Dear Rae: I want my fiftieth year to be my healthiest and soberest…

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I just turned 49 and I want my fiftieth year to be the healthiest and fittest of my life. I want to get to 50 with everything working well for me. So I want to quit drinking and start exercising and eating better. The drinking part is tough. I drink Vodka pretty much every night. And in the past when I quit drinking I told myself I could EAT whatever I wanted. How do I incorporate healthy lifestyle in my lifestyle? H

 

 Dear H:

Cheers to 50! 

Cheers to 50! I commend your motivation. Aging poses new challenges to maintaining a fit mind and body.

 

At Cherry Street, our chef prepares meals tailored to women in recovery. Lighter fare and fewer sweets. As you described, newly sober people may rely on sugar (or cigarettes, or shopping) as a substitute for alcohol. Along the same lines, we feel we deserve an extra scoop of mint chip at the end of a day without. Taken too far, this type of thinking can kick-start a “transfer addiction.” Sugar tickles dopamine receptors, harkening back to our drug-of-choice. When we consume sugar, our brain reenacts the “addict” response it is used to.

 

It’s important to remember that, in early recovery, our bodies are healing. And there is much work to be done. As your body detoxes from alcohol, it’s repairing itself. And returning to its center. To maintain your sobriety is to care for yourself, and making smart choices re: diet, sleep, and exercise is all part of the process. Notice how healthy you feel when you embrace healthy choices. Ultimately, a commitment to sobriety is a commitment to a healthy lifestyle! Congrats.
X, Rae