Making Healthy Eating Decisions is Simple When Sober

When I drank, every weekday morning was a test. Do I run through the McDonald’s drive thru, grab a sausage biscuit, and mindlessly devour it while dealing with rush hour traffic? Or, do I wait until I get to work, find the granola bar I know is somewhere, and hope that someone brought donuts? These two scenarios show my typical breakfast habits while dealing with my mild hangovers. Along with the bottle of wine I consumed every night, no wonder I was about 20 lbs overweight, and had regular bouts of blemishes on my otherwise good skin.

The combination of the hangover effects and the greasy or random breakfast made me tired, slow, and irritable. I barely looked people in the eyes, and I avoided conversation. If I had a meeting early in the day I always sat at the back or on the edge of the group and didn’t participate unless I absolutely had to. Coffee and water kept me going until lunchtime, which often meant another quick trip to the most convenient place I could find. I went for the limp, tasteless gas station sandwiches along with salty bags of chips, or yet more fattening, highly-processed food served through a different drive-thru window. Very rarely would I bring my lunch from home.

Because I was still metabolizing all that wine consumed only hours before, I was way too tired and disorganized in the mornings to think about healthy eating habits and do the work involved to maintain them. It was hard enough to get myself to the shower, find clothes that looked halfway decent, and make a pot of coffee. When I think back (and it really was not long ago) I wonder how in the hell did I make it to work and somehow get by, despite how I was abusing myself? Drinking at night, never getting enough continuous sleep, and then right away in the mornings having way too much sugar, fat, and salt, not to mention being in a state of constant dehydration?

No wonder I was constantly anxious, dissatisfied, irritable, and moody at work. It doesn’t take the brightest bulb in the room to figure out that alcohol was the cause of my poor eating habits and resulting unhealthy physical and mental state – for years.

Now, I am waking up at 5:30 a.m. I have a clear head after at least six or seven hours of straight, uninterrupted sleep. I get ready, make my homemade healthy breakfast and lunch, and sit down to write as long as I can before I head out for my 20-minute commute. I feel better, I look better, and I avoid the drive-thru windows.

I am not saying I never eat fast food anymore, but the cravings for it are pretty much gone now that I’ve stopped drinking. How have your eating habits changed since you’ve become sober?

Typical lunch from home these days, versus the gas station sandwich!