Don’t worry, I didn’t – but! I usually do. And I did feel the smallest twinge of … not quite temptation, but maybe remembrance.

I’ve noticed in my previous attempts to give up alcohol for whatever length of time that (a) the beginning is hardest, and if I can get over 10 days, things start to get a little easier and (b) the following days seem to be particular trigger points for me: 3, 5, 7 and 10 itself. Day three has been a big one for a long time – I guess the alcohol is fully out of your system and the last vestiges of hangover are gone. The amnesiac is back in full force and the vision of The Drink as something that adds to my life, rather than subtracts from it, starts to be present again.

Well, not so much this time! I’m thankful to say that I am feeling very very different in my outlook towards alcohol and I’m just not feeling the pull to that vision any more. Never? Well … Hardly Ever!

Last night when facing into making the dinner, I had a sudden crisp memory of cold beer and … well, it just stopped at that. I allowed the thought, investigated it a bit, then let it float away. It’s not a thought that’s really relevant to me anymore. It’s just a vestigial set of habitual thought processes from an old life, triggered by habitual action.

All the same,  I will be extra mindful of my thoughts in the coming days too. If for nothing else, I’m curious to see how my mind responds to previous triggers in different circumstances.

I’m also thinking a lot about the other things I’m eating and drinking. As I mentioned yesterday, my weight is a huge concern to me and there are other daily health niggles that beset me in my trot towards 40 this coming August.

I’m currently reading a book that sets itself up as an 8-week course to optimum health. I used to be very draw to these types of “change your life” course-style things. I just wanted a list of things to do, and then everything would be better at the end, and wouldn’t have to think so goddamned hard about everything all the time.

Well, I’m still interested in reading the book and gleaning bits of information and inspiration, but I’m not going to be following the course steps. It’s not that I don’t want to get healthier. It’s not that I don’t believe that many of the steps in the book would actually be good for me, but …

It’s too prescriptive. I am finding that it’s not good for my mental health to blindly follow steps without feeling through the right actions for myself. It seems to lead to triggering my “All or Nothing” mode of thinking in full force. Basically – even though it’s a “good” diet, it’s still a diet book. The banning of certain foods is problematic in my mind. It’s not that I don’t believe there aren’t certain things that are bad for my body – for instance, you might say that I’ve banned alcohol, but I disagree. It’s not banned as such, I can drink any time I want to. I’ve just finally come to the conclusion that I really really don’t want to.

Now, I don’t plan on going through an entire alcohol-type process with every single type of foodstuff out there, and I think food is a little more difficult, because most food has some redeeming quality – even if it’s just that it gives you a burst of energy, like in the case of pure sugar. But what I do want to do is start paying attention to how I really feel after I’ve eaten (or drunk) certain things.

I tend to have a lot of stomach upsets and have been noticing horrible reflux in particular if I eat breakfast in the morning. I’m starting to think that reflux might be linked to my morning coffee habit, so – while I’m not going to ban coffee or caffeine outright (I still need to be functional!) – I am trying to make a switch to green tea for first thing and see if that helps with the worst of the morning reflux symptoms too.

And books like the one I’m currently reading might be useful in terms of giving a sense of direction and things to try and ideas for the types of things that might react better with my guts. I won’t be following it blindly though – like most of these things, it’s hugely pro garlic, which is a food that often gives me really unpleasant digestive issues.

So, there we go! I’ve gone on a bit this morning. Hope it’s not been too boring!

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