I love to go out to the local watering holes with my friends during the week. It gives me a chance to unwind, be sociable, and forget the stresses of the day. However, I have begun to notice that the more I went out during the week, the more my weight would fluctuate up to 3 extra pounds. It is no new thing that alcohol is linked to weight gain. But what I tended to forget and often ignore is that alcohol consumption is more closely linked to overeating. Hence the extra pounds I was putting on after a night of drinking. Since alcohol does lower inhibitions, I would find myself saying yes to half a plate of nachos even after I had dinner just a couple hours before. On average, I wager I was taking in an extra 600 to 1000 calories a night just by having a few “girly” drinks filled with sugar and then sharing some munchies with my buds. And I would pay for it in the morning. Not in the hangover sense but on the scales.
Therefore, I decided to make a change for this month. I miniature detox, if you will. I gave up drinking for the month of June. I have told a few of my friends and acquaintances this and they seem a little shocked by the news. I think the first thing that comes to their mind is that I must have a serious drinking problem and I am going cold turkey in a self-imposed rehab. I know this is going to be surprising because I am Irish but that conclusion is really not it at all. I want to take better care of myself is all, lose those last few pounds that have been haunting me, and give my liver a rest.
My success has been great, and I must say that I don’t have to have a drink to have a good time. I actually had a fabulous time the other night just hanging out with my friends at karaoke, sipping on a diet coke. Was it glamorous? Nah, but I have already noticed some changes since I had my last glass of wine Friday night. I wake up easier, I feel less bloated, my weight fluctuates closer to about .3 pounds as opposed to 1 to 3 pounds. I am even noticing my memory during daily activities is a lot more sharp. What I am hoping to gain from this is a little more respect for myself as well as a feeling of empowerment. Whenever July comes around, I might have a glass of wine or a cider while out but I won’t feel compelled to do it everyday just to unwind. Speaking of, now that I have tossed the coming home and having a glass of wine to relax bit out the window for the time being, I am actually able to sleep in a little more in the mornings and tackle my daily workout routine in the afternoon when my body is more warm and I have more energy. It’s really nice, and has proven to be a better way of reducing stress. Plus my legs are looking really awesome now that they’re not bloated. I feel like a rock star.
As the next 26 days pass, it’s going to be fun to see what other health benefits come from this new adventure I’m on. Care to join me? Ask yourself what is one thing that is holding me back from my fitness goals and then just change that one thing. I was originally going to do straight water for a month but I am too addicted to coffee to do that. Maybe I will be able to add that in once I feel my day to day isn’t going to give me a headache on top of the headache I will get from coming off the caffeine.
What would you give up to have a healthier life?