Well…I might as well just say it right away. I cheated. Here I am at the start of week 5, and I have to admit that I went to a party on labour day weekend - and I drank. And I didn’t just have one or two drinks. I had cider and white wine and red wine and then I lost track of the colour of the wine (or if it was wine). I had good intentions all day when I knew I was going to this party. I was gonna go for a couple hours, see people, have a laugh and head home for dinner (Jess says: Nope, you knew you were going to drink! I got the text requesting permission! I left it up to you... as this 8 week project was your idea.) But then about an hour or so before I was meant to leave I started thinking, 'well, what if I just have a fewww glasses of wine? Would it be the end of the world?' And I made a decision that I would still just go for a couple hours have two glasses of wine and come home for dinner. And then it was 2am and I was in a taxi on my way home… I take full responsibility for these decisions. I am in no way saying it ‘just happened’. And I had fun... it was a good night. Do I regret it? In a way I do because my mission was to stay off alcohol for the full eight weeks. And it makes me feel as though I’ve failed (because I have) I feel bad but I have to admit—honestly, I don’t feel that bad. I know that in the long run it isn’t going to derail my goals it’s not as though I am just saying ‘eff it’ and drinking all the time now. I am going pull myself back up and go on eating well and avoiding alcohol and hitting the gym. (Jess says: This is the only solution after a binge. And remember, accomplishing moderation with a substance - food, alcohol or the like - can help to prevent bingeing. There should never be a dependency, and beware of associations made with substance, such as social events.) On the bright side, I can say that I did not just throw everything out the window at the party. There were chips and cookies and candy… there was even a guy there who has a business making gourmet mac n cheese fresh to order! I did not have one single bite of any of the food. He even offered to make me a gluten free version! But I declined. (Hey…I gotta find some kind of bright side here!) (Jess says: This is impressive!) Overall, I feel that my progress is moving along. I had a great workout session with Jessica last week and have been eating really well. These eight weeks are just going to get the ball rolling for me, and even though I am going to abstain from alcohol for the next 3 weeks, it’s not as though after that ‘end point’ I am just going to start drinking again every weekend. I really need to learn how to incorporate alcohol into my life in moderation and not let it get out of hand. This has always been my biggest obstacle, and I have to keep reminding myself that I really do want to reach my goals. I am going to have to make sacrifices in order to make it happen.

Jess says: Remember, not everyone can learn to live with alcohol in moderation. Some people have to abstain from it forever, because of how it affects them and affects their lives. It's a pretty delicate topic we are discussing, here. But, if you have confidence that you can acquire a moderate relationship with it, not abuse it, not binge on it, be able to be social and enjoy your life without it, then I am completely behind you. This process is, in my opinion, more about you strengthening your understanding of your relationship with it from a holistic wellness perspective, than to see if it might help you shed a couple of pounds. Our outsides are a reflection of our insides, always. I think you're demonstrating a ton of determination and consistency (every road to success features some hiccups) and I think writing about the process is most illuminating and helpful. I'm proud of your mindset and thankful to you for sharing it as it moves along.

Garden Party