Well, it’s been an interesting month. Before this month I was of the mindset that no booze=no fun. After this month of discovery I am happy to say that’s entirely NOT true! Yes a glass of wine or two, or even three helps you to loosen up after a long week, it may make you more outgoing, or even make you feel like you’re more fun. As I attended parties, dinners with friends, and stood in bars awkwardly sober this month, I realized that I had more time to reflect on that long week I just had. I started to pay better attention to what my body needed. Instead of quieting that voice telling me to, “just go to bed,” I listened. Sometimes I felt full of energy and would dance the night away, and left the party feeling wildly liberated! But it didn’t happen right away.
I think the biggest take away from this month long sobriety test, was that I expected to feel different instantly. Generation Y is always being chastised for wanting instant gratification (despite missing the gen Y age category) I found myself guilty of just that! The first sober weekend rolled around, and then the second, and still no change. I still felt tired, and that I wanted to unwind with a glass of something stronger than kombucha that’s for sure! One day the nutritionist at worked asked me how I was feeling on my self inflicted detox. When I told her how defeated I felt she paused, asked me a few questions, and told me that it probably had less to do with alcohol and more to do with the sugar.
When my trusted colleague suggested that my sugar levels were likely just balancing after a few weeks alcohol free, it made perfect sense. That week I had started to crave ice cream, and sweets like a mad woman! She encouraged me to stay away from self sabotage, and to stick with my endeavors. That week I started to really feel healthier, more in control of nasty sugar cravings, my moods were more regulated, and I didn’t feel that I was denying myself booze because I didn’t really want it anymore!
At the end of my Sober October, I will not sit here and tell you I’m never going to drink again. I enjoy sharing a drink with friends, but this month gave me great perspective on how our culture sometimes relies on alcohol as a social crutch, drawing us farther away from the ever important connection to our bodies. Not to mention, stepping back and taking alcohol out of the equation has enabled me to feel the effects it can have on my overall health. Understanding the increased sugar intake can have on my health will stick with me well beyond the month of October.
If you participated in Sober October, here’s to you! How did you find it? Sound off in the comments below.