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Less Alcohol ~ JUNE 2021 ~ One Day At A Time

MissMayMissMay Member Posts: 2,450 Member Member Posts: 2,450 Member
~THIS IS A MONTHLY CONTINUING THREAD THAT HAS BEEN ACTIVE SINCE AS FAR BACK AS 2017. ALL WELCOME ~

Do you want to drink LESS?

Do it because it's a lovely thing to do for yourself!

I bet that thinking a day off is a sort of punishment and hasn't been working.

Be kind to the person you will wake up as.

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.

▪MFP LESS ALCOHOL ONE DAY AT A TIME RESOURCE & GENERAL INFORMATION LIST▪

USING THIS THREAD:
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•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.
•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!

TIPS & OBSERVATIONS FROM OUR USERS:
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•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, mock-tails, 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.
•Failure is not giving in and drinking. Failure is to stop trying to accomplish your goals.
•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.

Life with Less Alcohol:
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•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)
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•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 Re-flux
•Significant financial savings
•More creativity
•More productivity
•Better relationships with family

When Alcohol Is Used for Avoidance:
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•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.
•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":
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•Instead of lumbering with guilt, headaches, and poor nutrition hangovers in the morning, Think of think how nice it would be not to feel that way tomorrow.
•Worry about "me" and don't let "tomorrow Me" 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) 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:
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•Mydrinkaware:
https://www.mydrinkaware.co.uk

•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:
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•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:
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•Daybreak iOS link. A Deakin University study of hundreds of health apps found that Daybreak is one of only four that have proven effective and provide quality assistance.
•Dry Days by AlcoChange iOS 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 iOS - 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) Android- Provides health stats, money saved, games to distract you, motivational tips, and several other features

BOOKS:
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•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
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Replies

  • chocolate_owlchocolate_owl Member Posts: 1,692 Member Member Posts: 1,692 Member
    I just finished reading this (lengthy) article. It's fascinating. It's a great deep dive into why we drink: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/07/america-drinking-alone-problem/619017/
  • Lilylady3kLilylady3k Member, Premium Posts: 1,650 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,650 Member
    Kicking off June AF this evening! DH had a beer then whiskey & coke but I decided to stick with Lemon LaCroix.
    When I looked ahead there were so many already planned indulgences. I need to get a few AF up front this month.

    @chocolate_owl - I read the same article earlier this evening too!!!! It was quite interesting and enlightening.
  • globalhikerglobalhiker Member Posts: 946 Member Member Posts: 946 Member
    @chocolate_owl darn, I'm still at 32% body fat....meh....but you know how it goes, usually 3-4 weeks go by then suddenly you're 5 lbs less. Just gotta keep going...lotsa patience..lotsa moving...lotsa AF days....

    Welcome back Tesha231!

    This month I am focusing on rewarding myself weekly, helps to get rid of that feeling of being deprived. And working on my stress management, slowing down the workload speed, setting limits, scheduling breaks. If I can nail this one, I won't be snacking on chocolates (my favorite wine substitute as MissMay knows) at the end of the day.
  • chocolate_owlchocolate_owl Member Posts: 1,692 Member Member Posts: 1,692 Member
    6/1 - AF, 9 miles. Starting off right!

    @lmlmrn There is no running for me yet, haha. My 6 month post-op follow-up is the first week of July, so they'll let me know then if my fusion looks healed enough to safely run, and even then it might be too painful. This month I'm counting everything - all walking, all elliptical, if I decide to do a group fitness class I'll give myself 2 miles. 100 miles averages out to 3.33 miles per day, which shouldn't be too hard, but I've still been having days where I basically don't get out of bed because I hurt. I got a lot of miles in yesterday, but it will be a stretch for me to get 3 miles in today because of my work schedule. Basically I'm trying to motivate myself to move more on days I can move more.

    @Lilylady3k Are you feeling more inspired to only drink socially after reading that article? I think about all the times I drink alone (even if my husband is present, I'm not really socializing with him) - cooking, watching certain TV shows, reading a book on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Like clearly I shouldn't be drinking when I'm stressed or sad, but now I'm wondering about these good-mood activities. I'm also wondering if splitting a bottle of wine when husband and I are watching a movie instead of actively interacting is not serving alcohol's "purpose."

    @globalhiker So much patience required :D I'm aiming to move a lot more this month since that makes a huge difference. People love to say that you lose weight in the kitchen and you exercise for health, but my deficit is so tiny if I'm not moving a lot!

    @Womona yeah, I also want to avoid the "just because" weekday drinks. I've gotten a lot better at it, but I want to be rigorous about it this month. On vacation or meeting friends for dinner? Yeah, maybe a drink. Random Tuesday at home? No, absolutely not.

    @sarah7591 Idk if it helps to think about this process as pass/fail. I think that just gives you a reason to beat up on yourself, which is pretty demotivating. I always set lofty goals and I usually fall short, but I definitely drink less than I would if I wasn't here thinking about it and making an effort!
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