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Dieting with Possible Drinking Problem

robbyf1971robbyf1971 Posts: 55Member Member Posts: 55Member Member
My weight has fluctuated since my 20s and had a great deal of success in 2014 (lost 60 lbs - 255 down to 195). I was a social drinker most of my life. I got a divorce which lasted just over a year and was final 2018. I moved out on my own in 2017 and the kids stayed with me usually on weekends. My ex-wife was very nasty to me during the divorce process. Her nastiness, coupled with guilt of leaving kids, the decline of my job and the boredom of being on my own at night led to an increase in my drinking. I am a routine oriented guy and it quickly became my nightly routine. I began to look forward to leaving work and getting home for dinner and a night of drinks to relax.

For the past 18 months I have been having 6-15 drinks nightly. I would mix vodka with diet soda in a huge plastic cup so I don't know the exact amount. My weight has steadily gone up from maybe 210 to 235 in those months. The nightly drinking led to poor food choices and lots of snacking throughout the night. My overall diet got sloppy too. It also decreased my motivation to workout in the morning or hindered my performance in my workouts.

My clothes began to not fit and I got a gut that would make my work dress shirts very tight and uncomfortable. I couldn't button the top button on my dress shirts to put a tie on. I also believe I developed gastritis as I would have almost daily burping episodes that would last 30-60 minutes of constant burping and bloating.

I decided to change and I want to get back to my 6' 3" 200 lb body again. I am only a week into my diet/change of habits but I have cut out the nightly drinking but do get an occasional urge.

Has anyone else struggled with drinking and trying to lose weight? What advice would you give?

Replies

  • concordanciaconcordancia Posts: 4,901Member Member Posts: 4,901Member Member
    It sounds like you are doing pretty well!

    Nonetheless, my advice would be to seek support to help you through those urges. Everything is easier when we are focused and gets hard again when life distracts us.
  • BZAH10BZAH10 Posts: 5,307Member Member Posts: 5,307Member Member
    Good for you! Changing habits is hard but very rewarding. You'll start to feel so much better, too, that those urges will fade.

    Divorce and splitting the family is a tough thing to do through but will probably be better for everyone once things settle down. Just keep making small changes here and there and make sure you give yourself credit for being strong and having the courage to make difficult choices. Reward yourself with things you enjoy and make you feel good.

    Do you exercise or are you active at all? If so, you'll find that appreciating what you body can do for you once you take care of it well is also very rewarding.
  • trishfit2014trishfit2014 Posts: 298Member Member Posts: 298Member Member
    Good luck. There is a great group in the challenges group. Very supportive group.
    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10714172/less-alcohol-january-2019-one-day-at-a-time#latest
  • robbyf1971robbyf1971 Posts: 55Member Member Posts: 55Member Member
    BZAH10 wrote: »
    Do you exercise or are you active at all? If so, you'll find that appreciating what you body can do for you once you take care of it well is also very rewarding.

    Thanks - I have been working out 3-5 times per week since 2014 with different phases of focus. I would say the last 6 months have not been focused. I remember how good it felt after I lost 60 lbs in 2014. My work clothes fit well and I would feel great going to work in the morning. The last 6 months I have been wearing loose fitting and honestly not very professional looking clothes to work and maybe the alcohol was making me depressed and hating going to my job in the morning. I was going down a bad path.

  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 8,894Member Member Posts: 8,894Member Member
    Exercise is also a good replacement habit.

    Often it's easiest to eliminate an old habit by replacing it with a new one. Exercise is just one possibility.

    Were there any non-drinking hobbies you used to enjoy back in the day, when you were single, but that dropped out of your life as you got busier with other things? (No, not that one! ;) )

    For a lot of guys, those are things like golf, tennis, etc., but other common things are playing a musical instrument, studying some topic of interest, sketching or painting, carpentry, other hand-crafts? Or maybe consider pursuing something you've always been interested in, but haven't had time for? Take a couple of classes to upgrade career skills?

    I'm not trying to get you so overcommitted to new things that life seems overwhelming. I'm just trying to introduce the "replacement habit" idea.

    Best wishes!

  • BZAH10BZAH10 Posts: 5,307Member Member Posts: 5,307Member Member
    Aw, well enjoy your new cat! They like to play so if you can find what he/she enjoys then a little activity in the evenings would be beneficial for both of you.

    Everyone is different and if completely abstaining from alcohol works for you then stick with that. Otherwise, I personally like an evening cocktail but I ONLY "allow" myself one if I get in a good workout first. Then after I shower I'll stretch and relax with a drink. For me it's like a muscle relaxer but one or two drinks is the limit.
  • robbyf1971robbyf1971 Posts: 55Member Member Posts: 55Member Member
    Good luck. There is a great group in the challenges group. Very supportive group.
    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10714172/less-alcohol-january-2019-one-day-at-a-time#latest

    Thanks! I just checked it out. Very helpful.
  • spaz1306spaz1306 Posts: 9Member Member Posts: 9Member Member
    This is the same problem I’m having
  • suziecue25suziecue25 Posts: 65Member Member Posts: 65Member Member
    I'm a bit like you. I lost 50lbs and was at goal for a year then I gave up smoking and substituted that bad habit with alcohol. I was drinking a bottle of wine + EVERY night and hey presto I gained back ALL the weight I'd worked so hard to lose.........I'm female, 70 and only 5ft tall so really can't afford 500 + calories on booze every day.

    I re-started with MFP a week ago and have not had a glass of wine [had 1 gin and diet tonic]. My desire to lose the weight is very strong....I haven't smoked for over a year now and if I have the willpower for that I have the willpower to control alcohol......I'm afraid at the end of the day it's willpower we need OP.
  • lilmisfit1987lilmisfit1987 Posts: 170Member, Premium Member Posts: 170Member, Premium Member
    I would say replace those urges with something healthy. If you're craving a drink then get up and go for a walk, ride a bike, or whatever you like. That way you get some fresh air and distract yourself.
  • AliNouveauAliNouveau Posts: 24,425Member Member Posts: 24,425Member Member
    I hear you with this. I have been trying no wine weekdays and will be good but this week only had 2 wine free days. Problem is my social life kind of revolves around doing something sporty then socializing over drinks

    In the past counting my calories and seeing how much was from booze was an eye opener. It stopped me from having days where the booze calories were more than food.

    I would find a hobby that helps you relax and occupies your time. It's boredom that is a killer with this. If you can beat the boredom you'll beat the booze
  • pifwmppifwmp Posts: 1Member, Premium Member Posts: 1Member, Premium Member
    Hug to you. I’ve been where you are and am over 2 yrs without a drink, 8 weeks without a cigarette and 2 weeks straight with 1200 calories or fewer a day. First I stopped drinking by working the program of AA. If you think you may have a problem I suggest you find an AA meeting where you will be welcomed and not judged. The drinking is most often symptom of not being emotionally well (your stress/sadness/depression?) and the program helps with working on getting well emotionally and drinking makes those emotional challenges worse. I used the AA principles for the smoking and now the eating. My life is getting better every day as long as I keep doing the AA program. Just a suggestion, but it really does work and probably 98% of us never lived under a bridge or drank out of a brown bag! 😂. Good luck!
  • Mike1804Mike1804 Posts: 108Member, Premium Member Posts: 108Member, Premium Member
    I have to admit, Ive struggled at times as well. I was never the 6-15 a night person, but more the 2-3. It really snuck up on me without really noticing over the past 1-2 years. I never really thought of it until About 6 months ago I saw my recycle bin one night sitting at the end of my driveway with multiple empty bottles. I thought to myself, “well that doesn’t look good”. I knew at that point I needed to put the brakes on it stat. Less than a year ago, I lost my stepfather to alcoholism. He drank so much that his body literally shut down as he was trying to detox for what seemed like the 10th time. That was another huge motivating factor for me. I feel like I’ve done really good cutting back over the past 6 months. I allow myself two drinks, one day a week and so far it’s working for me. I feel 100% better. I sleep better, my endurance in the gym is back, and my overall mental game is back. I think it’s harder to go cold turkey than it is to taper back slowly. Also, like previously mentioned, find something to replace that habit. A hobby, an activity, go to the gym...something to replace that behavior with something healthy and/or productive. You’ll still have the hankering every now and then, but the longer you go tapered back, the easier it gets
  • KTaurusW0516KTaurusW0516 Posts: 81Member Member Posts: 81Member Member
    Just quit, get any sight of drinks out of the place. (Doesn't mean drink them! Mean's dump them or throw them away.) I decided to quit drink for different reason. I quit because, I would do it when I was depressed and have straight shots of vodka. (8-12 Shots) The way to end drinking and to just stop! Soda you can wing yourself off of. Diets, you can wing yourself off of. However, drinking isn't something you can just slowly wing yourself off of. I believe when you get to your "goal" drink. You're gone and decide to say, "Whatever" and drink more anyways. At least that's what I did. I do believe in a social drink. Like wine, a cooler drink, or beer. However, not hard liquor. I would find something else to do. Another hobby for when you get home. Heck. You're trying to lose weight? Instead of going home, go to the gym to blow steam off. Come home to watch a favorite T.V. serious or movie. Clean. Having company all the time and now you don't have it as often can be hard to change. Considered a pet? No joke, it's another kid but, 24/7. Plus, you could walk a dog. Play with a cat. Train a bird? You name it. Hobbies are a great way to keep yourself busy and keep your mind focused on something else. Hope this helps. :)
  • CarvedTonesCarvedTones Posts: 2,319Member Member Posts: 2,319Member Member
    robbyf1971 wrote: »
    Good luck. There is a great group in the challenges group. Very supportive group.
    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10714172/less-alcohol-january-2019-one-day-at-a-time#latest

    Thanks! I just checked it out. Very helpful.

    In your situation, I would look at this thread:
    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10688061/the-sober-squad-alcohol-free-living

    I post there. I am on day 566. It sounds likely that you need more than just a dry month. There are a lot of posters in those monthly challenges that really shouldn't start back in a few weeks, if ever.
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 22Member Member Posts: 22Member Member
    robbyf1971 wrote: »
    Good luck. There is a great group in the challenges group. Very supportive group.
    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10714172/less-alcohol-january-2019-one-day-at-a-time#latest

    Thanks! I just checked it out. Very helpful.

    In your situation, I would look at this thread:
    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10688061/the-sober-squad-alcohol-free-living

    I post there. I am on day 566. It sounds likely that you need more than just a dry month. There are a lot of posters in those monthly challenges that really shouldn't start back in a few weeks, if ever.

    Congrats on the 566 days! That is a great thread by the way.

    @robbyf1971 - Kudos to you for looking for solutions first of all. I've met lots of folks over the years who do not. Long time sober here, and one of the things I've learned is that some folks have a drinking problem, some have a time problem and some have both. Your call on that is really the only one that matters for you. ;)

    I would recommend following the above poster's advice regarding support, even if it's only on a forum to start. You've been through a lot, and even the strongest men and women need a shoulder to lean on now and then.

    Get suggestions for a new nightly routine. Again, folks here can help out lots with that. For me it's fishing/hiking/walking etc. Heck, playing a good video game beats getting inebriated every night lol.

    Keep at it. It gets easier. You'll find your stride eventually. Good luck with it!


  • CarvedTonesCarvedTones Posts: 2,319Member Member Posts: 2,319Member Member
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    robbyf1971 wrote: »
    Good luck. There is a great group in the challenges group. Very supportive group.
    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10714172/less-alcohol-january-2019-one-day-at-a-time#latest

    Thanks! I just checked it out. Very helpful.

    In your situation, I would look at this thread:
    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10688061/the-sober-squad-alcohol-free-living

    I post there. I am on day 566. It sounds likely that you need more than just a dry month. There are a lot of posters in those monthly challenges that really shouldn't start back in a few weeks, if ever.

    Congrats on the 566 days! That is a great thread by the way.

    Thanks. Just as an FYI to you and the OP, I used to stop for weeks or months at a time to prove to myself I could control it and then start back "carefully" and slide right back down the slope to problem drinking again. After a while, I would stop again to get it under control again. Wash, rinse, repeat. Anyway, I see echoes of that in a lot of posts in the dry month thread. Some people really are just giving themselves a few hundred extra calories a week. But if staying alcohol free for a month really is a challenge, there is some deep thinking to do IMO. This time I decided there is no going back. It was harder in the beginning but it is getting easier (still staying on my guard). I can be around it and just wave it off with a "no thanks" like other non drinkers do. I have some safety people I have confided in who would speak up if present if I did accept and/or order a drink.
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