8 Things I Learned from Quitting Drinking for 30 Days
I still remember how I felt when I quit drinking- I was sick and tired of feeling bloated and overweight, and being dependent on that glass of wine at every social function.
I decided to make a big change, and start 2015 with something I had never done before: Quitting Alcohol.
Here’s what I learned from my run with #DryJanuary:
1.) I slept better every night
This was the first unexpected and awesome surprise.
Before I quit drinking, I had acquired an assortment of bizarre insomniac habits & gear (strange bedtime rituals, excessive pillows) in an effort to sleep better.
As SOON as I quit drinking, I started packing in a full 9 hours of serene, decadent, non-stop REM cycles often, and woke up feeling blissed out and rested.
2.) I got in way better shape
I’m not really the type of person that has the self control to maintain a 6 pack, but when I quit drinking I immediately got RIPPED.
The fat just melted off and I lost 10 pounds in a few weeks.
My skin cleared up, my smile sparkled brighter.
When I drink, I tend to lose my inhibitions and start stuffing my face. Avoiding alcohol kept my dieting decisions in check.
I realized after the fact that this makes complete sense. Alcohol is more or less, a glass of sugar. It wasn’t just fat I lost. Drinking was making me extra puffy with water weight.
3.) I saved a BAZILLION dollars
Maybe a bazillion is a little hyperbolic, but I know I saved a lot. It was pretty kick-ass seeing my bill at a restaurant cut in half all month.
A glass of wine is almost the same price as an entrée. A few drinks with dinner each week can set you back at least $100 a month. A bottle of wine a week is a $60 a month habit- at best.
That’s almost $2000 a year you could save by quitting drinking RIGHT NOW.
4.) Alcohol actually doesn’t taste as good as you might think
After 30 days, I wasn’t even interested in taking a sip of the stuff. I finally had a glass of wine after a few weeks, and it tasted pretty like rotten fruit. Vodka tasted like nail polish remover. And beer smelled like bad breathe.
My secret trick to quitting alcohol was ordering Pellegrino water with lime, which in comparison tastes DELICIOUS. It gave me something fancy to hold in my hand a special occasions, and I still prefer it to alcohol.
5.) I developed healthier habits AND became a more interesting person in general
It is AMAZING the things you can get done on a Saturday when you aren’t boozing it up at brunch.
To distract myself from drinking activities, I had to think of cool things to do on Friday nights that didn’t involve bars, parties, or night clubs.
As a result, I wound up doing more wholesome activities- going to the gym, writing, bike-riding, baking, seeing a circus show. My life actually became richer and more interesting because I wasn’t dwindling it away in a dark bar. It forced me to get creative, and inevitably become a more interesting person.
6.) Being Drunk is Over-Rated
Being drunk or buzzed was not the fun feeling I thought it was. When I finally did return to drinking, I noticed having a few drinks made me feel woozy and out of control- but not happier or more relaxed.
At best, drinking made me super sleepy. At worse, it made me nauseous and gave me a headache.
It made me wonder- how long have I been drinking just because that’s what people DO, instead of it being a fun use of my time?
7.) People are attracted to me more
Needless to say, when you’re in better shape, maintaining a higher brain cell count, and are in complete control of your motor functions, you quickly become the life of the party.
An added bonus was admiration and cheerleading from friends and strangers. I didn’t face any judgment or condemnation- just support and praise.
Side Note: Have you ever been a sober person in a room full of drunk people? Nothing will reinforce your decision to quit alcohol faster.
8.) The more self-control you practice, the more self-control you gain
“It is better to conquer yourself, than to win a thousand battles.
Then the victory is yours”- Buddha
Quitting drinking was really hard. But the more I am able to control my actions and my thoughts, the more powerful I become, and the more I am able to shape the world around me.
Would I quit drinking again? Abso-freaking-lutely. In fact, i’m doing it THIS MONTH for #DryJuly. Do you want to join me?