I love wine, vodka sodas, and a cold beer on a hot summer night. Or a cold beer in the middle of winter. Or the fall. Definitely spring too.
The problem that I’ve noticed is that as I get older, drinking takes a toll on my body more so than it did when I was younger. Bouncing back from a night out with the girls requires more than just a cup of black coffee and burnt toast. The sad reality is that aging and alcohol are not friends and I was feeling the brunt of that.
So I decided that I was going try a dry month and give up booze for 30 days.
An entire March without wine, beer or liquor.
Full transparency- I was nervous. My birthday is in March and the thought of celebrating sans-wine was kind of terrible! I was also committed to a few March parties and celebrations where I knew the drinks would be flowing.
As the month started, I didn’t feel much of a change. I didn’t even really think about the fact that I wasn’t drinking. The first weekend without wine was fine and I felt okay about it. After a week or two I noticed that I was feeling really great and my body felt better. A few of the perks of not drinking for me were:
1. My quality of sleep definitely improved. I love my sleep. Without wine/booze/vodka sodas in my system, I slept even better. Falling asleep was easy and I would wake up feeling rested. Do you know that sinky feeling that comes on Sunday nights and it’s suddenly it’s hard to sleep? That vanished and my anxiety toward Monday was nonexistent.
2. My face looked amazing. The bloat that usually comes with drinking was gone and my skin really glowed. I really wish I had taken a before and after shot but I honestly didn’t anticipate such a major change. It was like my face was thanking me for treating it so well. 🙂 You’re welcome face!
3. Any stomach issues that I would typically feel after a night out were gone. No queasiness or feeling gross at all.
4. My production level was through. the. roof. I accomplished so much more during March because I woke up feeling great every morning. I felt energized to get a lot done and I finished projects that had been lingering for a while. If I were able to measure my productivity level for March, it would be at an all-time high.
5. It was a refreshing change to go out to dinner without having wine or a cocktail. Not drinking forces you to embrace your surroundings and enjoy your company instead of the drink in your hand.
I didn’t go into this self-imposed challenge anticipating major changes in my lifestyle, but I was pleasantly surprised. Overall I think I have a better understanding of how alcohol affects my body and my general well being. It’s also nice to hit the “reset” button sometimes to break from the norm.
Forewarning to all of those who are interested in not drinking for 30 days (or a month): Reactions to not drinking will vary. You can’t expect everyone to understand that a break from alcohol is okay or cool. The biggest reaction I received was, “Wow! I didn’t know you drink that much to begin with” and trust be told, I don’t drink all that much. Others thought I was secretly pregnant and “pretending” to be challenging myself (also false). Take reactions with a grain of salt and enjoy what you learn along the way. I anticipate a few more dry months for me throughout 2016.