Here’s What Happens When You Go Alcohol Free

I’ve decided to challenge myself to do 90 days sober. Not one drop of alcohol for 3 months, and to make it a little bit harder, it is the summer months. I am on Day 11 so far but already my eyes have been opened in new and surprising ways.

On Tuesday this week, I was out late after work, visiting a family member. I had not eaten and was about to head into the journey home so I decided to stop off at McDonalds for a quick bite. This was not unusual for me. However this time I seemed to be far more aware of how it made me feel afterwards. I had a veggie deluxe burger + fries + diet coke. For the next 4 hours, my stomach felt bloated, heavy, full (not in a good way), a bit flabby and pudgy. I actually felt drained of energy rather than replenished. It left me feeling dreadful.

On Friday night, I had that end of work week feeling and did not fancy eating homemade, even though my wife had made a cracking stew and it was at home waiting for me. These are old triggers that I now recognise, but I didn’t at the time. So I went out and got some good ole fashioned fish n’ chips. For about 4 hours after consuming this meal, I felt awful. Some similar feelings to the McDonalds.

I came to the conclusion last night, that what I gain is far more than what I give up by not eating these types of “food” anymore. All I gained through both experiences was pain, discomfort, bloat, heaviness, weight, lethargy, apathy and laziness. If this was the menu, would you choose this food? Of course not, but what I now realise, is that I was making emotional decisions on both of these occasions. Emotional and also nostalgic decisions in a way.

So what has this got to do with giving up the booze? Well everything really. For me, alcohol was like a fog over how I see the world and an excuse for me to be my worst numbed out self. Now I am starting to see things for what they really are, not what I thought they were. I used to think fast food was like a reward after a hard week or a good night out. Fast food is terrible, it offers me nothing but downsides and it drains me of my energy. For me, it is DEAD. If it comes up again as a meal time option, I will remember these feelings and this post and will politely find a better option.

Since I have stopped drinking, I feel like I am way more tuned in to how particular foods are making me feel. Without the booze to mask their impact, there is no long grass left for these cr*p foods to hide in.

Some foods drain me (see above) while others feel really really good and energising (see the stew again). I have gained a level of clarity that just wasn’t there before and I am only on Day 11.

One thing I am conscious of now is that in the past where I have tried going off the booze, I disappeared off the social scene entirely. This time I am not. I am out to prove that I can go out, enjoy myself and have a laugh with my mates without knocking back countless pints and all the carnage that comes with this lifestyle. I am a better person without the booze, this much I know already.

Yours in health and happiness,