120 Days….

treatment-120-days-badgeI had my last drink four months ago today, on September 8, 2017. (If you missed my post about quitting drinking, it’s here: “0 Meetings in 90 Days.”) Hopefully my brain cells are restoring themselves. Since both my mother and my grandmother died from Alzheimer’s, I’m hoping that my choice to be alcohol-free will help, although my grandmother never drank. Or smoked. And was never overweight. She lived a simple, completely drug-free life, but still died from Alzheimer’s.

So, this week we are signing me up for long-term care insurance. We’ve done our research, with help from our financial planner, and it seems like a good thing to do. Just in case.

A friend just sent me a link to this article in The Atlantic:

“Even Small Amounts of Alcohol Impair Memory,” by Olga Khazan.

Another reason to be glad that I quit drinking altogether, rather than choosing to try to drink moderately.

IMG_1176Meanwhile, my new struggle is to learn how to use the same cognitive process I used to quit drinking in order to change my eating habits. I feel a strong addictive pull towards certain junk foods that I once felt towards alcohol. I understand that this is common for people who quit drinking, but I want to get a handle on it. Fondue chocolate (I just melt it in a mug and eat it with a spoon) and kettle-cooked potato chips (I often eat a whole bag at one sitting) are my main two cravings these days.
Oh, and I’ve almost completely quit drinking Cokes, which I loved almost as much as vodka! But I’ve switched to Diet Coke with Splenda. I know it’s also not so great for me, but it’s a step in the right direction. Except that it has lots of caffeine. But I only drink decaf coffee (usually one cup in the morning) so maybe the caffeine from the Diet Cokes with Splenda (3-4/day) isn’t hurting too much. (When I was still drinking real Cokes, I only drank 1-2 of the tiny ones each day.)

Somehow I’ve got to re-introduce healthy vegetables into my daily diet. I probably only eat vegetables 3-4 times a week, rather than several times a day. Gonna’ work on that in 2018. I don’t have an actual “New Year’s resolution,” but the beginning of a new year does feel like a good time to set goals. For me, getting a handle on compulsive eating is #1, and starting a new book is #2. Since I’ve already published 3 books (with a 4th coming in May), writing another book definitely seems easier than quitting the chocolate and chips, but we’ll see how it goes.

What are your goals (personal? professional?) for 2018?

 

9 comments


  • emma connolly

    Susan. Addiction is addiction is addiction you know. Don’t buy the chocolate, Don’t buy the chips. Write about what’s in your head and heart when you don’t. What’s the real pain. You already know what that is. My prayers are with you.

    January 9, 2018
    • Of course I KNOW these facts, Emma… just as I knew the facts about alcohol for many years before I quit drinking. But finding the right combination of cognitive behavior change and God’s grace and “timing” (?) is not an automatic thing. Thanks so much for your encouragement and prayers!

      January 22, 2018
  • emma connolly

    a p.s.: chips are all carbo, as is chocolate. Sugar. Simple.

    January 9, 2018
  • Diane Pickering

    Good for you on giving up drinking alcohol. That is a big accomplishment. I struggle with junk food eating, also. Mike and I have just made the decision to eat a low carb diet and we have already lost weight and feel so much better. I actually threw cookies and chips in the trash can on the day we started! I cleaned out the refrigerator of everything high in carbs, made myself a healthy grocery shopping list and restocked the refrigerator. I am hopeful that we can make this a permanent lifestyle change. Good luck in your goals for 2018!

    January 9, 2018
    • Thanks, Diane. And congrats to you and Mike on making healthy lifestyle changes, too! Here’s to a healthier 2018!

      January 9, 2018
  • Kudos on all your work to become healthier! And, of course, on all your exciting publications and related activities!

    Do you have a farmers’ market available? If so, it might be a good place to get some veggie motivation. Farmers in our area are usually eager to share recipes or prep tips for the produce they sell, but I’m not sure what resources you have there.

    I admit that my goals for 2018 are not very well defined. I am in multi-generational caretaker mode, so other priorities have to take a backseat for the time being.

    January 10, 2018
    • Thanks, Joanne. the problem isn’t lack of veggies or know-how… it’s a mental/emotional/psychological issue. Hopefully I’ll move in a better direction soon. Thanks, always, for reading and commenting.

      January 10, 2018
  • Kate reed

    I gave up alcohol 6 years ago but have put on a lot of weight I only have 2 or 3 meals a day but large portions and am addicted to sweets and chocolate, very miserable

    February 23, 2018
    • I hear you, Kate. I’m addressing my struggles in several ways now, almost six months since I quit drinking. Spiritually, with help from my pastor, and prayer and reading. And just started working with a physical trainer at a gym, hoping the regular exercise will spill over into motivation to deal with the disordered eating. Also cardio – working out on elliptical machine at home. The endorphins from exercise helps! Sorry for your struggle… thanks for reading and commenting.

      February 23, 2018

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