The 3 things I worried about when giving up alcohol in January
2016 will be another year of experimenting with food, exercise and self-care in order to tear down MY roadblocks to better health
My First Experiment in 2016 was to abstain from all ALCOHOL in the month of January. “Dry January” is very popular, in fact there is a webpage from the UK called dryjanuary.org. I am embarrassed to say that one month would be the longest I have gone without my wine for a VERY LONG TIME. I made it 21 days on a health detox I did in 2014. I’ve also vowed to not drink during the week but then made up for it on the weekend.
It’s February 1st and I DID IT!!!
The 3 things I was most worried about by taking on this experiment:
1. Social Events would be boring or I would feel left out of the fun.
Since I’ve retired my social life has been very full with Hidden Meadows social groups, keeping up with old friends and our dance events with the Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Except for dancing, all seem to involve alcohol.
I’m not going to lie, drinking is fun – especially wine and champagne! But it was amazing how easy it was to just say NO. At my last month’s socials I quickly grabbed a drink of something non-alcoholic and started up conversations. I was so much more engaged and my mind was sharper. The best part was I didn’t wake up the next day feeling like crap!
NOTE: Finding non-alcoholic drinks that weren’t loaded with sugar was challenging. I’ve made a list of the ones I tried in a blog post healthy drinks for when you are not drinking.
2. What would we do on weekends or the getaway we had planned the end of January?
To be honest this was the hardest for me. Our weekends revolved around having a cocktail or wine with dinner. Last weekend Ed was in a charity golf tournament at Torrey Pines and he got to stay at the Inn L’Auberge in Del Mar. I joined him Friday night. Any other month and we would have started at the bar with a cocktail, had one in the room while we were getting ready and then one or two with dinner. I am proud to say that we didn’t do any of that this time. Yes, I really did want a glass of wine with dinner but my $7 sparkling water was just lovely. The next morning we were up bright and early for a peaceful stroll on the beach.
3. People would think I was crazy, just doing one of my weird health experiments again.
Well this one did happen. In a quest to find what works for me and my body I’ve done a lot of crazy things – no carbs, running a marathon, no sugar, only cruciferous veggies for 2 full days, green drinks for breakfast, no caffeine, no gluten, morning meditation, gads and gads of supplements, I could go on.
My friends and family have been patient with me in the past but I did get comments such as; “having dinner with you won’t be any fun,” “why are you doing this?”, “life is too short”, etc. You know what…I didn’t care. I am so proud of myself (and my husband for joining me). My productivity has skyrocketed, I am sleeping like a baby, no more hot flashes at night (thought it was menopause but it was the wine), my eyes and skin look brighter to me AND we’ve saved a bunch of money!
Not sure when I will have my first drink of February – probably at my friend Rob’s 70th birthday party. I’m not giving it up for good but the conclusions I have drawn from this first experiment of 2016 is that I CAN have fun without alcohol, I feel better AND it might be something I do again.
The question is…what experiment will I take on next? What do you want to experiment with to tear down YOUR roadblocks to better health?