Although it’s related, my self-titled “Month of Deprivation” isn’t 100% tied to my overly ambitious 2018 goals. Not entirely.
See, I went a little balls to the wall over winter break. Being a partially-employed graduate student, I took full advantage of my winter vacation and left Riverside the day after classes ended. I planned an excursion involving roughly two weeks in Austin, two weeks of Raleigh, and thirty days of friends, food and fun.
Surprise unicorn birthday party? Check.
1/2 priced bottles of wine with friends for happy hour? Check.
Catching up on all my favorite Tex Mex food? Check.
Twelve bars of Christmas pub crawl? Check times 13, because we’re over achievers.
I missed everyone so much, that I didn’t want to skip a single outing. Every single evening I packed in some kind of friend or family or holiday event. I ate all the things. Drank more than I had the entire ten weeks previous (which wasn’t a small amount), and ran myself around ragged.
During my downtime (usually after a social event or a bout of day drinking), the only thing I could manage to do was watch cheesy Christmas movies on Netflix. Snuggled up in the bed where I was staying, I knocked down A Christmas Prince, A Christmas Inheritance, Christmas in the Smokey Mountains, The Christmas Ranch, all three Santa Clause movies (unlike wine, they do not improve with age), The Christmas Belle and more that I can’t remember. The reason I can’t simply pull up my Netflix history and tell you all of them, is that I was watching it on a random account hooked up to the TV in my friend’s apartment.
So Donna, whoever and wherever you are, I’m sorry your suggested titles are forever ruined. Or improved… you can thank me later.
Needless to say, after New Year’s rolled around I was ready to get back to my quiet little apartment and my little grad school routine. Somewhere between the upteenth bottle of Cabernet or the last of my New Year’s Eve weekend bottle of Lemon Deep Eddy Vodka, I decided to do a dry January. No alcohol of any kind until February 1st.
Then after talking to a friend in Austin who’s had great success with weight loss and lifestyle change, I decided to try a low carb/keto diet. My goal and hope was to find some kind of program where I wouldn’t have to calorie count, since that at first makes me obsessive about tracking and then over zealous with my eye-balling until I look at a giant sandwich and say, Oh surely that’s 4 oz of grilled chicken and 2 slices of bread! when really it’s a monstrosity of poultry and carbs.
Following keto, I had to kick all carbs and sugar off the table as well. It’s very strange for me to eat fatty foods like bacon and cheese and still be on a ‘diet’, and I legitimately had a dream about eating a bagel last night… but so far I haven’t cheated or even been close to cheating.
Yesterday I went to the bar after class with my MFA friends, and sipped on diet coke (I’m never giving up diet coke… they will have to pry a bottle from my cold dead hands) and hot tea while everyone else drank beer and nibbled on a large plate of fries. And yes, the fries smelled great but I had just as much fun sitting with them and depriving myself as I would have with a cider and starchy potato in my hand.
I’m curious what results I may see and feel when February 1st rolls around, but so far so good. Are you depriving yourself of anything for January, or am I alone in quitting all the things?