Alcohol had to go

I don't know why it took me so long to take alcohol completely out of the equation... I now realize it was the main obstacle to transforming my body. I have dieted, counted, done workout program after workout program... I've never been able to stick to it completely. I've struggled to limit my calories to fit my goals, despite eating an incredibly well-balanced diet other than the alcohol. I've had a suspicion that it was alcohol that was sinking me for a long time... But it just seemed sad to me to give up that part of my life. My husband and I are kind of wine and beer snobs. We would have something with dinner, include alcohol in our celebrations, etc. But when I chose to limit alcohol to what would fit in my daily calorie intake, it never really worked. I'd budget for that glass of wine but end up drinking two. Or that beer at the restaurant would make the cheese curds call my name... Or I'd resolve to have only 3 drinks a week and every week would end up being an "exception" because you can always find special circumstances when you're looking for them. I finally decided to cut it out, completely, for six months (I've taken a month off here or there, but always resumed old habits after). Now I've been dry for about 6 weeks and down about 10 pounds in that time. I feel so good and am fully committed to staying dry for 6 months before reevaluating. I'm not saying everyone needs to cut out alcohol, because not everyone falls on the "problem drinker" spectrum as I'm sure that I do. But here are all the ways it has helped me finally turn things around in the right direction:

1. I get to eat all of my calories since I'm not drinking any.
2. Alcohol makes me want more alcohol.
3. Alcohol makes me make bad food choices.
3. Even one drink at night makes me feel less like working out in the morning
4. It's no fun to splurge on alcohol and have to skip dessert.
5. This is ACTUALLY WORKING, while nothing else has.

I am not sure whether or not at the end of 6 months, if I've reached the weight and shape I want to maintain, I will try to incorporate the celebratory glass of wine or special occasion beer tasting. It could work, perhaps. But what I know now is this DOES work for me. I feel better than I did while drinking and I feel happier.
«1

Replies

  • dragon_girl26
    dragon_girl26 Posts: 2,185 Member
    I love my occasional glass of wine or beer, but I find I don't want to drink nearly as much as I used to. It's kind of a trigger for me, anyway, since I start binge eating when I drink too much. It's not the reason I didn't lose weight, but by cutting down the amount I drank, I cut calories not only from that, but the binges as well.
  • emilysusana
    emilysusana Posts: 416 Member
    Good talk. This is my latest and last struggle.. my situation mirrors yours.. My husband and I enjoy our cocktail hour. fine wine, champagne.. you name it. The past few weeks I've cut down considerably.. and just trying to make the leap to not drink at all during the week. It is hard when you associate a glass of wine with your husband as a nice start to the evening at home. It is just breaking that habit.

    Right, for me, too, alcohol was the cue for my body to start relaxing... For so long, giving that up sounded like a lifestyle choice that would make me miserable. But I've realized it was just an association, a cue... It just had to be broken. Now, after we get the kids to bed, I grab some sparkling water and maybe some slow churned ice cream or popcorn, and there I am, relaxing.

    I thought I would really miss it, but seeing these results and realizing that I fell substantively better (physically, and and mentally), is a new feeling filling that void. I set my 100% non-negotiable dry period to 6 months purposely because it include the holidays. I will think long and hard about whether I can make a small place for alcohol in my life, and in what capacity, after that.
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,974 Member
    I've pretty much alcohol free for the past 5 months but had 2 beers at a food festival this past weekend. Had to row 20 mins when I got home to offset the approx 240 empty cals consumed.

    Lesson learned: The less I drink, the less I have to workout to pay for it later.
  • ahoy_m8
    ahoy_m8 Posts: 2,923 Member
    Thanks for posting, OP. Your insight is really timely for our household, and I appreciate it.

    DH and I have a pattern like you described. I don't drink during the week (he does), but it's not Friday if we're not shaking up something to kick off the weekend. It's that "relaxing cue"--so well said. Anyhoo, DH decided to cut all alcohol for a month, spurred by a medication he is starting short term. I know how hard it is to abstain when a spouse is enjoying a glass of something (since he mercilessly tried to get me to "start the weekend early" when I quit drinking weeknights--grrr), so in solidarity (unreciprocated, I might add ;) ) I've cut it too. We're interested in exploring ways to reframe that sense of occasion that a drink signals for us and to change our pattern long term. I've quit alcohol for 6 weeks (Lent) a couple times, but I never had a goal of a long term pattern change. Those years I probably hit it pretty hard when Lent ended, TBH.

    It's encouraging to hear how others made the change and that "filling the void" worked out to be more satisfying.
  • violamegan
    violamegan Posts: 3 Member
    So great! This gives me a lot of hope and encouragement. I've been alcohol free for two weeks now and haven't seen the scale go down yet. Wondering if your body went through the same thing? Did you start losing right away?
  • jo_nz
    jo_nz Posts: 595 Member
    My DH and I have generally replaced our evening glass (or two) of wine with tea drinking. We bought a new teapot and tried several different kinds of tea.
    The other upside is that having a hot drink curbs my need for evening snacks (mostly).

    We are heading into summer here so I am not sure how that will carry on (might have to try some iced teas), but it has been great for us.
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,974 Member
    Use to drink 2-3 sodas AND 2-3 beers a day. Lost weight quickly just by cutting that out.

    Still have an occasional glass of wine or beer but totally eliminated sodas. Otherwise, I just drink water when thirsty (or w/meals, which substantially reduces the bill).
  • Rocknut53
    Rocknut53 Posts: 1,795 Member
    I cut out alcohol as well. There is info on here about alcohol and how it messes with weight loss. In addition to the empty calories, because your body can't store alcohol it will metabolize it before anything else. Knowing that made it easy for me to forego my beer and wine.
  • Queenmunchy
    Queenmunchy Posts: 3,380 Member
    I recently cut alcohol too, but my husband hasn't. I'm back in the gym because I have more time to spare, and I'm running around to places nonstop just because I'm trying to kill time.

    I absolutely need to find another outlet or hobby.
  • SisterSueGetsFit
    SisterSueGetsFit Posts: 1,201 Member
    I too have cut out booze. I had originally quit for 10 weeks at the beginning of the year and lost about 25 pounds in that time. Recently I noticed I've been drinking too much again and plateauing in my weight loss. My plan is to abstain completely except for possibly a few glasses of wine on Christmas and Thanksgiving. I will then participate in dry January for the second year in a row. Good luck, if it's easier!
  • spikeygirl19
    spikeygirl19 Posts: 2 Member
    This is so motivating, thanks!
  • kimm40p
    kimm40p Posts: 15 Member
    Boost.
  • Sabine_Stroehm
    Sabine_Stroehm Posts: 19,270 Member
    Tagging to follow. You guys are awesome.
  • aimeelee76
    aimeelee76 Posts: 38 Member
    I'm so glad I'm not alone! I love wine too and my hubby and I always have drinks. I did not have any during the week this week. Giving that up then gonna give it up on the weekends. I hope I see a change in my weight loss as well by doing that. Reading everyone's stories are inspiring.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 26,135 Member
    ...

    1. I get to eat all of my calories since I'm not drinking any.
    2. Alcohol makes me want more alcohol.
    3. Alcohol makes me make bad food choices.
    3. Even one drink at night makes me feel less like working out in the morning
    4. It's no fun to splurge on alcohol and have to skip dessert.
    5. This is ACTUALLY WORKING, while nothing else has.

    I am not sure whether or not at the end of 6 months, if I've reached the weight and shape I want to maintain, I will try to incorporate the celebratory glass of wine or special occasion beer tasting. It could work, perhaps. But what I know now is this DOES work for me. I feel better than I did while drinking and I feel happier.

    I could have written your 1-5!

    I do have the occasional glass of wine, once a month or so.