Author Topic: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!  (Read 1144 times)

onemorebike

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Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« on: April 05, 2018, 04:01:02 AM »
I've recently kicked alcohol out of my life completely, want to join me? There aren't many benefits, just saving more cash, effortlessly dropping lbs, more mental clarity, the end of hangovers, and much more time and energy to focus on the things that matter. Honestly, I'm surprised it doesn't come up here a little more often!

Feel free to post whether you'd like to join, what time period, and anything you are doing to help stick to it. (personally, I seriously recommend Annie Grace's Alcohol Experiment - 30 days of emails and videos that educate and support you along the way as you have the same doubts/issues that arise for most people)

mspym

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2018, 05:56:17 AM »
Hey there, I've just finished month 8 and it's going GREAT so count me in.

Things that helped: Annie Grace, drink substitution (tea, seltzer, juice spritzers) and taking a short walk during the witching hour to break the habit.

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2018, 08:24:41 AM »
I'm in. I'll aim for at least six months. I haven't decided about social drinking yet (I'm not very social, so this wouldn't be much drinking) but I definitely don't need to have the stuff in my house. Even one drink disrupts my sleep and turns me into a mindless Netflix binge watcher.

I recently listened to this and thought it was very interesting: https://www.theguardian.com/news/audio/2018/jan/22/how-i-let-drinking-take-over-my-life-podcast. It's about someone who had a serious problem with alcohol, but it's really good writing about a place I never want to get to, and how he gets out. 
I also checked checked out Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp that I'm interested in reading.

The Annie Grace stuff looks interesting too!


Gyosho

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2018, 08:31:38 AM »
I read "This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life" by Annie Grace and it killed my desire for alcohol instantly.

Just a personal testimonial (to add to the many positive Amazon reviews).

https://www.amazon.com/This-Naked-Mind-Discover-Happiness/dp/0525537236/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522938664&sr=8-1&keywords=this+naked+mind

mspym

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2018, 02:43:59 AM »
Both Knapp's Drinking: A Love Story and Sarah Hepola's Blackout are fascinating, well-written books.

Rubyvroom

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2018, 05:39:13 AM »
I quit drinking for a few months a couple of years ago for health and wealth reasons. I found the most difficult part was reprogramming other people's expectations of you. Some people were confused as to why I wasn't drinking but would shrug it off, while others took it as a personal affront, while some others simply joked, "What, are you pregnant?" It was quite the social experiment. These reactions seemed extreme to me, since I'm an introvert and only drank maybe 2-3 times per week. I can't imagine the social upheaval one might feel if they were a more frequent drinker.

The other part that was difficult was I hadn't identified how many triggers were in my life. Had a bad day at work? That deserves a drink. Had something fantastic happen at work? Celebrate with a drink. Is it a beautiful evening? Grill and have a drink. Is it Thirsty Thursday? Happy hour with coworkers. Is it a Friday/Saturday evening and you get to sleep in tomorrow? May has well have a few. While one might not partake in each situation, once you stop drinking, you realize how often your mind goes there. I wouldn't even label myself anything close to an alcoholic, but the constant triggers, especially in weeks one and two, were quite chilling. You realize that habitual drinking essentially turns you into one of Pavlov's Dogs.

onemorebike

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2018, 06:30:00 AM »
I've experienced this. I was a pretty heavy social drinker, and responded to all the triggers below. :) Initially I got a decent amount of shit from my drinking pals but I also noticed that others weren't drinking quite as much as I thought they were - so it went both ways. I did some thinking of quick and easy ways to deflect questions and read up on how others "blended in" during social drinking situations and it was super helpful.

Speaking of helpful:

Reading Annie Grace's book was fantastic and I was immediately reprogrammed. I also listen to her podcast ( a bit repetitive but the messages are important), checked out the Hip Sobriety podcast, read the Easy Way to Control alcohol by Alan Carr, and I've lightly listened to a lot of different podcasts on the topic. I've found books that have more of a "how to" angle instead stories of addiction with some recovery weaved in.

I'm at 68 days without alcohol right now and based on my previous consumption my app tells me I've NOT consumed 200 drinks, an additional 20,000 calories and saved roughly $800 (though, I'm pretty sure this isn't the mustachian standard for drinking) - either way, it is substantial! I'm down about 13 pounds, but I've been lifting too so likely have put some muscle on.


I quit drinking for a few months a couple of years ago for health and wealth reasons. I found the most difficult part was reprogramming other people's expectations of you. Some people were confused as to why I wasn't drinking but would shrug it off, while others took it as a personal affront, while some others simply joked, "What, are you pregnant?" It was quite the social experiment. These reactions seemed extreme to me, since I'm an introvert and only drank maybe 2-3 times per week. I can't imagine the social upheaval one might feel if they were a more frequent drinker.

The other part that was difficult was I hadn't identified how many triggers were in my life. Had a bad day at work? That deserves a drink. Had something fantastic happen at work? Celebrate with a drink. Is it a beautiful evening? Grill and have a drink. Is it Thirsty Thursday? Happy hour with coworkers. Is it a Friday/Saturday evening and you get to sleep in tomorrow? May has well have a few. While one might not partake in each situation, once you stop drinking, you realize how often your mind goes there. I wouldn't even label myself anything close to an alcoholic, but the constant triggers, especially in weeks one and two, were quite chilling. You realize that habitual drinking essentially turns you into one of Pavlov's Dogs.

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2018, 06:46:49 AM »
Speaking of triggers:

I've been really depressed about my job lately (but even a little alcohol depresses me, so I hope this gets better), and last night I found myself feeling shitty about it and stuffing cereal into my pie hole when I wasn't even really hungry. I'm hoping to be mindful of how I might be replacing alcohol with other stuff that's bad in its own way. Anybody else dealing with this?


onemorebike

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2018, 07:17:52 AM »
Yes! The trigger never changes, just the response to the trigger. I've swapped in an unhealthy dose of sugar at times (but not always), the key, in this moment where you are feeling depressed is to swap in a different response. I've heard people going for a quick, brisk walk, bike ride, or even 10 minutes of jumping jacks is enough to shake it.

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2018, 07:39:34 AM »
This reminds me of a book I recently read (or mostly read) called the Power of Habit in which the author says that the way to get around bad habits is to recognize the cue and the reward feeling it leads to, but change the middle part, how you get to the reward. So you feel stressed about work, have a drink, feel relaxed. Of course, the drink part comes with stuff we don't like (headache, depression, expense) so we need to replace the middle part of this cycle (the drink) with something else--jumping jacks (sorry, no thanks!) or meditation or a hike with the dog or whatever. Stupid simple, yet profound, I think, because it's a way of letting yourself off the hook for feeling the cue feeling in the first place. It's okay to feel unhappy or stressed, but the key is to stop and think about what you do to get to the reward/relief stage.

I am not there just yet!


onemorebike

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2018, 07:49:55 AM »
I read the book too. :) The framework has supported a lot of big changes I've made over the past year. Hope you can get there!

This reminds me of a book I recently read (or mostly read) called the Power of Habit in which the author says that the way to get around bad habits is to recognize the cue and the reward feeling it leads to, but change the middle part, how you get to the reward. So you feel stressed about work, have a drink, feel relaxed. Of course, the drink part comes with stuff we don't like (headache, depression, expense) so we need to replace the middle part of this cycle (the drink) with something else--jumping jacks (sorry, no thanks!) or meditation or a hike with the dog or whatever. Stupid simple, yet profound, I think, because it's a way of letting yourself off the hook for feeling the cue feeling in the first place. It's okay to feel unhappy or stressed, but the key is to stop and think about what you do to get to the reward/relief stage.

I am not there just yet!

mspym

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2018, 03:28:30 PM »
The other part that was difficult was I hadn't identified how many triggers were in my life. Had a bad day at work? That deserves a drink. Had something fantastic happen at work? Celebrate with a drink. Is it a beautiful evening? Grill and have a drink. Is it Thirsty Thursday? Happy hour with coworkers. Is it a Friday/Saturday evening and you get to sleep in tomorrow? May has well have a few. While one might not partake in each situation, once you stop drinking, you realize how often your mind goes there. I wouldn't even label myself anything close to an alcoholic, but the constant triggers, especially in weeks one and two, were quite chilling. You realize that habitual drinking essentially turns you into one of Pavlov's Dogs.

I've been thinking about this [and other "treats"] a lot recently and realised that we tend to do what Dan Ariely describes in Dollars & Sense as opening a new budget for each. So the Wednesday drinks/fancy cheese/takeaway/bit of chocolate in the afternoon are held as separate and apart from the Friday pub lunch/muffins that someone brought in/pizza for dinner AND the Saturday BBQ Beer with friends/packet of chips/let's go get gelato because its sunny.

It's not until you put them all into the same group that you realise exactly how much you are 'spending' in the aggregate.
The urge for a reward is not a *bad* thing, but sometimes you need to reexamine what reward would work and what you could change so you don't feel the urge or a reward so often.

albireo13

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2018, 06:21:08 PM »
I've been struggling.  I find myself getting into a bad habit of stopping for drinks after work ... to deal with work stress, life stress, etc.
Maybe I'm a functional alcoholic???

I recognize the cost and the bad parts but, after work I often get into that "I don't give a shit" frame of mind since ....  I just spent 8+ hours of my life
working for MegaCorp doing absolutely BS tasks.  The stuff I do is an insult to intelligence.
Yet, it pays well so I go on. 

Thus, the lure of alcohol at the end of the day to anesthesize my apparently inflated sense of self-worth.
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Carrie

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2018, 06:44:19 PM »
It was ritual here. Now we drink sleepy time tea after the kids are in bed, instead of a few glasses of wine. I sleep better & wake more refreshed.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2018, 06:54:13 PM »
I'm joining. I'm about to begin my first IVF cycle, after exhausting less invasive options to deal with my infertility. I gave up drinking several times throughout this process, but always came back to it, generally after a particularly crushing negative cycle or major diagnosis. That makes it sound like it was for the emotional crutch, and surely that's part of it, but more than anything is I think it's been an indicator of normalcy for me. My husband and I enjoy drinking, the flavor, the ritual of it all, and it's that feeling of "a nice evening at home" I wanted back more than anything.

Still, alcohol interferes with the liver's role in excreting estrogen, and that's pretty important to keep at healthy levels for me right now. Plus, once I'm on the actual stims protocol, you can't drink at that time. We'll likely be doing several egg retrievals in a row, so it's not like pregnancy is the consideration, just overall health and lessening medication side effects.

Not sure how long we'll be sans alcohol. So far I'm on day... 5 I think. Last drink was a cider on Sunday. At this point, the cost panic of IVF is helping with non drinking compliance, since it made up a major budget item for us ($100-200/month).

Will be glad to have a community going through the non-drinking as well!

Alternatives:
We tend to opt for sparkling mineral water and bitters and/or juices mixed in. We have a soda stream (indefinitely on loan from my MIL), and we add trace minerals drops to get that nice mineral water flavor. Our current juice is tart cherry, although we also like grapefruit and the "super 7 juice" from trader joe's.
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albireo13

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2018, 07:53:04 PM »
For me it's the cycle of negative energy from work each day.  I have counseling sessions booked and that may help.
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dragoncar

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2018, 02:29:24 AM »
Highly recommend.  If you need any help, just send me all yer booze

Carrie

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2018, 09:48:44 AM »
We cut completely for the month of February, and most of March. By third week of March, we shared a box o' wine with FIL after a family wedding. It was meh. I only had two glasses, two nights. Last weekend we had a bit of beer with our barbecue.
So now I'm trying to figure out if I will drink at all, or if it is a moderation/only on weekends, but not every weekend.

I was relieved upon quitting in February that it was easy to quit. While habit - a martini while prepping dinner, then wine to celebrate kids in bed- daily- when we resolved to take a month off, I felt no physical discomfort and really, no mental anguish either. Subbing the hot tea is nice because it takes care of the ritual portion. While I kiss the kids goodnight, DH brews the tea. We settle in to watch TRMS, sip tea, and discuss current events.

I estimate we saved $200-$230 per month of not drinking,  although our tea and honey expenditures have increased.

BrakeForTurtles

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2018, 07:08:14 PM »
I gave up alcohol for February (except for one day, when I got married), and about half of March. I loved it: I saved so much money, lost weight, and seemed to sleep better. Now that I've reintroduced alcohol in my life I find I can only really have a drink or two before I stop enjoying the sensation. I have a goal to never have a hangover again, and so far I've stuck to that. I find pressure from family is actually worse than my friends. When I was visiting the in-laws over Easter they would open beers for me even after I said several times I didn't want one.

I think this thread will inspire me to cut down even further!
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onemorebike

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2018, 07:26:07 AM »
Update from me, I'm at 76 days without a drink and rocking. My energy levels are higher than they have been for a decade. I'm down 15 pounds. Now using the extra time/money I would have spent on booze, bars, and subsequent restaurants to workout more, finish long unfinished projects, read, relax, and spend more quality time with my family.

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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2018, 07:39:16 AM »
Today I'm at 14 days no drinking. I did have a sip of wine my brother offered for me to try when we were out for a celebratory family dinner. I still count that as a victory, since I didn't get a drink at all while there. (And frankly, the wine was very thin and watery, so I didn't bother with much of a sip!)

Update from me, I'm at 76 days without a drink and rocking. My energy levels are higher than they have been for a decade. I'm down 15 pounds. Now using the extra time/money I would have spent on booze, bars, and subsequent restaurants to workout more, finish long unfinished projects, read, relax, and spend more quality time with my family.

Great update!
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MrDelane

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2018, 07:51:45 AM »
Update from me, I'm at 76 days without a drink and rocking. My energy levels are higher than they have been for a decade. I'm down 15 pounds. Now using the extra time/money I would have spent on booze, bars, and subsequent restaurants to workout more, finish long unfinished projects, read, relax, and spend more quality time with my family.

That is fantastic!
Congratulations.  Keep it up.

Greyweld

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2018, 08:19:43 AM »
I stopped drinking yesterday. I plan to do at least a month. So May 16 is my first possible end date benchmark.
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onemorebike

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2018, 04:30:18 AM »
I stopped drinking yesterday. I plan to do at least a month. So May 16 is my first possible end date benchmark.
Greyweld,  how's it coming?

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snogirl

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2018, 05:55:31 AM »
I gave up booze April 19 2004. My life looks nothing like it did 14 years ago. Back then I had what one would consider a successful career, lots of toys, and shiny things. Inside I was dying. So I made a decision. I dug my way out of debt, fired last year and in 2 weeks am selling my house in HCOL buying my smaller dream place in LCOL area. It's a new freedom. My overall well being has a 100% of it's cylinders firing so I can navigate challenges because in life that happens. Now I have a better chance of making healthy decisions and live in the solution.

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BikeFanatic

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2018, 06:43:23 AM »
I am in! I did the 30 day alcohol experiment on the Annie Grace website, thanks for that link.
I read the book also, just the first 30 pages were enough to wake me up. I really like the support of the daily videos. I am on day 12 and I really do not think I will go back to drinking after the 30 days, I want to enjoy my retirement, not drink my way through.
I thought I was doing OK at 30 beers a month, that was my moderation amount, but I wold slip frequently. I have tried to take a break from drinking in the past and only made it to 3 weeks, then caved and I did  craved alcohol  the entire time.  This Annie Grace method, I felt different from day one. Now that I look at alcohol like a poison or an addicting substance ( like crack) then I have more power to say no to alcohol.

Greyweld

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2018, 10:38:50 AM »
I stopped drinking yesterday. I plan to do at least a month. So May 16 is my first possible end date benchmark.
Greyweld,  how's it coming?

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So far so good! Haven't had anything since the 16th, so in a couple days I'll be a week in. It actually helps that I have a cold. I have no desire to drink when I'm sick.
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Bendigirl

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2018, 11:49:34 AM »
Zero alcohol for eleven years...and not much before that.
Eleven years ago I ended up hospitalized for severe acute pancreatitis.  Idiopathic in nature...not alcohol induced.  Hospital for 16 days, no food by mouth for two months.  Death was a strong possibility...there is nothing a doctor can do to help you through this.  Very scary.
All my doctors said I should never touch alcohol.  Ever.  So I didnít.  I have had no recurrence.
I feel totally blessed to have lived through that and I will never take it for granted.  Alcohol is not needed and I quite like not drinking.  Always hated losing control too...