So just yesterday I posted about my two year anniversary - and here I am posting about another anniversary! No, it's not a coincidence - I definitely planned this out (though, to be honest, it didn't quite go according to plan.)
A year ago today I started on a challenge. I challenged myself that I would go one year without drinking any alcohol. You can read all about my thought process going into it here. I chose August 18th to be my last day having a drink with the intention of having a celebratory drink that would coincide with our second anniversary.
Well, that's just not going to happen. Here I sit six months pregnant so I definitely extended my year out by quite a bit! Truthfully? I don't mind a bit. In college I drank quite a bit, but in the years that followed I had slowed down by a lot. I knew, though, that those times when I did go to the bar I often found myself not able to stop at one drink. I would give in to a second, then a third, then throw in the towel completely and just have a fun night - which inevitably led to a horrible morning the next day. Did these days happen often? No, not really. But even one of these days wasn't worth it!
So I decided to go cold turkey. If I couldn't stop at one, I would just have to stop at zero - so that's what I did. Here's what I have learned about myself along the way:
I can have just as much fun without ever having a drink.
Even though I gave up drinking, I did not give up having fun. I still went to weddings, the bar, bachelorette parties (I even hosted an after party that went until roughly 5 am!). I never felt deprived and I never felt like the odd duck out. In the beginning people would kind of look at me funny when I turned down a drink, but after a month or two it wasn't even on most peoples' radar! Some people feel like in order to have fun you have to have a drink in your hand. I am proud and glad to say that this is not the case with me!
Drinking makes me tired!
Before giving up alcohol for a year, being tired was often my go-to excuse for drink number two (and three, and four...) I would have my vodka 7 + grenadine and at the end of it I would start feeling sluggish and like I was ready to sleep. So to trick myself into waking up a bit more I'd have that second drink. Now that I don't have drink number 1, I don't get tired like I used to! Yes, I know this is kind of an obvious thing to point out, but I'm glad I learned this about myself. I'd rather be awake because I actually am awake, than to be awake because I'm tricked myself into it with a second drink.
I don't have a desire to get back into the drinking game.
This, more than anything else, is what I have learned over this past year. Even if I weren't pregnant right now, I honestly don't think I'd be running to the liquor store to treat myself to a drink. I have become perfectly accustomed to having my water bottle with me 24/7 (seriously, it's never very far away!) and I have absolutely no problem turning down a drink. I like the fact that I don't need to drink to have fun, and I'm glad that I saved myself so many wasted calories over the past year. I will obviously be alcohol-free for quite a while now that I am pregnant, but I just don't know that I'll be jumping back on the alcohol bandwagon even when I can!
Have you ever thought about giving up alcohol? What are your thoughts? Are you tempted to try?