Monday, November 24, 2014

One Girl. One Year. No Booze.

Me with a dirty martini -
one of my favorite libations!
Hey gang!
I’m starting up this blog again to document a big change for 2015…
…I’m going booze-free for 1 year.

Some background:
I have never been very heavy drinker.  I have certainly had those binge-drinking nights in college and a few in the recent years, but nothing I would consider an addiction. In general, I’d say I consume somewhere between 6-8 alcoholic beverages per week on average. Not a ton, but not exactly moderate either.

In the past, I’ve said that I want to cut back on my alcohol consumption for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is for the sake of my health, but also for being lucid on Saturday mornings, not having to deal with hangovers, or just to simply save money. However as I found out with trying to cut back on chocolate, sometimes it’s easier to just cut it out. Completely.

I started taking classes in nutrition this year, and they have opened my eyes to how amazing the human body is.  It takes a lot of crap from us, and keeps on trucking.  To function optimally, it needs a lot of hydration and nutrition. Alcohol is one of those things that has no benefit whatsoever to our bodies. The water in it is counteracted by the diuretic qualities, it’s processed in our body as sugar, and it contains no vitamins or minerals. It’s really just a toxin – a poison for our bodies and our little cells.  Alcohol also puts a lot of stress on our livers and our kidneys.

I know what you’re thinking: everything in moderation! And yes, some studies have shown that a glass of red wine here and there can be beneficial. But with my Italian heritage, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to have ONE glass of red wine. Come ON.

Now don’t get me wrong – I LOVE alcohol. I love toasting a drink to friends, and I love the association with celebration. I love trying new beers, ciders, wines, and spirits. Living in Colorado has opened new doors to tastes and flavors I’ve never experienced, and the people who craft these libations amaze me with every new sip. I even enjoy the loopy little buzz I feel after a couple of drinks with friends. I appreciate the craft of making alcoholic drinks, and the friendly bartenders I’ve come to know over the years.
Oh, Colorado beers. How I love you.
But in 2015, I’m doing something drastic, and giving my body a break for the first time in 12 years. I’m cutting out the booze.

From January 1st, 2015 to December 31st, 2015 I will not consume one drop, sip, swig, shot, glass, or pint of alcohol. I intend to blog about my progress here (whether good or bad), and hopefully inspire some people along the way. 

I understand that thousands of people have already done this, and it’s certainly not a new concept. So many people have fought their battles with addictions and overcome them. There are people out there who don’t drink because of health, and others that don’t because of addiction. I applaud those people for making the change for themselves and their families.  People that have overcome their addiction and can still be constantly surrounded by such a socially accepted practice amaze me.

Although my situation is different, I still seek empowerment from my decision. I want to do this for myself, but also to hopefully raise awareness. I want people to think about the way they want to drink – not just because it’s social, but because of how they truly feel about it. If you don’t want to drink, you don’t have to. If you do, you can do so responsibly.

I also want to challenge myself and see what I’m capable of. I want to see the changes in my body, my bank account, and hopefully in other surprising ways as well.

I will be tracking my progress on this blog daily, and also tracking big changes every 3 months, on these pillars:
1)   How I feel (in general – energy levels, mood, mentality)
2)   Money (savings)
3)   Physical changes (wellness and health, weight, sleep)

I am going to start a fundraising campaign in the near future. I’m still determining the company, but I will have the information up soon with how to donate.  If you’d like to support me in this endeavor, “buy me a drink” on that fundraising site. Want to “buy me a drink” on my birthday in March? Donate $5 to that campaign instead. It’s my non-booze fund!

Yes, a year is a long time. But considering the 33 amazing years I’ve already spent on this planet, it’s still just a blip in my existence. It could be a fantastic change, and I’m sure it will be a great challenge. Whatever it will be, it will be an interesting journey.

Cheers to 2015!