I woke up this morning with pillow lines on my face and fuzz in my mouth. It was a long, solid sleep, the kind that comes after a night of too much party food and champagne. This time last year, I’d be sitting here quietly racked with guilt, counting the ways that all that bread and gelato and booze was going to destroy me from the inside out. But today I’m calm. I’m happy. I’m letting myself off the hook.
Something shifted in me in 2012. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, or what prompted it, but the past few months have been profoundly different than anything I’ve experienced before. I don’t really know how to describe it, other than this: I just let go. I dropped the guilt. I decided to eat what I wanted to eat, when I wanted to eat it, and see how my body responded. And suddenly, everything changed. For the first time in my life, food isn’t bedeviling my every thought; I’m not ping-ponging back and forth between strict dieting and angry overindulgence. I find myself choosing to eat foods that are good for me, but also that make me irrationally happy–prosciutto, hummus, broccoli, garlic, salmon, curry, dumplings, wine. I’ve been walking miles every day, without pain, without frustration. I’m letting how I feel dictate what I do, instead of the other way around. And it’s working.
I’ve never lived this way before, celebrating the good choices without holding onto the guilt of bad choices. It feels like a strange and slightly surreal way to live, but it’s also shockingly normal. I’m getting to see what it feels like to eat normally, exercise normally, wake up in the morning with the same groggy neutrality I see in my friends and family. The last time I went in to see my doctor, she said it’s like I’ve finally opened doors I’ve been knocking on since I was 13. Feels good, dammit.
So here’s a drink to celebrate. For the morning after New Year’s, let’s make it a sunrise drink. Sam invented this one at a party a couple months ago, and it’s been in high demand ever since. One of our friends, after one or two too many, insisted that we call it “Liquid Sandstone.” I call it a “Gingerflower Sunrise,” a nod to the ingredients list–gin, ginger ale, elderflower liqueur, and grenadine for the sunrise effect. It’s a beautiful drink, intensely sweet and pleasantly fizzy, with a strong herbal kick. It feels like the perfect way to welcome in a newer, fresher year. Onward to 2013!
Gingerflower Sunrise (makes 1 drink)
In a champagne flute, combine 1 shot (1 1/2 oz) gin and 1 shot (1 1/2 oz) elderflower liqueur. Top the glass with ginger ale. Drizzle in a small amount of grenadine and let it settle to the bottom. Serve immediately.