Yes, these things happen. I’ve been to my fair share. I’m a bit older (39) now, so, most Saturday nights, I’m in bed by 9 or 10 PM. One glass of wine is my average alcohol intake.
But I spend many years drinking way, way too much, too often. I had a lot of fun (and, not fun) doing it. That’s a topic for another post.
The question is, now that I (and, you are too) am on a much healthier path, what do I do when a late night of heavier drinking is on the calendar?
Here are some tips that works for me:
I normally get up at 4:30 or 5 AM. My normal bedtime is 9 or 10 PM. I’m very tired, sometimes cranky by 10 PM. Most parties start at 9 PM.
If I know that I have to go out on a Saturday night at 9 PM, here’s what I do:
- Go to bed regular time on Friday night.
- Permit myself to sleep 1-2 hours later on Saturday morning. (For me, that’s 6. For you, it may be different.)
- Take a nap on Saturday afternoon/evening, even it’s only for 10 minutes. A hour is the max.
- Go out & have fun.
- Get up as early as possible on Sunday morning.
That last part is about getting myself to be tired again on Sunday night, so that I can go to bed early on Sunday night, and get right back to ‘normal’ on Monday morning.
There’s probably going to be crappy food at a party. And, I’m definitely going to be hungry, both while I’m drinking, and after.
I like to make sure that I eat a solid dinner, with a healthy serving of protein. I will also usually have a snack of some kind right before the party, if there is a gap in time, so that I do not arrive to the party hungry at all.
I will also make sure that I have leftovers from dinner, lunch, or some other meal in the fridge for when I get home. I normally don’t recommend late-night eating, but, if I know that I’m going to be foraging in the fridge, it’s much easier if the food is something that I cooked, and it’s there waiting for me. This is far better than ordering late-night pizza or fast food.
I drink 1-2 full glasses of water before going out, and, several additional glasses while out, in between drinks.
Most likely, I may not feel like training early on Sunday morning. So, if Sunday is a training day, I get the workout in on Saturday in advance.
Having fun with friends is a good thing. I talk to my body before the party. I tell myself that ‘we are going out, and, we’re going to drink a little more than normal. It’s not going to be the most fun Sunday morning for us, and that’s OK.’
I am not angry at myself for doing this.
The overall theme here, for those of us who live generally disciplined lifestyles, is that discipline allows you to have freedom.
Life is about balance, and, when things come your way that throw you ‘off’ balance, good habits & discipline are exactly what allow you to rebound quickly from those things.
So, yes, it’s totally OK to go out and have a few drinks occasionally, especially if you’ve earned it.
Chances are that, the longer you’ve been on the path to good health, you’ll find that you end up drinking a little less that some other people do anyway 🙂