Three years ago, when I first started writing this column, the early installments were your introduction to my life as a single in this city. Basic and true, they were a rundown of where you could find me each night of the week . . . and all of the places happened to be bars or nightclubs. While those columns were meant to show how Baltimore consistently has something fun to offer in the way of nightlife, they were also a pretty accurate portrayal of my lifestyle at the time: going out constantly, always in the center of the action, and rarely taking a night off. Yet I never considered it excessive, because in a city as small as Baltimore, you feel strength in numbers when other people are rocking the same social schedule you are—and plenty were rocking mine.
As time went by, the places and even the types of events changed, but the schedule stayed strong, with one notable constant: the drinking. I wasn’t always getting drunk, but it was still way too often. My life had become a rut of late nights and lazy day-afters. I was tired, unproductive, and gaining a lot of weight. Something had to give.
So, despite the lack of a nurturing partner in my life to support me on this journey, I made changes. Big ones. The first was giving up drinking for six weeks beginning July 1. And yes, I mean totally. No alcohol of any kind, anywhere. Based on my previous pattern, it would seem to some that this would be a near-impossible task for me to complete. But I thrived on the challenge! And just to make it even harder on myself, I decided to add a really intense diet plan to the agenda. (The Virgin Diet, look it up; it’s not a sexual thing.) Then, I completed my reinvention trifecta with a regular workout plan with my trainer again. Something I had been loving before, but let my late-night lifestyle pull me away from.
So here I am, months later, and I bet you’re wondering how it went. Well, I am proud to say it was the best decision I ever made! I lost weight, gained energy, accomplished goals I had been neglecting, and really felt so much better overall. It was like a new me! But here is the big twist . . . I never gave up going out! Through it all, I kept up my social-butterfly status, I just made adjustments to my drinking and my bedtime. (Don’t want to miss my morning workout!)
As of today, I drink at maximum once a week, only if I feel like it, not on nights before workouts, and I keep it pretty moderate. Clearly, my reinvention doesn’t mean the party has ended for this single girl, just that my day life now matters as much as my night.