Thursday, September 6, 2012

Working it out

I still have my 2011 calendar, kicking around somewhere under all my piles of stuff. A few weeks ago my boyfriend asked if he could throw it out and I said "No!" as if I was afraid 2011 would come back again at the same time as a total collapse of the naked man calendar industry (I buy naked man calendars. It's my concession to my gayness). The reason I gave was that I've been tracking the days I go to the gym since October of last year, and I want to have a physical reminder of that accomplishment, which is true, but only partly. That calendar also has the day on October 5th where I wrote "last drink."

It's not a coincidence that I made a commitment to go to the gym regularly around the same time as giving up booze. Part of giving up drinking was a realization that my life was going in the wrong direction, that I was on track towards meeting absolutely none of my life's goals, and while I'm sure no one ever gets to follow ALL of their dreams, it seems pretty sad to have made no progress on ANY of them. To have barely even tried? That was shameful. Drinking had to go.

So, I gave up drinking to get in better shape. But what I didn't really grasp was how getting in better shape would help me to keep from drinking.

To anyone in their early days of recovery: get active. It doesn't matter what you do: swim, jog, join a softball league, go for walks with a neighbour, work out with a Wii fit in the privacy of your home, learn to skate or ski or horseback riding or frisbee ("flying disc"), play catch with your kids or rugby with your mates. The activity and making it a routine will save your sanity.

I started this week with a personal trainer, and while my life is still a train wreck right now, my mood is much, much improved over last week. I still have all my problems (and in two weeks, my automatic withdrawal for the trainer might not go through, har de har), but being in this much pain (I mean, these guys are sadists!) has really cheered me up.


  1. So true about exercise. Think there is science there, but it's gotta be psychological too. Like we know we're taking care of ourselves, and that feels smart. And we look better, which is a great boost for self-esteem beaten down by years of poor choices and shame. Plus we feel stronger on all fronts. You reminded me to look into the Y's yoga classes...those always make me feel better.

  2. Great stuff. Love the naked man calendar idea - can straight middle-aged mothers have those too? Probably not (sons might find it a bit odd). Loving that you're doing so well off the booze, and while some things in your life might make you feel like it's a train wreck, because you're not drinking it simply can't be! It's not a wreck. It might need a bit of fine-tuning and maintenance, but wreck it ain't buddy. Take care xxx

  3. this is hilarious, you sound downright cheerful! really, i agree entirely with using the workout endorphins any way you can. also working with a trainer is like having a goal, a mentor, and accountability all rolled into one. Genius idea. wish we could always get trainers to deal with the rest of our lives :) [well maybe that's what blogging is for - group trainers/mentors]