I stopped drinking alcohol over 6 months ago and this is what happened.
I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in over six months now.
Since I started drinking at the age of 18, I can’t remember the last time I went over a week without drinking. College normalized this and then working full-time (especially in marketing and sales) supported this behavior continuing.
Drinking became such an inherent part of my life that I didn’t even question why I was doing it.
For the last seven years, socializing has been equivalent to drinking. Need to celebrate finishing finals? Shots on me! Haven’t seen a friend in a year? Let’s go catch up over a drink. Nothing to do on a Friday night?
I know — let’s pick up a bottle of wine, drink it in my apartment and venture into the night. Almost every weekend involved some form of alcohol and it became part of the norm.
I was hurtling along on this trajectory when I had to finally take stock of my life and decide something needed to change. The few hours of drinking and socializing weren’t just that — my hangover the next day was taking away from my productivity and focus.
This April, following the principles of Ayurveda, I embarked on a 2-week Kitchari cleanse under the guidance of a practitioner. This meant a very strict vegetarian diet with no caffeine, no alcohol, no sugar, or processed food.
(There’s more to it but that’s a story for another time). I found it very easy to not have any alcohol in those 2 weeks to my surprise. I would still go along to events (some work-related) and politely decline the beers and order a herbal tea.
Now six months into not drinking, I can say it has been one of the best decisions of my life. Here are some of the things I noticed:
My health improved. A lot.
I lost five kilos (or 11 pounds for my American counterparts). Most of this extra weight came from my belly and I have found it much easier to add on muscle.
My training is much more productive. I do F45 4–5 times a week and practice yoga almost daily. I have noticed my endurance is much better and I can train harder for longer.
I have seen a dramatic improvement in my skin and my face has cleared up. Dare I say I am glowing?!
I sleep better.
No more waking up on Saturday at 11 am hungover and hating life. No more needing to “catch up on sleep” (which isn’t even possible.) Every day now (including the weekends) I wake up naturally at 5:30 am feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
More discipline, focus, and willpower.
I am more disciplined than I have ever been. Saying no to drinks has taught me to say no to other things that do not serve me or make me a better person.
Money saved = so much.
Not only was I paying for drinks but inevitably I would get hungry while out late and then buy food.
My decision to not drink anymore is serving me well and it is something I intend to keep up. Beyond my improved state of health and appearance, I now have more time to devote to my practice of yoga, for writing, reading, improving my marketing skills, early morning beach runs, and new ways of thinking to emerge.
It’s never too late to change anything that isn’t serving you. Waking up at 10 am with a raging headache and faint memories of the night before were not serving me.
Find what sets the fire inside of you and what makes you feel truly alive. For me its yoga and being in a state of flow. I needed to hit the brakes and change my trajectory.
Where is your trajectory taking you? Every day is another opportunity to change your life in whatever direction suits you best. Do something you always wanted to do — climb that mountain, take that acting class, write that novel burning inside of you.
You owe it to yourself.