Less Alcohol- July 2018- One Day at a Time
NovusDies Posts: 8,940 MemberI think my goal this month is to figure out "what now?" I was unintentionally AF for all of June because my new rule is I can drink whenever I want if I can fit it into my calories and if I can figure out an upside to doing it. Now that my mindful decisions are more mature I seem to be amassing AF days, in fact, I think I am 60 days AF sometime this week.
I have a completely new outlook on moderation and I realize that while I was cutting down earlier this year I didn't have a moderation mindset (by my own personal definition) instead I was just holding out until the next installment. I don't think a moderate drinker needs alcohol at all so that is why I ditched the scheduled allowance days.
The last time I was sort of tempted was May 20th which was the last "allowance" day. When I realized there was no upside to drinking that night I must have driven my alcohol brain off into the wilderness and abandoned it because I haven't heard a peep from it since. It would be foolish to think it was dead and gone but it seems to be lost for now.
Daily drinking, for me, was an act of immaturity. I see it now as the kid and the Halloween candy who, despite the warnings and consequences, eats too much anyway. That is what an immature kid does. He acts for the pleasure of the moment and doesn't care about anything else. I guess I have always known that maturity and immaturity are not always all inclusive but that particular epiphany was extremely distasteful to me. The lesson there for me was that mindful decisions have to be made by a mature adult. The mature adult was there because I never drank when someone needed me or it would have been completely irresponsible he just needed to care about me and my health as much as family, friends, and work.
So today is the next "one day at a time." I could drink tonight but I don't think I will because I can't think of a good reason to do it. It is a good thing I have some pictures because I can barely recognize myself lately...
Edited to change "accidentally" to unintentionally. It was no accident I was AF last month but it was not something I intended to do.
Went AF all June (which is !!! for me), aiming for almost no alcohol this month. Will be having some drinks later this month when visiting with one of the besties, but already made some rules for myself regarding moderation Very excited to be tackling another month with all of you!
Awesome month for you!! Bravo for making the change. Xo1
This challenge in June made me address my drinking issues. I got some good info and book recommendations, joined ClubSoda and have been AF for nearly 4 weeks. All the usual triggers such as work stress, travel, holidays and celebrating my birthday ( where I was the only one not drinking ) have been dealt with successfully. Here’s to an AF July.
A birthday without alcohol - now that's a great gift to yourself. i may try that this year. Happy the four weeks were great to you!2
salleewins wrote: »Yes @JulieAL1969 , I needed that video. Thank you!
I am tired of many things this week and plan old tired. The holiday is almost here and the liquor store has been calling me. Well I have won. I just drank my diet Pepsi, stocked the fridge and got 2 slices of pizza. One meal a week off my regular plan is okay. I have done well with my meal plan lately. Decided that I am tired, missing my son on a holiday and other family that have passed and need to prune back with work and commitments somehow instead of drinking. I had to stick up for myself with a client who was yelling this week and another who continually asks me to do something that I have asked not to do. Next week I have to tell a different male client that I work for to not call my gorgeous and babe. I leave soon to go to church and be around some sane people. Sticking up for myself more often has been part of how I stopped drinking and stay stopped. I have to stay in balance as well or I feel out of control and then I may as well drink. Stupid thinking yes, but I did it for quite awhile. I have to remember and talk to myself that that if I am tired, lonely, hungry, fearful or angry (even angry about not being on my exercise plan lately!!) or even being thirsty has prompted me to drink before.
I am happy that I can tell you all these things. I am grateful for this group and it helps keep me from drinking. I sure did drink excessively before. Thank you to all the sane people here.
Some time things all pile on us and we feel awful emotionally. I hear you and I am sending a big hug. I hope you can find time to go into nature or some place you find quiet and peace and just sit. You are making great strides despite all the weight on your shoulders. Remember someone on the thread used to say we are exercising our will power muscles. Well, your will power muscle is strong and fit!!
Have you ever tried journaling. Just write like crazy , get everything down on paper and then burn it! And of course, let us help you on this thread. I love your honesty and continue to lean on us for a safe place to express. Xo3
I'm here for July! I've been AF since the first week of January.
I've been using the DryJanuary app on my phone, but am going to stop tracking the days now. Early on, it really helped me to count the days and provided a visual cue of my effort to stop drinking. I don't drink anymore so I no longer feel I need to count the days.
Good luck with your goals, everyone!11
@kcn2bluesky I love to hear these inspiring stories. I am so happy for your success.2
I'm here for dry July.....and noods7
Thank you so much, @JenT304! I appreciate the kind words!
I definitely had to white-knuckle more than a few days in those early weeks LOL
What I found really helped was to keep a private blog here on MFP and explore why I drank, how I felt to not drink anymore, and (eventually) to come to terms with how drinking had impacted my life, my health, and my relationships. I also read through the Annie Grace book that first week, and read this group's posts every day. Both the book and this group helped tremendously and gave me insight into my own use of alcohol.
I am still here, as well, reading all of your posts. I continue to find everyone's insights so helpful. Karen, I deleted the Dry January app a few weeks ago, too; it did help a lot at first but I no longer feel I need it. Since Jan 1st I have had two beers, one on March 15 and one on June 17. The summer season has felt more difficult in some ways- a bunch of firsts without alcohol, as others have said- but I do feel that I will continue to be 99% AF moving forward. I feel better without it, and although weight was not a reason that I quit, my fitness has continued to improve with me being AF, too. All the best to everyone this month, whatever your goals!5
I am still here, as well, reading all of your posts. I continue to find everyone's insights so helpful. Karen, I deleted the Dry January app a few weeks ago, too; it did help a lot at first but I no longer feel I need it. Since Jan 1st I have had two beers, one on March 15 and one on June 17. The summer season has felt more difficult in some ways- a bunch of firsts without alcohol, as others have said- but I do feel that I will continue to be 99% AF moving forward. I feel better without it, and although weight was not a reason that I quit, my fitness has continued to improve with me being AF, too. All the best to everyone this month, whatever your goals!
I really like your post @wigi41! I'm glad to hear that deleting the Dry January app hasn't derailed you. I'm going to do that today, and also I have realized I'm at the point where I can gift the bottles of wine I have to a friend. I won't be needing them and she enjoys wine, so it's a win-win
There was a discussion awhile back (maybe in the May thread??) about the cravings for sweet foods increasing dramatically after quitting alcohol. I have definitely found that to be the case for me, and I thought it would decrease back to normal levels after a few months. Improved sleep took a few months and I thought craving sweets would decrease over time too but that hasn't been the case for me. I'm at maintenance for my weight, so have just traded the calories I used to expend on alcohol to expending on desserts. I'm curious what others have experienced with regard to craving sweet foods and how you manage that?3
I am absolutely having the same issue with sweets, kcn2bluesky! Continuing to eat a loooottt more dessert and ice cream and chocolate than I used to. But I am really enjoying it all and my weight has not gone up (actually, it's gone down a few pounds since Jan, which I do not want either). I do sometimes worry about the amount of sugar I'm eating, but it's usually not too much more than what MFP says I should be having, so that should be ok, right?4
I've heard several people comment on increased cravings for sweets. I'm thinking the sweet cravings could be the same part of the brain that houses the reward center & that sugar gives the same response that alcohol used to...alcohol converts to sugar so there's likely a connection. I'm sure one of the videos: Annie Grace or Craig Beck could explain it much better than I am.
As far as the sugar consumption, there is a difference between processed sugar & sugar that occurs naturally in fruit, so even though MFP may allow a certain amount of sugar, I'm thinking for optimum health desserts should be kept to a minimum.2
My sweet cravings have been there. They seem to increase with the more stress I am under. When I was drinking, I would drink more and more with the increased stress. I probably programmed my brain for this as I wasn't always a sweet craver to this extent.1
MissMay Posts: 3,309 MemberI have not posted here since the last week in March. BUT I have checked in and read each and every post, every day. I have 159 days since January 2018 that I have been doing serious accountability of my alcohol consumption. Proud to say I have cut way back from where I was during the 2017 holiday season and even gone several weeks without alcohol at times this year. "Personal battles ~equals~ personal wins".10
After lurking here several times I'm joining the party. I've been off and on between AF and moderation for the last 10 months or so and find the community angle really helps. Thanks for all the great links!9
Hi I'm a newbie to this group. After a very tiring day in London drinking with friends I've made a promise to my liver that I will not drink a single drop of alcohol throughout July. As if by magic I then found this thread!
@MissMay I do remember your posts - you're doing very well these days ! Happy you checked in and let us know. Xo
@bufger @jugar welcome ! Yes, this thread is good for that! Motivation and community are pretty effective tools for cutting back. Besides the liver, our brain and pancreas thank us too! Xo3
Regarding sweet cravings, count me in. I get sweet cravings which is thanks to dopamine.... is the same process when alcohol consumption increases dopamine. Alcohol is sugar. All produce dopamine effect.
I know this isn't correct thinking, but I do let myself have some sugar treats instead of caving to alcohol. But both things are harmful. For now, my health priority is to focus on cutting alcohol.6
A simple thank you to the friends on this thread. Last night, I was anxious, bored and tempted to drink. The only thing that stopped me was thinking of the people on the thread who have abstained -
It gave me inspiration to work through the cravings - I said "if they can do it, so can I". ❤14
JulieAL1969 wrote: »A simple thank you to the friends on this thread. Last night, I was anxious, bored and tempted to drink. The only thing that stopped me was thinking of the people on the thread who have abstained -
It gave me inspiration to work through the cravings - I said "if they can do it, so can I". ❤
It really is amazing isn’t it!? Between this group and the weight loss challenge group, I really do ponder some decisions I make - and almost always for the better.10
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