Today will the 30 entire days that I have not consumed a single ounce of alcohol. Not a sip of beer, not a Baileys-filled chocolate... nothing.
Now before I continue, I'd like to say thank you to everybody that wrote to me with words of encouragement. I deeply appreciate the kindness and the time you took to write words of support for another human being. That says a lot about who you are and your nature to spread well-being into the world.
I'd like to make clear though, that this 30-day challenge was born out of the desire to take care of my body and mind for a month and see the effects it may have. I've never really been a weekday drinker and I don't tend to get so hammered I piss my pants or do something embarrassing. I do sit down for Friday evening beers, but I don't loose control or go on drinking binges, ever.
I just wanted to do something good for my life and see what happened.
Here are some of the results of my experiment
After a night of drinking, one usually goes to sleep a little later, so you get less sleep. Not only that, your body is working overtime processing that alcohol. So guess what? You're not getting very good quality sleep either. On top of that, more often than not, I'd have the urge to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, often times more than once.
image source: sleepfoundation.org
Poor sleep also lead to me getting up later. Less hours to get things done. Not only that, if I woke up with a hangover, I'd most likely be slower than usual. So even if I was awake, I needed a good hour before I could actually start doing things, and once I did, my mental speed and clarity were not at it's peak either.
During my no booze November, I would often get up and do some handy work around the house (fix a door hinge or clean the mealy bugs from my plants) or do some strategic planning for my company, something that often gets put off because it's not urgent.
How much does a beer cost in your city? Let's say $5. 3 or 4 Friday beers comes out to about $20. A Saturday bottle of wine comes out to about another $20-$30. So that's $50 dollars a week!
Pissing money down the drain has never been so literal!
could definitely be inspired to continue this savings streak and use some of that money to invest in dividend-generating, or appreciating assets.
A stronger relationship with my partner
@pamarias and I did this 30 day challenge together. We supported each other throughout the journey and also shared our experiences. We had another topic of conversation, so whenever we're together, sitting on the couch, we had something to talk about, whether it was a dream I had about having a drink or how her body has felt during this process. We also got to do a lot of activities on Saturday and Sunday mornings, from jogging to painting or gardening. So having much more couples activities also brought us closer together.
A flatter belly
An average IPA has about 200 calories. So again, with the example above, 4 beers on Friday means 800 calories. What if I had a burger to go with that? say another 300 cals. That's 1,200 calories in one sitting. I probably cut 4 of these out of my diet this month. Add to this some Friday evening and Saturday morning workouts and you can see how that adds up. I'm not going to say I'm model material because of this, but I've definitely dropped some belly fat and that also helps my self esteem
completely sober forever?
The above is just a short summary of some of the benefits I've experienced from quitting alcohol for 30 days. While I'm probably not going to continue completely dry, I've definitely decided to only leave it for special occasions and in much smaller amounts. I don't miss it, and the benefits I've experienced from deciding to remove alcohol from the menu outweigh the cost in a very disproportionate way.