What Happened When I (Reluctantly) Stopped Drinking

Nearly two months ago, I decided to stop drinking.

To be fair, I’d “considered” going dry dozens of times before (typically mid-hangover in my post-college years). I’d feel crappy after a few drinks, take a few hours to rebound, and then forget about it.

But recently, I wasn’t feeling too great after one drink, and a second would make me feeling horrible! I’m not sure what it is, or why it was happening, but I tried pretty hard to push it to the back of my mind. At this point, I considered myself to be a social, cocktail-or-two-with-my-dinner drinker, not a binge drinker! After a long day of work, for instance, I’d join my teammates for a drink at dinner or at the hotel bar—wouldn’t it it be weird to just…stop.

Besides, I like wine…and whiskey…and quite a few beers!

So when I started the Beach Body Fitness 80 Day Obsession program (which features a detailed nutrition plan) a few months ago, I was pretty excited when I didn’t see “no alcohol” specifically called out. Who says I can’t work out and enjoy life?! It’s not like a drank excessively anyway…

*cue the struggle*

Well, it didn’t take too long for me to recognize that drinking was definitely having an impact on my fitness goals, specifically my stamina and energy levels. I mean, it was really hard to wake up early to workout or push myself as hard as I’d like when I felt dehydrated and was still dealing the after effects of a few drinks.

So I decided I was done (for the most part) and cut alcohol out of my diet and my routine. It was as simple as deciding that my fitness goals were more important to me than my favorite drink
— goodbye Basil Hayden!

Anyway, since making the switch to a “dry” lifestyle (save for a glass of prosecco on my birthday and two whiskey-cranberries last weekend) I’ve surprised myself—and learned a lot! Here what happened:

At first…nothing!

I thought it’d be a tougher decision than it was. I thought I’d miss wine too much or feel too awkward to tell my coworkers or friends when we went out. I thought I’d be regretful about the timing of my choice (summer time is approaching, y’all)! But, to my surprise, none of that ever came.

I trusted myself, made a decision, and was just fine.

And then…

The cravings kicked in

Well, less like cravings, and more like an unconscious responses. I found myself at dinner, out with friends, or even watching late night TV on the couch and feeling like my drink was missing. Like I’d forgotten a crucial part of my routine.

I realized that I wasn’t accustomed to not having a drink in hand when I was relaxing or trying to de-stress. It made me question whether I’d been drinking out of habit or situational response, as opposed to an actual appetite for alcohol.

As time’s progressed, the urge to have a wine glass or collins glass in hand has definitely faded.

And because I held out…

Tummy on flat flat!

Now listen—I’ve been trying to find the secret to a sculpted midsection for YEARS now! I didn’t hit the genetic lottery like my sister did (she’s literally the poster girl for an effortless 6-pack) and, up until recently, I didn’t think my goals were realistic. I remember hearing that “abs are made in the kitchen,” but I’d considered myself to be a relatively healthy eater
— so what was the problem?

Fast forward to a few weeks without alcohol, and my body has started to transform. In concert with a consistent fitness routine, cutting out alcohol has absolutely lead to greater muscle definition. And while my physical fitness doesn’t reflect all aspects of my health, I absolutely believe I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in.

So what now…?

Let me start by being honest: There are definitely a few drinks in my future—hello bachelorette party and wedding weekend!

But, for me, day to day drinking is no longer in the picture. It’s only been a few weeks, but this shift has already contributed to me being a healthier, happier version of myself!


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