and walk out. I have nowhere to go, no support network, I lack the funds and I have belongings here that, if I left, I would likely never get back. So for now, since my life isn’t in danger at home, I am being patient until I am able to leave, at which time I will embark on my adventure of travel, growth and self-improvement.
So here’s my hurdle: every single night, between the hours of 7pm and 10pm I self destruct in terms of what I put in my body. I drink low-alcohol beverages most nights that ultimately lead to that fake hunger afterwards. Add on some natural cravings for carbohydrates that I still haven’t fully kicked, and you have a recipe for disaster. So I order cheap, take-out food. I don’t even eat much of it, but the fact that I eat it at all and always immediately go straight to bed means that I am storing almost all of that food as fat in my system for anything up to 12 hours before I can start burning it off.
I won’t even go into the fact right now that it gives me crazy acid reflux and wakes me up at 3am quite often. It’s a horrible side effect.
Whilst I know that there’s no actual addiction going on (believe me I’ve looked into it pretty hard and even spoken to a doctor who agreed that it’s more of a habitual over-indulgence than anything else). It’s just a bad habit that’s brought on by isolation, boredom and simply the broken record in the brain that causes any habitual behaviour: depression.
During the day, I am the cleanest eater you could meet. I consume almost no carbohydrates, I drink around 2-3 litres of water and I cook all of my meals from scratch. I surround myself with positive and forward thinking regarding my diet, my goals and the hobbies I do to fulfil those goals. The positive ‘me’ you see in vlogs and in most blogs is not fake. That is who I truly am inside, and who I want to be an even better version of.
But during the hours of 7pm and 10pm, it’s like my brain switches.
To further exemplify how little I actually care for alcohol; I came up with a plan this morning to actually go and sit in the local pub with a diet coke and a book for three hours of a night, and come home at 10pm (when the off-licence is closed) to continue my night unscathed and un-binged. It’s amazing how habits in the brain work isn’t it? I could literally be in a building that is designed for people to drink alcohol and I would happily go there for the purposes of avoiding alcohol.
It’s just a shame that being my mother’s only full-time carer, I can’t do that. This is something I have to do from home, alone. It will make things ten times harder, but I have to do it. My diet is going so well and mentally outside of those hours I am in such a good place that it is just a shame to ruin it for the sake of three hours. Just three hours! That’s a movie, or a video game session. It really shouldn’t be that hard to preoccupy myself!
I was weary about writing this post because of its level of honesty, and as mentioned at the beginning the people who tend to comment on posts like this. I don’t need your medical advice, your diagnoses or your anecdotal stories about how you kicked a thirty-year hardcore drinking addiction through the power of prayer.
What I need is to get my brain in gear and simply stop allowing myself to make excuses. This post was open and honest for the same reason my diet vlog is; if I talk about it openly I am more likely to make the effort. If I keep it to myself and pretend like it doesn’t happen it is easier to lie and simply keep pretending.
Before I finish let’s get onto the subject of how this is affecting my weight. The short answer is: it isn’t. Like I said, I really don’t eat and drink that much each night. It’s just that it happens at all. At the time of writing it’s ‘that time of the month’, so from Monday I’ve gained 3lbs of bloat-weight, which is actually less than I normally gain, since usually I am eating cake, chocolate and salty snacks all day and then the 7-10pm meltdown happens. I will have no weigh-in this Monday, because I know it will be period weight. But generally speaking, thankfully, I haven’t sabotaged myself with this.
So here it is. Friday 28th July. Today I will not have any drinks that aren’t water or tea, nor will I consume any food that isn’t low carb or eaten before 8pm. I’ll update again tomorrow with how it went. Wish me luck.