Five Lessons Learned When I “Quit” Drinking

If you’ve been reading for a while, it’s pretty clear I enjoy drinking. Happy hours with friends, sitting out on the patio with a cocktail. Sipping a glass of wine after work. Mimosas at brunch. All my jam.

However, after my trip to California, I gave up drinking my beloved wine for two whole weeks. Can you believe it?! If not, I don’t blame you. It was hard for some folks around me to believe 😉

The truth was, I needed a break from drinking. I felt a little heavier and logically knew I drank way more in my trip to California than I normally would. A little shift to reset my habits was just what I needed at the end of May. I was also curious how my body would respond!
I needed a break from drinking. I felt a little heavier and logically knew I drank way more in my trip to California than I normally would. A little shift to reset my habits was just what I needed at the end of May. I was also curious how my body would respond!

So what’d I learn?!

My body composition did not change.

I hear a lot of chatter around alcohol impacting fat loss and the way your belly looks (due to bloating). I would NOT expect my body composition (like losing body fat) over two weeks, but I was interested to see if I looked less bloated/had a flatter belly. Yeah no. Did not happen.

Now, let’s be real. Alcohol does impact fat loss. If you quit drinking for six weeks or so and keep your nutrition moderate, you will make a lot more progress with your workouts than if you do not. That said, fat loss while indulging with alcohol IS possible but it will be a lot slower. I lost 3% body fat in six months while still drinking moderately; I could have lost that amount in half the time if I were to eliminate it. Different strokes different folks.

I didn’t crave it like I thought I would.

Especially during the first 10 days, I thought it would be a lot harder. In fact, I’ve delayed taking a booze break before because it was “too hard.” I was surprised that I didn’t crave it at all. With kombucha and zevia, I was good to go. By the end of two weeks though, I was ready for a damn glass of wine.

Drinking doesn’t impact my sleep a whole lot.

I’m not a great sleeper in general and was hoping that not drinking would help me to get a higher quality sleep. Nope! My sleep seems to be much more responsive to my stress levels than my alcohol consumption.

Wine can be a crutch.

As an introvert, I always “thought” I needed wine to be social but I did well and had fun without it at our work happy hours (of course there were three over the course of the two weeks I gave up drinking). These two weeks made me more confident in my ability to engage with coworkers without the support of my bubbly.

I needed to create new routines (but still missed the old ones).

When I’d get home from work, sometimes I would immediately turn to the fridge for some bubbly. I quickly realized I needed to make some new routines and add some other indulgences so I didn’t feel deprived.

IMG_3074

When I felt this way, I would sip on Zevia soda or some Halo Top and watch Gilmore Girls. Or, I would grab Juno’s leash and a podcast, and go for a walk. These routines had the same calming effect of a glass of wine, without the booze.

IMG_4031.jpg

Still though, I missed my glass of wine and FaceTime date with my best friend or have a glass of wine with dinner while out with friends. Those things bring me joy, so I was happy to get back to them.

What happened after the two weeks?

By the beginning of June, I didn’t need the booze break anymore. I was ready to reintegrate wine back into my routine and mindfully eliminated some other indulgences. I’m probably drinking less than before (before as in before going to California) but if it sounds good, I am giving myself that pleasure.
Have you ever taken a booze break?

 

3 thoughts on “Five Lessons Learned When I “Quit” Drinking

Leave a Reply