Today’s guest post comes from Bren Murphy who writes the blog Last 100 Days Alcoholic. Bren was a HUGE support to me in my early days of blogging and getting sober – commenting on virtually every post I wrote when I was first giving up booze. He taught me the value of community and non-judgemental support, and for that I will always be extremely grateful. He’s had a gritty road to sobriety, but is now firmly in recovery. And thank goodness because boy can this man write! This post he has kindly written just for us here at Living Sober.
Bread. It was something I ate a lot. And soon enough I actually started to look like a big dough boy – with nice plump curves and a comedian-like chubbiness that was disarming and approachable.
Over the years I tried doing bread different ways so it wouldn’t have such an impact on my appearance. I had seed bread, brown bread, sourdough, thick cut, multi grain; but nothing seemed to work. Then I realised it was just like alcohol – no matter how much I thought I loved it, no matter which way I took it, bread was not for me.
I stopped eating bread nearly a year ago, and it has changed my life. Maybe not in the “I’m going to quit my job and write books about it” kind of way, but it has made a significant difference. I’m not bloated and feeling full and ready for a nap all the time. I’m more nimble and tighter across my mid section – I can sort of feel each meal going in and settling in my stomach. And I have a more predictable bowel function.
Working shifts across different sites – bread was always a good base for a meal. And it made eating something I could do whilst I did other things. So I never paid attention to eating. I was never in the moment, or mindful whilst I ate. So I overate, or ate for other reasons – like boredom, or reward.
Bread was the base for everything – just add a spread or a tin of something on top – and you have your meal sorted. Simple. Plus I could even go and toast it for texture and those exotic charcoal notes. And with a generous swipe of margarine, it had the oil to carry the flavour. It was just too easy.
Using bread as the base for my diet meant I didn’t have to worry about preparing meals, or planning in advance or food shopping in general. Just a loaf of bread and some tins and I’d be right for the week. Everything was packaged and neat and tidy and brightly coloured. Nothing squishy or smelly or wet with condensation.
Bread was such a mirror to my alcoholism. In the same way I used bread because it was simple, got the job done and didn’t take much effort – I used alcohol. Alcohol blurred the lines socially, kept me company, was a reward and hobby all in one, and all I had to do was round -up around ten bucks or so.
With bread and alcohol I had an almost zen-like existence – bread in the mornings and alcohol after lunch. Life should have been perfect – I could be as disengaged and lazy and make as little effort as possible and still have that full feeling and be drunk and satisfied afterwards. Except I had a wife and three kids and a business to run.
I quit alcohol first, and it really opened the curtains on my life – I could see all the shit and chaos all over the floor once the sunlight of sobriety flooded in. And so many bread wrappers. Just like alcohol, I tried different breads – fancy bread, eco-bread, diet bread, nut breads – but this was just the same as trying wine instead of vodka or beer or the old moderation mirage.
So I quit bread too. Bought a juicer – or a Nutri-Bullet to use the brand name. And now, each day I make smoothies built on ice and loaded with fresh nutrients. It has changed my life too.
Bren’s Green Smoothie recipe features in a ‘Drink of the Week’ here.
You can visit Bren’s new website here.