Knowing When to Say “When,” and When to Say “Yes”

Knowing When to Say “When,” and When to Say “Yes”

What do you do when your job involves drinking alcohol?

Last week I had a great conversation with a friend of mine who works in an industry where she’s around beer and wine all the time. She’s extremely knowledgeable on the subject, and it’s actually part of her job.

Recently she realized that drinking has become an escape for her, and more so than she would consider to be healthy. It was also allowing her to avoid facing some insecurities and relationship issues. She’s not an alcoholic, but realized that she’s drinking more than she should be and for some of the wrong reasons.

She has made some major lifestyle changes, but still struggles with how much drinking is okay.

My suggestion to her was this: Since she is in an industry where beer and wine aren’t just alcoholic drinks, but are considered food, why not treat it like food?

That means think about, and potentially even keep a journal of her thoughts on each drink and how it tastes, what kind of food it would pair well with, etc. When she hits that blurry line between intellectualism and escapism, that the indication when to stop. 

That way, she is using the more “thinking” part of her brain, and being aware of each drink, instead of allowing her emotions to take over.

No one says this process is easy; limiting both alcohol and food involve a lot of willpower. But that can come from practice and determination.

What would your suggestion be in this situation?  When you’re in times of food-or-beverage-related peril, what helps you just say no?  Leave your suggestion in the comments below.

P.S. Thanks to www.nickiherman.com for the cool pic.

Loving Moderation in a World of Food Extremes

Loving Moderation in a World of Food Extremes

Moderation?  Really? 

Tell that to the Big Macs.  The Whoppers.  72 oz. steak challenges.  Venti caramel macchiatos with extra whipped cream. 

We are a culture that steers away from moderation.  We’re American.  We’re big, loud, proud, and we like our burgers stacked 10 high with 5 lbs. of fries on the side.

Of course, we like to pretend we don’t know the effects of all that gorging.  We all have that voice that, just before we open our mouths for the first delicious bite, whispers to us: “Cancer, heart disease, obesity.  This will make you fatter.”

That, of course, is quickly squashed by your stomach pushing that voice aside and screaming: “WANT!  NOW!”

But, let’s listen to that stomach for a minute.  What if you stopped gorging yourself at every meal and finishing everything on your plate, and started listening to your body.  When your body starts saying, “Okay…I think I might be full, maybe,” what if you stopped?

And then 20 minutes later, when you’re not stumbling back to the car clutching your painful, bloated belly, you realize, “Hey…this wasn’t so bad.  Yeah, I left some food on my plate, and I was sad about that, but I feel better than I normally do.”

Much of how we eat is based on how we feel before the meal.  You’re hungry and feel like eating a burger or spaghetti or cucumbers.  Or you had a rough day and know that chomping through that entire pizza in 4 minutes will help you forget about it.

Next time you eat, think about how you’ll feel after the meal.  Keep that in mind with every bite.  

And look at your closed fist; that’s the size of your stomach.  Only put that much food on your plate.  When you’re done, drink a full glass of water. 

Try it for a week, and see how you feel.  The cravings won’t go away immediately, but your body will begin to function better.  You’ll have more energy, less gas, less bloating, and might start enjoying food more for how it tastes, not how it makes you feel.

Give it a try.

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