I was recently at a bar celebrating a birthday for a friend of mine.
It was the first time in ages that I was in a bar and not having a beer or glass of wine. Usually when I would go out to meet my friends, I would have one drink because I knew I had to drive home.
But since I eliminated alcohol while doing the Whole30 nutritional reset program, I hadn’t reintroduced it back into my life.
I felt so great not drinking that I couldn’t think of a reason to even have one drink. One drink usually makes me a little bit tired, but more than anything, causes me to want another drink. And actually, I’m the type of person who can have one drink or four drinks – but not much in between.
When I removed the alcohol from my life I realized that I was never feeling tired at 7pm at night or having a slight (or major) headache in the morning. And I wasn’t waking up with the awful taste of alcohol in my mouth from the night before.
So anyway, I was chatting with a friend at the birthday celebration, and she too had recently stopped drinking in an effort to eat cleaner. In the process she lost a lot of weight and felt great and was glowing.
I mentioned to her that I usually felt really restless and anxious when I would be out with people who were drinking and I wasn’t. It was more of a jealousy basically that I wasn’t drinking and they were. Like I was really missing out on something.
But at this moment in the bar, I didn’t feel that way at all. My friend said she felt the same way, content to just be hanging with our glass of water. Then she mentioned that it really eliminated a lot of the mental energy she would put into drinking and I couldn’t agree more.
See, I used to go back and forth a million times a day about if I was going to have a drink, and then if I was going to drink, how many drinks I would have. On the days I told myself I wouldn’t drink, my husband would come home and have a beer and I would be fuming and most likely give into the temptation to have a drink myself.
I would sometimes not go out to social events because I didn’t want to have to worry about drinking and driving. I would rather sit home then be in a bar without a drink.
However, once I realized that I wanted differently for my life, and that alcohol was completely unproductive in my life, it only made sense to lie off of it.
I spent 30 days without a drink. I even had a huge celebration at my house and people were drinking and I had no desire for alcohol. The best part of this was, I wasn’t even contemplating having a drink so my mind wasn’t consumed with the back and forth BS that I used to find myself caught in about drinking. This meant that I could really enjoy myself.
It’s amazing how much more peace you can give yourself when you make a decision and then stick to it. All that wishy washy thinking you have doesn’t serve you at all. It just causes you to feel confused and in conflict.
I have experienced other times in my life when I have eliminated alcohol for a certain number of days. But those times felt like a punishment – like I was doing it to myself to prove that I had the self-control I thought I lacked. I was feeling really deprived of having a drink at social situations and because of this, I would allow myself to overeat. To make up for the deprivation.
This time around, I didn’t feel any of that deprivation. I believe it was because I made the choice to eliminate alcohol from a place of care and kindness toward myself. Like I mentioned before, alcohol was not adding anything to my life, just taking away stuff. I wanted different for my day to day life and my body. So I made this decision.
What negotiations and conversations do you find yourself having on a daily basis? Whatever it is that takes up space in your mind, just imagine what would change if you eliminated that from your life?
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