What I’ve Learned from Not Drinking Alcohol for 60 Days

60 days ago to this day, I made a commitment to give up hangovers and not consume any alcohol at all for 90 days. Today marks the 60th day of this challenge and here is what I’ve learned so far.

My energy levels have increased significantly. Now that my liver is freed up from detoxifying the alcohol from my system, it is free to carry on it’s work unimpaired by this toxic load. My body is much better able now to perform its natural operations like cell differentiation and growth as the alcohol is no longer inhibiting the uptake of vital vitamins required for this like vitamin A. Other vitamins like the B’s, D, E, and K are also uninhibited now that the booze is gone, all of which contribute to vitality and energy.

With the extra energy, I am doing more exercise. My weekly average before this challenge was about 3 sessions of exercise per week. Now I am able to do at least 5+ per week with 2 sessions in a day somedays.

I am losing weight. So far I have lost about 5 lbs which I am totally delighted about. I have also lost a few cms off my waist which is a great reduction in overall body fat %. People have commented that my face looks leaner than before (I tend to accumulate fat in the chin and cheek area really easily). The increased exercise combined and a better mental state is leading to better food choices and overall health improvement.

I am a better person, Dad and husband. My wife has commented that I am less irritable with the kids and in general better form more of the time.

I am far more efficient at getting stuff done! When I drink it is like pouring glue in to the machinery. I made plans but did not follow through as I do now. I used to procrastinate and make excuses to not take action. Time is short and there is so much I want to experience. Now I have the energy to take massive action to make stuff happen, it feels great.

No guilt or shame anymore. After a night out, I always had the “fear”. Due to not being able to remember large parts of the night, I always had the horrible fear that I did something stupid or said something out of order. It happens right? Just not anymore.

Less anxious and more optimistic about life. I never noticed or even made the connection between feeling anxious or worrying about stuff with the effects of alcohol but there it is, it exists and it’s real. Remove the alcohol, anxiety reduces. Ironic given that one of the reasons I drank alcohol in the first place was to relax and destress.

Without alcohol clouding my sensitivity, I am far more tuned into how different foods are affecting me. For example, I occasionally would have had a McDonald’s meal. I know, not the best choice in the world but anyway. In the last 60 days, I have visited McDonalds twice and on both occasions, I felt awful for about 4 hours after the “meal”. As a result, the idea of going back again just doesn’t hold any appeal for me anymore. I am now associating that idea with pain and discomfort.

Removing the alcohol removes the fog. If you are like me, and not a “problem” drinker per se, just someone that rarely drinks at all during the week but if they go out, they almost certainly will drink too much, then it is likely that you have experienced this low grade “fog” that clouds your view of the world and yourself. You may not even be aware of it’s existence until you stop drinking and it disappears. I feel more in tune with myself and the world around me without the booze and this makes me happier.

I am struggling to find any downsides this new experience.

Just to be clear, this is not me sitting at home like a hermit or a recluse, avoiding pubs or going out. I am going out socialising more now than when I did drink. I am drinking Heineken 0.0 or similar options and I am driving home which makes going out much more accessible. This behaviour is actually one of the more surprising aspects of this experiment.

Yours in health and happiness,

JP

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