If you’ve just started your ‘ditching the booze’ journey or it’s your first Christmas sober, the chances are this may be a stressful time. Expectations are high and most of us tend to be people pleasers! When you’re ditching the booze it’s important to make that non-negotiable, put yourself first. That doesn’t mean be selfish, it’s the season of goodwill to all men after all, but it does mean take good care of yourself!
We know that people often turn to sugar when they’ve ditched booze, its normal and usually after we’ve mainlined on jellybeans or whatever it is for a while we can reign it in and develop a new equilibrium. (Please note my recommendations for sweet stuff such as ‘dates in the freezer’) The problem is when Christmas comes and brings with it a cacophony of sweets chocolates, puddings, cake and God knows what else. You’ve worked hard to remove the alcohol, and the last thing you need is to be ‘beating yourself up’ about overdosing on sugar!
SO how do we ‘tame’ our ‘Christmas treat’ dragon? Its all about mindset, just as we’ve had to re-learn all the pre-conceived ideas about alcohol. For too long we all thought it was glamorous and ‘fun’ and gives us confidence and everyone’s doing it, but we are the enlightened ones now (or getting there) and we know that actually its just a poison and being sober ROCKS! (Don’t you love the hashtag #wearetheluckiest)
We need to reframe how we think about sugar and so called ‘treats’ We’ve all been brainwashed into thinking that ‘junk’ and sugar is a ‘treat’ Most of us were given it to ‘soothe our pain’ as kids, every time we graved our knee we were given a biscuit (or was that just me/) and most of us have at some point in our lives turned to sugar (as well as booze) to cheer ourselves up.
So instead of ‘treats’ think of the sweets, puds et al over Christmas and New Year as ‘cheats’
Of course you will want some ‘cheats’ – you’re human, but set yourself some boundaries rather than going totally over the top and then feeling crap.
Save your ‘cheats’ for the things you really like. I am not a fan of Christmas pudding or cake, I wouldn’t dream of eating it at any other time of the year, so I’m going to make my commitment that I won’t eat it. End of, Just like I won’t be drinking alcohol. Thinking about it, do I really like mince pies? No actually, so I won’t be eating those either. If unlike me you do ‘crave’ all of the above then decide which one you want most and make that your ‘cheat’ (but be realistic and don’t have them all!).
Our course Get the Buzz without the Booze also works for people trying to ditch the sugar, the first lesson is all about encouraging you to determine your BIG WHY and writing down your intentions.
So do that ahead of Christmas and New Year, Ask yourself why you don’t want to give in to the ‘sugar monster’, why do you want to stay healthy and feel balanced emotionally? Don’t wait for new year’s resolutions to come along for you to be berating yourself for giving in to the sugar monster (and God forbid the wine witch!) Its your choice what you put in your mouth (sounds simple when you put it like that!)
On that note, don’t let others ‘force’ you into anything, just like we can feel ‘sober shamed’ when we first quit drinking, family and friends love saying ‘Just have one’ or ‘For God’s sake you’re boring’. Hopefully we feel strong enough to stand strong and say NO thanks. Do the same when people try to force sugar onto you. If you were vegan no-one would try and force you to eat the turkey. It’s only if you start wavering over the chocolate log covered in cream followed by several mince pies – should I, shan’t I?
Plan ahead, just as you are planning ahead in the drinks department (I hope!) and making sure that you have great alcohol free drinks and a plan to get home from the parties et al. Have a plan for staying healthy and not overdosed on sugar. Write down your intentions and enjoy the ‘cheats’ you do decide to have!
Don’t forget the REAL ‘treats’ are the things that support your sobriety. Ask yourself what selfcare you need over the festive season, maybe it’s a walk in nature, a soak in a bath with essential oils, a trip to see friends who love you, reading a great book by an open fire, often it’s the little things that turn out to be the treats that you remember and feel good about.
(There’s still space on our Self-care in Sobriety retreat in Jan – now that’s a treat!).
To get access to our 90 day online course Get the Buzz without the Booze and our 52 week challenge Keep the Buzz without the booze join The Sober Club