I love wine. I love the art of trying wine, letting it breathe and tasting the differences. I love how wine is grown and how different locations can yield totally different wines with the same grape.
I love a glass of wine after a long day.
I love a glass of wine with a nice meal.
Who am I kidding, I love a glass of wine with ANY meal.
So then why in the world did I give it up for 2 months?
Because I am not very good at depriving myself from what I like and what I want.
And I blame Amazon Prime for that, I think.
I mean, I think of something that would be cool to have, or something I need or something I forgot at the store when I was out….and in literally 24 hours I often can have that exact item at my doorstep after a 30 second check out process in Amazon.
And so I think I have gotten used to, in this world of instant gratification, getting something when I want it.
It’s probably why I HATED being on diets so much. I HATE feeling deprived and that I am giving something up. Especially when it requires willpower. I don’t have a lot of it.
I can’t eat just one Peanut M&M. I’ll eat them all.
I can’t just go to Nordstrom for a shirt. I often leave with a trunk full of clothes that, yes, were on sale, but I just didn’t need.
So, last spring, after finishing a bible study by Priscilla Shirer, where she talked about the “Discipline of Declining” it got me really thinking. I don’t have much of that discipline, especially in this tech age.
I was convicted to develop it. And when I really prayed about what it was that I needed to decline, I knew it was those fermented grapes. I never felt as if I had an issue not drinking wine, I just didn’t WANT to give it up.
Even when I do my signature program (The 4 Weeks 2 Wellness Lifestyle Launch) a couple times a year with my clients, where we detox with clean eating and avoiding foods that don’t serve us, I always snuck in a glass or two of wine during the month.
Why? Because my discipline of declining sucked and my rationalization skills are spot on.
So, after two weeks of spring break with my kids and partaking in more wine and indulgences than I typically do, I decided April 23rd would be my day…my first day of TWO months without any wine or alcohol.
And on June 23rd, I celebrated with a glass of wine. And I didn’t even love it as much as a thought I would.
I was committed to the goal and knew that if I had “cheated” I would have felt really crappy AND I would have started the clock over which would have made this whole thing LONGER…and I didn’t want that!
But what I learned is that discipline and willpower is like a muscle that CAN be strengthened, but just like at the gym, you can only build up a muscle when you lift hard things. Doing this was a bit hard, especially on certain days like when my teenagers REALLY tested all the patience cells I had in my body. Or when my girlfriends met for a weekend away (I know, right?!?? I deserve a medal for that). Or when I was at a wedding.
And my doing these things, learning how to say no, how to build new habits and new routines, I realized that my discipline has transferred into other areas.
It’s been a couple months since I started drinking wine again, but the discipline I have developed in SO MANY OTHER aspects of my life is astounding.
I only WANT wine on special nights where I can really savor and enjoy it.
I don’t automatically go to Amazon to order what I immediately think I want. I write it down and then decide a couple days later if I still really need it.
When I am served a large portion of food at a restaurant and I want to stay on plan with my nutrition, I can leave ½ of it and have it wrapped up.
I can leave my to do list aside when my kids want my attention or for me to hang with them.
I can do the mundane tasks that I honestly used to leave til the last minute or rationalize not doing at all like grocery shopping, going to the gym or cooking dinner.
And, as shocking as it is, I can now eat just ONE M&M.
It’s so hard to explain but I have a sense of control that I didn’t have before. I don’t even think I realized I didn’t have it…I just was slave to a mindset of being unable to control myself, as if I was a victim instead of the one in charge.
And I am in charge. Of me.
And my wine opener.
Do you need to develop a discipline of declining too? Why? Comment below and share your story!
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