Less Alcohol - December 2018 - One Day at a Time

Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
Join us in drinking less (whatever that means for you) one day at a time as we continue to support and learn from each other.


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!

  • 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.


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.
A Sharing Site for Women:

General Information/Blog Sites:

Sobriety Blog:

The Thirty Day Experiment:

Ten Things That Helped Me Quit Booze:

The Neuroscience Behind How We Make Decisions:

Summary of Book on Addiction:

Article on the Difference Between Being an Alcoholic and Really Liking to Drink:

To the Mom questioning her drinking habits:

Guided Meditations:

Overnight Cold Brew Iced Tea:

Mocktail Recipes:

  • 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

  • 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


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 (compiled by @NovusDies ; revised 30 Aug 2018 by Orphia)



  • htimpaired
    htimpaired Posts: 1,404 Member
    I have looked for the third app on the list, Sobriety Counter, but can't find one specifically with that name, just a few various versions. Do you know if it still exists or am I looking wrong?
  • Will_Run_for_Food
    Will_Run_for_Food Posts: 561 Member
    Looking forward to this! December goal: to have at least 15 totally AF days. November started off great, but teetered off a little (so to speak) towards the end of the month. As long as we keep getting back up and trying...
  • Sh0rtStak
    Sh0rtStak Posts: 4 Member
    I'm looking forward to this as well. I'm going to try to cut out drinking during the work-week.
  • Orphia
    Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
    htimpaired wrote: »
    I have looked for the third app on the list, Sobriety Counter, but can't find one specifically with that name, just a few various versions. Do you know if it still exists or am I looking wrong?

    Here you go:



    I've been using the Nomo app, and it tells me today I'm up to 301 days AF, having saved $1,724.34 since Feb 1 (@ $40 per week I used to spend on alcohol).

    Feeling fab!
  • MissMay
    MissMay Posts: 3,586 Member
    edited November 2018
    Count me in for month 12 of accountability.
    This has been a life style change for me, not another wasted new years resolution.
    MYFITNESSPAL tells me this today with 309 days checking in here, listening to everyones journey and sharing my own.

    WELCOME all new comers and past participants as always.
  • MissMay
    MissMay Posts: 3,586 Member
    wigi41 wrote: »
    All that to say, I’m in for December too- and continue to be thankful for this thread that has been such a significant part of my journey this year!

    That is an incredibly happy story. Almost parallel to mine. So great to hear from you again and knowing your doing so well. 💜
  • Orphia
    Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
    What are everyone's plans to end 2018 feeling good?
  • MissMay
    MissMay Posts: 3,586 Member
    edited November 2018
    Orphia wrote: »
    What are everyone's plans to end 2018 feeling good?

    To feel good at the end of 2018 I am going to calculate how much money I have saved by not buying as much alcohol as I had in the past. CHA CHING!
  • SanDiegofitmom
    SanDiegofitmom Posts: 303 Member
    Mine is to keep tracking my food, fitness and wine and to not just let it go because of the season. No excuses! But still eat cookies lol
  • Orphia
    Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
    MissMay wrote: »
    Orphia wrote: »
    What are everyone's plans to end 2018 feeling good?

    To feel good at the end of 2018 I am going to calculate how much money I have saved by not buying as much alcohol as I had in the past. CHA CHING!

    Haha, awesome!!

    Mine is to keep tracking my food, fitness and wine and to not just let it go because of the season. No excuses! But still eat cookies lol

    Oh, yes, love it!!
  • MissMay
    MissMay Posts: 3,586 Member
    @rainndogmaa congrats on 82 days! Good idea giving those wine bottles away. I am pretty sure you can get out of that wine club even if you are on auto pay.
    Sorry to hear of your fatty liver. Milk thistle capsules taken daily help repair the liver just in case no doc has told you.
    So glad you made it to December thread.
  • whitpauly
    whitpauly Posts: 1,483 Member
    I'm in for December,I had a completely AF November,yay! Want the same this month cuz last year I spent the whole week of Christmas drunk,yikes
  • dawnbgethealthy
    dawnbgethealthy Posts: 7,702 Member
    I started on mfp Oct 27.18. I found that I had drinks (never more than 3) every day since May 27.18 and had gained 40 pounds! Extra calories, plus bad food choices once alcohol was consumed. Upon starting mfp I made a goal to go alcohol free 2 days the first week. It was hard! I did it. Then the next week I wanted to go 3 days alcohol free. Then 4, then 5. This week I was 4 days alcohol free. I am pledging to go 5 days this coming week starting tomorrow.
    It is great reading everything above. Yes, drinks with certain friends is always about drinks and little else.
    I am a cocktail maker, and pride myself on yummy concoctions. This time of year it is about hot alcohol drinks (coffee, tea, hot chocolate.)
    Like with food, I do not want to deprive myself of anything, I have learned that this is a recipe for disaster. For now I want to limit it to 4 or 5 days per week alcohol free. I definitely see a difference on the scale and how I feel the next day.
    Today was not alcohol free. I had some lovely Tempranillo red from Spain. I really enjoyed the taste mixed with some Oka cheese. I enjoyed the lovely feeling.
    All things in moderation.
    Joining this post will keep me accountable to limit consumption to 2 or 3 days per week.
    I am glad that it is no longer a 7-day a week get fat habit.
    Going for no alcohol from Sunday Dec 02.18 - Friday Dec 07.18
  • MissMay
    MissMay Posts: 3,586 Member
    @whitpauly that is such a great accomplishment to be alcohol free all of November. We are pleased to have you back in for December.

    @dawnbgethealthy welcome to the less alcohol thread. You have a wonderful grasp on cutting back. I took that approach as well, adding one more day either weekly or after each drink day restart. After a while you will not even realise you are keeping count.
    Yes there are so many tasty and cozy drinks that are comforting this time of year aren't there? I put up our Christmas tree last night and for a minute thought a hot toddie would chime in perfectly.. But then decided hot green tea with honey and lemon would help me complete the job and I would not wake up to a tree disaster in the morning.

    If ever there was a time of year that triggered over drinking this is the month. My DH and I saw it already in a small local pizza joint in town. Specialty holiday shots were being created and offered at a ridiculously low price. It was horrifying to watch the younger age group have 3, 4, 5 shots each without even thinking. And still be ordering thier regular beers and cocktails to chase the shots.
    By just looking in our local newspaper the other night 3/4 of the arrests in our little town were DWI related. Alcohol is not worth losing your drivers license.

    Everyone has a successful first week of December.
  • MissMay
    MissMay Posts: 3,586 Member
    Magnificent Monday to everyone.

    How was your first weekend in December? Mine was water, coffee, iced tea and hot tea. Off to a good start.

    Now to stay away from that eggnog ( alcohol and non alcohol both pack on the calories)

    Any small victories to share?