time for a flashback friday! i know, it’s been awhile, my deepest and sincerest apologies. what can i say, sometimes i struggle with consistency.
this post is going to be LONG and have a LOT of photos.. nothing that have to do with meals or moves.. so if you are looking for a foodie fitness post, come back later on and i will have one for you. this one is all about flashback friday.
i received an email from the amazing liz last night. she wrote:
I saw you shouting out for blog ideas earlier on Twitter and I was thinking it would be great if you could do a post about how you transitioned from party-hard girl to healthy girl? Did you lose friends? I feel like I’m at a very tough spot in my life right now because I’ve grown out of the bar 3-4 nights a week scene but my best friends haven’t. I’m 27 and spent plenty of years going out several nights a week. It is becoming difficult to find time to hang out with them in a situation that doesn’t involve massive amounts of alcohol.
I don’t mind going out to bars every once in awhile but Indianapolis is still backwards and allows smoking in bars so it’s not exactly a pleasant experience in my mind. I’m at a loss, I don’t want to lose my friends but I feel like they mock me for making healthier choices in my life.
Any suggestions are appreciated!
wow, this is a great question and great topic. as i have mentioned before.. i used to be quite the party girl. it started with drug use and then that fizzled out and i became a big drinker. that lasted for several years and i slowly stopped drinking. now days, it is rare to see me drinking alcohol (well, i won’t be drinking any this month because of my goal for an alcohol free april.)
everyone has a different story when it comes to drinking alcohol. some people do it a lot, some people do it a little and some people don’t do it at all. generally speaking, i think lots people start out drinking all the time, going out to bars, socializing at kegs.. then it tapers off a bit as they get older until going out to the bar is some monumental occurrence. that’s where i am now.. good thing i am married so i can blame it on that ;) i’m kidding—honestly, i don’t think i have to make excuses as to why i don’t want to go out. i like staying home in my PJs with my dogs and marshall, blogging away. call me a party pooper, i don’t care.
i want to tell you my story—timeline style.
i didn’t have even a sip of alcohol until i was 17 years old. even then, i didn’t like it and didn’t drink it.
when i was 18 i moved out of the house and went to raves all the time. i had a very strict social schedule.. i think it was something like monday and tuesday i hung out at the coffee shop with everyone, wednesday and thursday was bar night, friday and saturday were rave nights and sunday was the drum circle at the park.. only to do it all over again.
i lived in london when i was 19 and went out a bunch with my friends there.. i was going to school while i was there so i didn’t get too crazy.. but still, went out quite a bit.
i came home and had grown out of the rave scene (and the drug scene, thank goodness) and started going to the bars. i lived on my own but was always at my friends’ house—there was a close group of us and we are still friends today. we would usually go to the bar wednesday, thursday and then either friday or satuday—or house parties, whatever was going on that weekend. this was from the age of 20 to 22.
at the end of 2005 (when i was still 22) moved into a house with my friend j5 and a couple other people. the “couple other people” changed throughout the year or so that we lived there.. but here is a roomie shot of the four of us who lived there at the end:
we had a HUGE sunroom in the basement.. it was basically a 400 square foot tiled room that was prime for parties. and we had a lot of them.
even the dogs were drinking!
and there were more bar outings.. all the time.
at the end of 2006, my friend corey offered to buy a house for 5 of us girls to rent. um, hello.. dream come true?! he bought a 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom house AND he bought a hot tub. it was amazing. we loved living there! we still went out quite a bit, but since we had such a nice house, we had a lot of parties there. here are some photos from that time period.. we lived there from novemberish of 2006 to may of 2008.
and, of course, we still went out to the bar..
then.. on march 7, 2007, i broke my arm.
it took awhile to recover.. but i still went out. just not as much.. and i didn’t drink quite as much.
and i also realized none of my clothes were fitting.. and i was getting—gasp—chubby.
soo.. i stopped drinking quite a bit. i started my first attempt at BFL. i toned down the booze consumption drastically.
and then THIS GUY came into the picture:
and he didn’t drink (still doesn’t). i still drank.. but less. and less. and less.
i started enjoying more homebody things. there was still beer.. but things weren’t quite as crazy. my friends also started to mellow out a bit. we enjoyed more mellow activities.. like pumpkin carving!
and going out to dinner more often than we went out to the bar.. our bar-to-restaurant ratio was reversed.. (the fact that my friend allie was pregnant forced her to mellow out a tad)
and cooking at home with friends..
and just hanging out at home with the dogs.
in may of 2008, i moved into a house with some other girls. the girls i was living with all purchased homes of their own! i know, so grown up. i wasn’t quite ready for that so i moved in with four of my girl friends who had a spot open in their house. i ended up living there from may 2008 to october of 2009.
this period of time was when i changed the most. marshall and i were really serious. i had more and more obligations and responsibility at my job. i wanted to lose weight and get in shape. all of these things were factors to me drinking less. i would go out ever now and then, but mainly stayed home and hung out with marshall and my roomies. i was also always at marshall’s house hanging out with him and his roomies. all that roomie hanging-outage left no time for drinking! ha. i was really just occupied with this guy.
i went to hawaii in august of 2008 and, while it was super fun, i realized i wanted to get in shape for good.
when i did a full 12 week by-the-book body for life challenge in august of 2008, i quit drinking so i could have optimal results. YES, this was hard. YES, i missed out on social functions simply because i didn’t want to be tempted to drink and overeat. YES, my friends thought i was overly obsessive and talked shit on me for my choices. YES, it hurt my feelings. YES, i feel like i lost some friends when i stopped drinking.
but.. guess what? 12 weeks with exercise, healthy eating and no booze did my body good.
a fire was ignited after my BFL challenge. it wasn’t about the weight loss. it was about how i felt. I FELT FANTASTIC. i didn’t care that people thought i was lame for not going out to the bar. i didn’t have the desire to get wasted and forget what happened the night before. i didn’t want a two day hangover. i was a changed person. i felt good and i learned how to respect my body. it didn’t need all that booze.
after my first serious go-round with body for life, my habits changed drastically. before, i was still drinking pretty frequently. i wasn’t getting totally wasted, but i was drinking. after body for life, i changed a LOT. i didn’t want to drink. i learned a lot about calories and how the different types affected my body.. and i ultimately decided i’d rather have a bowl of ice cream than a beer. that’s a fact. i think this was the ultimate turning point for me when i totally let the party girl go. i had new priorities in life and health came first and foremost. also, i was working so hard and i didn’t want to let a big night of drinking and overeating get me off track.
i have to say that a big part of me being able to get through this transition was the fact that i had a supportive boyfriend who didn’t drink. he was always there for me and i could always hang out with him. that was great. i think living with people helped, too, because even though i wasn’t going out, i was still socially interacting. i had my roommates and we had people over often.
i noticed a bigger change in my lifestyle when i moved out of that house in october of 2009. our lease was up and i literally had nowhere to go. i ended up moving in with a couple random acquaintances, but i was basically just living on my own with roommates i wasn’t incredibly close to. if i wanted to have a social life of any kind, i had to go out to see people. this, of course, meant i had less of a social life. but the fact of the matter was that i was totally okay with it. i had reached a point in my life that going out was not a priority. i worked 40+ hours at my job, i blogged, i went to the gym 5-6 times a week, i drove to and from marshall’s house (40 miles) and, at the end of the day, i really didn’t have time or energy to go out.
in february of 2010 i got engaged and that was even more of a reason to focus on not drinking and staying in shape. there was the occasional party, of course, like the engagement party or a birthday party here and there, but my desire to get drunk just didn’t exist. i had turned into the have one or two drinks and call it good type of people.
i want to point out that another reason i was able to stop being such a party girl so easily was because of my family.
nobody in my family drinks—they are all mormon and mormons don’t drink. i LOVE to hang out with my family and am a very family-oriented person. because nobody in my family drinks, it makes it pretty simple to not drink when i am at family functions. actually, in all my 27 years, i have never had an alcoholic beverage in the presence of my family. that’s out of respect AND simply because i didn’t want to be drinking around them. what’s the point? now days, i spend way more time with my family than i do with friends. especially after what happened with momma b.. i want to spend as much time with her as possible!
i have to say that it is nice to be able to enjoy things without thinking about what i am going to drink. i have just as much fun as the drunk people do. whether i am camping..
at a concert..
at a party (notice my kombucha in hand!)..
at a sporting event..
at the bar..
snowboarding (kombucha in hand again!)..
or just sitting on my couch..
i have a good time.
life is what you make of it and if you don’t want to be a drinker, you don’t have to be one. if people look down on you for that, then they really aren’t your true friend anyway. now that i am old and married (ha, ha, ha) i stay home more often than not. i don’t see a lot of my friends.. this was tough for awhile.. but just in this past little while THREE of my best friends have gotten engaged. slowly but surely, all my friends will catch up with my level of boring-ness. i just like to think i am a step ahead of them ;)
i rarely drink these days, but all the people who are important to me are still there by my side, one hundred and ten percent!
so, liz, to finish answering your question.. you may be in a different place than your friends right now, but you have to do what makes YOU happy. no apologies. if you do lose friends due to your lifestyle choices, they were not the kind of friends you wanted anyway. it may sting to realize that.. but it’s for the best.
it’s like the saying goes: the ones that mind don’t matter, and the ones that matter don’t mind.
keep doing what you want to do in your life.. the first person you need to please in life is yourself.
if you made it this far, good for you. thanks for reading! i will be back later with meals & moves.
i would love to hear your background with and position on partying. how do you balance your social life while staying healthy? have your healthy habits affected your social life?
xo. janetha g.