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A Bright Start for 27: Social Balance

My journey to feel my best for 27 continues. My biggest challenge this past week was finding a balance between having a social life and keeping up with my health goals.

I was lucky enough to have my best friend come visit me in Berlin and to join my brother on a work trip to Paris.  With all of the fun and excitement I did my best to continue eating intuitively, balancing my meals, and limiting stimulants.

IMG_4476 2(Indulging in some gluten free desserts and an espresso at Helmut Newcake in Paris - totally necessary)

I tried not to compare myself to others and really focus on my own hunger, even if that meant tucking into a second meal after a long night out or carrying extra snacks in my purse.

Not drinking in Berlin was a bit of a social challenge for me.  I felt a lot of guilt over not wanting to go out and party with my friend in town, as well as turning down drinks from my brother and my favourite bartender.  It was an emotional week for me though and I really felt it was best to trust my body and take it easy.

While I struggled I learned a few tricks for not drinking:

  • Be social – I struggled a bit with this one, but find that if you can still be fun and social most people don't mind whether your drinking or not.
  • Don’t make a big deal out of it – I have a bad habit of getting into too many details and this can come across as defensive. It's much easier to just say you don't feel like drinking.
  • Order a non alcoholic cocktail – you can put a lot of people at ease and feel more a part of things with a non-alcoholic cocktail.  This is definitely something I'll be doing again.

When I found out I'd be spending two days in Paris with my brother and his colleagues I asked Sarah for advice on whether I should drink or not.  She said that if I did to drink slowly and be aware as drinking lowers inhibitions and increases cravings and could leave me feeling a lot worse.

IMG_4541(Sharing some macarons in Paris)

I decided to have a bit of wine with my dinner each night since we'd be eating out in nice restaurants.  I really enjoyed savouring a glass of wine or two without going overboard.  Again, I learned a bit about myself and drinking socially:

  • No one cares how much you drink - I find that people can be uncomfortable if you're not drinking at all, but if you nurse one drink all night no one really notices or cares.
  • Having one or two drinks with dinner increases the pleasure of the whole meal - any more tends to take away from it for me and makes it challenging to eat intuitively.
  • Alcohol is dehydrating - I have to remember to drink more water when I'm having alcohol as I tend to forget and feel extra dehydrated (good morning headache).

I'm really happy with how I dealt with social challenges this past week.  I'm leaning away from the all or nothing approach with my health and know I'm on the right track to leading a more balanced life overall.  I had an indulgent two days in Paris with plenty of treats and coffee, but I ate intuitively, took my time, and feel great for it.

IMG_4547

This week I am going to focus on rest, laying off the stimulants, adding in some supplements recommended to me by Sarah and eating more regularly throughout the day.

More on Paris and Berlin soon!