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Mental Health

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

The Effects of Alcohol on a Health Nut

September 7, 2013

Labor day weekend was filled with day drinking, great conversations, sweet moments, savory indulgences and spontaneous adventures. It was fabulous and I wouldn’t change one thing about it. Except for the week that followed. Three straight days of fun, also meant one hell-week of recovery. I venture to say that my hangover lasted from Tuesday to Friday. When I say “hangover” I don’t mean horrible headaches and sensitivity to light and loud noises. I mean my usual healthy, well-nurtured body was very angry with me for treating it so poorly. In the days that followed, my body made me pay.

The following are the symptoms that I took note of during my 4-day hangover:

  • Lethargic
  • Pessimistic
  • Bloated
  • Quiet (very unlike me)
  • Low confidence
  • Irritable
  • Unmotivated
  • Sad

Of course we all know the physical effects of alcohol on the body – high blood pressure, stroke, inability-to-get-it-up syndrome. But with my college days long behind me, and the thrill of nights-out wearing off, I have suddenly become much more concerned with why I am subjecting my body to this pain. More over, the less-talked-about effects – the mental and emotional ones.

Take a look at this infographic from the Huffington Post. It is a little bit more scientific than my self-diagnosis and it will definitely get you thinking about your next drinking binge.

Don’t get me wrong; I have a special place in my heart for a good drink. I love wine more than life itself – especially enjoyed with my boyfriend after a hard day’s work; there’s nothing better than trying a really good craft brew while listening to the bartender talk about the brewer who brought it in; and sometimes, it’s near impossible to turn down a cocktail that’s been muddled with fresh berries and served with fruit on top while sitting at a rooftop bar with friends. But what I’d like to know is – Can I get by with less of it all?

I think I could. And I think it could make me a healthier, fitter, but most importantly – a more motivated person. Think about it. For every weekend that I go a little too far, I take two steps back in everything I accomplished that previous week – working out every day, eating great, feeling good and, in turn, being motivated to write something amazing.

Needless to say, I sit here today (a Saturday) at Starbucks typing this post, with one great morning workout under my belt, three errands accomplished, a fantastically exhilarating trip to Whole Foods, and not a drop of alcohol in me. No day drinking: check. Next up is a low-key dinner with one of my best friends. Yes, drinks will be there. And yes, I will have one, and maybe even two. But that should be plenty (God I hope so).

More to come on this…