Remember that 30-day booze free challenge that Hub and I did? Well we completed it (yeah!) and I never got around to writing that follow-up post until NOW.
Not drinking for an entire month was surprisingly less challenging than I initially thought. Once we got passed the hump, which for us was about two weeks in, we were at ease with the idea of not drinking. We really enjoyed the absence of our beloved wine, especially at the weekends, because we always woke up feeling bright-eyed and bushy tailed. We didn't notice any grand physical changes, as you can see from my not-so-exciting before and after pics, but we did feel the positive affects on our mental clarity, energy and sleep.
We are not heavy drinkers, but we habitually knock back wine at the weekends and of course there's the occasional mid-week social gathering. A few glasses of wine doesn't feel like a lot, but I am genuinely surprised at how much that affects my mood. We loved waking up every Saturday with energy and without the mild grogginess, which on reflection is a mild hangover. We also slept much better throughout the night, a bit more soundly I guess. Although alcohol is wonderful at putting us to sleep, it disrupts later sleep stages in the night. In fact it's 4am right now and I'm battling insomnia because I had one too many red wines last night. Oops.
Social gatherings were a bit awkward because you're battling temptation, but after awhile we got used to it. We felt great coming away from an event without the slightest urge to break our booze cleanse. Being in total control of choosing not to drink felt in some way like a small accomplishment and we realized that we don't need to drink to be social. With social drinking being the norm, it's so easy to forget that it's a choice. Often I'll find myself at Hub's events drinking because it's there, instead of drinking for the pure enjoyment of a good pinot. Do you ever feel that way?
By the end of October I also noticed improvements with brain fog. Sometimes I'll walk into a room to grab something and then immediately forget what I'm looking for when I get there. Does this ever happen to you? Or sometimes I'll get distracted by something else and start a new task, forgetting the other. This is brain fog. There are lots of things that contribute to impaired brain function, like B-12 deficiency, but I find that any improvements in my diet clear out the fog and this includes booze. Although one glass of wine may be beneficial to improving brain fog, overdoing it will magnify the fogginess. My tendency towards forgetfulness got better in October and I found my memory was stronger.
So would we recommend a booze-free month? Hells yeah and I'm looking forward to doing it again, probably after my birthday in January. We came away from this experience feeling strong and confident once we set our intention and focus. Now if only I can apply this to giving up sweets...