One month ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and had an epiphany – wouldn’t my life be so much better if I didn’t drink? Does anything good come from it? I had been feeling pretty sh*t for a few weeks, my confidence was really low as I felt so puffy, I was putting on weight and I felt bored of feeling constantly tired. The winter had come with a vengeance and I really felt the effects of having significantly less daylight hours and my motivation to exercise was deminishing at a rapid rate.
I realised that I needed to change something in my life to feel happier, and I figured that this would be an easy place to start. I was drinking at least two nights a week, and on a Friday I was probably drinking a lot more than I should. It might not sound like a lot to some people, but the effects of drinking go so much further than just the hangover the next morning. We sometimes forget that alcohol is a depressant, it effects your brain chemicals and for up to 72 hours after drinking your body will work differently, including in the way it processes and digests fats!
I wanted to share how I felt each week, and share some tips with you to help you to do it too because I have found so much happiness from doing this one month challenge and I really hope I can inspire some you to take it on too!
This first week was quite easy because I had set my self a new goal so my motivation was really high. The shape of my face had changed a lot by the end of this week – it felt much more defined, and the puffiness had all but gone. I was starting to feel a lot clearer mentally and exercising was much easier because I had so much more energy.
In week 2 I found that my skin had really started to change, my breakouts had gone and my complexion was a lot brighter. People were starting to comment that I looked much healthier, and I felt SO much happier already. I noticed though, that I was eating A LOT of sugar – I think maybe because I felt like I was giving something up, I was trying to make up for it in other ways. So, I realised I needed to change my mind set from thinking I was sacrificing something, to considering what I was GAINING; more energy, a more proactive mind, and a healthier way of life.
By about half way through the third week, I realised I had actually been avoiding certain social situations where I would feel tempted to have a delicious cocktail, or where I was worried I might seem boring to all my friends who were drinking so I made sure I went to dinners and parties as normal so that I didn’t associate being sober with being a Debbie Downer! What I found was that in that nervous first hour of an event where you can feel a bit uncomfortable, especially if your with new people or in big groups, you might feel tempted to have a drink, but once that passes you really don’t even think about it. Amazingly I also found that you really do respond to other peoples energies, so as they get merry and more relaxed, so do you. The only difference is that you get a good nights sleep and wake up feeling fresh!
I was generally SO much more productive in everything I was doing, and my brain seemed to be working a lot more rationally, my emotions were more stable and I just really couldn’t believe how different I felt. My body also changed a lot, my stomach was flatter and all the water retention I usually get around my hips and thighs had gone down dramatically.
After the month was over, I decided to have a few drinks at a dinner and while I did have a really nice evening, I felt so rubbish the morning after that I really just didn’t think it was worth it. That was two days ago, and even as I’m writing this I can see how much harder it was to get out of bed this morning!
Having that month off has definitely made me want to continue not drinking and just save it for special occasions where I know I can have the following day off to recover! I really wanted to share an honest experience with you guys because I really hope I can inspire some of you to try this too.
My Top Tips
1.Write a list of all the reasons you want to do this and every negative thing that comes from drinking. Keep looking at this as a reminder of why you’ve decided to give it up for a while. I had a memory of a mother-of-all-hangovers that I just kept thinking about if ever I felt tempted to have a drink!
2. Find a new hobby. You have a lot more time on your hands when your body is healthy and clean as you wake up earlier and have so much more energy. I made the most of the early mornings by trying out new work out classes and changing lunch meetings to breakfast meetings, and weekend dinner dates to brunch dates with my girlfriends.
3. Reward yourself. Think of all the money you’re saving now that you don’t drink! Why not work out how much you think you’ve saved and buy yourself a gorgeous party dress for the festive season to show off your new, healthier, leaner body.
4. Find an alternative. When you’re out find a non-alcoholic drink to sip on that you like as sometimes we like to just have something in our hands while we’re standing around at an event. I love having elderflower cordial with sparking water and lots of ice.
5. Take a photo diary. I think its always amazing to be able to actually see the results of your hard work, take a picture every week and see the difference in your skin and body shape – it will feel so good to see these changes, as sometimes its hard to remember what we felt like at the start. It will motivate you to continue!
I would LOVE to hear how you get on, and if you want any more tips or advice then just leave a comment below!
Lots of Love, Roxie xxx