Note: This article was originally written last year, but the trauma from it prevented me from posting it until now, thanks!
For this challenge I decided to go 21 day without alcohol. Don’t ask why, because as I write this I am already regretting it. My hope is to see if I have more energy and to see how it affects my body and mind.
I began this month thinking that 21 days without alcohol was going to be very difficult and would test my self control. And day one I “accidentally” had a little Irish Cream in My coffee. (It was the weekend, don’t judge me This made me think that yes, the self control may be an issue. Then I went 7 days without alcohol, and it was fairly easy. Of course I wanted a glass of wine while watching my favorite TV show, in which drinking wine is a key focus (Thank you Cougar Town), but it was not hard to deny myself the habit.
But day 9 had different plans for me. My husband had very sweetly planned a romantic dinner at a local and very intimate Italian restaurant. I will begin to defend myself now. I love Moscato wine, but a lot of restaurants and bars do not have it on the drink menu very often. So there it was, in beautiful, 20 font Monotype Corsiva. There was no question, I was ordering not a glass, but a bottle. Not only did I order the bottle, but I drank every last little drop, all by myself. It felt great, I was not ashamed for what had taken place and I savored every droplet, knowing fully that the next day and on I would be alcohol free for the rest of the 21 days.
As the 21 days dwindled down I realized that I don’t really drink that much to begin with. I like wine and ciders. I don’t drink much liquor, and I am assuming that if I did I would have had a much different outcome. But for the amount of alcohol I do drink in my life eliminating it didn’t make me happier, I didn’t feel healthier, and in fact I felt that I had denied myself something that is not only good for me in moderation (red wine), but makes me feel happier too. I only refrained from drinking on the one night my TV show comes on, a girls night out with my bestie, and a beer fest that was too expensive for me to attend anyways. It wasn’t like my friends were having an intervention before and I would have welcomed a reverse intervention by day 21, but it wasn’t needed.
Note: A reverse intervention takes place when one member of your circle STOPS drinking in moderate, which affects the whole team negatively.
I don’t think very many of my friends and family even noticed that I wasn’t drinking. So, I decided that I like drinking alcohol, occasionally. I do it in moderation, I do it for fun, I do it for my health (seriously, I do) and I will continue to do it after these 21 days were up.
But, (yes the unflattering BUT has made its way into this article). As I was saying, BUT, if you are trying to lose weight, become healthier, or you just want to stop dancing on the bar, then drop the empty calories from your diet and take the party down to 1-2 nights a week of red wine, in a glass….not the whole bottle my friends.
Dr Tonya Ingalls, D.C.