5 Things I Learned From Giving Up Alcohol for a Month

My month of me seems to have translated into a month without blogging along with the no running and no drinking thing - oops! 

But now that I'm on the other side of 28 days, I wanted to check in with a recap of the top 5 lessons I learned while going 28 days without drinking. To quickly answer a few of the burning questions: 

  • Did you cheat at all? Nope, not even one rogue sip. 
  • Did you lose weight? No, in fact I probably gained some since I've been working out a lot less and was traveling for work for 2 weeks and eating out constantly. Losing weight was never one of the reasons I wanted to do this in the first place.
  • Was it hard? The biggest surprise of all was that, nope, it really wasn't difficult AT ALL. I can count on one hand the number of times I even came close to cheating.

Here are the top 5 things I took away from 28 days without drinking. 

5 Things I Learned from Giving Up Alcohol for a Month

1. Removing "Happy Hour" from your list of potential plans with friends challenges you to find other activities that you might normally miss out on. 

Alcohol Free Month

I'll be writing an entire post about all the things I've been up to - including a computer coding class, Broadway musical and sushi making class! 

I live in New York City, I travel constantly for work - there's a great big world out there and yes I love my favorite bars as much as the next twenty-something but there's so much more I want to learn and experience other than every citrus-y IPA (but I do want to try them all, eventually...)

When I texted my friends some of the things I wanted to check out - they were quick to say HELL YEAH and even thanked me for planning some out of the ordinary weeknight activities. 

2. No one cares. Seriously. 

Alcohol Free Month

If you surround yourself with somewhat decent people - they aren't going to sit there and try to force you to drink if you decide to pass. Sure they might joke or ask if you're sure, or purposely order your favorite drink off the menu - but they aren't going to sit there and be upset that you aren't drinking. Ain't nobody got time for that.

The only issue I had was convincing the people I was with that they SHOULD drink. I didn't want to put a damper on anyone's night just because I was choosing to sip on Pellegrino (I drank SO much sparkling water this month!) 

3. It didn't make me a homebody. 

I was still social, still enjoyed dinners out with people during my work trips, and still stayed long after the table was cleared watching games and talking - again, drinking lots and lots of water. 

4. I give alcohol too much credit. 

Month of Me!

I had been under the false assumption that alcohol made me more fun, more social, more silly, etc. But I am still all of those things around the people I'm comfortable with - alcohol or no alcohol. At my college roommate's wedding, I was still one of the first ones from our group to get up and out on the dance floor and I was still one of the last to fall asleep because my friend and I were too busy rapping Hamilton to say goodnight. 

5. There's no " easy" month to cut alcohol out of your life. 

Month of Me

I said this in my last post - but, seriously. If it's something you've wanted to do - just do it. There's always going to be a happy hour or a party or a dinner that you're going to want to order a drink at. But I swear, it's not that hard to just be like, "NAH, I'm trying this thing and I really want to stick to it." 

If you want to do it, there's no day like today!

Final Thoughts:

What made it doable for me was the fact that I knew I was serious about it, I let the entire internet know about it (accountability at its best) and most importantly - the reasons behind it were genuine and important to me. 

I didn't go a month without drinking to lose weight, which is what most people assumed. I did it to make room for things that are more important to me and to prove to myself that I could. SURPRISE! I'm a pretty great, well-rounded individual with lots of interests and passions and the fact that I love margaritas and IPAs is really not what make me, me. 

I was honestly shocked at how easy it was, and while I did have an amazing boozy brunch to break the 28 days, I now also have a huge list of non-drinking-activities I plan to do this summer and I'm so excited! Rock-climbing, kayaking, maybe some trapeze? Continuing with computer coding classes, maybe an Excel class? And who wants to come make dumplings with me!? Walking photography tour of a neighborhood? Queens food exploring? Long bike rides! 

K and summer Friday happy hours - there will definitely be some of those, too.