My muffin top is protruding through my tightly fitted shirt I bought last summer. I ask myself, “What else do I need to do?” “Have I really done all that I can do to make a change?” The honest answer is “No.”
I have been getting by on good genetics and a few really hard workouts. But weight loss occurs once I commit to a plan. Since summer is near, I have to take a more drastic measure. That’s enough for me to commit to 30 days of no drinking. It will make a huge difference.
Pretty much everything is better when I am off the booze. Why? Here is the quick science regarding alcohol. It impacts all areas of your brain that control muscles, speech, coordination, judgment, recovery, and so on. It is impossible to improve anything with alcohol. Drinking affects our hormone production, which regulates everything in our bodies. Our bodies rely on hormones to react to whatever we are doing or have done to ourselves. Recovery is essential for our our fitness improvements. Working out for a specific goal, alcohol negates our recovery from that workout. One serving inhibits our natural human growth hormone (HGH) production by 63%. This means your body will limit HGH production by 63% of what is necessary to recover. Just two drinks = 81%! Sleep is the best time to allow our bodies time to recover. Except alcohol's interaction with your brain can lead to restless sleep, or no sleep at all.
Socially, it is difficult to NOT drink. Going to go out to bars, night clubs, parties, dinners, and events with friends who are supportive is important. Support from friends makes it easier not to drink. Being 40 and not drinking does feel socially awkward. Recognize your own feelings of socially awkwardness is your own hang up. At the end of the day, no one really cares, because not drinking is your own hang up. Switching from cocktails to soda water and bitters is not that difficult, you can do it.
One way to overcome this feeling is to understand your own habits that have held yourself back. Opportunities to drinking socially might blur one’s choice to drink. Social acceptance is clearly about owning your decision to not drink. Folks mention how challenging it is for them to not drink since drinking is the social thing to do.
Why not look at a “booze cleanse" as a gift to yourself. What do you receive? Weight loss, clarity, and sleep are the benefits that come with increase hormone production and less gut inflammation. This doesn’t have to be permanent. It’s a switch in your routine to make a change to attain your goal. Giving up a temporary pleasures for your own goals is commitment to yourself.
Habits and Planning.
Ask yourself, how willing are you to switch your habits to make a change? Committing to a goal forces one to plan. Planning prioritizes the path to your success. Below are a few questions to ask yourself.
1. How important is this goal to you?
2. What are you willing to commit to?
3. What are the factors that keep you from your best self?
4. Once you have created your plan, is there anything else to omit or change?
5. Are you clear on the execution?
6. Is your plan clear and attainable for you?
7. Is your plan realistic?
Answer these follow up questions honestly. This short term no-drinking goal is for YOU. Below are a few reminders to help you plan for success.
Explore other activities that do not include alcohol. Do exercises that you love. You know what you like to do. Go on a hike. Longer bike rides, play golf, do things that stimulate your body and mind.
Motivational treats may be enough of an incentive to stick with your plan. Sometimes the thought of going to bed early or a steak lunch is enough of a perk for me to get through a social event without drinking.
Schedule your workout
Pencil in 20 minutes or an hour, set the time for you. Remind yourself why it's important. What is important to me is how good I feel once I complete a workout. I am worth the workout! Plan accordingly making the time for you.
Plan social engagements with friends. This will help prepare your mind to be strong when alcohol is present in social settings.
I am writing this on day 30 of no alcohol. I am still amazed how great I feel, how well I sleep, I am thinking clearly, having better sex, all while saving money! If you’re looking for support creating a plan, please contact me for assistance.