The Sober in October challenge came about because I was curious. I was curious as to what would happen, would I miss alcohol, would it be hard, and would I lose weight (not that this was a goal of mine just curious if I would), would others lose weight.
We have all read that drinking can hinder our weight loss goals. I never ask clients to do something that I would not do or have not tried. I admit part of my experiment was because I want to be able to ask and coach people thru giving up drinking as part of a weight loss plan.
So now I have done it! I gave up alcohol for 1 month. I thought the whole experience was very interesting. I walk away from this experience with a few observations I want to share.
First, I was surprised how few people really committed to “Sober in October”. Lots of excuses as to why this was not a good time. It’s beer fest, I am going Vegas, it’s my nieces wedding, and on and on.
I am proud to say that I attended a concert, a wedding, spent 2 weekends in the UP, where happy hour starts at 4 after a hard days work on the cabin we are building, had multiply dinners with friends, Carl and I even met a couple for drinks one night. It was not that hard.
I had a few strategies for staying sober. When up north partaking in happy hour, I made sure to have my colored covered cup with a straw filled with ice and water. This gave me something to hold onto and no one really knew I was not drinking. They thought the cup was filled with a mixed drink. So there was no, “oh Laurie have a drink, get a beer. ”
When we had dinners or were at bars I ordered non- alcoholic beer. I still had something to hold onto, and people did not even realize I was not drinking. I don’t want to make it seem like I didn’t want people to know I was not drinking, I think it just made it easier for me. If and when someone noticed I just explained our challenge and everyone was very supportive.
….if I am going to have empty calories I at least want the alcohol.
At the wedding I attended I just asked for cranberry and soda no vodka, again I had something to hold, just like everyone else. The non – alcoholic beer was good but totally not worth the empty calories, if I am going to have empty calories I at least want the alcohol. So I don’t think I would employ the non- alcoholic beer choice if I did not want to drink. The the soda and cranberry may still have empty calories and sugar but I felt less bloated drinking that option than the non- alcoholic beer.
I wanted to reach for a beer after a long or trying day.
Second, I was surprised how I wanted to reach for a beer after a long or trying day. I felt like the beer was the exhale I needed to help me relax. I think this only occurred 2-3 times in the first week or two. Now believe me there were many trying days in second half of the month too, I just did not have the reflex reaction to reach for a beer. Since this apparent reflex reaction after a trying day has subsided, I hope to keep this reaction at bay. No need to consume those empty calories that hurt my bodies ability to burn fat.
I was very surprised that I lost weight.
Third, I was very surprised that I lost weight. I don’t weigh myself often, only when I notice a change in the mirror, or in how I am feeling. I do know that I stay within a 2 -3 pound window pretty consistently. By Oct 20 I was noticing that I looked and felt lighter so a few days later I jumped on the scale. I continued to weigh in every few days until the end of the month. That 2-3 pounds that I typically stay between, 148- 151, was now 142- 145. I can’t say it was all related to being Sober in October, there were other changes that occurred during October that may have accounted for this, but not drinking was definitely part of it.
I look forward to the new found freedom, that was always there, but not practiced.
I have never felt like I was not in control of my social drinking but I do feel even more in control of it now. I don’t have to have a beer while watching football just because the other people I am watching with are having a beer. I can order a drink without vodka and not feel out of place because everyone else has a drink in their hand. I look forward to the new found freedom, that was always there, but not practiced.
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