I know, I know, reading “how and why you should give up alcohol”probably sounds so daunting and not fun at all… but I wanted to share my journey on giving up alcohol for two weeks. The benefits definitely outweighed the cons and I wanted to give you some the tips that helped me give up alcohol and clean up my diet.
It all started when I began working with a nutritionist and realized I was over 20lbs overweight. You can read more about my experience here. One of the first things she said was “give up alcohol”… I was immediately disappointed. I tried to explain that I did not drink a lot, just a few glasses of wine a week. She explained to me how those two glasses while cooking add up quick.. if you have two glasses four nights a week while cooking dinner, plus two or three cocktails on the weekend, that adds up to 12 drinks a week. Also known as a lot of unnecessary sugar. She then told me to at least give it up for two weeks and see how I felt. My nutritionist was not cheap and I knew if I wanted to make the most out of my time with her, I needed to take her seriously. I then made the conscious effort to give it up.
I then started thinking of all the fun activities we had coming up… vacations with friends, weddings, summer BBQs—how was it going to be not having any alcohol at all those functions? I am not going to lie; I was really disappointed. However, I knew it was time to make a change.
The first two weeks were tough, but I managed. I switched my nightly wine to Kava Root tea, a tea that helps with relaxation, and I would keep sparkling water and kombuchas on hand to have instead of beer or cocktails. When I went back in two weeks for my weigh-in with Maria, my nutritionist, I was down 4lbs already. And more importantly, I was feeling great. I felt very clear-headed and had so much energy. An additional bonus was never being hungover! I went to our friend’s wedding in Palm Springs, stayed clear away from any alcohol, enjoyed sparking water with lime all night. The next day I woke up two hours before everyone else, feeling great, went for a four mile run, and did yoga by the pool.
I was feeling so good on the “alcohol free train,” as I call it, that I did want to go back to drinking. It had become easy. After you get over the weird feeling of saying “no thanks” when someone offers you a glass of champagne at a bridal shower, it was easy. In fact, one of the funny things I discovered about myself was that most of the time I was drinking drinks that I didn’t really like or want. I was just so in the habit of having a drink in my hand I would say yes. Getting over that made the rest smooth sailing!
I had initially promised Maria in August I would go two weeks with out drinking, but before I knew it, it was Christmas time. Come the holidays I was kind of feeling like I was ready to introduce some drinking back into my life. Maria told me to not overthink it and to just do what I felt and see how I felt. I did just that: I would have a glass of wine and balance it out with a glass of water to follow. I soon found out that my palate had changed altogether, and from then on I could only handle maybe three glasses of wine max before I felt “wined out.” On New Year’s, we went with some friends to a bar and I definitely enjoyed some Moscow Mules, but the next day I remembered how much I hated hangovers… Now I simply weigh my options a little more and I make sure the fun night out will be worth the hangover. Nine times out of 10 I vote it’s not worth it. I much more prefer to wake up feeling fresh. My wallet appreciated it too, as I was saving by not ordering expensive drinks or Uber rides home.
It has now been over a year and a half since I made the change. At Christmas this year I was talking to my family about how great I felt when I wasn’t drinking, and of course, it being the holidays, I had definitely been having some drinks here and there… and I then decided it was time to get back on the train. I stopped drinking altogether after New Year’s, I was right back to feeling great! Earlier this week I found myself driving home from a day full of meetings dreaming about a glass of wine… I knew it was time to give in. I did just that—had a few glasses of wine—but waking up the day after was enough to set me straight again. (Not a hangover, just a little cloudy). Having the freedom to drink when you want but knowing you are not missing anything is an awesome feeling.
I highly recommend to anyone and everyone who drinks regularly to just give up alcohol for a month or two and take note of how you feel. It’s truly changed the way I drink and view alcohol altogether, for the better!
Trust me! It’s worth it!