01.07.16

NOT DRINKING BENEFITS

dinner25

we’ve given up drinking for only a week, here’s what we’ve seen…and we’re annoyed about it, trust us.

around fall of every year, it’s the same old story. lots of gatherings, chill hangouts with friends indoors, mulled wine, hot toddies, lounging around with a cocktail by a fire, boozy holiday brunches. i promise we’re not alcoholics, but joanie and i are gals that really really enjoy having a drink after work and on the weekends. we are social by nature! then new year’s day hits and the harsh reality of back to work and the feeling of “i should probably go on a diet, i feel terrible” strikes. same story this year.

do we want to become girls that never drink at all? nope, not for us. do we need to cut back? probably. as a holiday break detox, we’ve decided to give up drinking for a while (and believe me the joke of “no one likes the skinny sober bitch anyway” is in my head) it’s only been a week and i’ve already seen results. i would love to say that we haven’t, but it just ain’t true. here’s the list…

  1. wake up feeling less groggy and more clear headed.
  2. usually the 3-4pm lull hits and i am soooo tired and foggy. nope, not this week.
  3. i’ve heard not drinking helps with symptoms of PMS. even noticed this one in a big way. grrrr.
  4. we both feel lighter in general. less bloated.
  5. less blotchy skin
  6. it’s made it less hard to wake up early for work after sleeping in for two weeks straight on the break.
  7. and saved a lot of $$$

i know, it’s crazy! i think i just want to lay off alcohol for a few weeks (at least until my 30th bday trip!) and then just be more balanced with it. more ginger tea at night instead of wine. it will be an interesting test to see how i feel after three weeks of it.

have any of you been in the same mindset this week?? tell us you feel our pain. – bri and joanie

30 COMMENTS

Add your own

    Nikki says:

    I feel ALL of your pain! After lots of discussions, my boyfriend and I have decided that we’d like to try to only drink on Saturday/Sunday and keep our weeks clean. It’s weird how that post-work cocktail has become such a habit for me, but it is nice to wake up completely clear-headed!

    Candace says:

    I’ve taken a personal vow to cut it out for whole year. I’m over 2 months in and my life has improved immensely. The greatest benefit…loads more creativity & lots more time to make the creative ideas happen!

    shayna says:

    I hear ya! I used to be an *at least* one-drink-everyday-after-work type of girl. As I’ve gotten older (mid-30s) it’s been harder on my body, and as my metabolism slows down with age, I just can’t keep up. You don’t have to go cold turkey and cut it out all together, though. My solution? I don’t drink during the week. I’ll allow myself a few drinks on the weekends. That alone and I feel a million times better. I’m not a total stickler about it either. If it’s my friend’s bday dinner on a Tuesday, of course I’ll have a glass of wine with dinner. It’s just not every day. I’ve found this is way easier than no alcohol at all. (I can never abstain for more that 2 weeks or I start to go coo-koo)

    Megs says:

    Coming from a girl that seriously loved her wine and would have 1 or 2 glasses of wine every night for years, I have had a handful of drinks all of 2015. By handful I mean 1 actual handful. 3…4…5 maybe. Just off the top of my head, here are the perks…

    -glowing skin
    -waaaaaaaay less puffy face
    -can eat mostly what I want, not just salads for dinner
    -i’ve never craved sugar before, but I do now kinda that I don’t have wine, even though I don’t really like sweet things, it’s weird.
    -morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed
    -nights, sleep like a log
    -pocket book, saved about 3k

    I could go on and on and on. The most suprising thing was after 3 weeks, I didn’t really even miss it. I had altered my routines enough that I started drinking really nice teas instead and warm up by the fire at night.

    Kim says:

    This has been so on my mind lately! When I was pregnant I noticed a huge difference from not drinking but chalked it up mostly to that. Now as a small business owner, working from home all day, I def look forward to those evening cocktails. Before I know it, 3/4 of a bottle of wine. I need to get more tea in my diet at night or have some other ritual that I look forward to at the end of a long day! Love that you’re talking about this!!

    Daphné says:

    I’m French and here it’s really complicate to explain that I don’t want to drink wine. It’s such an important social convention in France. I never drunk a lot, but since my last pregnancy I decided to change habits and drink alcohol only occasionally. I’m feeling much better and the less I drink, the less I’m tempted to.

    http://www.befrenchie.fr

    Sarah says:

    Oh my gosh, going through the same thing right now! I decided to give up booze for the month of January after months of daily drinking. I’m not feeling the benefits yet though! I am SO much more snacky at night and craving sugar like crazy. Good luck to you and cheers to turning 30!

    Amy V says:

    i feel your pain! I’ve not had a drop since Boxing Day and intend to carry on till the end of the year. The first few weeks were easy but now I’m back at work and drudgery has set in, it has been tempting me – but so far I’ve resisted. I also turn 30 in March and will totally be busting open the bubbles for one night 🙂

    tila says:

    I gave up alcohol and used to drink a bottle every night. So far not feeling the benefits. It’s been 4 days.

    Maryse says:

    I stopped drinking when I started my job. 7 years ago. I’m not against alcohol at all, I even like it. But I just function better without ( have some minor liver issues). I’ve had maybe five proper drinks in those years, on holidays and our wedding. It’s kinda weird how drinking alcohol is seen as the only way to have fun, it’s not. I’m always amongst the last ones leaving a party and am often the one instigating drinks with colleagues. Although I sometimes get annoyed with explaining why I don’t drink again and again and could sometimes use a G&T after a long day at work, I feel the people telling me ‘not to be such a pussy’ when I turn down a drink actually have a bigger problem than I do :-).

    gabriella says:

    I’ve been wanting to give up drinking – only for the reason of wellness. I’m glad you shared your experience with giving it up for a week. It’s inspiring me to try the same!

    Lili says:

    Have you tried that one with coffee? I did and replaced it with green tea. Equally joyful, difficult at the beginning though.

    Abbi says:

    I’m doing a dry January– 8 days down!!
    I am not a big drinker by any means, but it is my go-to in social situations to help me relax and have fun. Plus, in thinking about giving up alcohol, I started to panic– so I think that was a sign to sit it out for a while.
    Last night a friend bought a $95 bottle of wine… and I forced him to describe it to me.
    This is harder than I thought, and relatively few benefits so far…

    Jaclyn says:

    My husband and I were just talking about this over the holiday break between Christmas and New Year’s.

    He received a few very nice bottles of scotch last month after finishing his PhD so every night he would (literally) sit by the fire and have a drink.

    He definitely started feeling the effects of even that one drink a night after about a week and he asked me what my opinion was on how much is “too much” when it comes to casual drinking. I told him that I always think about how at doctor’s appointments they ask you how many drinks you have a week and the lowest answer is always, “0-5” so I try to stay within that limit – and I really thought I had been staying within that limit but….

    We totaled our drinks just for the two weeks around Christmas and New Year’s and we were both astonished by how just how much we had drank – even though neither of us ever even got “buzzed” during any particular outing – usually just 1 or 2 drinks each time.

    So now we aren’t drinking during the week unless we open a bottle of wine to use for cooking dinner and even then we only have 1 glass and save the rest of the bottle for another night.

    For us, the emotional/mental benefits far outweigh the physical benefits. We both have anxiety issues and when we cut back on our alcohol consumption it’s much better for each us! Also, we are MUCH more productive in the evenings after work when we don’t drink. While it’s tempting to just pour a glass of wine and watch TV all night, I feel much better mentally if I use those precious post-work hours to do something like a house project or spending time in my sewing studio.

    Katia says:

    Yep! Doing the same thing as you and finding it quite nice, actually. As much as I love wine, I’ve been feeling good about not drinking it. My mood has been up x 100 (part of this is also just getting back to ALL the good routines). I’ve never been a big drinker, just a frequent one. Glass of wine with dinner, maybe an extra one if I have my guilty pleasure TV show on that night. So fun to see so many other bloggers ACTUALLY doing the same thing!!!

    I’m doing a juice cleanse this week and have never wanted to eat a bag full of oreos so badly.

    Amber says:

    Agreed! I’ve really never been a big drinker at all… When I was in my late teens/very early twenties I drank a fair amount but now only on occasion. I notice the times I do I also feel more groggy in the mornings, unmotivated the next day (though, more motivated if I start the day off with a lot of water). Well done on your non-drinking cleanse 🙂

    Taryn Bernard says:

    I think maybe it’s because I have a bold/the flu that I haven’t experience any of these said “benefits” yet 😠 . In fact I have myself convinced it’s shutting down because I’ve stopped drinking. LOL. Probably sounds crazy. But I’m NEVER sick so why now that I’m trying to do my body good !

    Must look into the antibiotic agencies in wine !

    Diane says:

    Hey girls. I don’t know about you but I feel like more groggy if I don’t drink for a while. Guess my engine needs it. A glass of wine on dinner makes it perfect. I’ve heard that my dad has had a problem with alcohol since his early teens. Never meet him, he left us. But I wonder if it is on my genes.

    Juliana Rose says:

    I notice it most in my immune system and sleep quality! I am one who gets sick anytime someone has anything – but when I cut out or back on the happy hours my immune system seems to skyrocket.

    I’m currently on the January clean-eating train and the first week of THAT is not so kind. Missing fried things and detoxing is a painful process, the first 3-5 days I felt hungover without having a drop! Can’t wait for that promised clarity and superhero energy once all the bad is cleared out. Stay strong on your mission and I’ll stay strong on mine! Change, even temporary, is so important for us to experience and grow from. <3

    Ren says:

    Ladies, just take it a day at a time. It’s daunting to think about not drinking ever again, or for a year, or for a month. But you can always tell yourself “I’m just not drinking tonight.” for each event you go to.
    It doesn’t have to change how people see you if you don’t tell yourself it will.

    Ri says:

    My husband and I decided to attempt a dry January after indulging a little too much in December. It’s been so hard to skip my nightly glass(es) of wine that I’ve been pretty hard on myself wondering if it’s a problem. It’s great to read about your experience and those of other commenters because now I’m more motivated to keep it up without feeling too guilty for needing the break in the first place 🙂 good luck!!

    Poppy says:

    I hear ya, sister… No denying how much better you feel.
    I find the hardest part of not drinking is
    The look people give you when you give them a polite “no thanks.” It makes them feel uncomfortable and then you feel the need to defend yourself. That’s been my experience, but it’s worth it. I have a sober husband and I’m a mom, so I’m extra motivated to lay off because of them. 💕 To you!

    Jess says:

    I’ve decided to do dry January this year! I did it a few years ago and it felt so much easier! One week in and I’m definitely craving wine while watching Netflix. I’m also seeing how I associate alcohol in my life. A friend and I are planning on going out for a celebration dinner and the first thing I think of are fancy cocktails! It’s definitely an interesting perspective and might be something I try to do every January!

    Jane says:

    I live in the UK and yesterday the news led with the UK government’s announcement that they’re reducing the recommended limits for alcohol to 14 units per week for men and women (1 large glass of wine/175ml is 3 units). They’ve also advised there is no safe limit for drinking and that even moderate alcohol consumption increases the likelihood of various cancers. I don’t usually drink in the week, but sharing 3 bottles of wine from Fri-Sun has been pretty usual for me. It made me think of the ’50s when everybody smoked and it was normal to have a cigarette to relax or ‘steady your nerves’. I’m asthmatic, so the thought of 40-80 cigs a day is pure poison, but it made me wonder whether in future we’ll be a bit incredulous as to how so many people thought they could drink a lot without any long-term adverse effects… I like drinking (mostly) in moderation, but am also wondering whether I’ll look back in 30 years’ time and think it was a stupid move… For the moment, drinking only 2 days a week is doable, so I’m doing that 🙂

    Jen says:

    This is so true! I feel so much better when I don’t drink. I have been trying to not drink during the week. I too have been subbing my nighttime wine with tea. If we go out for dinner I will have a drink but while sitting at home I like to ask myself “do I really need/want wine right now?” because sometimes it becomes habit more than anything.

    – Jen
    http://www.asipofbliss.com

    jen says:

    i feel your pain, mostly because when you kept saying “we” i got all excited because i thought my story of strength and resilience had made it onto the pages of DLF and then it was signed “bri and joanie” and i was like, “whaaaaaa?” and then i put my glasses on just to make sure i was reading it right and i was. and i’m ok with that. normally my answer to this would be to have a glass of wine and “just calm down, jen” but instead i ate a handful of grapes and there is shame in that. there is shame.

    bets says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m in same boat. The first thing I look forward to leaving the office at night is my evening libation. I’m very social and all circumstances revolve around alcohol for me. I also come from a large Irish family. There’s not an occasion without booze. It’s led to a 10 pound weight gain over the past year and a half, interruption of sleep and me not feeling good about myself. I joke with people that I skip the fries and drink my carbs. I need to stop joking and start limiting myself. On a serious note with the pressures we face as women today, I believe alcohol over consumption is an epidemic. I was at the spa recently waiting for my aesthetician to finish up with a client and I can hear the client telling her she drinks 2 glasses of wine per night. My aesthetician was horrified and said to me after did you hear her, no wonder she has weight gain and blotchy skin. Thought to myself if she only knew I do the same and sometimes more. Thanks again for talking about this subject and providing the inspiration to follow suit.

    michaela says:

    I admire your dedication! I’m trying to stay dry all of January and reward myself at the end of the month with a beer tasting party — on New Year’s Day, I brewed beer for the first time with a couple of friends, and it will be ready a few weeks from now. I had a couple drinks this weekend, but I’ve already cut back a lot. My husband and I would pick up a six-pack or a bottle of wine every time we went grocery shopping, and it just became a habit to sit down with a drink at the end of the day while we ate dinner or watched TV. I realized I wasn’t even that excited about my glass of wine anymore, it was more of a routine. We’ve decided not to put alcohol on the grocery list anymore — it’s a treat, not a staple. I was never a heavy drinker but it’s amazing how one drink a day can add up. I definitely already feel less bloated, my skin looks better, and I feel more rested in the mornings. It feels good to reset and redefine my relationship with booze!

    AngieSz says:

    It is amazing – and a bit sad – how much better I function without the wine. The perks are many…great sleep, exercise is not torture, less shouting in the car (fellow Angeleno here), more easygoing with the kids and calmer in general. I mostly miss it when I am cooking dinner.

    I will say that – again sad news – the older I get (and I have a few years on you) the less I can drink. I have been on the “weekend only” plan for awhile now – at least that is what I aspire to – and it is amazing what I can get done when I hold to that.

    I keep hearing from friends that this January they are cutting back or abstaining – I am mostly not drinking for the next few months. It is good to take it out of rotation for awhile for all the above reasons…and it is just easier for me to say I am not having it than going through the nightly debate!

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