So you’ve had a late, booze-filled night out—potentially with some late night pizza involved—and you wake up the next morning wondering what the hell happened to your motivation to live a healthy lifestyle.
How the hell did I get here?
I uttered those words to myself every Saturday and Sunday morning for years, and it was as though I had no control over my decisions the night before. The reality is that I fully participated in the decisions that led up to my over-consumption of alcohol and junk food, but I just wasn’t ready to face that fact.
This feeling of lack of control—being on hamster wheel of overdoing EVERYTHING after loosening the reigns just a little—was a major source of my discontentment every morning.
It wasn’t the choices and uncomfortable aftermath, both physical and emotional, that led to my internal battle, but rather the feeling that I wasn’t the one making those choices. The feeling that something or someone else was in the driver’s seat of my life—it was unsettling AF.
After finally accepting the adage of “nothing changes if nothing changes”, I embarked on the journey of reframing my relationship with food, exercise, and alcohol.
Little did I know these were all directly related to my relationship with myself.
As I worked on uncovering the motivation behind my self-destructive patterns, I started to realize that I could in-fact trust myself to make balanced choices, and that my version of balance could include consciously choosing to go overboard when I wanted to.
Discovering this involved a process of trial and error for about a year.
I would drink too much because I was caught up in what everyone else was doing and completely lost sight of what I wanted for myself (old patterns I slipped into).
On the other side of the spectrum, I would strictly adhere to my pre-determined drink limit despite my soul calling for a night of letting loose with some extra drinks.
To my surprise, the feeling of ignoring the internal pull to throw caution into the wind and have a drunken night out was often just as unsettling as a hangover I didn’t truly sign up for.
This threw me for a loop, and I was incredibly confused.
Wasn’t booze in excess the cause of so many of my previous internal battles?
Does this pull towards excess every-now-and-then mean I’m slipping into old patterns?
Is my intuition leading me astray?
The answers to these questions, I discovered, was no.
The source of my internal battles was the use of alcohol (just like food) as a replacement for an internal void that I needed to attend to or a complete lack of connection to my body, intuition, and emotions.
As I explored my relationship with the concept of choosing to drink in excess consciously, I realized that there is absolutely nothing wrong with making this choice. It’s not indicative of an addiction, a lack of discipline, immaturity, or of an unevolved human being.
When made consciously and with a sense of discernment and connection, these choices are simply a part of the human experience!
And what a shame it would be to live life so rigidly in the middle that we miss out on meeting our edges again.
This may seem contradictory to my thoughts about how our extremes help us find our own middle and definition of “balance”, but balance doesn’t have to mean one mode of operation at all times.
It can mean periods of less alcohol when needing to feel more grounded or less social (if we choose to drink at all).
It can mean having a drink every night for a few weeks or months simply because it feels right and it still makes you feel physically and emotionally well overall.
It can mean an entire season of drinking more every weekend because you’re yearning for carefree social time, or simply because that’s the experience your soul is calling for.
If living a life of pure moderation isn’t one that aligns with what you want out of this life, THAT IS OK!
It’s not one that I want either, and I wish I had been given the permission to truly create my own definition of balance at the beginning of my journey of self-discovery.
Your definition of balance, health, and a fulfilling life doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s.
The key is to ensure that you’re the one in the driver’s seat—in tune with what your body and soul are calling for.
“All things in moderation, including moderation.” – Oscar Wilde