Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why I Don't Drink

I don't want to sound arrogant by any means, because trust me, I've been there. I spent 5 months in Europe. I went to college. I've done the bar scene. And I promise, it did nothing for my waist or my wallet.

Alcohol is a no-no when you eat clean and work out most days of the week. And it's not because I am not a fun person, in fact, I feel like life is even better NOW than when my life revolved around going out to parties and bars. I do not miss the drama or the terrible morning after feeling from eating too much junk food that alcohol seems to let into our lives.

I can't think of many positives about what alcohol has brought into my life. It made my workouts harder, I would feel guilty from the food I ate, hangovers were and never will be fun, plus it can be expensive! Not to mention the health risks associated with alcohol - it's been related to cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, high blood pressure, not to mention the effects it has on our decision making!

If that's not enough to convince you of dropping the glass - consider this: when you put alcohol into your system, your liver now goes into overtime. The liver is your digestive system's cleansing team. Its function is to rid the body of toxins ASAP. Once you have begun to digest your margarita or jello shot, the liver begins working to excrete the toxins in alcohol from your body. It can only metabolize one standard fluid size an hour. Meanwhile, you may get hungry and with inhibitions lowered, choose food that is not so good for you - nachos, french fries, get the idea. We've all been there. The liver basically has to make a choice - metabolize the food or the alcohol. Since the alcohol is poisonous on the human body, the liver basically chooses to rid the body of alcohol instead of the calories you consume with it. This means the junk food you just gorged on is stored. As fat. That's right- potentially more weight gain.

I will tell you now that it was not easy to give up a lifestyle of drinking. Change never is easy. My desire to feel, look and be healthy was much stronger than my desire to drink to be socially accepted. There was a time and place in my life for alcohol, but nowadays I feel that it is a poison on my system. First off, I eat whole, natural foods on a regular basis. This means no preservatives, added sugars or salt - basically, nothing processed in a plant somewhere. I eat food in the most natural state that I can.

As a result, I swear that my skin, hair, nails are stronger. I rarely get sick or feel sick ever. I feel strong, healthy and beautiful. In addition to exercise, I began to lose weight. Serious weight. Like 20 pounds kind of weight. And it's wonderful.

Alcohol has never made me feel this good. What I find now is that if I take the occassional glass of red wine - I get a huge headache and burning in my stomach. How can this be good for your body?

My message here is not trying to convince you to quit alcohol cold-turkey. But I am asking you to consider the harmful effects it can have on your health. It is not an easy road to go against the crowd, but in the end I promise you will notice your workouts and your body reaping HUGE benefits from avoiding drinking.

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Hi! I 'm Karlene Murphy. A lover of food (especially if it's gluten and dairy free!), getting outdoors, lifting weights, travel, writing, and snuggling with my two puppies. My addictions include chocolate, coffee, cookies, and sharing my love of being HAPPY and HEALTHY! My passion is educating others - whether at my full time job as a high school Psychology teacher, or with YOU my readers. I have been in the fitness wold for almost 10 years, and currently am an Online Fitness Coach, Fitness Instructor, Pilates and Yoga and Aerial Yoga Instructor in Southern New Hampshire. Contact Me if you need help with designing your own fitness and nutrition program.

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