30 Days and No Drinking – I’ll Cheers to That

| March 15, 2013 | 27 Comments

30-day-no-drinking

Ok, my 30 days being completely sober was actually pretty fun (well, at times), but when I was the only one drinking water at the pub with my friends, this gif definitely popped into my head once or twice. Here’s the thing, I don’t have and have never had a problem with drinking. The reason I wanted to try out not drinking for 30 days was because I really wanted to do a sort of cleanse after drinking beer everyday for three weeks in Thailand, and doing a bit of damage to my liver during Christmas party season in December. I also wanted to put more focus on eating healthy, exercising regularly, and losing some weight (muffin top and Thai beer belly be gone!), and I knew that I couldn’t do that if I allowed myself to continue drinking as often as I’d been in the previous two months.

It’s funny actually, when I got back from Thailand I told one of my close friends about my decision to not drink for 30 days, and she told me she had just finished a 25-day no drinking ban of her own. This definitely made me feel pretty good about my decision, but I’m telling you, saying no to alcohol for 30 days was way more challenging than I’d thought. First off, I can count at least 10 instances in which I had to say to no to a drink. That’s how often drinking comes up in social situations, and I’d just never realized it before! And I’m not part of any club or party scene either. But still when your main friend hangouts are going to a restaurant or pub, of just going to each others houses, drinking comes up almost every time!

So, what was my experience like besides feeling like the odd man out for an entire month? It was actually really positive. I’ve been more productive, more motivated to exercise and make meals at home, and have had plenty of energy after hanging out with friends instead of feeling tired and tipsy. Sure, there were a number of stressful times when I yearned for a glass of Chardonnay, but that also made me realize that it’s probably not a good thing to crave alcohol when I get stressed out. Instead, whenever one of these cravings occurred I would either go for a run or make myself a cup of tea, and both always did the trick.

Moving forward, I’m going to be making some changes to my life in order to implement what I’ve learned from this experience. First off, I’m not going to drink during the week. The work week is when I’m the busiest or most stressed out, and I know alcohol would just slow me down and waste my time. Also, when I drink I’m not going to have more than two drinks per day. This is partially because I don’t want to drink to get drunk, but also because drinks are filled with calories! For instance, if I was to have 3 glasses of wine on Saturday, and another 3 on Sunday, at 125 calories per glass, I would have consumed 750 in empty calories. One of my 30 minute runs only burns 380 calories, meaning I would have to run twice a week just to burn off those wine calories. Ya, I don’t think so. I want to run to get more in shape, not keep my current shape.

So cheers to a new, less tipsy me! I’m gonna miss doing any of my wine or beer reviews on here, but maybe it’s for the best that I don’t consume a bottle of wine by myself for the sake of this blog right?

Have you ever abstained from drinking for a long period of time? What was your experience like?

Category: Life & Money Goals, Lifestyle

Comments (27)

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  1. I often experienced MANY long stretches without drinking mostly due to my lack of work and income. Thankfully now, I’ve built up quite a collection and at the rate I drink, it would last me for months/years.

    I’m getting old… I can’t have more than 2 or I feel like crap the next day.

  2. Michelle says:

    I have never abstained for a long time. Sometimes I might go a couple of weeks but that’s probably just because I’m busy and don’t have time to go out.

  3. John S @ Frugal Rules says:

    I’ve gone times where I did not drink. It was not really a conscious choice to abstain, but just did for one reason or another. We tend to drink only on the weekends as well and try to watch it more from a caloric perspective. If I am going to take in calories, I’d much rather eat something than to drink it.

  4. I’m a lot like you where it’s a glass of wine here and there, but nothing where I’m drunk or out of control. But I think a lot about the calories too! I think I would have a hard time with the challenge but I don’t think it’s impossible. One thing that I started doing was taking a wine glass and putting a splash of pomegranate juice and mix with cold water. I think it tricks my brain into thinking I’m drinking a cab with dinner. :)

  5. I’ve done it before, and now, it’s just something I try to track, and I never have more than two when I’m out.

  6. “One of my 30 minute runs only burns 380 calories”

    Where are you getting your calorie estimates from? Treadmills are infamous for over-estimating calories burned. Using heart rate calculations, I burn 70-80 calories/mile. The treadmill puts it at something like 130.

  7. Girl Meets Debt says:

    I normally just drink on the weekend but sometimes after a stressful day at work I will have a glass of wine to unwind. Congrats on that self-control and making it 30 days!

    • I think I’m pretty good at self-control due to my childhood when I participated in lent and had to give up something like chocolate or whatever for 30 days. But I will say that I’m so glad I can now have wine and beer again!

  8. Nick @ ayoungpro.com says:

    Good job!

  9. When I was 17 and living in Spain, I had a frightening experience where I got so drunk that I didn´t remember what had happened the night before other than I had decided to walk home during night. And well, let`s just say I was lucky. Being a blonde, wasted young girl in a party place, walking alone at about 3am, that`s not a good combo. Not to mention the hangover.. I decided that I didn´t want to ever experience that again, and for the next 3 months I stayed away from the party scene and started hanging out with other friends with better influence. it was a good decision for my health, my wellbeing and I got some really good friends:-)

  10. sara @ timelessfinance.com says:

    Awesome work making it through 30 days! I don’t consider myself a big drinker either, but it would be really hard for me to go a month with out a glass of wine or a beer.

  11. femmefrugality says:

    It’s funny. During pregnancy you always think, “The first thing I’m going to do after that baby comes out is grab anything alcoholic.” But I’ve found that after not drinking for nine months, and after the prohibition is lifted, the desire for it is really not as strong. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve drank since the kiddos were born.

    So glad you had such a great experience! Sounds like some great, healthy long-term results/resolutions. :)

  12. Student Debt Survivor says:

    I enjoy beer and wine on the weekends here and there, but nothing crazy. I’ve never purposefully abstained for a period of time, but could easily since I’m not a huge drinker anyway. Thinking about all those calories is probably a good enough reason for me so stop right now ugg.

  13. I rarely drink, so I don’t think it would make much of a difference for
    me to go a long period without drinking. I found though when I moved out
    on my own, I did start to drink more. My dad doesn’t drink at all and my mom
    almost never drinks, so compared to them, I’m considered an alcoholic.
    lol. I usually only drink when we have guests over. I had quite a few glasses of wine last night. :P

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