Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is This Really Happening?

I am giving up drinking for a month. Starting today. No more booze. No wine, no beer, no NOTHING. I have been trying to lose seven pounds for four months and the only way to do it is to stop hitting the sauce. I want to make it known that even though this whole challenge was completely my own idea, I am DEFINITELY not looking forward to it. Two hours in and I am already looking at the calendar, marking down that day a month from now when I will march out of the liquor store clutching a delicious box of Franzia for dear life. September 24, 2010, you are already the most glorious day of my life...

In case you are wondering, I do not have a drinking problem. I don't depend on booze for anything. I just love watching television with a warm blanket and a glass of Chardonnay after a long day of work. I also love a nice cold beer sitting outside on a summer day with nowhere to go. However, as the story so often goes, a glass of wine turns into a bottle and one beer turns into six, and the seven pounds of fat I want to lose gets that much more comfortable right down there on my lower back. Not to mention that my workout the next day usually sucks and it takes me almost a week to get back to feeling 100%. By this time its already Friday and my Miller Lites are once again calling my name. Its a vicious cycle. A vicious and delicious cycle (oh, hello rhyming!) that I am going to break for thirty long, long, REALLY long days. Did I mention I am kind of unhappy about this challenge?

Because it is a rainy day outside and I am feeling kind of “glass half empty,”here is a look ahead at the speed-bumps I can already see forming as I begin my month of prohibition. Make no mistake, I am going to kick this challenge's ass. But temptation is all around me, so I have concocted a little summary of all the ways I plan on telling that mini-Haley devil on my shoulder to shut the f up when I am feeling the pressure to just give up and have a drink ...

The first hurdle I will have to overcome is that fact that I am already in pretty good shape. I know this sounds weird, but its a lot easier to justify the calories in a beer when you are at a healthy weight than when you are not. When I embarked on my journey to a healthier lifestyle, I really did need to lose weight. At that time, I pictured a certain number on the scale and told myself I would get there. Now that I am a measly seven pounds away from this magic number, I am not just going to quit because I am at a healthy weight. That would be like finally pulling into the rest area bathroom parking lot after a long drive and peeing your pants like an idiot. Its bullshizz. For this reason, every time I go to grab the giant unopened bottle of wine in the fridge (I am not just going to throw out perfectly good wine, I am dancing on the poverty line here) I will think of myself peeing my pants while parked in front of the bathroom. I worked my fricken ass off to get into the shape I am in, and no bottle of wine is going to stop me from progressing ever further both in my mind and in the gym. I will do whatever it takes to remind myself that I need to win this battle and fight off those thoughts of “ but you look fine, one glass won't hurt.” Even if it means peeing my pants for real...

After a few mental battles with the wine, I am sure I will get tired of staring at the bottle in the fridge for hours and eventually move on with my life. Naturally, this will free up some more time for me to watch beer commercials. I already know this is going to be a major problem. Beer commercials get me every time. The people are attractive, they are always having tons of outrageous fun, they are throwing major parties because a guy got a good haircut...they are everything I wish I could be and more. Meanwhile I am sitting on the couch in my granny panties with my hair in a crazy bun thinking about how much I would love to drink a beer right this second. In the past, I most likely would have given into temptation and gone and got myself a nice cold one. However, these days I have a secret weapon under my belt. I can proudly say that exactly six days from now, I have been fast food free for a year ( this is a huge deal as I love fast food, probably more than I love you.) So, I know that if I can stare at McDonald's commercials and not run off to the drive thru, I can survive any beer commercial those marketing geniuses throw at me. Including the Bud Lite one with the poodle driving the car. I really like that one and I hope it never comes on again.

The final, and probably the most difficult challenge I will face this month is pressure from others around me to just give up and indulge in a few wobbly-pops. I am not saying that I have friends and family members who sit there and force me to drink because I don't. Its just that my arm isn't very hard to twist. If I am undecided about ordering a drink at dinner and the person I am with requests an adult beverage, my mind is instantly made up and I'll be sippin' on White Zin with a smile. For this reason, I am going to try as hard as I can to avoid situations where people are drinking. But,while avoiding situations where drinking is involved will indeed make things easier on me, sometimes I don't even need another person physically there to tempt me. I can be all by myself and still find out the extent of the fun everyone is having by simply checking the internet. I may have to stop going on Facebook all together. If I am sitting there on a Saturday evening, sober as a judge, watching Cake Boss episodes that I have already seen, I don't want to read your status and learn that you are in the VIP section of the coolest bar in town sipping martinis with LL Cool J, fifteen puppies and the entire cast of Boy Meets World. I am happy that you are having a great time, but reading something like that is going to make me want to get my party on too! And by “get my party on,” I mean its going to make me want to drink wine half dressed under a blanket...but hey, everyone has a different idea of fun!

OK..so here it goes. Once I post this, I can't go back. The second this post hits the web, I am done drinking for a month. Good thing I drank enough while I was writing this for the entire month anyways! But this is really it. I am going to blast away these seven pounds if its the last thing I do, and trust me giving up drinking was one of the last things I wanted to do. At least I have my strategies. I am going to stay out of situations where I will be tempted to drink. I may even stay off Facebook. I will not crumble in the face of a clever beer advertisement. I will pee my pants if I start to think I am in good enough shape to have a drink whenever I want. The truth is, I am just too excited to see not only if I can finally ditch these last seven pounds, but also whether or not I improve in the gym once I cut out alcohol. The other truth is, I am just too excited for the celebration I am going to throw myself on September 24th to mess this challenge up! Woohoo!

BY THE WAY: If anyone is brave enough to take part in this no-drinking challenge with me, feel free to email me with any questions or comments at HMMelanson@gmail.com. ALSO: The Paleo Challenge that I mentioned in my last post is coming up SOON! The details are still in the works, but all the information you need will be made available through this blog. And even though the challenge isn't posted yet, any Paleo questions you have can either be posted as comments or sent to my email. I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for continuing to stop by!


  1. I know. That would be like you giving up canned fish AND Crossfit videos in the same month...NAHT gonna happen. Maybe I will "host" a Facebook Free Month challenge in the future....every minute you spend on Facebook...5 BURPEES!

  2. Hanging with people who already don't drink is one way to stay out of drinking situations. Like Nick Ray's Dad & Step Mom who gave up the booze years ago for reasons that had nothing to do with weight loss. And are happy to continue that way.
    But good luck with your worthy intention.
    And about that Paleo Challenge. Does ice cream count as Paleo? If yes, I'm in.