Welcome to February!
By now we should all be writing 2016 instead of the 2015 and then having to change it. We also have had a few weeks to start or at least think about some goals for the year ahead. I respect those who do not do “resolutions” but we should always have our next goal in mind. If not, what are we striving for? Goals give us motivation.
So, I hit the ground running this year with my first goal. I decided to stop drinking alcohol for the month of January. For some people, that is the norm but for others it seems like a life change. And believe me, I am not judging either way. I usually drink quite often, both socially and in the “glass of wine after work” type of way. So this past month has been well, different for me.
My last drink was on New Year’s Eve… well, day… after midnight but before I went to bed.
Here’s how it went…
I have drank 172,478,980 seltzers with lime and twice as many glasses of water (as per usual). I also ate more than usual when in a social setting – as I needed something to do with my hands and mouth. (Keep your mind out of the gutter!) That said, I made better food choices overall because I was sober and not just trying to absorb the liquor. Plus I have also been very consciously making better food choices all month to lose the pounds I packed on during the holidays. I followed mostly a 70/30, eating better most of the time – without restricting any foods completely.
In the past when I thought about cutting out booze for a time period, I figured it was best to avoid social situations. I assumed it would be awkward. It’s no secret that drinking can help make you the life of the party. This month though, while not the busiest due to the weather, I did have several dinners out and even found myself at a bar at happy hour. It was actually fun to order my seltzer. Sometimes I even asked for a splash of cranberry juice. It became a joke and a discussion and then we moved on.
None of my friends had a huge issue with my sobriety, though it was confusing for some. And the best part was that I got to return the favor to my husband and others by being the designated driver for a change. Now THAT was a huge role reversal for me since I am almost NEVER the driver period.
What did I learn by not drinking for 31… actually 33 days now? I discovered that I can not drink and still have fun. I even played Just Dance with a few friends who were over for dinner. And dancing is not something I usually do sober. I also realized that I do have some willpower. Though it got easier when the daily reward was waking up for the gym or a run without a headache or feeling sluggish. Though the first 2 weeks, I was completely exhausted and slept like crazy. After that, I was energetic and had no excuses for skipping a run. It also doesn’t hurt to remember everything you did the night before and not regret any of it.
Did I run out on February 1st and have shots of Tequila? Nope. I will drink again, but I do plan to make better decisions. I know I have said it before, but turning 40 has been an eye-opening experience. I feel like I’m too old for hangovers and nonsense. I like wine at a party and beer at a BBQ and that will not change. That said I do plan to make better decisions going forward. And to think, it only took 40 years.
If you are a social drinker, have you ever gone “dry”? What was your experience?