With spring comes some of my favorite things: sitting on porches for happy hour, traveling, and weddings. These are also some of the hardest times to avoid drinking for me!
First: happy hour porch drinking.
This month I had my first experience with traveling without booze. I tend to use "I'm on vacation!" as an excuse to make a whole mess of bad decisions - from drinking before noon, to overeating, and spending more money than I need to. I went to NYC to visit my big sister, and it was actually much easier than I thought it would be.
|Two happy sisters!|
Amber did have a couple of drinks while I was there, but there was never the suggestion of "let's just stop in here for a drink for no reason at all" or anything like that. If we stopped, it was to take in the scenery, grab a bite to eat, or purchase some delicious Brooklyn-made taffy. My lovely sister was more than accommodating with alcoholic-drink-substitutes, like fizzy water with fruit juice (which was delicious).
I only thought about the fact that I wasn't drinking ONCE - when we were out at a bar that not only didn't carry non-alcoholic beer, but didn't even have mixers (they only served beer & wine). I felt left out at the moment, but quickly got over it when I realized I could purchase cranberry juice at the corner store and bring it in. It's amazing how quickly I can get distracted from the fact that I'm not drinking.
|So happy for these two!!|
The bartenders were more than happy to mix me up some mocktails (one guy said "just ask for the Beth, and I'll make you another!") which helped, but I found that the best way to stop thinking about the fact that I was surrounded by endless amounts of free alcohol was... you guessed it. DANCING.
We danced like crazy, I didn't get tired nearly as quickly as I would have with booze, and I didn't have a hangover the next day. Win win win. I think I'm getting the hang of this!
Some things I learned in March / April:
- Dancing is the best distraction EVER from drinking booze. Not only is it easier (sloshing a drink all over everyone is never fun), but my stamina has significantly increased. Since quitting the sauce, I've had some marathon dance sessions - 4 hours each! - both times in heels. And I probably could have kept going!
- I've definitely lost weight. I can't completely credit the lower calorie / sugar intake, as I have been working with my trainer and exercising more regularly in general. I also got rid of my scale, as I'm sick of it running my life - so I'm not sure how much weight I've actually lost. But my clothes are fitting better, and I have more energy. That's all that really matters to me!
- I feel like I've been granted the gift of time. Really, it's just that I can stay out later (because alcohol isn't making me sleepy), while at the same time not have any recovery time in the morning. I may sleep in a little after a late night, but I'm not nursing a hangover. I can just get on with my day, and my life. RAD.
- It's getting easier. With developing any habit, the passing of time just helps this whole thing become less of a thought process, and more automatic.
For money saved (I did add in a little extra for my vacation, as I always spend more on alcohol then), I estimated about $928.00. In other words, I've saved almost $1k in 4 months, JUST BY CUTTING OUT ALCOHOL.* That's pretty amazing.
*I'd like to take a moment to point out (again), that I'm not estimating crazy amounts of money here, guys. I'm talking $5 here, $20 there, a few days a week. If you start tracking it, I bet you'd be surprised how much you spend too!
This month, I give to wine. Oh, wine - how I miss washing a meal down with your sweet grapey nectar. But damn, I don't miss your hangover. Youch.
As always, thanks to everyone for the love and support, and every time you've said "we can find you something fun to drink" when we're at a bar. You guys rock.