Less Alcohol ~ APRIL 2022 ~ One Day At A Time

MissMay
MissMay Posts: 3,038 Member
Do you want to drink LESS? Then join us in drinking LESS (whatever that means for you) as we continue to support and learn from each other.

■ LESS ALCOHOL RESOURCE & GENERAL INFORMATION LIST ■

USING THIS THREAD:
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•Join us at any time.
•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.
•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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•Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol
by Holly Whitaker
•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
~Established 2017~
«13456712

Replies

  • MissMay
    MissMay Posts: 3,038 Member
    This is no April Fools joke. We support each other daily here with their goal to drink LESS alcohol.

    Been thinking about how much your consuming and not happy about it? Then feel feel to join us in your quest.
  • Lilylady3k
    Lilylady3k Posts: 3,097 Member
    A peek into my personal less alcohol journey
    It is a work in progress since Dec 28, 2018 (FIRST AF day in 2018) when I decided to be accountable and not just drink mindlessly & excessively. Concerned about the label of alcoholic that I did not want to acquire like my grandmother that died of cirrhosis of the liver. Not only was drinking not good for my health but it derailed my weight loss efforts too.

    2018 Summary
    Dec - AF 4/31 (? drinks) Dec 28-31 when I started reporting in here

    2019 Summary
    Jan - AF 19/31 (27 drinks)
    Feb - AF 16/28 (23 drinks)
    Mar - AF 17/31 (27 drinks)
    Apr - AF 9/30 (45 drinks)
    May - AF 5/14 (17 drinks did not count drinks after 14th)
    Jun - AF 1/9 (20 drinks then did not finish tracking after the 9th)
    Jul-Aug - SKIPPED TRACKING
    Sept - AF 3/8 (12 drinks stopped tracking after the 8th)
    Oct-Dec SKIPPED TRACKING

    2020 Summary
    Jan - AF 22/31 (16 drinks)
    Feb - AF 12/29 (45 drinks)
    Mar - AF 6/18 (20+ drinks) then quit counting days & drinks
    Apr-July - SKIPPED COUNTING ALL TOGETHER … Few if any AF days
    Aug - AF 27/31 (9 drinks)
    Sept - AF 16/30 (30 drinks)
    Oct - AF 9/31 (41 drinks) Don't give up!
    Nov - AF 16/30 (35 drinks)
    Dec - AF 10/31 (44 drinks)
    DH joined me in Jan & Aug

    2021 Summary
    Jan - AF 9/31 days (37 drinks)
    Feb - AF 9/23 days (44 drinks)
    Mar - AF 4/31 days (54 drinks)
    Apr - AF 7/30 days (47 drinks)
    May - AF 13/31 days (43 drinks)
    June - AF 12/30 days ( 42 drinks)
    July - AF 13/31 (43 drinks)
    Aug - AF 18/31 (27 drinks)
    Sept - AF 13/30 (34 drinks)
    Oct - AF 8/31 (63 drinks) At least I didn’t give up and skip tracking while on 16 day road trip vacation
    Nov - AF 13/30 (38 drinks)
    Dec - AF 14/31 (38 drinks) … this is allowing for 2 glasses of wine on New Years Eve Dec 31st :)
    2022 Summary
    Jan - AF 11/31 days (42 drinks)
    Feb - AF 8/28 days (38 drinks)
    Mar - AF 17/31 days (29 drinks)
    DH joined me in Mar

    Looking forward to APRIL!!! Thank you @MissMay for getting us started on another month of accountability.

    Remember how hard it used to be? It's easier today than it was a year ago, and it will be a lot easier a year from today as long as I keep practicing my skills and don't give up.

    * Primary goal in 2022: Do not drink to excess when drinking. This is most important to me personally … don’t go over 2 drinks in a night.
    * Secondary goal this year: Strive for 12-16 AF days per month.
    * Monitoring: Aim to drink no more than 2 nights in a row.


  • Lilylady3k
    Lilylady3k Posts: 3,097 Member
    @MissMay - I checked out a couple of River Cruises in Europe this week looking for a new adventure. I noticed that some are now advertising cocktails & mocktails in addition to the regular beer and wine!
  • ducky133
    ducky133 Posts: 60 Member
    Thanks for the thread @MissMay. Happy to start a new month here. My goal is to reduce my drink portions and work some AF days into the mix this month. I would not want to pay the extra $$ for unlimited food and drink either. I would either feel like I should get my money's worth or like I wasted a lot of money. Good plan to find another place.
  • KNoceros
    KNoceros Posts: 316 Member
    edited April 1
    Signing up for April.
    Same goals as March:

    Minimum AF days / week
    Stay under 20 UK units / week.

    Last week managed 4 AF days and 18 units.
    This week not finished but I can’t drink at the weekend for work reasons, so it’s looking like 3 days AF and 19 units.
    Not too shabby.
  • globalhiker
    globalhiker Posts: 1,237 Member
    @twh601 welcome and I want to say many of us set goals of going AF for long stretches. It was the easiest way for me. I am leaning towards being mostly AF this month except for 4-5 days around the Easter holiday.
  • Lilylady3k
    Lilylady3k Posts: 3,097 Member
    ahoy_m8 wrote: »
    This is a Texas meme:
    Be like I35~ Keep working on yourself no matter how inconvenient it is for anyone else.

    @ahoy_m8 - LOVE this! LOL
  • dawnbgethealthy
    dawnbgethealthy Posts: 5,725 Member
    The last time I went to an all-inclusive it was Mexico. $700 per week including all food and beverages, 24/7. Good deal, fabulous room, ah-mazing food, lots of colourful cocktails, ridiculously good nightly shows, all sorts of fun fitness and salsa classes, and cultural things like learn Spanish .

    The hotel price list on the door was $423 per night! Fresh blended juices at breakfast (which would cost 10 bucks a pop if not on the all-inclusive. Honestly Mexican breakfast I feel like is the best breakfast.

    @MissMay
    Whatever you save in $$ by not going all-inclusive your DH will rack up by having to pay for drinks. Just saying.

    Looking forward to hearing about everybody's travel plans. Mine are on hold for now.
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 802 Member
    The last time I went to an all-inclusive it was Mexico. $700 per week including all food and beverages, 24/7. Good deal, fabulous room, ah-mazing food, lots of colourful cocktails, ridiculously good nightly shows, all sorts of fun fitness and salsa classes, and cultural things like learn Spanish .

    The hotel price list on the door was $423 per night! Fresh blended juices at breakfast (which would cost 10 bucks a pop if not on the all-inclusive. Honestly Mexican breakfast I feel like is the best breakfast.

    @MissMay
    Whatever you save in $$ by not going all-inclusive your DH will rack up by having to pay for drinks. Just saying.

    Looking forward to hearing about everybody's travel plans. Mine are on hold for now.

    I'm traveling out to a remote part of Canada this summer where drinking is very much part of the culture.

    Between the pandemic and living in a very mocktail-friendly city, it's now been 2 years since I was surrounded by drinking culture, so this will be interesting.
  • dawnbgethealthy
    dawnbgethealthy Posts: 5,725 Member
    My usual goal, 16-20AF days for the month. Diary style.
    I had 21AF days for March, but it was a longer month.

    Friday April 1st - Drinks. I hadn't planned on having any on the first day of the month. A friend that I hadn't seen since Covid was driving by as I was arriving home from work to start my days off. He said "let's go for a drink", so we did. I jumped in his car and we went to a place like 150 steps from my house lol. It was good to catch up, but honestly I had been having some work stress that after I jogged home came slamming back to me, alcohol may have exacerbated it, not sure. Contemplating a change. Saturday was my planned day with a small bottle of prosecco chilled in the fridge and a flute in the freezer to be frosty. We'll see whether I do or not.
  • MissMay
    MissMay Posts: 3,038 Member
    I see we all made it through April's Fools Day, I only got fooled once and it was harmless.

    Awe......yes, vacation planning.

    Good thing is @dawnbgethealthy I won't feel as if I am being responsible and supportive of my husband going over board with his drinking because I booked an all-inclusive. That is how my mind works.
    Plus separate charge cards and seperate bank accounts allow him to spend his $$ on booze if he wishes and me....well I will be spending my $$ on kayaking the Colorado River, helicopter tours through the Grand Canyon, Vegas shows, Fremont Street zipline, etc.

    Day one of any month is important for me to "attempt" to keep it AF

    AF - 1