So I had decided awhile ago that I needed to get back into working out. I began assisting classes at FitClub24 and even attended a free workout class in my friends condo building that was kickass (and therefore I will continue to attend those classes). But not only did I make the decision to work out, I made the decision to work out at a gym that offers free workout classes.
I had been jogging a lot when I first got back to Montreal, but I lack the proper attire to continue jogging in -20 degree weather. And I had been doing something of a workout at home, but refrain from an intense workout because a) I don’t want to be stomping on my neighbour’s heads and b) I find it difficult to push myself when working out alone. FitClub24 has been amazing, but would be too expensive to continue doing on a regular basis.
And so, I told myself that after Christmas I would join a gym. Not long after that I also made the decision to take a break from drinking during the month of January. I figured, if I am going to try to get myself back into shape, then I should also nourish myself well. And I’m sorry, but as much as we all like to tell ourselves that a glass of wine a day is good for our health, I’m sure my body will not be upset with my decision to not drink for a month. In fact, i’m sure it will say “Thank You”.
Now, I’ve never done a detox before or intentionally refrained from doing or eating something in order to improve my health. Many of my friends have, in the past, decided to refrain from drinking alcohol for a certain period of time (some successfully, others not so much) but it was never something that I felt compelled to do. As much as I don’t believe that moderate alcohol intake brings benefits to your body, neither do I think that it is extremely detrimental. The association between moderate alcohol intake and improved health most likely has to do with the fact that those people who consume moderate-low levels of alcohol, simply lead a more balanced lifestyle and are less stressed. Life is about balance; not too much and not too little.
Sometimes I drink a glass of wine every night, other times I go weeks without drinking, other times I might not drink during the week, but perhaps drink too much on the weekend. What I’m trying to say is that I’ve never drank so frequently and so much, to make me feel like I absolutely needed a break or a detox. However, my body hasn’t been feeling top notch lately, for a multitude of reasons I’m sure, and so I’ve decided to give my liver a break of one month and see what it does for me.
But I haven’t decided to take a break from drinking simply for the health benefits. I’ve also decided to take a break from drinking for the mental benefits as well. I feel that drinking is a crutch for many people, myself included.
Too often, we drink, not because our bodies are craving an alcoholic beverage, but because our minds crave it. Too often we drink (even when we don’t really feel like drinking) because everyone else around us is drinking. Too often we hold a drink or take a sip because we feel uncomfortable, or awkward. Too often we drink to be more comfortable with ourselves in a social setting or use our glass as a safety blanket. Too often we drink to make ourselves feel better emotionally (not physically).
Drinking is such a huge part of our culture, and not drinking simply for the sake of not drinking is often met with skepticism and suspicion. I believe this is partly because, we all know deep down that drinking alcohol isn’t the best thing for us. But it is a habit that many of us have. And habits are hard to break.
Human behaviour is one of the most difficult things to change, it requires a lot of willpower. And so, when we meet people who do not drink, be it for health reasons, or simply the sake of not drinking, we are taken aback, because drinking is considered the norm. But not only are we taken aback, we also tend to scrutinize and question their reasons for not drinking, as if they need a reason to not drink.
I believe this is because many people feel threatened by those who do not drink (and/or practice other healthy habits that are not the norm). And we feel threatened because their reasons often make sense, as much as we may attempt to poke holes in them. But if we were to agree with them, then we would have to stop drinking also, and we don’t believe that we have the ability to do that, or we simply don’t want to change our habits.
I definitely feel that I have been faced with quite a bit of skepticism, and suspicion in the past couple of years simply because I have begun to change my habits and have done things that are out of the norm, or that seem scary to some people.
Moving to Korea to teach, travelling to Asia alone, leaving the Keg to go work on a farm, reducing the amount of dairy and meat in my diet. As much as there were many people who were supportive of these decisions, there were also many people who questioned these decisions. There were times where I almost felt like I was being attacked for the decisions I was making. People were curious to know why, but when I would begin to explain why, they would automatically become defensive and go on the attack, trying to tell me why I shouldn’t be doing what I was doing.
I am not going to preach to anyone about how they should live their life, but sometimes people don’t want to understand your choices or decisions because then it would mean changing their behaviour as well, and too many people do not want to change.
We all know change is part of life. And we all agree that change is good. But change is difficult. And even though change is natural, many of us choose not to change, and instead keep doing the same thing over and over and over, because it is comfortable. Change is not easy, and it means going out of our comfort zone. Something not many of us are willing to do.
Sorry, I just realized I’ve gone off on a bit of a rant, but it’s something I’ve been meaning to write about anyway, and so there it is.
So to wrap this long blog up: I have decided to not drink for at least a month for a multitude of reasons. But if I had to choose the two most important reasons, I would choose the following:
1) To treat my body as a temple,
and not feed it poison. Correction. Poison is definitely an extreme word to be using. So let’s just say I’m choosing to feed my body well.
2) To have deeper connections with people. To be focused on my conversations, and not on the glass in my hand.
I have decided to give up, or let go of quite a few other things as well in the New Year, but it’s late, I’m tired, and I think by now you are also tired of reading this blog.
I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years Eve, a wonderful New Years Day and I hope that you take every day this year as a new day and a new opportunity to make yourself into the person that you want to be.