I don’t believe in overly restricting oneself. I’m a moderation kind of gal.

Which is why it might surprise you to know that September has been a season of restrictions.

It started in mid-August. I have recently been delving back into running after an almost year hiatus due to an injury (more on that later). As a result, I noticed my body changing back into how it used to be (AKA, more fit), but there were some things that weren’t changing quite as quickly as I would have liked.

I’m looking at you, bulge of fat around my bellybutton. You’re not fooling anyone.

I mean, I know I’m 26, also known as the year when your body turns on you if you’re female. But come on. I work out almost every day. I eat reasonably well. I feel like that means I’ve earned the right to swimsuit shop with wild abandon.

Alas, that has not been the case.

That got me thinking — was my diet really as healthy as I thought it was? Human beings are chronic underestimators when it comes to their daily calorie intake. Was it possible I was just deluding myself?

Then I started paying more attention to what I was eating. At work, there’s an abundance of snack foods and an even bigger abundance of stress driving us all to consume said snack foods. And part of my mission to enjoy living in the city more has meant a lot more dinner out, almost always accompanied by a drink or two. While I used to only drink one weekends (and usually only one day at that), I realized I was now drinking up to four times a week. Doubling the amount of alcohol calories is kind of a tough thing to exercise away.

So while I wasn’t exactly packing on the pounds, I wouldn’t mind losing a few that I had gained while I couldn’t run. Which got me thinking about cutting a few things out completely for the month.

Around that time, my friend Diana told me she was doing a dry month in September. Another coworker/friend, Courtney, had also suggested we both give up sugar for a month at some point.

No time like the present to cut everything out, right?

Which leads me to today. For the last 16 days (we started on the 3rd), I haven’t drank or eaten sweets (minus a single glass of wine last weekend…Diana went to a wedding and I went to the Long Island wineries, so we each had a glass at our respective events).

I’m not sure what it says about me, but the not drinking has actually been harder than the not eating sweets. I mean, I can avoid sugar if I want to. We don’t really keep any in our apartment. But drinking is much more prevalent. You have a few extra hours on the weekend? Let’s grab a drink! You want to catch up with a friend but don’t have time for dinner? Let’s grab a drink!

Obviously, I’ve realized that this can also mean I order a seltzer and can still have just as good of a time. But I do hate when someone else feels pressured not to order what they want just because I can’t. (So if we go out this month, PLEASE get the wine if you want it.)

While I’m proud of my discipline, part of me still hates the idea of cutting anything out entirely. I’m worried I’ll rubberband back come October. Guess we’ll see.

Have any of my readers done anything like this? I’m curious how you felt about it.

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