Could You Quit Drinking If You Wanted To?

Could You Quit Drinking if You Wanted to?

Not one sip of alcohol for 90 days, could you do it? Or more importantly – would you want to?

I started 12 days ago on New Year’s day. I even downloaded a little app that keeps track for me and estimates how much money I’ve saved by not drinking. So fun!

Now I’m not an alcoholic – just want to be upfront about that. And actually, I was excited to realize I’ve barely even thought about alcohol in the past 12 days. Except at my birthday dinner. I would have loved a glass of wine that night. But other than that, giving it up has been really easy.

I don’t actually believe that you’re either an alcoholic or you’re not. I think, in the words of my favorite clinical psychologist, “That kind of thinking is too black and white. There’s a spectrum to everything, especially habits and addiction. Life really happens in the grey area.”

I also believe that the majority of people who drink have a conflicted relationship with booze. Or have at least found themselves questioning their relationship to it on more than one occasion.

For me, as I’ve discussed before, I’m prone to anxiety. And it never hits me harder than the day after I’ve had too much to drink. On a few occasions, while nursing a hangover, I’ve had the thought that maybe I do have a problem with alcohol. Simply because each time I feel like crap from drinking, I promise myself that I won’t do it again. But I never seem to keep that promise.

I blame my age, to be honest. The best cure for a hangover is being under the age of 25. And I assure you, if I wasn’t hungover I wouldn’t have started questioning whether or not I drink too much in the first place. Especially when most of the folks around me seem to drink just as much, if not more, than I do.

But I was hungover. A decent amount. And it was starting to bother me.

It seems that, more and more, I don’t sleep well or feel good the following day after even just one or two glasses of wine, which is what I’d usually be drinking. I don’t want to get up and get going the next day, exercise or eat healthy. And my mood and energy take hits as well.

I just don’t feel my best. And it annoys me because I’m doing everything else right. I should look and feel fantastic every day, ya know? So this got me thinking about my relationship with alcohol.

Lately it seemed that most nights did involve at least a glass or two of wine: while cooking and having dinner with Joel at home, at craft night with my lady friends, catching up with someone in New York, or going out for dinner on the weekends. All of these situations included alcohol without much thought.

And so I came to realize that that was the problem. The “without much thought” portion of the program.

My habits and routines had come to include alcohol without much thought at all. Having the glass of wine was the default setting and because of that, I didn’t feel my best every day.

So I wanted to change that.

Last year, I did Dry January, which you can read about here. It was fantastic. I felt awesome. I slept soundly and I had a ton of energy and mental clarity.

But this year I decided 30 days wasn’t long enough because this was about something deeper. It’s not just a break from the holiday hoopla and overindulgence. It’s about resetting my habits when it comes to alcohol.

Here’s what really prompted this:

Insomnia

I’ve been battling it hardcore since our three-month trip. Many nights I’d lie awake until 3:30 or even 4 a.m., despite being tired. My mind would race. Every noise would seem amplified. And I’d eventually fall asleep just a few hours before Joel got up for work. This would cause me to sleep in later than I’d wanted to, feel groggy all day and perpetuate the cycle. It was awful. I wanted nothing more than to fix my sleeping problem.

Kayla Itsines

I love this spunky Aussie trainer. I’ve just finished week four of her 12 week training program (more on that in the near future). And I’m excited to see the results at the end. I already feel great doing the workouts. I’m getting stronger and recovering faster. But, if I’m really going to get in the best shape of my life, my food has to be on point too. And when I drink, I just don’t crave the healthy stuff. I want sugar and carbs instead. Being in shape is one of my top priorities and I don’t want drinking to get in the way of that.

Productivity

Bridget and I have a lot we want to do together and Joel has been really supportive of it. For the time being, I don’t have to go get another full-time job. But I do need to be productive and get things done. Which is much easier to do when I’ve slept well, eat the right foods, exercise and feel my best. Alcohol really just takes away from all of that.

Simplicity

I asked myself a couple of simple questions not too long ago:

Q1: What’s the one thing I can do right now to be healthier, happier and more productive?  

A1: Stop drinking. 

Q2: What am I so bored with?

A2: Drinking. 

And here are the results after just 12 days:

I’ve been sleeping like a log.

I wish it weren’t true but alcohol really does screw with my sleep quality and habits. It’s only been 12 days and I feel like a whole new person.

I’ve lost a few pounds.

Just from being able to stick to my healthy food plan and really get the most out of my workouts. After four weeks of pre-training and four weeks of regular training, I’m really starting to see the results I want, and it feels fantastic.

I am so much happier.

Plain and simple. Apparently alcohol really does have a negative affective on my mood and positive energy. I just feel so good without it. So happy. So energetic. Not sure if it’s simply the fact that I’m getting a good night’s sleep again or what. But, I really am so much happier. This is probably the biggest change that I’ve noticed.

My anxiety has almost entirely evaporated.

It’s incredible and I noticed this last January as well. My anxiety is almost nonexistent these days.

These benefits alone are well worth the 90 days of skipping my beloved glass or two of Sauv Blanc.

What I’m really excited about though, is the other benefits that might be lurking around the corner after day 35, 60 or 78! Who knows how good I can feel? We shall see.

The whole point is to do a little reset of my habits. I’d like not drinking to be the default setting and choosing to drink, the thoughtful exception.

What about you? Have you ever felt conflicted in your relationship with alcohol? I can’t be the only one, right? Leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.

And if you could use a little reset give The Simple Cleanse a try.

It’s super easy to follow, there is real food to eat and you’ll be feeling better in just a week!

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Dana

Author Dana

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