taking the party out of the girl.

by Janetha on April 15, 2011

in Featured,meals

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:

Hey Janetha!

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!

Thanks, Liz

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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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even the dogs were drinking!

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and there were more bar outings.. all the time.

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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.

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and, of course, we still went out to the bar..

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then.. on march 7, 2007, i broke my arm.

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it took awhile to recover.. but i still went out. just not as much.. and i didn’t drink quite as much.

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and i also realized none of my clothes were fitting.. and i was getting—gasp—chubby.

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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:

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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!

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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)

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and cooking at home with friends..

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and just hanging out at home with the dogs.

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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.

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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.

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i went to hawaii in august of 2008 and, while it was super fun, i realized i wanted to get in shape for good.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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..

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at a concert..

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at a party (notice my kombucha in hand!)..

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at a sporting event..

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at the bar..

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snowboarding (kombucha in hand again!)..

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or just sitting on my couch..

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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!

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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.

Q~

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.

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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Carla in Sydney April 19, 2011 at 7:43 pm

What a fab post Janetha! I have never been a drinker….I have tried it of course but it’s just not my thing. I have a pretty weird and wild personality so I never need to add alcohol to have a good time. I used to go out to clubs 5 nights a week for YEARS but I am now pretty much a homebody and, like you, enjoy hanging out with my boyfriend (husband) and dogs rather than partying.

I have a couple of questions for you: Did you serve alcohol at your wedding? Does Marshall not drink because he is mormon or he just doesn’t like it? I am fascinated by different religions and the way they operate. In Australia, people are not very religious and the only “exposure” I have to the mormon religion is the TV show “Big Love”! From reading your blog, seeing pics of your family, etc I now know the show does not depict reality! :-)

Thanks for sharing your story! xx

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jessiker April 19, 2011 at 9:23 pm

This is such an amazing post. I am so proud of the person you have become and got to witness it first hand during the transition phase. I am sorry I ever doubted you and thought you became obsessive. I was honestly just a little jealous at your determination and result. I am extremely proud of you and your decisions you’ve made today. You are such an amazing human being and I am getting teary-eyed just typing this! You are someone to lead by example and inspire me to take better care of my health and body. I haven’t made leaps and bounds like you have, but you are my true inspiration to focus on my health and what genuinely makes me happy. Anyone that is lucky enough to know you, would probably say the exact same thing. You are an inspiration, not just for health and fitness, but an inspiration for determination and making goals and sticking to them! living with you were some of the best years of my life. I want you to know that I am SO PROUD of you and the woman you have become, and continue to become. xoxoxoxo Thanks for this post. Really made my day to read it and tugged my damn heart strings that you are so happy and have so much determination :)

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Melissa August 16, 2011 at 9:38 pm

I am a diet coke addict… but will definitely pick up a pack of these the next time I am at the store.

I would love to try the raspberry.

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Melissa August 16, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Obviously I am a moron… and after reading why you gave up partying… posted my entry here :( I will move it.

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LauraJayne August 17, 2011 at 4:49 pm

I’ve never been a HUGE drinker, despite my sorority girl status in college (although I certainly drank a LOT a couple of time) – I’ve never really like how it makes me feel (which makes WAY more sense since my diagnosis). Because all of my friends drank though, I still did the bar and “club” scene (is there really a “club” scene in Utah?) – and drank one or two drinks when I went out. About three years ago, however, I realized that I really kind of hated the bar scene and didn’t enjoy alcoholic drinks that weren’t red wine – so I stopped drinking completely. Since I’ve never been LDS (and my family isn’t either), I found that I received a lot of push-back from my friends about NOT drinking – like they were afraid that I was going to get religious on them and start judging them. I don’t have a problem with drinking (although I do when it’s dangerous), but I’ve chosen not to have alcohol be the main part of my social life. I don’t regret it, but I do know that I have friends that I spend less time with now that I don’t drink. How did you friends react when you stopped drinking?

Oh, and I (more than ever) totally think you’re rad.

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fittingbackin August 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm

” 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.”

AMEN. I’ve never quit drinking, but I have cut back significantly for obvious reasons – I want to be more healthy, we’re talking baby in the next few years, my work is getting increasingly challenging, and lastly drinking (specifically beer) is a trigger for smoking for me and I don’t want to be a smoker, so it’s kind of “the end of an era.” I’m going through it now really and, unlike you, my husband is a drinker. I can feel him going butttt you’re my drinking buddy! I’m like and I love you, but now i’m your driving buddy and please be okay with it I have to do it for me. SO, it’s an uphill battle but I want to do what I want to do and it definitely involves having a few drinks here and there. This post very much reflected my parting history (well add 3 years in advance for when I started drinking, take out the raves and add cigarettes!). STILL, we’re all getting to that level of ‘boringness’ you mentioned (LOL) and I think that while i’m behind a lot of my friends (who still accepted me even though I was partying!) and I’m ahead of others (who I still accept, too!). The days of us all being on the same page (i.e. college) just aren’t that way. We’re in our late 20’s/early 30’s – some of us have 3 kids and some of us are single/going out every night. I’m somewhere in the middle and I’m okay with that, and like you, have found that the ones who matter most don’t mind. :) THANK YOU for this post – I needed it today!!!

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Beth @ Beth's Journey August 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Woah what a powerful post Janeetha. It gave me chills at the end! I’m so glad I got to meet you this weekend – you are seriously amazing.

xo

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Theodora August 22, 2011 at 8:04 am

Yes, what an amazing post! I drank a TON in college and in the few years after college. When I started trying to lose weight, I would “save” calories for alcohol because I’d rather a few glasses of wine than something sweet, usually. I was working out with a trainer on most Saturday mornings, and I just didn’t want to work out hungover.

Fast forward two years later, and I’m almost always training for something and doing a long run on a weekend day. I still enjoy having a few drinks but it’s definitely not as big a part of my life as it used to be–thank god.

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Kait April 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I’ve read this at least 3 times and every time I get something different out of it… This time its struggling with the staying healthy while with others issue and the sometimes just wanting to throw the towel in . I needed a gentle reminder today. Thanks love. xo

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