Wednesday, July 5, 2017

My Month Without Alcohol.

Frequently, I like to give something up. I gave up meat for the year (although... I think that will last a lifetime now that I've lived so comfortably as a vegetarian.) I'll make myself give up on Showtime and Netflix for the week or I'll try to give up sweets for some period of time (usually 24 hours!) That's a tough one...

But this month, I gave up alcohol. A friend of mine had stopped drinking, and after I woke up the day after a large party we had thrown... I was inspired to do the same. My head hurt, my house was a mess, and so much food and drink had gone to waste! I spent the majority of my morning cleaning the same house that I had just cleaned the day before and making multiple trips out to the curb to toss the garbage and recycling. So much work! And for what? ...A lousy hangover! 

I would like to think that I wasn't a big drinker in the first place. Of course I enjoyed a glass of wine with my Netflix or a margarita with Mexican food (oddly enough, I haven't had much Mexican food since I had to give up the margaritas!) But I had a tendency to enjoy those things in excess. Two of us could easily justify finishing off an already "almost-empty" bottle of red and I will admit a "much-too-large-for-two" pitcher of margaritas has been ordered on more than one occasion. Nonetheless, I didn't have too much trouble giving it up. 

Social situations were uncomfortable at first. I met a group of friends for dinner and, I'll admit, it was hard to listen to all of them order a margarita when I had to tell our waitress "water is fine." That raised a few eyebrows at the table, ha ha! It got easier though. I started treating myself to something a little more exciting than ice water- a Topo Chico with lime, a cute little mocktail, and you bet I ordered a virgin piña colada when I went to the beach a few weekends ago! 

A few things happened to me after I stopped drinking. 
- I stopped having headaches. I had gotten so used to having headaches that I thought nothing of the 600 mg of ibuprofen I was taking almost daily. The headaches weren't always related to drinking, but usually I got them after one too many glasses of wine the night before. Now, they're gone. 

-I started sleeping better. Sleep became deeper and more restful which meant more repair and replenishment for my body. I fall asleep quickly and have somehow made a habit of gently waking 10 minutes before my alarm goes off. Even on the weekends I naturally wake up just before 6:30, ready to get started. 

-I eat less crap. I eat out less. I overeat less. Without that foggy mindlessness that was created by a good buzz and quickly worsened by another round, I started eating slower, more mindfully, and less socially. Social eating and drinking are what many relationships revolve around. How often do you see a friend or spend "quality" time with a loved one when there isn't a round of drinks or an appetizer between you? Which brings me to my next point.

-I spent more quality time with my favorite people in the month of June than I had all year. Together we played card games, explored new yoga studios, took a trip to the beach, played like we were kids again when we went to the water park, and hiked for hours without a cell phone in tow... seriously, so fun. And not one time was I drunk. 

Now that the month is over, I have had a drink or two. But it definitely doesn't go down as easy as it did before my cessation. It's less appealing than it was before, that's for sure. Waking up without a headache and saving at least $50 a month? Now that's appealing! Plus, it doesn't hurt than I'm still majorly stuck on that Topo Chico business....

Try it- give up alcohol for 30 days and tell me you don't feel amazing, I dare you! 

Sweet peas. 

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