Can you give up alcohol for a month?

So, I read this article in Women’s Health (love that magazine) that talked about the benefits of quitting drinking for a month. Essentially, your skin will look better, you’ll sleep better, and you’ll lose weight. Every year I contemplate giving it up for Lent and inevitably something dreadful happens (one of my friends says I jinx myself by giving up alcohol) or I chicken out.

Why? When did a glass of wine become so necessary in my life that I would be concerned about giving it up?

I remember when I was younger, a drink was an occasional treat and not an every day thing. I used to be really careful with it too … never had a drink out of habit and certainly not all the time (of course, I was poor then and couldn’t afford it either!) Since I turned 40, it’s been harder to keep the weight off too and I’m thinking that as well as I eat, alcohol could very well be the culprit.

What bothered me so much was my gut reaction when I contemplated giving it up. I actually felt worried. Like not having alcohol is something that I should be worried about. It’s ridiculous the mind games we (I) play – like thinking it will bring crappy events into my life (stupid, just an excuse to keep drinking) or that I won’t have fun (ridiculous, who says you can’t have fun without alcohol)?

What’s really funny is what others have been saying when I tell them. I’ve heard:

  • Oh, I couldn’t do that. I need a little just to go to sleep. (Actually, it’s a deterrent to sleep.)
  • I couldn’t give it up entirely, but I know I could cut it down sometimes. (Sounds like me – bargaining.)
  • What would I do in the evening while watching TV? (I’ve found decaffeinated teas are great.)

I gave it up for Lent and gave myself a weekend pass for our anniversary weekend (in the middle of lent this year) as we have tickets to a wine-tasting planned already. So, now I’ll look forward to it instead of expecting wine every day. Yep, it sounds like I’m bargaining with myself for that one break, but I’ll take it because it feels right for that particular weekend.

Here’s what I’ve learned in just a few days:

  • I sleep more deeply than I have in a long time, and if the kitties or a noise wakes me up, it’s simple to fall back to sleep.
  • I am less dehydrated in the mornings, although I’ve been fighting a bit of a cold, so I’m drowning in water and taking medicine so that may be a wash.
  • My skin does look better – more clear and a little more glowing, nice color.

We’ll find out.

Oh, the driver of our stuff seems to have decided to take the scenic route from Colorado to California. He finally called and said he’ll be here next week. Good grief! At least we can work all weekend and be prepared. I’ve been crazy busy and this will give us time to have a play weekend before more heavy lifting starts. Hmmm … which way is the ocean again?


fourteenergirl Written by:

A mother, sister, wife, and daughter who writes, knits, hikes, and practices yoga on the west coast. Loves a zippy chardonnay or a tart margarita!

One Comment

  1. Ell Lukasik
    February 16, 2013

    Good for you. It does make a difference. I drink very little anymore and I find I don’t really miss it. When I do have an alcoholic beverage, it is a treat and carefully thought out.

    The ocean is thattaway! Have a great weekend!

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