Less Alcohol - September 2018 - One Day at a Time

Orphia
Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
MFP LESS ALCOHOL ONE DAY AT A TIME
RESOURCE & GENERAL INFORMATION LIST

Remember that we are here for you and care about you. Check in with us when you have time and let us know what you need!

USING OUR THREAD:
  • Join us at any time - this is a day to day challenge.
  • Set your own goal - this thread is about drinking less and you decide what that means to you.
  • There are no scheduled check-ins - post as often or as little as you want or need.
  • AF is an acronym for Alcohol Free. For others commonly used on this site see - https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/1069278/acronyms-and-terms-for-new-mfp-members-v-6/p1
  • To follow this thread easily, bookmark it by clicking on the star at the top right of this thread.

TIPS & OBSERVATIONS FROM OUR MEMBERS:

Getting Started or Starting Over - The Early Days
  • Some people find it easier to set small attainable goals at the beginning to help boost confidence.
  • If you have been drinking daily the first days will be some of the hardest and drinking again will feel like a cure but it delays the relief that only time can provide.
  • There will always be a reason to delay the start/restart of your journey.
  • For those ready to commit to being alcohol-free permanently, the videos on YouTube by Craig Beck will help. He also has a program you can join.
  • You may experience mood swings and anxiety during your first two weeks. It is suggested you try and focus on the benefits of your goal.
  • Cravings are said to last only 6 minutes, so find something to distract you like arming yourself with alternatives: tea, mocktails, activities, etc.
  • You may find that filling the time you drink with other activities like exercise or hobbies can be a helpful distraction.
  • If you find them tempting try and avoid events/outings that will have drinking for a time.
  • Don't let pride or shame keep you from asking for the help you need.
  • Sometimes talking it out or posting your thoughts/feelings/struggles may help you work things out for yourself.
  • It is okay that you don't always have all the answers.
  • Some days will be easier than others.
  • You may have initial/increased sugar cravings.
  • You should never take a day that you have lived up to your goals for granted.
  • Celebrate the smaller victories too. Less alcohol is still less alcohol even if your goal was zero at that moment.
  • Once you begin sticking to your goals for one day to many days you should believe you are capable of the same and more because you are.
  • Annie Grace (This Naked Mind author) has a free program on her website (https://www.alcoholexperiment.com/) called the 30 day experiment which can be joined anonymously.
  • Failure is not giving in and drinking. Failure is to stop trying to accomplish your goals.

Life with Less Alcohol
  • It can be helpful to educate yourself with books and web research (Some suggested books and links listed below).
  • There is no benefit to comparing yourself to others because this is a personal journey.
  • You may often feel conflicted. You will know that there are numerous real benefits to sticking to your goal while at the same time think that alcohol is an important part of stress relief, relaxation, celebration, etc.
  • You may feel punished by not drinking or drinking less but that feeling usually fades with time.
  • Sometimes drinking less or quitting will strain friendships that centered around alcohol.
  • Having a list of reasons to stick to your goals handy for yourself can be helpful. Some lists have included remembering how bad it feels to have a hangover, excess/unwanted calories, having a racing heart during the night, sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression.
  • It is a good idea to have a plan for how you might deal with various tempting scenarios before engaging in a social situation.
  • Self-Reflection is an important part of the journey. Once we figure out why we drink we can hopefully use that information to form new habits and make better and more mindful decisions.
  • Sometimes doing something nice for yourself like a little reward for a success makes the journey easier.
  • You will see many helpful suggestions and ideas that work for some people. However, finding what tactics work for you may involve some trial and error.
  • It is not uncommon for certain activities that were once combined with alcohol to trigger temptation. Many have said that outdoor activities in warmer weather made alcohol very tempting.
  • Many that have spent time with no alcohol after drinking again realized that it doesn't enhance experiences like they once believed it did. Some have said they no longer like the taste.
  • Don't forget how sticking to your goal has made your life better and remember it to motivate you again if you fall off your path.
  • If you begin drinking daily again whether planned like a vacation or unplanned you may once again face a struggle to get it under control.
  • For some people it is easier to not drink than it is to moderate drinking. Others have found moderating impossible.

Reported Benefits of Less or No Drinking: (Results may be incremental, and/or they may vary)
  • Improved sleep after 2,4,7,10,& 60 days
  • Improved skin/complexion after 10 days
  • Improved ease in weight loss. Not only from the savings of alcohol calories but some report making poor food choices after drinking.
  • Increased energy after as few as 2 days
  • Increase in other fun activities. Some have found that daily drinking became their main recreational activity and their world was decreased in size.
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduction of high blood pressure
  • Lower resting heart rate
  • Less Acid Reflux
  • Significant financial savings
  • Better relationships with family

When Alcohol Is Used for Avoidance by @Orphia:
  • We drink to ease the stress of the working day, to avoid it.
  • We drink to avoid anxiety in social situations.
  • We drink to avoid making decisions about not drinking.
The Takeaway on Avoidance:
  • Our problems don't go away if we avoid them. We need to learn to face them.
  • I've learned that not drinking makes the problems often go away (e.g. drinking out of worry about drinking).
  • Having a clear head makes our problems seem much smaller.
  • Having a clear head makes problems easier to solve.

How to Be Kind to "Tomorrow You" by @Orphia
  • Instead of lumbering myself with guilt, headaches, and poor nutrition hangovers in the morning, I think of think how nice it would be not to feel that way tomorrow.
  • I worry about "me" and don't want "Tomorrow Me" to feel awful.
  • Instead of thinking alcohol is something nice to have *now*, think of *NOT drinking* as something nice we can do for the person we are when we awaken in the morning.
  • Do you bank calories for a festive occasion? (Handy tactic, I might add.)
  • We can bank a good mood for when we wake up.
  • We need to have sympathy for "Tomorrow You" and be kind to her/him.
  • Don't look at a day without alcohol as a punishment for being bad or having no willpower.
  • Not drinking is a lovely, sympathetic gesture towards the person we are now, and whom we will wake up as.
  • You’d be kind to a stranger. Be kind to Tomorrow You.
LINKS:
A Sharing Site for Women:
http://www.drinkingdiaries.com/about/

General Information/Blog Sites:
https://thesoberschool.com/
http://www.hipsobriety.com/
https://joinclubsoda.co.uk/
https://thisnakedmind.com/blog/
https://alcoholmastery.com/blog/

Sobriety Blog:
http://mummywasasecretdrinker.blogspot.com/

The Thirty Day Experiment:
https://www.alcoholexperiment.com/

Ten Things That Helped Me Quit Booze:
https://unpickledblog.com/2017/01/04/replacement-behaviours-ten-things-that-helped-me-kick-booze/?wref=tp

The Neuroscience Behind How We Make Decisions:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201505/the-neuroscience-making-decision

Summary of Book on Addiction:
https://drgabormate.com/book/in-the-realm-of-hungry-ghosts/

Article on the Difference Between Being an Alcoholic and Really Liking to Drink:
https://www.self.com/story/alcoholic-or-just-really-like-to-drink

To the Mom questioning her drinking habits:
http://www.scarymommy.com/questioning-drinking-habits/

Guided Meditations:
http://marc.ucla.edu/mindful-meditations

ALTERNATIVE DRINKS:
Overnight Cold Brew Iced Tea:
https://www.splendidtable.org/story/you-can-cold-brew-iced-tea-while-you-sleep

Mocktail Recipes:
https://www.allrecipes.com/recipes/1822/drinks/mocktails/
https://www.foodandwine.com/cocktails-spirits/mocktails
https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/drinks/how-to/g785/best-mocktail-recipes/

APPS:
  • Dry January & Beyond - The Dry January & Beyond app is for those who want to cut down or cut out the booze throughout the year, while seeing the impact it has on your health and wallet.
  • nomo - Sobriety Clocks - In addition to an alcohol clock and monetary savings this app lets you check in and do a sobriety exercise if you're tempted, and connect with accountability partners.
  • Sobriety Counter - Stop Drinking (Sobriety Counter - EasyQuit pro version) - Provides health stats, money saved, games to distract you, motivational tips, and several other features

BOOKS:
  • The Naked Mind by Annie Grace
  • Alcohol Lied to Me by Craig Beck
  • Rational Recovery by Jack Trimpey
  • The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray
  • The Liars Club, Cherry, and Lit by Mary Karr (3 different publications)
  • Kick the Drink...Easily by Jason Vale
  • Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp
  • Being Sober: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting To, Getting Through, and Living in Recovery by Harry Haroutunian
  • The Easy, Illustrated Way to Quit Drinking by Alan Carr
  • Alcohol Explained by William Porter
VIDEOS:






Credit and Thanks to the MFP Less Alcohol One Day at a Time participants for their willingness to share their insights and resourcefulness in finding this information.




MFPLARD 07.28.18 Version 2.0 (revised 30 Aug 2018 by Orphia)



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Replies

  • Gingergal12
    Gingergal12 Posts: 64 Member
    Thank you for continuing this thread into September. The information page at the beginning of each month is so helpful. I refer to it often during the month. Once again I am still planning a mindful moderation month. AF Sunday-Thursday, limit 2 Friday and Saturday.
  • KKHKISHZKH
    KKHKISHZKH Posts: 179 Member
    I'm in. I've had a bit of a booze-heavy August so i'm aiming to cut right back for a while. Preferably none in sept.
  • Orphia
    Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
    Welcome, @Gingergal12 and @KKHKISHZKH

    Nice to know the combined insights from our thread's community are still helping people, as they do me.

    Every time I go back, I've changed a bit, and different things seem new.
  • USCBMOM22
    USCBMOM22 Posts: 31 Member
    I'm so glad I found this thread. @Orphia thank you for continuing this into September. I love that everyone seems to get the support and motivation they need here even though they each may have different goals.
  • Orphia
    Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
    @pudgy1977 That's fine! We're all here to help somebody in some way, even if it's just ourselves at first.

    @FeelinFooFoo Hugs! Good luck making the call.

    It took courage to admit you need help. I tagged you so you are reminded of that courage.
  • suibhan6
    suibhan6 Posts: 81 Member
    I'm in.
  • MissMay
    MissMay Posts: 3,095 Member
    Back again for month 9.
    Such a huge support system for cutting down on alcohol.
  • karenesg
    karenesg Posts: 318 Member
    Back for September. .. still teetering betwwen moderation & abstinence.

    Wishing the best to everyone here in reaching their goals, and learning & growing from their struggles and successes. We can do it together!

    <3
  • mef1107
    mef1107 Posts: 21 Member
    I'm back for September.... 15 Alcohol Free days in August. How is everyone else doing?
  • Orphia
    Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
    @FeelinFooFoo Yay! You made the call!! Awesomeness. And you've made plans! Happy Day 1 of Less Alcohol!

    @KKHKISHZKH Happy Day 1 AF!

    @whitpauly Yay for day 60!
  • RubyRed427
    RubyRed427 Posts: 3,812 Member
    Hi friends, day 42 for me. Feeling better overall- mind body and soul. The only small issue is I've been staying home a lot. Friends haven't been calling to go out like we used to. Either they're being respectful of my abstinence or maybe they've found other party friends (I knew I wasn't the center of the universe 😜) or a little bit of both. Nonetheless, I have established new healthy habits and I'm sure the rest will fall in line. Xo
  • whitpauly
    whitpauly Posts: 1,483 Member
    @RubyRed427, I've been a homebody too but then I drank at home too so no difference except I'm sober,,just gotta make sure I don't get bored cuz then thoughts "go there" my coworker had to leave work today cuz she was so HUNGOVER! Honestly she looked awful,so great not to hafta deal with that feeling,,gross