Abundant Energy & Vitality ~ My Feb Fast Challenge.
Feb Fast is about giving up alcohol, sugar or any other habit that may not be serving you well. Setting goals and having tools up my sleeve to help me stick to my goal was key in kicking what I believe became a lil’ negative habit for me. Alcohol was draining me of energy and drowning out the positive effects of an otherwise healthy lifestyle.
I actually started in January because during November and December, and to be honest maybe even September and October 2015 I was a little too ‘festive’ for my liking. The habitual festive ‘just one’ wine had me feeling dull, foggy and tired, and looking back I can certainly vouch for that now.
I wouldn’t have considered myself a huge drinker but I found myself beginning to reason ‘oh, it’s a ‘birthday party’, ‘Christmas is coming’ and ‘it’s in my blood right?’. Both my parents are Italian and Dad makes his own wine. You may have heard of the Italian desire to feed people, this also includes quenching their guests thirst with home made wine. Well, let me tell you their desire is strong, like a genetic mutation that results in the same words being expressed by all their mouths ‘mangia’ which is eat in Italian. The look of satisfaction on Dad’s, Mum’s, Zia’s and Zio’s faces when I have a glass (or two or three) of their wine or a plate/platter of homemade food is also somewhat satisfying for me, knowing that I’m able to bring joy to their day….you get my drift. It’s emotional drinking and eating that I grew up with hehe. I too have this genetic gene as I began to experience when I had children.
Anyhow, at Christmas the big Italian family holiday (which was so much fun) culminated in my strong urge to not want another alcoholic drink, rather I wanted more energy and less of that furry brain and mouth feeling. I was actually fine for the first five days of January 2016 but then after a long day it was that same old feeling of wanting to ‘relax’ and I gave in. I actually didn’t really enjoy the wine but I drank it anyway. It was one of my good organic biodynamic wines after all and I wasn’t going to waste it.
Yes, alcohol will help you relax momentarily that is because it is a depressant but it is also very toxic for your body. I was waking up foggy with a heavy head, even after just one wine. Even though I was using my oils and taking my supplements, I still felt dull and it took me a long time to get going in the morning.
Anyway, I’m now all but through Feb Fast and with just one day to go I can proudly say that I’ve stuck with it and wow, I feel amazing! Some of the benefits I’ve experienced:
- My energy levels are through the roof.
- Concentration is better, which is related to having more energy I suppose.
- Work is busy and I am running off five, maybe six hours sleep at the moment BUT I’m feeling great.
- I feel that whatever sleep I am getting is much more restorative with out alcohol in my system. I am not recommending you follow my lack of sleep regime (it could involve you ending up with 4 children) because it is totally not sustainable. But sometimes you’ve just got sh*t to get done, which I totally do at the moment.
- My immune system is so much stronger. When I’m not getting enough sleep I can feel quite run down, however I’m feeling great and I’m able to get so much more done.
- Waist line has shrunk a little. I haven’t changed anything else except for no alcohol!
I really feel like my health is coming into a new level and I am having even more amazing results using my oils. Why not challenge yourself to a fast of your own for March, even for just a week? They do say that it takes 21 days to break a habit though.
Tools to support you through change and transition…that have certainly helped me:
- Work on your mindset. This would have to be our biggest block. Practice some kind of mindful meditation, whether it is simply slow/deep breathing, yoga, meditation, positive affirmations etc. There are so many great Apps you can download for meditation and websites that you can follow for quick yoga sequences….which is exactly what I do. I really like yogaglo. It only needs to be 5 minutes (WARNING you may find yourself becoming addicted to this morning ritual). I recommend using an essential oil to anchor your positive thoughts so that through out the day, if you’re feeling that you’re ‘losing it’ you can inhale the aroma, which can take you back to those positive intentions you set in the morning.
- Fear ~ This has a way of creeping up and blocking new goals that we are attempting to reach. Watch this useful Youtube clip by Tiffany Peterson on mastering fear as it surfaces for you. Please don’t be scared to fail, or you’ll never try this. Just try to make it through the first day/evening/weekend, whenever that time is for you that you would usually drink or binge on sugar. If you slip – that’s okay, acknowledge it and move on. You can ALWAYS just try again the next day. Go back to tip #1. and find yourself some positive affirmations for the morning.To be completely honest I first attempted a ‘dry January’ in 2015 also and I slipped up quite a few times. I’ve come back to it a year later and made so much progress.
- Tools ~ I’ve already mentioned some great tools for coping in tip #1. I always have my Essential Oils on hand! Lemon and Smart and Sassy Essential oils are in permanently in my hand bag, and I would place a drop into my sparkling water which is alkalising for the gut, it gently detoxes and gives my water a subtle flavour which is quite enjoyable and it now feels like a bit of treat for me.
- Nutrition ~ Ensuring that I’ve eaten well during the day makes a huge difference in my ability to cope and not desire ‘something else’. I make sure that I eat enough nourishing fats. It’s easy for me (and a lot of us I think) to get on a roll in the morning and feel like we’re not hungry and by mid morning/lunch time we’re jittery which is low blood sugar BUT it’s easy to mistaken that for stress or a need to drink alcohol when I’m just plain hungry. Sometimes I will just cut an avocado open and eat the whole thing. Make sure you have the following foods on hand:
- nut butters;
- roasted/steamed veg;
- fresh fruit;
- eggs (I have them boiled and ready to go in the fridge);
- ingredients for smoothies, dairy free milk (in my home it’s almond milk) which we use for smoothies and will I throw in more nutritious and satisfying foods like avocado, coconut oil, hemp seeds and berries.
I’m a bit of an 80/20 gal and I am not about stressing my family (or myself) by depriving us of those ‘sometimes’ pleasures that occasionally we just want because they are right there in front of us. However, a non-nutritious treat can quickly become an over-indulgent habit as did my festive beverages and when this happens, a challenge is in order to shake things up and prove to yourself that you CAN make a change, ANY change that YOU WANT.
So after a month of complete fasting from any kind of alcohol I kinda feel like I was drinking out of habit. One was actually never one and it would get to a certain time in the day when I was either feeling low or stressed and a glass of wine would fulfil one of those needs. With the tools I’ve mentioned above I was able to avoid drinking (yes, there were days that I was very tempted).
We certainly can do anything we put our mind to and I feel it in my bones now. You just have to keep telling yourself how bad you want it and keep remembering WHY you want to quit. Just like training for a marathon or studying for an exam, daily habits of mindset training, eating well and relying on tools like essential oils will help us reach our goals….it’s that simple and that hard. What good is that vice doing you anyway? I would love to hear your feedback and any tips that you have for me…I’m still learning too!