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General Discussion => Throw Down the Gauntlet => Topic started by: onemorebike on April 05, 2018, 04:01:02 AM

Title: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike 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)
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym 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.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Duchess of Stratosphear 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!

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Gyosho 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
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym 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.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Rubyvroom 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.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike 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.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Duchess of Stratosphear 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?

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike 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.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Duchess of Stratosphear 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!

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike 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!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym 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.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: albireo13 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.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Carrie 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.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Bracken_Joy 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.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: albireo13 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.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: dragoncar on April 07, 2018, 02:29:24 AM
Highly recommend.  If you need any help, just send me all yer booze
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Carrie 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.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BrakeForTurtles 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!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike 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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Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Bracken_Joy 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!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: MrDelane 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.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Greyweld 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.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike 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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Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: snogirl 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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Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic 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 also  did  crave 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.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Greyweld 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.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Bendigirl 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...
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Bicycle_B on April 29, 2018, 11:15:08 AM
Dropped in to this thread curious about the stories.  @Bendigirl, saddened that you underwent such a frightening experience, but glad that you got something good from it.  Keep on keepin' on!

Giving up the hooch was one of the life decisions I am glad I made.  Didn't make me Mr. Magic Superachiever, but then again, I haven't come close to killing several people at once with my car since stopped either.  20 years and counting. 

Much respect to every person on this thread.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on April 29, 2018, 12:00:47 PM
I am at 3 weeks tomorrow! Inspired by the others, I know i have saved alot of money already. I just came back from Lunch out and resisted the impulse to drink, was fine with my Virgin Mary! It is nice to realize I can enjoy my friends comapny at a bar with or without a drink.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: englishteacheralex on April 29, 2018, 12:12:36 PM
As a mom of two toddlers, my sleep routine has been completely ruined over the past four years. In an effort to be sensible and do all I can to improve the sleep situation, I'm playing with the idea of giving up all drinking at home. There's one date my husband and I love going on about every other month that involves a happy hour. Can't give that up. But the rest of the wine habit--the glass after dinner while the kids are in bed most notably--I'm going to ditch this month (May). We went to Target yesterday and didn't buy a box of wine, even though it was on sale.

We'll see what happens. I'm hoping to notice an uptick in sleep quality, a downtick in grocery spending, and a downtick in weight gain.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Cassie on April 29, 2018, 04:17:12 PM
I quit drinking when my kids were small because it wasnít adding anything to my life and I wanted to be fully present for them. When they grew up I started to drink occasionally but it is easy to let it become a habit. Just read the book and it was excellent and a different way of thinking about the issue.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: brooklynmoney on May 06, 2018, 08:49:58 PM
I can commit to not drinking at home except when I am hosting friends. I track my drinking daily and aim to keep at 5 glasses of wine or less a week. Iíve done months off before but Iím off to Europe and then itís rose season. I wil probably take September off.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on May 13, 2018, 07:03:50 PM
105 days without a sip as of today, what's it looking like for those of you that came to play?

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Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on May 13, 2018, 08:52:06 PM
36 days for me! I'm having an easy time of it, my spouse is on board and I have non alcohol beer to get me through the difficult times. I feel great and have a lot more energy.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: ToTheMoon on May 14, 2018, 12:22:30 AM
I am joining in.  I did no alcohol for the last week of April and first week of May, but just spent the last week at the in-laws and ruined it all!

My goal is to have none right up until my sister's wedding when I will share in a toast to them (or perhaps by then I won't want to?)  That gives me approximately 6 weeks.

The hardest part is going to be that the weather just got great, and drinks, patios and bbq's seem to go hand in hand. I will take it one week at a time, starting tomorrow (as I had 2 beers today.)

Please help keep me accountable (either here or in my Journal.)  Thanks
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: highlandterrier on May 14, 2018, 03:05:38 AM
Like @Bendigirl I too gave up alcohol after acute pancreatitis, although again cause was not alcohol related.

Much easier than I expected, although I have a heck of an incentive! As some have said the strangest thing is other people's reactions. Good friends can treat you differently until you tell them to get over themselves. Not trying to get you to drink, just acting odd.

There are also a lot of very good alcohol free beers on the market if you like that kind of thing. Also makes it more socially acceptable if you are feeling peer pressure (I don't, going through serious illness has many positives including getting your priorities straight!). 

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Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on May 14, 2018, 03:47:38 AM
I highly recommend Annie Grace book and Web site called this naked mind. Very helpful,  I had an attitude adjustment after the first 30 pages. I had tried to moderate in the past and failed, she says that you just have to think about alcohol as a drug. She has free podcasts online also.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on May 14, 2018, 03:48:39 AM
Oh and I will be here rooting for you!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mies on May 14, 2018, 04:48:43 AM
Congratulations to everyone that is sticking to this challenge.

I only drank for a brief period when I was 21-22 years old. Itís been close to 15 years since Iíve consumed any alcohol. I never really found any drinks I like and always felt terrible for a few days after drinking enough to get drunk. I found not drinking to be pretty easy since my urge to avoid unnecessary discomfort trumped my urge to fit in at social gatherings.

The longer you go without drinking, the more normal it will feel for you and the people around you who do still drink. You donít have to feel bad or justify your decision for not drinking when other people are.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Neustache on May 14, 2018, 07:48:27 AM
Thinking about joining - I only drink on Friday/Saturday nights and only 1-2 drinks on those nights.  But I've been feeling controlled by it even at those amounts.  I don't like feeling controlled by anything.

Also, have a daughter with anxiety and I need to show her healthy ways to manage.  I'm also starting a new career in the fall that could be stressful and I need some healthy habits established before then.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on May 14, 2018, 08:04:36 AM
I highly recommend Annie Grace book and Web site called this naked mind. Very helpful,  I had an attitude adjustment after the first 30 pages. I had tried to moderate in the past and failed, she says that you just have to think about alcohol as a drug. She has free podcasts online also.
She also as a 30 day challenge that is super useful, you register and it comes with motivation, regular emails and tons of education. Includes a Facebook group that is great for accountability and a peer group.

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Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Bracken_Joy on May 14, 2018, 08:19:02 AM
So, I'm only a few days out from my surgery. In the lead up time, I have had one mixed drink, and 3 small beers. (So, I think 4 drinks in like 45 days?)  Considering I'm normally a 1-2 drinks (usually wine) 4-5 days a week type lady, this is a big change. It's likely I'll roll straight from this surgery into another cycle+surgery. I think I'm going to give myself one week off, to eat whatever I want, have some drinks, and take a break from all my non-essential meds, and then I'll get back to it.

Glad to hear everyone who is trying to give up drinking is doing well with it.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: englishteacheralex on May 14, 2018, 09:59:39 AM
I've been booze free since the day I posted here, with the exception of last night, when DH and I went on our once/month date and visited our favorite bar. That's the one occasion I'm not willing to give up. Other than that, no hooch for me. Sleep is mildly improved, I think. Grocery budget noticeably dipping. Waistline maybe dipping, a little? At least not gaining?
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: drumstache on May 21, 2018, 03:07:14 PM
I'm in.  I am doing the 30 day experiment, on Day 5.   No issues so far, made through a weekend of no drinking for the first time in years.

One downside, i miscalculated my days.  I have a Cabin Trip with some friends that starts on my 23rd day of the experiment.  This is a yearly event with my guy friends, which involves a LOT of drinking, poker playing, shenanigans, etc.  Wondering if I should bail on the trip, or make up some sort of minor health ailment, to explain why I'm not drinking...Hmmm not sure.  Guess we'll see how im feeling closer to the date.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Peony on May 21, 2018, 03:23:33 PM
Following. I'm pretty naturally temperate and have gotten some flak about it from heavy drinkers in my family and friend circle. I like hearing the good reasons not to drink.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on May 21, 2018, 03:32:25 PM
Drumstache wrote
Quote
Wondering if I should bail on the trip, or make up some sort of minor health ailment, to explain why I'm not drinking...Hmmm not sure.  Guess we'll see how im feeling closer to the date.

I am on day 42, six weeks. I do feel great. I found Annie Grace book very helpful. I have had several episodes lately where I want to drink again, less motivated now. I really want to see what life is like without drinking for at least six months. The temptations have been being at a bar and draft beer available. Also on vacation and draft beer everywhere. I could not resist if I went to a cabin in the woods with a bunch of  drinking buddies, that I would avoid. You may be stronger than I; I do tell people I quit Alcohol, for a while anyway,  and that does help me to resist as I do not want to go against what I just boldly proclaimed. I also have a spouse that Quit with me, this does help the motivation ( and a co worker also who is "quitting" temporally with me). My big motivators are my health, I definitely  feel more energized and have been biking more.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on May 21, 2018, 03:54:09 PM
Drumstache wrote
Quote
Wondering if I should bail on the trip, or make up some sort of minor health ailment, to explain why I'm not drinking...Hmmm not sure.  Guess we'll see how im feeling closer to the date.

I am on day 42, six weeks. I do feel great. I found Annie Grace book very helpful. I have had several episodes lately where I want to drink again, less motivated now. I really want to see what life is like without drinking for at least six months. The temptations have been being at a bar and draft beer available. Also on vacation and draft beer everywhere. I could not resist if I went to a cabin in the woods with a bunch of  drinking buddies, that I would avoid. You may be stronger than I; I do tell people I quit Alcohol, for a while anyway,  and that does help me to resist as I do not want to go against what I just boldly proclaimed. I also have a spouse that Quit with me, this does help the motivation ( and a co worker also who is "quitting" temporally with me). My big motivators are my health, I definitely  feel more energized and have been biking more.
I would definitely avoid a weekend of poker and booze! I don't think the first thirty days would hold up to that test for me.

My spouse also joined in initially but she is back to drinking occasionally, which has been fine for me thus far. Quitting has already been the impetus for so many great changes in my life, it would be silly to think it would be worth a night of being buzzed to lose that and whatever is next to come!

Love hearing everyone's updates, keep them coming!

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: DagobertDuck on May 30, 2018, 02:56:12 AM
I'm on a one-month no-alcohol challenge!

Started on May 28th and want to keep it up until at least June 28th.

Doing fine so far. I'll keep you posted!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on May 30, 2018, 06:27:55 AM
I'm on a one-month no-alcohol challenge!

Started on May 28th and want to keep it up until at least June 28th.

Doing fine so far. I'll keep you posted!
The first couple days were tough for me, power through!

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: DagobertDuck on May 30, 2018, 02:16:30 PM
Day three, just had a low-sugar alcohol free mojito. Life is good!

I've never been a heavy drinker or binge drinker, and have no problem limiting myself to 2 beers on a normal weekday, but I did find myself drinking those 2 beers almost every night, in both good (to 'celebrate') and average to bad (to 'unwind') times.
And after reading about a study that showed that even really modest drinkers (<2 glasses / day) can get health benefits (liver, cholesterol) from quitting completely for just one month, I decided to give it a go!

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Knapptyme on May 30, 2018, 02:28:39 PM
Honestly, I'm surprised it doesn't come up here a little more often!


I guess I'm in, too, but I never started drinking in the first place. Going on 37 years without a drop, and I'm surprised it doesn't come up more often for FIRE or for health. (I am aware that you can get all the same benefits from grapes without the fermentation process. That being said, I have likely consumed fermented fruits just because I was unwilling to throw them away.)
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: shinn497 on May 30, 2018, 04:01:32 PM
YEAH NO BOOZE HERE (well I ahven't had a drink for like a decade and it was just once)
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on May 31, 2018, 12:38:13 AM
It took about 3 months for it to become normalised for me, but 10 months in and I don't want to drink again. I am also surprised that it doesn't come up more around these parts.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: DagobertDuck on June 02, 2018, 02:48:02 PM
Day 6, still doing fine.

In those 6 days there have been numerous occasions (dinner, dancing night, party) already where I normally would have had a drink, but without alcohol they were still fun.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: austin944 on June 02, 2018, 06:58:18 PM

It's been 333 days since I stopped.  I have saved a little over $400, and I no longer need to weigh myself every few days to keep tabs on any weight gain.  I replaced the single after-work Pale Ale with a glass of ice-water and don't miss it.  Once you stop, you realize that alcohol is a crutch, and getting rid of the crutch makes you stronger.

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on June 03, 2018, 08:18:31 AM
I am on day 55 I believe! I am surprised how my life is exactly the same with or without Alcolol. Just as much fun, I feel better and have more energy! I also have been working out more. It was so dificult to moderate for all those yeasrs and just stopping is easier somehow.

and Austin I saved 400 at least in two months. I used to go to a little Brewery nearby and my favorite beer there was 8$ for ten oz pour.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Duchess of Stratosphear on June 04, 2018, 12:01:57 PM
I have been a total failure at this since I posted before, but "simply begin again" as the meditators say. I guess I am starting over today. I said six months before, but I think I'll just try to get through June with no drinking at home (a drink when out is okay because I don't go out much).

Hope you all are doing better at this than I am!

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: DagobertDuck on June 07, 2018, 12:47:06 PM
I'm on day 11 now and still find it pretty easy actually.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on June 07, 2018, 01:05:37 PM
I'm on day 11 now and still find it pretty easy actually.

You are stronger than most. I still get triggered here and there, especially with Summer rolling around (I love a good patio beer!). Still holding strong though, 4 months, 1 week and 2 days!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on June 07, 2018, 01:43:43 PM
You folks are doing Great! I do occasionally long for the summer beer on the patio, now I sub Coffee or a non alcoholic beer. 2 months no beer on Friday ( 60 days).
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Cassie on June 07, 2018, 09:41:00 PM
Duchess how are you doing?
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Bracken_Joy on June 08, 2018, 09:07:36 AM
So I got through my first IVF cycle booze free for 6 weeks, except for a beer on 2 separate occasions. So that was a good 7 weeks of no drinking. The past couple weeks, we've taken some time off and indulged some. We're headed into IVF#2 though, so after this current bottle of wine, it's back to another 8+ weeks of not drinking. Here we go again!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: OurTown on June 08, 2018, 09:48:17 AM
I am in for the duration.  1 year, 10 months, 2 days, so says my counter on my phone.  Good luck to everyone else on this quest.

If you are wishy-washy, take out a blank sheet of paper.  Do a vertical line down the middle and a horizontal line across the middle, dividing into four quadrants.  In the northwest quadrant, write down all of the costs of drinking.  In the southwest quadrant, write down all of the benefits of drinking.  In the northeast quadrant, write down all the benefits of quitting.  In the southeast quadrant, write down all of the costs of quitting.  Now do a cost-benefit analysis.  Check out which costs & benefits are long term or short term.  Take a look at the severity/intensity of the costs and benefits.  Think about if there are other activities/experiences you could substitute for the benefits you might lose.  Decide for yourself whether the benefits of your choice outweigh the costs.  Only you can make this decision.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: JustJayMusic on June 08, 2018, 12:23:06 PM
Cut back dramatically from a 2-3 an evening beer habit. Found paying 20-25 dollars  for a 12 pack of micro brew,  sometimes twice a week is dipping into my pocket and not making my pants fit as well. Also started to worry I was starting down a bad road of leaning on booze. Was dealing with a lot of stress care taking for aging parents. Still going to drink socially but not at home so much anymore. Power to all of you cutting back or ending their drinking. It's not easy to do!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: FIRE@50 on June 08, 2018, 12:27:53 PM
I enjoy drinking quite a bit, but I don't normally drink all that much and I can go weeks without having a drink and not even realize it. This week I started re-watching MadMen which means I've also started drinking whisky on random week nights again. It is so hard to watch them drinking all the time and not want to join in on the revelry.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: JustJayMusic on June 08, 2018, 12:48:28 PM
LOL, I'm not kidding, I actually stated smoking after watching Mad Men after having quit for like 15 years, I've since stopped again. Tells you how weak we can be!

I enjoy drinking quite a bit, but I don't normally drink all that much and I can go weeks without having a drink and not even realize it. This week I started re-watching MadMen which means I've also started drinking whisky on random week nights again. It is so hard to watch them drinking all the time and not want to join in on the revelry.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on June 08, 2018, 05:57:37 PM
I'm within striking distance of a year. At this point, the benefits of not drinking far outweigh the benefits of drinking for me so it looks like I am in for the duration. It amuses me that I used to think fancy juices and teas Cost Too Much but $7 for 20 delicious beverages > $7 for one delicious beverage that messes up my sleep something chronic.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on June 09, 2018, 05:45:43 AM
This! I've got a friend in town and was giving him the bicycle tour of breweries and bars last night. Initially I scoffed at the $6 price tag of kombucha at one place and a $4 price tag on root beer at another but then I remembered I used to spend that in my first half hour of a normal bar visit (i think I can count being in two since I stopped drinking). My app that tracks my days away from drinking also tells me I've saved over a grand and haven't consumed over 25,000 calories!
I'm within striking distance of a year. At this point, the benefits of not drinking far outweigh the benefits of drinking for me so it looks like I am in for the duration. It amuses me that I used to think fancy juices and teas Cost Too Much but $7 for 20 delicious beverages &gt; $7 for one delicious beverage that messes up my sleep something chronic.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: DagobertDuck on June 10, 2018, 12:39:45 PM
14 days into my one-month challenge. Still at zero drinks! Time for a mid-term write-up:

Thirst:
I haven't craved for a drink even once. Since college, I apparently had simply conditioned myself into drinking 1-2 drinks on most weekdays and 4-5 or more at parties. I never thought quitting was this easy. Over the last two weeks, all the occasions where I would normally have had a couple of drinks were just as much fun being sober. An epic 150 mile hilly bicycle ride is still epic without the reward beer, a party is still a party etc etc. Just say no and drink something alcohol-free, that's all.

Physical & mental health effects:
To be honest, I haven't noticed any differences in sleep quality or quantity, or mental sharpness.
I do find myself recovering exceptionally well from strenuous exercise though, but that might also be due to the high level of general fitness I already had.
I haven't noticed any differences in body composition or skin quality, but I haven't been scrutinizing these parameters very carefully.
I did some literature research and I'm fully convinced of the health benefits of not drinking for my liver, body composition, testosterone levels and recovery from exercise.

I have been feeling a bit stressed and anxious sometimes lately (the 'whirl in the stomach' feeling), but that's more likely due to some weird events in my private life (return from biiiig trip 1.5 mo ago, subsequent relationship breakup, uncertainty about housing situation and doubts about future career / life path). On the upside: previously I'd definitely have soothed this anxiety with 2 beers, but apparently I can manage without booze as well.

And now?
I will definitely complete the remaining 2.5 weeks of this challenge. If I don't, please punch me in the face. There are still lots of parties, dinners and special events to come, but I know I can manage.
On the end date of this challenge (a bar / microbrewery tour with colleagues) I will limit my consumption to 2 or 3 beers and definitly not go on a binge. If I fail, please punch me in the face.

After that, I will continue to abstain from the weekday beers, and on the bar nights/parties/special occasions where I would previously drink 4-5+, I will limit myself to 2.
If I fail, please punch me in the face ;-)
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: austin944 on June 10, 2018, 01:35:02 PM
Setting a series of progressively smaller limits on the number of drinks per day should be an easier goal than quitting cold turkey.   Not that I want to discourage anyone from doing the latter, but let's be honest, it's hard to totally quit that kind of habit.  It's sort of like going on a diet; how long do those typically last? :-)   

I went to zero after having been on a limit of 1 each weekday for a very long time.  It's too bad that the 6oz bottle size is not more common, to help make this transition easier.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: rdaneel0 on June 10, 2018, 02:37:29 PM
I'm in for 30 days! I'd like to spend less money on alcohol and see if my workout recovery time improves/changes with zero booze. I like trying different lifestyle shifts (whole 30, vegan, raw, etc.) so this should be fun.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Greyweld on June 25, 2018, 11:08:49 AM
I need to do another go of this for my mental and physical health. Gonna try for another month. Let's round up and call it until the end of July.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on June 25, 2018, 11:35:28 AM
Quote
Remember that FI is not the goal. It's to figure out the things you actually, really, truly, greatly enjoy spending time doing, and doing those things. FI and RE are just tools to remove a 40 hour/week commitment that blocks you from choosing what things you get to do when you could be doing them, like all those glorious daylight hours between 9AM and 5PM! If you're torturing yourself to save money, you're just a slave to something else that you don't enjoy.

Thanks for that great quote, Lets see you back here alcohol free after 14 days. I want a report!

I am day 77
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Greyweld on June 25, 2018, 11:39:14 AM
Quote
Remember that FI is not the goal. It's to figure out the things you actually, really, truly, greatly enjoy spending time doing, and doing those things. FI and RE are just tools to remove a 40 hour/week commitment that blocks you from choosing what things you get to do when you could be doing them, like all those glorious daylight hours between 9AM and 5PM! If you're torturing yourself to save money, you're just a slave to something else that you don't enjoy.

Thanks for that great quote, Lets see you back here alcohol free after 14 days. I want a report!

I am day 77

Thank @neo von retorch . He's the genius behind the quote!

I'll be back in two weeks! :D
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Duchess of Stratosphear on June 25, 2018, 01:08:32 PM
I keep falling off the wagon. Sorry to say his name, but as long as Trump is president, I'm not sure I can get off the hooch :(

That's totally lame, of course. So I'm going to start over again soon. I quit for nearly two years several years ago, and it was surprisingly easy once I got a few weeks into it, so I know I can do it. I think I have to decide whether I am quitting 100% or whether I am going to try to just be a social drinker (that is, not drink at home alone to unwind after work; only drink when with other people). Last time, I quit 100%, and I committed to it for at least a year. I went to a gathering at a bar and I drank a water while others chugged their beer. It was not a big deal. When I went into the grocery store, I just didn't go to the huge alcohol section. It was easy, because I just knew I wasn't going to buy any beer/wine because I was 100% NOT drinking. I think saying that I'm going to be a social drinker makes it too easy to decide, fuck it, did you see what he tweeted today? I need a beer, whether it's a social one or not. Do y'all know what I'm saying?

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on June 25, 2018, 01:16:13 PM
Yes, I hear you. I commit myself one month at a time. I say I am doing 30 days NO EXCUSES. But what I want is 60 days, then come 30 days I say another 30 days in a row NO EXCUSES NO EXCEPTIONS. and I do that. Now I am approaching 90 days, and at that point I am going to say I am going six months. I know when I slip up once I will keep making excuses to drink again.

I did the 30 day alcohol experiment with Annie Grace, sign up and she sends an email every day to encourage you. Committing is the key, I used to day oh well I will do 30/35 days alcohol free and so on I made 30 days after reading Annie graces book, there is also a booklet called alcohol explained by a guy named porter, that one was 3$ on amazon and worth a read also.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Bicycle_B on June 25, 2018, 01:19:32 PM
Hi, @Duchess of Stratosphear!

Keep at it, I admire your persistence. Over time, the reflex that a drink is the right consolation will shrink. Eventually your "clean" repetitions in that situation will predominate. You're making an investment in habit change. It will pay off.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on June 25, 2018, 02:54:35 PM
It's about to be Dry July for anyine who wants a social excuse to quit it for a month.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: DagobertDuck on June 25, 2018, 03:11:01 PM
14 days into my one-month challenge. Still at zero drinks! Time for a mid-term write-up:

[blah blah]

Day 29. Situation unchanged. Still sober, still going strong.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on June 26, 2018, 05:07:14 AM
14 days into my one-month challenge. Still at zero drinks! Time for a mid-term write-up:

[blah blah]

Day 29. Situation unchanged. Still sober, still going strong.

Woohoo! That's GREAT stuff
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on June 26, 2018, 05:19:59 AM
Have you read Annie Grace's book? I found a lot of it really useful for understand what I thought alcohol was helping me cope with better versus what it was actually doing. Her differentiation between conscious and unconscious thoughts (liminal thinking) was ground breaking for me and was the reason I was able to quit. Now Id say as long as we have this president I could never drink. :)
I keep falling off the wagon. Sorry to say his name, but as long as Trump is president, I'm not sure I can get off the hooch :(

That's totally lame, of course. So I'm going to start over again soon. I quit for nearly two years several years ago, and it was surprisingly easy once I got a few weeks into it, so I know I can do it. I think I have to decide whether I am quitting 100% or whether I am going to try to just be a social drinker (that is, not drink at home alone to unwind after work; only drink when with other people). Last time, I quit 100%, and I committed to it for at least a year. I went to a gathering at a bar and I drank a water while others chugged their beer. It was not a big deal. When I went into the grocery store, I just didn't go to the huge alcohol section. It was easy, because I just knew I wasn't going to buy any beer/wine because I was 100% NOT drinking. I think saying that I'm going to be a social drinker makes it too easy to decide, fuck it, did you see what he tweeted today? I need a beer, whether it's a social one or not. Do y'all know what I'm saying?

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: albireo13 on June 26, 2018, 07:13:55 AM
 I've tried but not done well.  I do ok until I get stressed out, usually from dealing with my aging parents.  My Mom is very high maintenance and sometimes calls me 6 times a day, even at work.
I need to stop the drinking at home.  Worse yet is, sometimes stopping for drinks on the way home from work.

I am seeing a counselor which helps but I still need some inspirational reads, blogs, etc.

Any good suggestions?
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: austin944 on June 26, 2018, 12:40:45 PM
I've tried but not done well.  I do ok until I get stressed out, usually from dealing with my aging parents.  My Mom is very high maintenance and sometimes calls me 6 times a day, even at work.
I need to stop the drinking at home.  Worse yet is, sometimes stopping for drinks on the way home from work.

I am seeing a counselor which helps but I still need some inspirational reads, blogs, etc.

Any good suggestions?

I would tell your mother exactly what you said here.  You don't necessarily have to propose a solution at first, just state how you feel.  That's the first step.

Are you fearing the consequences of doing that?  It seems like procrastination will only make things worse, from what I can see.  Maybe you go down a spiral with your drinking; I've seen it happen to myself and others around me, when they did not take positive steps to resolve their problems.  Recognize that you are not alone here; it happens to a lot of people.

I saw this blog article today which might help you:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-practice/201805/30-types-self-sabotage-and-what-do-about-it

PT frequently has these blog articles that are really helpful to me.

edit: actually your first step was recognizing the problem and seeing a counselor. 

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Bicycle_B on June 26, 2018, 02:03:29 PM
I've tried but not done well.  I do ok until I get stressed out, usually from dealing with my aging parents.  My Mom is very high maintenance and sometimes calls me 6 times a day, even at work.
I need to stop the drinking at home.  Worse yet is, sometimes stopping for drinks on the way home from work.

I am seeing a counselor which helps but I still need some inspirational reads, blogs, etc.

Any good suggestions?


Not sure if these are good, but:

Twelve step groups offer support from multiple people. Yes, they have lots of baggage too; definitely your choice either way. At least they're cheaper than drinking.  :)

Gratitude. Daily practice of gratitude might relieve stress and give you an emotional reward instead of drinking. List things you're grateful for, see them in your mind, say them out loud. Thank people for things you appreciate. If you believe in a higher power, express gratitude there. Write daily in a gratitude journal. Many people say these things are surprisingly helpful, but you only find out after you try it, apparently. Perhaps a picnic break or cup of coffee on the way home, where you journal for 10 minutes or so.

From my own life - you can miss a parent when they're gone even if they're a pain when alive. Fruitful topic for experimenting with gratitude, especially if these may be the parent's last years.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: OurTown on June 27, 2018, 10:18:22 AM
I've tried but not done well.  I do ok until I get stressed out, usually from dealing with my aging parents.  My Mom is very high maintenance and sometimes calls me 6 times a day, even at work.
I need to stop the drinking at home.  Worse yet is, sometimes stopping for drinks on the way home from work.

I am seeing a counselor which helps but I still need some inspirational reads, blogs, etc.

Any good suggestions?

https://www.smartrecovery.org/smart-recovery-toolbox/

The approach is rational emotive behavioral therapy, which was a forerunner of cognitive behavioral therapy.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: thunderball on June 29, 2018, 04:51:56 PM
Someone earlier mentioned Annie Grace.  I tried a couple of her podcasts and they were fantastic.  More awareness than judgment, and that made me stop and think.  I've cut way back and will return to nothing-during-the-week and then sensible weekends.  We'll see!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: sisto on July 02, 2018, 05:05:33 PM
I do 30 day challenges like this every once in a while. It's good to reset your body. I plan to start another one right after the 4th of July. I have to agree with others about how work/life stress breaks me down and I give in. Doing the 30 days at a time is good to break the habit for a while and reset.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: dutty on July 03, 2018, 08:26:15 AM
What is your go-to non alcoholic drink at a bar or other social setting?
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on July 03, 2018, 08:29:28 AM
What is your go-to non alcoholic drink at a bar or other social setting?
Kombucha feels like a treat, but a soda water with a lime acts as a good disguise if you are in a situation where people may hassle you for not joining in the festivities.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: FIRE@50 on July 03, 2018, 08:30:03 AM
What is your go-to non alcoholic drink at a bar or other social setting?
High quality H2O
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Nederstash on July 04, 2018, 09:07:47 AM
Definitely coke zero with a lime wedge! Virgin cuba libre anyone?

Also, it slipped by without me noticing, but July 1st marked one year without alcohol. Initially I quit because of some meds I was on at the time, but then I realized just how normal drinking had become. It was scary to realize.

And on a sad note, I've noticed that my bond with a good friend has deteriorated. I started meeting her outside of bars and more at home for homecooked meals - and I never had any alcohol available - or Sunday brunches. The visits got shorter and shorter and after a few months, we only saw each other at birthday parties. She's the work-hard-play-hard Wall Street type (Dutchies, can you say Zuidas?). It saddens me to realize that alcohol was apparently such a crutch in our relationship and that we aren't as close as we once were. Or maybe I'm just very boring without alcohol? Hasn't cost me any other friends, so I don't really think so... yeah, it's a bit of a mindfuck to be honest.

But it's also a little sad to see that she needs that crutch. I wish she were more at peace with herself. Gods, that sounds presumptuous of me... I hope you guys know what I mean.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: snogirl on July 04, 2018, 09:44:46 AM
What is your go-to non alcoholic drink at a bar or other social setting?
Water with fresh lemon

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Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: thunderball on July 04, 2018, 10:33:43 AM

try club soda with bitters.  I've discovered there are all types, and makes the soda feel more "complex" and not necessarily sweet.  But simulates the real thing.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Bicycle_B on July 04, 2018, 01:34:53 PM
1. water (free!)
2. orange juice
3. cranberry juice
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: sisto on July 09, 2018, 09:27:05 AM
I officially start my 30 days today! We had some friend from out of town over the weekend so decided to wait until today to start. My wife has been enjoying drinking Perrier with a lime or lemon wedge and we've both been drinking kombucha too. We always drink a ton of plain water every day already so nothing much changing there just cutting out the booze. I also picked up the little tiny cans of pepsi and 7Up. We don't usually ever drink soda, but I thought it would be good to turn to that if we needed something different.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mxt0133 on July 09, 2018, 10:06:23 AM
Everyone please forgive my ignorance but isn't there alcohol in kombucha like  around 2%?  Much less than beer I know, but still.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Bracken_Joy on July 09, 2018, 10:08:23 AM
Everyone please forgive my ignorance but isn't there alcohol in kombucha like  around 2%?  Much less than beer I know, but still.

Less than 0.5% ABV unless sold to 21+, at least in Oregon.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: rosarugosa on July 09, 2018, 03:41:32 PM

try club soda with bitters.  I've discovered there are all types, and makes the soda feel more "complex" and not necessarily sweet.  But simulates the real thing.

I wonder if this is something you can order in a bar, a bitters and soda?
There is a grapefruit bitters by Fee Brothers that is wonderful.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Greyweld on July 09, 2018, 03:48:42 PM
2 weeks in! The first several days were the worst, but cravings are almost entirely subsided now.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on July 09, 2018, 05:49:09 PM

try club soda with bitters.  I've discovered there are all types, and makes the soda feel more "complex" and not necessarily sweet.  But simulates the real thing.

I wonder if this is something you can order in a bar, a bitters and soda?
There is a grapefruit bitters by Fee Brothers that is wonderful.

Absolutely you can - I ask for a soda with a splash of bitters, and also quiz them if they are a craft cocktail bar about what sort of bitters they have.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Bracken_Joy on July 09, 2018, 07:34:39 PM
I got some of these Fee Brother whiskey barrel aged bitters. With a splash of vanilla in sparkling mineral water, it tastes like a dry unsweet rootbeer. It's lovely.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: peregrine on July 10, 2018, 09:27:16 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!

Alright, Onemorebike: I'm in. 

I started drinking when I was 21; I'm 46 now.  With the exception of three weeks in 2014, I have had alcohol in my life on a near-daily/weekly basis for 25 years.  I've long thought about the physical, mental and financial benefits of going sober (and the financial aspect especially since beginning the ways of the Mustache in 2014). 

In fact, if I take my average spending on booze at $200/month and do the MMM thing and calculate investment at 8% return for 10 years, I get:

Nearly $37,000 I could have/could have had.  Damn.

And add to that the mental tiredness, crankiness, lost productivity, and worst of all, the lost joy of living I often experience when I'm sober - and it all adds up to a good idea to give it a rest for a while.  Maybe for a long while.

Today is Day 1.  My goal is to go for 30 days, and possibly longer.  The last time I lived like that I was 20 years old. This won't be easy, and habits are hard to break, but I've done many other hard things in my life so I believe I can do this.

Thanks for this conversation. I'm very glad to see it. And very glad to read all the posts everyone has shared!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on July 10, 2018, 09:21:26 PM
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!

Alright, Onemorebike: I'm in. 

I started drinking when I was 21; I'm 46 now.  With the exception of three weeks in 2014, I have had alcohol in my life on a near-daily/weekly basis for 25 years.  I've long thought about the physical, mental and financial benefits of going sober (and the financial aspect especially since beginning the ways of the Mustache in 2014). 

In fact, if I take my average spending on booze at $200/month and do the MMM thing and calculate investment at 8% return for 10 years, I get:

Nearly $37,000 I could have/could have had.  Damn.

And add to that the mental tiredness, crankiness, lost productivity, and worst of all, the lost joy of living I often experience when I'm sober - and it all adds up to a good idea to give it a rest for a while.  Maybe for a long while.

Today is Day 1.  My goal is to go for 30 days, and possibly longer.  The last time I lived like that I was 20 years old. This won't be easy, and habits are hard to break, but I've done many other hard things in my life so I believe I can do this.

Thanks for this conversation. I'm very glad to see it. And very glad to read all the posts everyone has shared!
This was me a little over five months ago. Welcome, honestly this stands to be one of the better choices/changes I've ever made. I hope it does the same for you. I can't say enough good things about Annie Grace's book on how to control.alcohol and her 30 day challenge that was free when I did it. Check in often, would love to hear how it goes!

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Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on July 10, 2018, 10:36:44 PM
I am twenty days away from a year without booze and it's just going to continue. I stopped because I had turned it into an unhealthy coping mechanism and now it's just not an option for me. I thought I would miss it and I don't. It is so much better inside my head and for the first time in YEARS my weight is creeping down instead of up.

Fancy tea! it's delicious and so much more enjoyment for the price!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: peregrine on July 12, 2018, 09:49:05 PM

[/quote]This was me a little over five months ago. Welcome, honestly this stands to be one of the better choices/changes I've ever made. I hope it does the same for you. I can't say enough good things about Annie Grace's book on how to control.alcohol and her 30 day challenge that was free when I did it. Check in often, would love to hear how it goes!
[/quote]

Yes, I started t'he Annie Grace thing after reading the posts here.  I'm eager to get this going.  Looking forward to brighter days!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: DagobertDuck on July 15, 2018, 12:07:58 PM
14 days into my one-month challenge. Still at zero drinks! Time for a mid-term write-up:

[blah blah]

Day 29. Situation unchanged. Still sober, still going strong.

So, it's been a while, but I completed the challenge. It was pretty easy actually. It might be my imagination but it seems I have lost some belly fat, which is a nice bonus.

After the challenge finished I haven't been on any binges. Still no drinks on ordinary weekday nights, max 2 on social occasions. After one beer, the next round I go for something alcohol-free.

Great success! Now time for the next challenge!
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/no-smartphoneipadpc-before-breakfast-and-after-9-30-pm/
Who's in to join me?

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Leisured on July 16, 2018, 06:23:37 AM
Most of us have a lifelong addiction to tea and coffee, which fortunately does no harm. Tea and coffee are still crutches, though. To be a Devil's Advocate here, what is needed is a compound which gives the same relaxed, merry feel of alcohol, but without the side effects. I do not know if there has been any research on the matter, and I am surprised that alcohol companies do not attempt to discover such a compound.

Tea and coffee change our mental perception of the world, in a small way. I think it is legitimate to try and make the world seem better, so long as one can do so without side effects.

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: sisto on July 16, 2018, 09:52:54 AM
Well it's only been a week now, but it seems like so much longer. We've managed to go to 2 parties and stick to not drinking. I suppose that's why it feels longer. Perrier, and Hansen's for the win!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Nederstash on July 17, 2018, 03:33:37 AM
Most of us have a lifelong addiction to tea and coffee, which fortunately does no harm. Tea and coffee are still crutches, though. To be a Devil's Advocate here, what is needed is a compound which gives the same relaxed, merry feel of alcohol, but without the side effects. I do not know if there has been any research on the matter, and I am surprised that alcohol companies do not attempt to discover such a compound.

Tea and coffee change our mental perception of the world, in a small way. I think it is legitimate to try and make the world seem better, so long as one can do so without side effects.

Coffee was definitely a crutch for me. I was on 3-4 cups a day (all before 2PM) and I had acid reflux and was antsy. My doctor recommended quitting coffee for a bit. The first 10 days were horrible, massive headaches! After that, I felt 100% better than before. Haven't wanted a coffee since. As for tea, I'm not too sure, I don't drink it much, and if I do, it's green tea or chamomile.

And still, the best thing I've done for my health is quitting alcohol over a year ago. It scares me to look back and see how dependent I was starting to get. The good news is, I haven't wanted a single drop since I quit.

Still addicted to cheese/chips/fries/anything hearty really... can't seem to shake that habit.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: dragoncar on July 17, 2018, 08:20:06 PM
To be a Devil's Advocate here, what is needed is a compound which gives the same relaxed, merry feel of alcohol, but without the side effects.

Depends on the side effects you are talking about, but there is a compound which gives similar effects without the liver/cancer risks.  Unfortunately itís highly illegal because itís used for date rape
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: peregrine on July 19, 2018, 09:55:39 AM
Today is my Day 10 w/o alcohol.  I woke up this morning at sunrise, smiling because I felt so good.  I'm getting back to a regular, healthy sleeping habit and mental acuity is increasing.

Reminded me of the Bob Marley song, "Woke up this morning/smiled with the rising sun..."

Increased quality of life and decreased unnecessary expenditures... what could be more Mustachian than that?
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on July 19, 2018, 10:07:56 AM
This! Exactly this! I'm a week away from my six month mark and the immense improvement in the quality of life (and equally large decrease in spending) are mind blowing. I'm better, my relationships are better, my work is better, my play is the best - so glad I embarked on this and especially pleased to be doing it in tandem with fellow mustachians.
Today is my Day 10 w/o alcohol.  I woke up this morning at sunrise, smiling because I felt so good.  I'm getting back to a regular, healthy sleeping habit and mental acuity is increasing.

Reminded me of the Bob Marley song, "Woke up this morning/smiled with the rising sun..."

Increased quality of life and decreased unnecessary expenditures... what could be more Mustachian than that?

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Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Bicycle_B on July 19, 2018, 10:57:21 AM
Keep on keepin' on, lemonfan. You can do it. Rooting for you!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: OurTown on July 19, 2018, 12:06:14 PM
Good luck guys.  I fell off the wagon a bunch of times before I finally stayed on for good.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Greyweld on July 19, 2018, 07:38:50 PM
Hi friends. I'm almost at a month and I'm having a bit of a depression kick my ass. Please remind me booze won't fix it. Thanks.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on July 19, 2018, 08:22:40 PM
Hi friends. I'm almost at a month and I'm having a bit of a depression kick my ass. Please remind me booze won't fix it. Thanks.

Hey there! Booze is a depressant so will just make it worse. You can do it!

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Greyweld on July 19, 2018, 08:37:15 PM
Hi friends. I'm almost at a month and I'm having a bit of a depression kick my ass. Please remind me booze won't fix it. Thanks.

Hey there! Booze is a depressant so will just make it worse. You can do it!

Thank you! For some reason I believe it more if someone else tells me.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on July 19, 2018, 10:22:11 PM
Hi friends. I'm almost at a month and I'm having a bit of a depression kick my ass. Please remind me booze won't fix it. Thanks.

Hey there! Booze is a depressant so will just make it worse. You can do it!

Thank you! For some reason I believe it more if someone else tells me.

Always here for a pep-talk
: )

*But seriously my brainspace has got So Much Better since I quit booze. I won't say it's always been easy but it has got easier as I go on and in terms of mood benefits, the closest analogy I have is like when I moved from a gloomy country to a sunny one and became just a much more cheerful person.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on July 27, 2018, 08:59:06 AM
Today I celebrate six months with no hooch! Feeling great and super positive still about this life change, now I'm trying to think of a proper celebration that doesn't include hooch. :)
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: paulkots on July 27, 2018, 09:48:52 AM
Starting no beer/wine or sweets until at least Sept 1st.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: OurTown on July 27, 2018, 01:23:28 PM
Nice job guys.  (And/or ladies).  I am at 1 year, 11 months, 21 days.

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Greyweld on July 27, 2018, 03:27:57 PM
I'm at a month and two days. Woot!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on July 27, 2018, 05:21:56 PM
I'm at 11 months and 29 days, weirdly excited to get to a year.

@onemorebike ice cream? An ice cream cake?
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on July 31, 2018, 07:04:57 PM
I have been alcohol free for almost 4 months, thanks for all the support and tips.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BookLoverL on August 01, 2018, 02:35:56 AM
When at uni I discovered I didn't really like the taste of alcohol, so I didn't drink much anyway, and then I went on medication, so I pretty much stopped completely. I've had about 2 ciders in the last year, and both of those were at really noisy parties that I felt I had to go to due to family obligations.

So proud of everyone here putting in the effort to cut back/give up. Your wallet and health will both thank you.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on August 04, 2018, 07:18:56 AM
Hi, I was inspired by this thread about a month ago but am just joining you now.

I have significantly reduced my alcohol consumption this past month, and was drinking just one beer a night for 2 weeks.  Then I started skipping that, or only drinking half a beer.  I've had some headaches and withdrawal issues at first but that is over now. 

I've decided not to try to "challenge" myself to be totally sober for a certain amount of time. I don't want to "fall of the wagon" or feel I have failed. But I want to stick to a maximum of just one beer a night, no wine or liquor anymore.  And when I find myself thinking about having that beer, to substitute something else -- tea, exercise, a phone chat with a friend (NOT FOOD which is my downfall in terms of weight management!!)

That said, it's been 2 days without a beer for me, so maybe I will just continue and see how I feel?
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on August 04, 2018, 09:10:10 AM
Hi Crusty,

I think you should try to commit to a 30 day No Alcohol fast to see how you feel.
I am at 4 months as of next week, and I do feel great.  I remember having an uptick in energy after two weeks then again at 3 weeks. I had been trying to moderate for years, had some sucess with 30 beers a month,  but then slipped back to my old habits. I read a book that said anyone who drinks several times a week is experienceing a low level withdrawal every day. That it takes 7-10 days for alcohol to be totally out of your system. Once I thouhgt of alcohol as a toxin to the body I had an attitiude adjustment, and just quit ( maybe not forever but my initial goal was 2-6 months). I found without alcohol  I am less moody and edgy, something I did not expect and I get along better with my spouse.

Just think of the 30 days as a reset, renew, a purge if you will,  a cleansing.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on August 04, 2018, 09:50:45 AM
I've tried that before, and I gained 10 pounds.  I'm at a point where I simply cannot gain any more weight.  So I am reluctant to commit to a fast of that nature until I know I have a plan for managing my stress in a way that doesn't involve eating. (-:
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on August 04, 2018, 10:56:05 AM
It may be harder to loose weight than give up booze. I did not initially loose weight either, but I have been loosing lately, I initially substitited ice cream for beer!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: OurTown on August 06, 2018, 07:48:06 AM
2 years today. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on August 06, 2018, 10:21:50 AM
Well done, sir!
2 years today.

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Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on August 07, 2018, 06:34:56 AM
Hi Crusty,

I think you should try to commit to a 30 day No Alcohol fast to see how you feel.

You know, on second thought, I think you are right.    Immediately after reading your comment, I got a little angry and later that night, had a beer in defiance.   "No one is going to suggest to me I shouldn't drink!"   I saw at the time how irrational that was.

And I am realizing that if I just have a drink every couple of days, I am still experiencing all the unpleasant effects every couple of days now instead of every day.  It's like going through withdrawal over and over and over.

I just signed up for Anne Grace's Alcohol Experiment and am going to give it an honest try.   

Thanks @BikeFanatic for the push!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on August 07, 2018, 07:11:47 AM
CrustyBadger,

You are dead on. You are dealing with all of the downside (ongoing withdrawal symptoms) with none of the upside. Annie Grace's 30 day challenge is awesome, make sure and jump on their community boards too - I think they have a forum and a facebook page - they are super helpful!

Keep us updated here too!

Hi Crusty,

I think you should try to commit to a 30 day No Alcohol fast to see how you feel.

You know, on second thought, I think you are right.    Immediately after reading your comment, I got a little angry and later that night, had a beer in defiance.   "No one is going to suggest to me I shouldn't drink!"   I saw at the time how irrational that was.

And I am realizing that if I just have a drink every couple of days, I am still experiencing all the unpleasant effects every couple of days now instead of every day.  It's like going through withdrawal over and over and over.

I just signed up for Anne Grace's Alcohol Experiment and am going to give it an honest try.   

Thanks @BikeFanatic for the push!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: brute on August 07, 2018, 07:20:32 AM
Been (mostly) booze free for a month now. My wife and I split a very good sour beer with another couple, 4 oz each, last week. Thoroughly enjoyed it, didn't feel the need for more afterwards. We'll be continuing the booze free life for another 2 months at least. Physically and emotionally, this has been great for us. We've both dropped a significant amount of fat, gotten stronger, and don't argue as much.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: peregrine on August 09, 2018, 08:51:40 PM
Hi Everybody,

I hit my 30-day mark Alcohol Free yesterday. I have no plans to go back to the alcohol days. Once I got the medical, scientific facts of all the ways alcohol is known to harm the body from a book called Alcohol Explained (by William Porter), I realized I could never look at a glass of beer the same way again.

Though I am fit, I am also pre-diabetic. I've learned that heavy drinking (my case) brings on diabetes even faster than it otherwise would occur. That scares the bajeezus out of me!

I won't go into the whole story here, but I drank for 25 years, with no breaks, in ever-increasing amounts. This year has been a bad one (lots of booze); I was looking for an excuse to give it up when I saw this thread.  The timing was perfect for me - so glad I did it.

If you're thinking about going booze free, you should give it a shot. You probably can't remember how good it feels to have your old self back again.

I recommend Annie Grace's "Alcohol Experiment" online site, as well.

Life was meant to be lived! What have you got to lose? Nothing - and everything to gain!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on August 09, 2018, 08:55:04 PM
nice to hear, peregrine!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on August 09, 2018, 10:15:21 PM
Great stuff @peregrine I just hit my first year and it just gets easier.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: frugalkristen on August 11, 2018, 08:02:42 AM
Although I look through all of the posts in this forum, I've actively avoided reading this one until today.  I know I need to give up alcohol but have made a lot of excuses to keep drinking.  Last December, I decided to make some changes in the new year - I declared January to be a no spend, no alcohol and lose weight month.  I had packed on an extra 15 pounds over the last few years (divorce, new job, 4 grown kids, etc).  Well that didn't last.  I did keep my spending low (not "no" but still good) and after struggling the first couple weeks, tried a low carb diet (the first time I have ever tried it as I was always a calories in/calories out girl).  I lost the extra 15 pounds quickly (and kept them off!).  I definitely see food differently now and will never go back to the way I used to eat (I have carbs but am very thoughtful about what I'm eating).  Now it's time to tackle the alcohol issue.  A lot has changed in my life the last 4 years (well, everything has changed in my life the last 4 years...) and my drinking habit slowly increased.  Starting today, I am going to cut way back.  I am meeting friends out Friday (who I haven't seen in many years) and know I will have a couple beers out with them.  I want to be realistic so I won't fail.  After that, I plan to stop drinking for a few weeks.  I don't think this will be easy but I need to make this change.  I'll be reading this sub everyday as you are all very encouraging.  Thank you! 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on August 11, 2018, 09:51:13 AM
Hi @frugalkristen   Good luck to you!

I really like Annie Grace.  She wrote This Naked Mind (which I haven't read yet) and has a free thing on the web called the Alcohol Experiment.  I just decided to dive in and try it -- it's 30 days of emails with links to videos, research, and journal "assignments".  It's very low key and non judgmental, and it is having a really good effect on me.

With all the stress I have been under the past few years, my drinking to de stress (and not feel) has increased a great deal.  I was getting alarmed at how my tolerance has increased but tried to a few times and wasn't able to reduce it for long.  It's early days yet, but something about this time feels different.  And it isn't hard, like it was in the past.  So, it seems to be working for me, anyhow, and I read reviews from others who say the same thing. It's worth checking out IMO!

Again, good luck!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on August 11, 2018, 09:56:57 AM
If you do the annie grace video challenge you should start before you quit drinking she has some exercise  to do while you are still drinking,  I did it backwards,   quit then joined the group.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on August 15, 2018, 07:05:10 AM
It's been 11 days since I started the Annie Grace video program.  I am starting to feel the effects of being completely alcohol free.  I really like the constant support and videos to watch every day, talking about a different effect alcohol has on our bodies, or things we might be going through as we are discontinuing alcohol use.  It kind of reminds me of being pregnant and those emails you would get saying "on this date in your pregnancy, your body is doing this" kind of thing.

One thing I notice is I am sleeping more, and when I wake up I am much less anxious than I have been upon awakening.  I used to wake to these nightmares -- in a panicky feeling, "Oh, no there's something really really important that I forgot".

It's been SUPER easy to stop drinking.  I get cravings around dinner time but I am easily able to just let them go.  I don't have any peer pressure to drink, in fact most of my friends (when I see them) don't drink, so that part is easy.   And my husband has even voluntarily cut back a lot of his drinking as well. 

Life is not very stressful at the moment because I'm not working (teacher -- summer vacation) AND my kids are away from home, though.   They return Friday and school starts again next week.  I'm fearful that the only reason I've been able to handle stress without alcohol is that I just haven't had a lot of stress to deal with and don't know what will happen once my little stressors return!

One thing I CANNOT do is gain weight.  I am already at 195 pounds and I'm only 5'8".  I have resolved not to go back to drinking though, so I am going to have to do something else to not gain weight.  The alcohol experiment videos have helped me to realize I have to make a plan to deal with these sugar cravings... more protein, and more exercise I guess. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on August 15, 2018, 07:10:03 AM
Oh... one more thing.... I think conservatively, I spent a minimum of $20 a week on alcohol.  (This doesn't count what my husband drinks.)  Since I am no longer drinking, this is money that I can be spending on paying down debt.

But...

I think instead, just for a while, I am going to move $80/month into my (nonexistent) clothing budget.  I do not spend any money on clothes for myself.  But for once I am going to reward myself a little bit.  I am making good progress on my debt, and do not have a habit of indulging myself with little rewards or treats.  And I really truly need some new work clothes.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: afuera on August 15, 2018, 09:21:28 AM
I'm in on this challenge.  I don't really crave alcohol very much and I have always thought the non-alcoholic versions of whatever I'm drinking taste better comparatively but I have let social drinking sort of take over my life. The biggest issue is that alcohol is one of the biggest sources of conflict in my marriage.  I can't do anything about the amount my husband drinks but I can decide right now that I'll quit for good.
Congratulations and good luck to everyone in this thread.  Y'all are an inspiration.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on August 15, 2018, 10:11:01 AM
@CrustyBadger - Good going, Ya I would plop that extra money right into the clothing budget, reward yourself for a month not drinking , saves a ton of money if you go out to bars or out to dinner with ten dollar glasses of wine. I aim for 30 days at a time and commit for 30 days every month. I just finished 4 months and am committed for another month. I calculate my spouse and I save 250-300$ a month!

Also, I think you can be an inspiration to your spouse if you quit, I quit first in my relationship. Good luck to all of you.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Slee_stack on August 15, 2018, 11:06:21 AM
I wouldn't mind shedding some pounds, but I'm not keen on eliminating alcohol altogether.

Certain beers are just so incredibly delicious tasting to me.

I will try to cut back on overall volume, drink slower to savor the flavor even more, etc.

I don't drink during the week, but on the weekends average 3 beers per day.

I've already cut back drinking bad beer.  I used to regularly attend a cheap Chicken Wing and beer night, but the crappy beer is just not worth the calories.  Ok, the Chicken Wings probably aren't either, but at least those taste good!

If someone comes up with an alcohol free hazy IPA, let me know immediately!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: OurTown on August 15, 2018, 12:34:53 PM
The only NA beers worth drinking are, in order of preference:  1) Beck's Buckler, and 2) St. Pauli Girl NA. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on August 15, 2018, 12:54:59 PM
I beg to differ on the non alcoholic beers! I say there are 4 that are good, all from Germany.

Buckler =90 calories is is made by Heineken I believe, and that is a good one, plain but good.
I also like Becks Blue label that one is only 60 calories.
I do enjoy the St pauligirls, but it tastes very similar to Becks.

Then there is Claushauller  Amber dry hopped. Has a Wort taste to it ( wort is unfermented beer), and the hops give it a kick, I like it.

lastly there is Sharps amber by Miller or Coors I think, not bad really. Kaliber is by guiness and i find it  a tad sweet but OK .
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: OurTown on August 15, 2018, 01:05:28 PM
You're right, Buckler is made by Heineken.  There is also a Becks n.a., that's pretty good.

I keep a few of these in the back porch fridge in the summer months and pop one after I finish mowing the lawn.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on August 15, 2018, 01:08:16 PM
It does satisfy, my wife and I can have a beer on the back porch,  not as tasty as a real beer, but I feel like I am relaxed and enjoying myself.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: OurTown on August 15, 2018, 01:16:10 PM
Early on in my sobriety we did a bunch of fruit juices and selzers.  Coconut water with pineapple juice was especially tasty.  Now it's just the selzers because we are watching the carbs.  The only combo I have continued is the "cranberry fizz."   
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on August 15, 2018, 02:53:31 PM
Grapefruit juice w seltzer gives the same bitter citrus as an IPA. It's a staple in our house
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: OurTown on August 16, 2018, 07:44:37 AM
That sounds really, really good.  I may have to try it.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: EarlyInJourney on August 16, 2018, 12:16:32 PM
I've cut back in recent weeks, to support my wife re: reproductive reasons.  I've found that LeCroix sparkling water works for me, as a substitute.  I went out with a friend a few days ago, had a shot, and felt really gross - like I had just poured a little glassful of toxins into my body...

Not sure yet how serious I want to get about this, but the benefits of quitting, or at least significantly reducing, alcohol consumption, are pretty clear to me... Sympathy sobriety is definitely a good thing!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: lemanfan on August 16, 2018, 01:20:41 PM
I still have not fully committed to be a teetotaler, but I've managed to pass by my regular watering hole a couple of times this week and talk to my friends there and resisted the beer offerings.  Small victory. :)
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Thegoblinchief on August 17, 2018, 05:15:58 AM
I was alcohol free for about 4 months earlier this year. Recently tried adding it back in and I think Iím gonna stay dry for life. My inflammation levels go up, mild sugar cravings return despite otherwise sticking to my very low carb diet, and my enjoyment of it isnít worth the other negative physical and emotional feelings (I have chronic depression).

Gonna go back and read the thread now.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Thegoblinchief on August 17, 2018, 07:08:56 AM
Downloaded a sobriety tracker app after reading through the thread, I think that will be a good thing to have :)

@CrustyBadger you mention your weight issues. Have you tried LCHF or other ketogenic type diets? They donít necessarily work for everyone, but Iíve been completely changed by it and know a lot of folks whoíve benefited too. In my experience, it works similar to dropping alcohol for a set period and then having a drink again. After a month or two, eating carbs again makes you feel so fucking gross that itís self-reinforcing.

Similar to alcohol, I personally really struggle to moderate with carbs. Cold turkey was the only way for me to succeed.

Iíve lost 55+ lb in 19 months and am 20lbs lighter than Iíve ever been as an adult (have been obese my entire life) with maybe 10-15 more pounds to lose before Iím at a quite health body fat %.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: OurTown on August 17, 2018, 07:12:51 AM
@furrychickens:  I did the same.  Shortly after I gave up drinking (about 2 years ago now) I went pretty hard-core keto.  I lost about 40 lbs and have kept it off.  Intermittent fasting really kicks it into overdrive.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on August 17, 2018, 07:20:22 AM
@furrychickens, I would LOVE to try a LCHF or even a Whole30 type meal plan again.  I did very well on an Atkins induction diet years ago; felt the healthiest I ever did by cutting out most grains and starches.  I ate a ton of leafy green veggies, sensible protein, nuts and so on.   

I have a lot of very serious family responsibilities right now with different medical issues related to food.   My husband is no longer able to chew and I have to prepare everything so it can be pureed or easily swallowed, for example, and he needs more calories because he is losing weight. Both my children have different food related issues as well (and they both need help gaining weight).  Trying to keep some semblance of normality with family mealtimes is important, and I'm afraid everyone else's needs are coming in front of mine.  I tried throwing money at the problem (that's how I ran into so much debt!) and am now trying to throw time at the problem (but with working full time and dealing with the caretaking my husband needs, and the needs to two teens... it's hard... which is why I drink...)

Anyhow, I am hoping cutting out alcohol will give me more energy to deal with other issues.   And maybe I'll find a practical solution for my personal meal needs that doesn't require spending too much money.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Thegoblinchief on August 17, 2018, 07:34:35 AM
@CrustyBadger oof, thatís a load!

I could see a lot of ways you could make it easy on yourself, like eating lunch meat and cheese, pre-cooked sausages, etc but totally understand the overwhelmed feeling.

Depending on whatís going on with your kids, Iíve also known folks using keto or similar auto-immune protocol diets to gain weight. Good luck!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Cassie on August 17, 2018, 11:10:17 AM
Wow you have a lot on your plate. A friend of mine lost all his saliva from radiation and had to feed himself through a tube in his stomach.  Such a drag as food is such a big pleasure.   Take care
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: austin944 on August 24, 2018, 12:56:16 PM

More motivation to quit:

-------

There's "no safe level of alcohol," major new study concludes

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/alcohol-and-health-no-safe-level-of-drinking-major-new-study-concludes/

"Previous studies have found a protective effect of alcohol on some conditions, but we found that the combined health risks associated with alcohol increase with any amount of alcohol," lead author Dr. Max Griswold, of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, said in a statement. "In particular, the strong association between alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer, injuries, and infectious diseases offset the protective effects for ischemic heart disease in women in our study."
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: peregrine on August 28, 2018, 09:47:53 PM
I reached day 50 today.  I'm finding that the greatest temptations occur after a stressful day at work. The long hours and tiredness contribute to the temptation of a drink, but once I get home the pattern is broken and I don't even think about it.

Funny, how our triggers work.  I've heard that after 3 months your brain has made new habits that require virtually no thinking or willpower anymore. I'm halfway there.

In any case, I'm doing better in all areas of life and plan to keep it that way!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on August 29, 2018, 04:54:15 AM
Amen, peregrine!

I am finding my only cravings to come when I feel I am being pulled in all directions by my family members' needs.   Once I realize that is what is happening, the impulse to have a drink dwindles away.  I've realized that having a drink of alcohol will do nothing to help me meet anyone's needs!

I've started enjoying working out (with my teenaged son) in the late evenings as well.  By the time we get home and I have my shower, it's basically bed time and there's not even a time to sit around and crave a glass of alcohol.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Thegoblinchief on August 29, 2018, 05:20:29 AM
Day 13 for me. Having a bit more cravings than I remember from the last time I went sober but itís all good.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Cassie on August 29, 2018, 10:14:50 AM
When my son quit drinking he replaced it with sparkling water with lemon added.  He is coming today for a few weeks so I stocked up.  I quit drinking at 31 when I was raising my kids and after awhile I never had the urge anymore. Took it up again about 10 years ago but recently decided that I am only drinking once a week when we go out for dinner. Itís too easy to let it become a unhealthy nightly habit.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: DagobertDuck on September 09, 2018, 04:06:31 AM
To be a Devil's Advocate here, what is needed is a compound which gives the same relaxed, merry feel of alcohol, but without the side effects.
Depends on the side effects you are talking about, but there is a compound which gives similar effects without the liver/cancer risks.  Unfortunately itís highly illegal because itís used for date rape

Hehehehe lol.

But actually: though it doesn't give the same 'buzz' alcohol does: exercise makes me a much happier and more relaxed person!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: bluewater on September 17, 2018, 12:06:46 PM
I just want to give a sincere thank you to the thread as a whole and those specifically that pointed out Annie Grace's book, This Naked Mind.  I've come to view alcohol in a whole different light (coming from a daily drinker 20+ years).  For anyone that's had the feeling they need to cut back a bit, limit their alcohol to certain amounts or days I'd highly recommend checking out the book.  Don't worry, you can be drinking while you read it and you won't have to commit to cutting back or quitting.  I went through a Whole 30 and felt great afterwards and I'm coming to realize I think a major reason for how I felt was just being sober for that long.  However the restriction that said I couldn't drink that month was miserable and in fact I couldn't wait to have wine as soon as it was allowed.  Personally I haven't said to myself I'm never drinking again but I'm just feeling right now that I just don't want to drink.  Crazy. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on September 17, 2018, 05:16:19 PM
I also am greatful for the book ( this Naked Mind) and this thread, I havent had a drink in 5 months and I do feel really good.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on September 17, 2018, 05:25:26 PM
I love this thread and how positive everyone is on it. My tea collection is exploding but it is amazing what a good substitute a nice cup of tea is in terms of marking transition from work to not-work time.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: GilbertB on September 18, 2018, 03:09:35 PM
Well done to all of you.

I drink maybe two glasses of champagne a year. This has always been the case.
And I feel totally normal.

Some families or groups have low alcohol tolerance, I think that is my case, as that flute of champagne make me dizzy.
Not forgetting the aunt, three uncles and Grandfather all dead of drink related diseases might also be pointers that I should never ever be tempted!

Proud of all of you!


Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on September 18, 2018, 04:36:01 PM
I love this thread and how positive everyone is on it. My tea collection is exploding but it is amazing what a good substitute a nice cup of tea is in terms of marking transition from work to not-work time.

Yes!   Or even just a "nice cold glass of ice water"!

I was able to reframe my desire for a "cold beer" or "a glass of white wine" when coming home from a long day of stress at work in this way.  "I can't wait to get home, put my feet up, and have a nice cold glass of ice water."   If you say it often enough, it starts to sound like a treat.  (-:
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Fomerly known as something on September 19, 2018, 04:58:09 AM
I'm currently working with the rule that I am only allowed to have an alcoholic beverage when I'm outside of my own house.  As others have said I mainly don't like that a glass of wine had become a habit, and that maybe the amount in that glass had grown little by little.

I do now have a sparkling water habit.  But for some reason I don't feel bad about drinking a 1/2 liter bottle of Costco's fancy stuff.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Bean05 on September 19, 2018, 05:20:54 AM
I love the title of this post btw :)

Iíve been lurking since I saw it. I donít have a problem with my drinking level but Iím 47 and over the last year I feel like my body/liver is telling me NO! I would have hangovers from just a couple glasses of wine, so odd.

I had my blood test last fall a year ago now and Dr said my liver enzymes are fine and people develop sensitivity. Anyway, a few months ago I just...stopped drinking.

Itís funny how in social situations it can be odd. Iím in Sales, so Iím getting small glasses of seltzer with lime, etc. but Iíve managed just fine. With friends if anyone asks I just say Iím up for a 10-15 mile bike ride Sunday morning (which is true), and That tends to work, versus ďI think my liver might be agingĒ lmao

Thanks all, for sharing.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on September 19, 2018, 05:57:33 AM
Liver enzymes are not always elevated when someone has liver damage. A liver ultrasound may be a better evaluation. I am not a Doctor .

I am more sensitive to alcohol last few years, especially wine gives me a headache the next day. My symptoms mostly were low energy the next day after drinking 3 beers. I thought I was getting old and lazy but when I quit drinking I had tons of energy

I also feel like I am in a small society of non drinkers and I rarely meet non drinkers. who needs non drinking friends when you have youtube I guess. Lots of support there.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: tightwaddy on September 24, 2018, 07:26:42 AM
Good Morning!

I am day two of no booze, and it's much better than day one--although, the hangover on day one was strong impetus for deciding to investigate a teetotaler's life. DH and I looked at each other yesterday while feeling like crap and chagrined over stupid fighting and decided we have crept into the realm of "problem drinking."

Hearing how good all of you are feeling is very motivating.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: snogirl on September 24, 2018, 08:20:40 AM
Good Morning!

I am day two of no booze, and it's much better than day one--although, the hangover on day one was strong impetus for deciding to investigate a teetotaler's life. DH and I looked at each other yesterday while feeling like crap and chagrined over stupid fighting and decided we have crept into the realm of "problem drinking."

Hearing how good all of you are feeling is very motivating.
Keep the memory of how you felt on day 1 as motivation for the day you're in. There was a time I couldn't imagine not drinking. My life took a whole new direction when I gave it up. Best decision I ever made. It's just for today. Lots of today's make months make years. Health, Spirit, Relationships, Finances grow along with it if you want it to. Wishing you the best.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on September 24, 2018, 10:42:00 AM
Quote
DH and I looked at each other yesterday while feeling like crap and chagrined over stupid fighting and decided we have crept into the realm of "problem drinking."

Someone I listen to recently on a Podcast said 90 percent of all arguments were fueled by Caffiene or alcohol...

I did learn, as a side effect of my spouse and I giving up beer,  is that we do indeed get along better and I was not expecting that. I am a lot less moody especially in the morning and am more aware of my moods.

Good luck on day 3
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: tightwaddy on September 25, 2018, 05:42:26 PM
@snogirl & @BikeFanatic thanks for the support.  Intriguing data and personal experiences on the fighting; looking back over the past couple of years we've realized our really bad fights were at least partially fueled by booze. I wouldn't have thought that, but it's another motivator for sure.

Day three went pretty well except that I've somehow got a head cold :p  I'm figuring that by the time the cold goes away I'll be feeling pretty fine!  (Did notice intense sugar cravings around happy hour yesterday and today, and I've not been eating sweets for about a month; assume that was detox related).

Definitely a great thread for me right now--thanks to all the participants for the read!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on September 25, 2018, 06:48:16 PM
We definitely fought more with booze in the equation. I just wasn't as attentive to my family's needs, or as attuned to the nuances of personal interactions. Also, as was already mentioned, paying attention to your moods is hella easier when you are sober and those swings just aren't as common when you aren't fighting even the slightest hangover.

Keep it up!

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: sanderh on September 25, 2018, 08:05:56 PM
I've recently kicked alcohol out of my life completely, want to join me?
Congratulations, good for you! I stopped alcohol drinking a long time ago and don't plan to resume. No regrets.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on September 27, 2018, 05:12:59 AM
I had a dream last night that I was asking a few friends out for beer and everyone was starting at me wondering why I was getting ready to drink. As I reflected on it more I figured it might be related to feeling a little more socially isolated after giving up what I think is a pretty common social endeavor (hey, lets grab a beer or want to cruise to the bar tonight? Or after work or..) I know you can just have a soda water but even with that I get fewer invites because folks know I don't drink and I organize fewer get togethers because I was big on gatherings when I drank more but don't love them as much now.

What are your go to social outings as you limit your alcohol intake?

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: tightwaddy on October 01, 2018, 09:01:56 AM
Came to check in yesterday to announce I'd made it a full week. For some reason, starting that post made me really, really, really want a beer so I ended up walking away and trying to distract myself. Was effective at that and it's too early to drink now so here I am on day 8, feeling pretty good.

The social challenges raised by @onemorebike are ones that I've been dreading the most.  It's not like I'm a big bar hopper, but 1-2 times a month have drinks out with friends or at home-based dinner.  I'm not completely sure how to deal with this future event--have even been considering modifying "no hooch" to "only social hooch" for this reason.  I'm attracted to the clear hard line of purity, but I'm also not convinced I never want to drink again.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on October 01, 2018, 10:21:02 AM
FWIW, I went back and read Annie Grace's "liminal" chapter on the belief that you drink to be more social and that helped me answer my own question. A week is awesome. I can't do the only social hooch, I'm too social. :)

Came to check in yesterday to announce I'd made it a full week. For some reason, starting that post made me really, really, really want a beer so I ended up walking away and trying to distract myself. Was effective at that and it's too early to drink now so here I am on day 8, feeling pretty good.

The social challenges raised by @onemorebike are ones that I've been dreading the most.  It's not like I'm a big bar hopper, but 1-2 times a month have drinks out with friends or at home-based dinner.  I'm not completely sure how to deal with this future event--have even been considering modifying "no hooch" to "only social hooch" for this reason.  I'm attracted to the clear hard line of purity, but I'm also not convinced I never want to drink again.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: daveed on October 02, 2018, 08:57:50 AM
53 days and counting! Alcoholism runs in my family, and found myself not liking who I was under the influence as much as myself sober.

So far so good. I've only had 2 people notice, both of who are close to me. Other than that I basically don't tell anyone and sip on my LeCroix or nonalcoholic cocktail / ginger drink.

Lost weight, and saving probably $40-80 a month.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on October 02, 2018, 09:34:39 AM
53 days! That is great news, you must be feeling amazing. Best advice I heard was that you are pretty much never in the clear, keep it up.


53 days and counting! Alcoholism runs in my family, and found myself not liking who I was under the influence as much as myself sober.

So far so good. I've only had 2 people notice, both of who are close to me. Other than that I basically don't tell anyone and sip on my LeCroix or nonalcoholic cocktail / ginger drink.

Lost weight, and saving probably $40-80 a month.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: brute on October 02, 2018, 10:55:08 AM
booze free for 92 days. Breaking the streak in a couple weeks when we head out on vacation, then back to no booze. 38 pounds of weight loss since dropping the booze.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on October 02, 2018, 11:26:50 AM
38 pounds? That's bananas.
booze free for 92 days. Breaking the streak in a couple weeks when we head out on vacation, then back to no booze. 38 pounds of weight loss since dropping the booze.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: austin944 on October 02, 2018, 09:28:49 PM
What are your go to social outings as you limit your alcohol intake?

Group sports or group exercise.  It's hard to drink alcohol when you are working up a sweat.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on October 03, 2018, 05:16:58 AM
What are your go to social outings as you limit your alcohol intake?

Group sports or group exercise.  It's hard to drink alcohol when you are working up a sweat.

When I did the Annie Grace "alcohol experiment" course she showed us a graph that said how many adults in the US drink and how much/how often they drink.  I was really surprised to see than (roughly) 33% of the adults do not drink alcohol at all, and another 33% drink only about once or twice a month or so.  Only the "top" third of the population drinks once a week, and of that group about 1/3 just once or twice a week, 1/3 drinks about once a day, and only the "top" one tenth drinks as I drank, more than once glass each day, or more than 14 drinks each week.

So looking at that, it seems it should be easy to find social events where people aren't drinking.  Most people in the US don't drink that much.  But that hasn't been the case in my social circle in the past -- many social gatherings (including watching sports) involve drinking alcohol.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Slee_stack on October 03, 2018, 11:47:37 AM

When I did the Annie Grace "alcohol experiment" course she showed us a graph that said how many adults in the US drink and how much/how often they drink.  I was really surprised to see than (roughly) 33% of the adults do not drink alcohol at all, and another 33% drink only about once or twice a month or so.  Only the "top" third of the population drinks once a week, and of that group about 1/3 just once or twice a week, 1/3 drinks about once a day, and only the "top" one tenth drinks as I drank, more than once glass each day, or more than 14 drinks each week.

So looking at that, it seems it should be easy to find social events where people aren't drinking.  Most people in the US don't drink that much.  But that hasn't been the case in my social circle in the past -- many social gatherings (including watching sports) involve drinking alcohol.
Here's a link to a 2014 chart:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/09/25/think-you-drink-a-lot-this-chart-will-tell-you/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.20f9c38cef97

It is surprising to me too.   I'm in the 7th to 8th Decile. 

Top decile...10 drinks per day every day!   Yikes!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on October 03, 2018, 06:07:51 PM
That was it -- yeah, I was in the 9th decile.

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Neustache on October 07, 2018, 07:45:58 AM
Rejoining this thread...sorta.  Will I be completely booze free?  Not sure yet.  But it was a Saturday yesterday and I didn't drink.  I had 2 drinks on Thursday and 3 on Friday.  Too much.  My pattern has been to be dry Sun-Wed then have drink (or two, or three) on Thurs/Fri/Sat.  I'm trying to break the pattern.  My previous pattern was drinking daily so I was doing better with the new pattern but I found it too easy to binge (I'm female, I should have 1 drink a day, max) and then I felt stupid the next day.  I don't want my kids to see me tipsy and definitely not drunk.  According to the chart, I was in the 8th decile and my husband is in the 9th. I'm shooting for something more in the 6th decile - two drinks per month total. 

The plan - I love ginger beer (alcohol free) and the heat of the ginger replicates the feeling of alcohol on my throat.  Husband has agreed to buy me fancy ginger beer as my Fri/Sat treat.  This also coincides with me stopping sodas for caffeine in the mornings, so the ginger beer will taste even better. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on October 07, 2018, 08:24:17 AM
I just realized I have been alcohol free for over 2 months!

Not having any difficulties with it.  Very occasionally I will crave a beer, and since I'm not doing the Annie Grace emails every day anymore will forget that I'm not drinking and why... but then I remember and don't have the beer (they are still in the fridge because my husband does still drink them.)

To free up more space in the fridge I've asked him if we can just store the beer somewhere else, and only make a beer cold beer by beer.  It's more of a pain for him, but he also wants to be cutting back.  And you can chill a beer pretty quickly in the freezer.   
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mntnmn117 on October 08, 2018, 11:00:42 AM
Giving sober October a try.  Those charts are pretty interesting.  I'm a ninth percentile drinking and man those triggers people list on page 1 hit home.

After just one week the triggers are so constant - post bike ride, back porch grilling, rough day at work, lazy weekend afternoon. But I'm down at least a pound and probably saved $20-30 bucks already.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Money Badger on October 08, 2018, 07:33:50 PM
This thread gracefully "found me" tonight and love the amazing results folks are getting...    so I'm in for a "test walk" now till my birthday Oct 20... then see how long I can "run" after that...   Major work stress / org change drama, a change in exercise habits (really cut back on tennis after an injury) and the alcohol habit especially during college football season are not being good to me physically with weight/sleep/energy loss, the whole negative enchilada.   No kidding, I may need some nudges to keep me going y'all.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Thegoblinchief on October 09, 2018, 04:56:45 AM
The best advice I can give is commit to a month. Like when figuring out possible food intolerances or allergies too mild to show up on a prick test, a month seems like the minimum effective period to abstain from something and have your body recover from delayed negative reactions. Then, if desired, add it back in and see how you feel. The difference is sometimes subtle, sometimes surprisingly stark.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mxt0133 on October 10, 2018, 12:00:04 AM
Just wanted to encourage everyone here for going alcohol free, keep it up!  Your weight and finances are all the better for it. 

I know how hard it is to decline alcohol especially when your social circle wants to hang out at a bars.  Just the other day I was at a gathering and meet a bunch of new people that I wanted to get to know better.  One offered me a beer and normally I wouldn't hesitate to just say that I'm OK, however this time for a split second I actually considered taking him up on his offer because I wanted to be social make a good impression.  I still declined politely and we had a good time getting to know each other.  Turns out it was all in my head and most people don't really care if you drink or not.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Neustache on October 12, 2018, 05:10:10 PM
It's Friday and I'm not drinking.  I just don't want it to have power over me anymore, and my aunt is dying from esophageal cancer.  Alcohol can contribute to that sort of cancer and I don't want to put my kids what my cousins are going through right now.  Not saying my aunt caused her cancer, I have no idea.  But I quit smoking for the health benefits and I don't see much of a difference now between smoking and drinking. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Money Badger on October 12, 2018, 06:52:39 PM
Well done Neustache!   Same here...  went for a bike ride for my happy hour Fri night instead of boozing...  And already down a few easy pounds so far.  Feels awesome!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Neustache on October 12, 2018, 07:16:12 PM
Fantastic Money Badger! Keep it up!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Bean05 on October 13, 2018, 04:54:38 AM
Just a quick check-in, I am still sober and liking it. I had two worriesome scenarios, with my parents coming to town and my husbandís band playing at a brewery, but I came through both just fine with soda and sparkling water.

Iím glad to be showing my 16 year old that you can enjoy life sober.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Money Badger on October 13, 2018, 08:11:20 PM
@Bean05,  Way to go!   
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: danakado on October 22, 2018, 08:37:25 AM
Just want to chime and thank everyone for this thread.  I needed to read all this and to see the ideas.  My nightly "glass of wine" habit really has grip on me in a way that I don't like.  I can make the same argument with my morning coffee but alcohol truly is different.  I went dry last week Mon-Friday and it was great.  I had wine Sat and Sunday but will get back on track this week.  I haven't concluded I need to full board quit but I need to seriously cut back.  It was harder than I want to admit.  The drink alternatives (esp the grapefruit juice with soda water) were very helpful.  The evening wine is very ritual based for me and I need all the help I can get to find new rituals.  That time of night is usually when I can finally sit down and relax and read. 
Anyway, as always I find great advice on these forums.....! 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Neustache on October 22, 2018, 02:45:56 PM
Managed to not drink during a cabin trip.  Pretty big deal for me!  I used to go to the cabin all the time and not drink, but then it became a habit to drink.  16 days with no drinking....sad that it's an accomplishment but there you go!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on October 22, 2018, 02:59:27 PM
@danakado you are doing great. I found a nice cup of tea now serves the ritual purpose. I get to look at my choices, decide which one suits how i am feeling today, and then sit and drink a nice beverage that was thoughtfully chosen.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: danakado on October 23, 2018, 11:44:09 AM
@danakado you are doing great. I found a nice cup of tea now serves the ritual purpose. I get to look at my choices, decide which one suits how i am feeling today, and then sit and drink a nice beverage that was thoughtfully chosen.

Thank you!  I want to love tea but I don't.  I do also like kombuchu and now that Costco carries some it's cheaper.  The hardest part is pouring that instead of wine.  Once I'm drinking it I don't really care but making that better choice feels pretty hard.  Just last night I was about to pity party myself into wine instead.  It's embarrassing to admit this but I'm also glad to be working through this.   Because I was not drinking a lot (1 sometimes 2 glasses) it was pretty easy to blow it off.  And I guess I think I still want to.  What is the line?  Is it the mental addiction?  And like I mentioned before, I have the same relationship with coffee.  With coffee I moved to mostly decaf but still, if asked to give it up all together I would be seriously sad. 

I was also hoping that no drinking would be a miracle sleep fix.  I do think it's helped but not sure I can call it a miracle? 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on October 23, 2018, 12:36:43 PM
I do not like tea much either, and I hear you on the coffee!
Please give the sleep a little more time to evaluate it. I noticed after two - three weeks that I slept better, I dreamed more, and remembered my dreams. Even if you do not drink much I think you need a reset - like 2-3 weeks to feel the benefits.
Some would say if you drink weekly, and alcohol lasts 7-10 day in the body, then you are in a constant state of low level withdrawal until those 7-10 days are through. I felt really great after 3 weeks without booze and then later maybe 6 weeks as well a big uptick in energy at those times
( maybe from the improved sleep?)

Kombucha on the rocks is a nice wine substitute, and if you really like it , you can make it easily. Just need a SCOBY. I also do selzter with Lemon, much more economical.  Good luck
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on October 23, 2018, 02:27:05 PM
For me, it was when wine became The Only Stress Relief that I knew I needed to make the switch. Never physically addicted but it had to be entirely off the table for me to build up the other tools in my solution set.

In terms of timeframes to clear, 7-10 days gets it out of your system, there's a dramatic increase in braincell regrowth around 90 days that often triggers drinking urges but increases clarity if you get past it and them again around 1 year.

Kombucha, fancy vinegars in seltzer, splash of juice in soda water. I recommend a Fancyarse Glass so you get the special drink feeling
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on October 23, 2018, 02:34:22 PM
mspym
That is very interesting about the brain cell regrowth. Between that and reduced risk of Breast cancer, I am glad to be AF for over six months , here is to a year, ( raises fancy arse glass of Kombucha).
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on October 23, 2018, 02:37:27 PM
@BikeFanatic *raises cup of tea* i was surprised about the correlation between alcohol and breast cancer. Given my family history, i am pleased to finally be reducing that risk factor
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on October 23, 2018, 04:46:16 PM
In terms of timeframes to clear, 7-10 days gets it out of your system, there's a dramatic increase in braincell regrowth around 90 days that often triggers drinking urges but increases clarity if you get past it and them again around 1 year.

Interesting!  I'm getting close to the 90 day mark I think and have been noticing more cravings lately when I hadn't been feeling them for so long!  I thought it was maybe just the fact that the weather was getting colder and darker.

I'm trying to reframe my longings and cravings for a nice cold beer as "I really want a nice ice cold glass of water" and drink water like crazy because I think haf the time when I craved a drink, I was truly just thirsty!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Eckhart on October 23, 2018, 08:23:14 PM
Loving this thread.

I'm two years alcohol free today!  Started as a one year experiment.  Feels so good to sleep well every night and wake up refreshed that I just kept going.

I am sure at some point in the future I will have a drink a social gathering or celebration, but these days I'm happy to be the DD, and let the DW have a few.

Keep it up everyone, it's worth it.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Money Badger on October 24, 2018, 09:17:53 PM
Will be falling off the wagon for the "World's Largest Cocktail Party" in Jacksonville for the UGA-FL game...  I'm now genuinely curious to see how I feel Sunday and next week given recent temperance...   Stay tuned for next week's post with the results (or testimony?) 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on October 25, 2018, 03:42:26 AM
Sure, I would like to hear your honest experience. Maybe you can commit to a month aftercthe game and see how that goes.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Latestarter73 on October 28, 2018, 09:56:37 AM
In terms of timeframes to clear, 7-10 days gets it out of your system, there's a dramatic increase in braincell regrowth around 90 days that often triggers drinking urges but increases clarity if you get past it and them again around 1 year.

Interesting!  I'm getting close to the 90 day mark I think and have been noticing more cravings lately when I hadn't been feeling them for so long!  I thought it was maybe just the fact that the weather was getting colder and darker.

I'm trying to reframe my longings and cravings for a nice cold beer as "I really want a nice ice cold glass of water" and drink water like crazy because I think haf the time when I craved a drink, I was truly just thirsty!

Hi CrustyBadger (cool name!), checking in as suggested. Is it possible to tag/follow threads in the MMM forum? I haven't seen any form of favourites function yet.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on October 28, 2018, 09:35:45 PM
@Latestarter73 the easiest way to follow a thread is to post in it, and from then on if there are any updates they will show if you click on the 'show new replies to your posts' link just under your user name. There is a subscribe option but then it spams your inbox.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Money Badger on October 30, 2018, 08:22:28 PM
@BikeFanatic and all,   OK, here's the result from my "off the wagon" weekend...  I certainly drank a LOT less than prior game long weekends over a 4 day period...  And I have sworn off wine.   Simply killed my sleep and overall happiness level the next day, even just 2 glasses worth.   One day of bourbon at the game was relatively few side effects by comparison though.  Worst of all, I put back on about 5 of the 10 lbs I'd lost just from the brief bender.   So now back onto my bike and enough of the sauce for "Sober-vember"...   Goal is at least 50 miles on the bike and 10lbs off my arse!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on October 31, 2018, 03:07:11 AM
Thanks for the update! I love Sober vember. I plan a foray myself  this weekend and am a tad nervous about being re addicted. We shall see.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: brute on November 02, 2018, 07:50:31 AM
Well, I drank for the first time in a month or so on Halloween. Eff that. Felt like hell the next day even though I didn't drink that much. Think I'll take the rest of the year off and go easy at new years.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Neustache on November 02, 2018, 02:12:50 PM
It's been 4 weeks.  I'm probably having a drink tonight, but just one.  I'm super glad I broke the cycle that I had fallen into, and I might be back again for another break later.  Thanks to all for this thread! 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: lexde on November 02, 2018, 02:42:11 PM
I’m doing “sober November”. Not that I drink to excess, but I’m cutting carbs and feel like my waistline and wallet will both thank me for this.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: aneel on November 04, 2018, 08:20:18 AM
You all inspired me. Also have to share some credit with the hangover I woke up with yesterday. I am not going to drink at home anymore. In a move where I have to be anti-mustachian to achieve mustachian goals, I plan to only drink socially. I really don't feel having a beer at home adds to my life, but going out to enjoy a drink or two with a friend on occasion (at the same rate I do today) does add joy to my life. The home drinking feels like added drinking with no added joy. We'll see how I can do with moderation as my DH is habitual drinker and always offers to share.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Money Badger on November 20, 2018, 04:12:25 AM
@aneel, That's a good point about the joy of social drinking vs. the "habitual home" drinking...    It takes the edge off business meetings and other awkward gatherings (neighborhood dinner party or book club anyone?)   And it certainly reduces intake to realize you're paying $5 or more a glass at the restaurant than drinking cheaply "in bulk" at home.    A rare case where it's good to pay more at the restaurant/bar than at home.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on January 06, 2019, 05:38:21 PM
I've had an extremely stressful weekend, capping a stressful week, and for the first time since going alcohol free over the summer, find myself really struggling with cravings for alcohol.  It is very clear to me that I actually want to medicate myself in some way to deal with the emotions I am feeling.

I am having deep cravings for one (or two or three) shots of vodka, over ice.   I haven't felt this strongly in quite some time.

I'm not going to drink; I've decided for myself that I am done with that.  That was my choice and only for me.  But I think I need some other strategies for dealing with the emotions I am feeling.  Simply sitting with the cravings, acknowledging them, and letting them pass worked in the past but isn't working now.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Moustachienne on January 06, 2019, 05:55:13 PM
I've had an extremely stressful weekend, capping a stressful week, and for the first time since going alcohol free over the summer, find myself really struggling with cravings for alcohol.  It is very clear to me that I actually want to medicate myself in some way to deal with the emotions I am feeling.

I am having deep cravings for one (or two or three) shots of vodka, over ice.   I haven't felt this strongly in quite some time.

I'm not going to drink; I've decided for myself that I am done with that.  That was my choice and only for me.  But I think I need some other strategies for dealing with the emotions I am feeling.  Simply sitting with the cravings, acknowledging them, and letting them pass worked in the past but isn't working now.

I totally hear you on this although my lifestyle change wasn't alcohol.  It's blindsiding to have such strong cravings after months of smooth(er) sailing.

I have some alternative treats/activities to reach for as well as reminding myself how good the life change has been feeling. But not going to lie - it's a shock when this happens.  Humbling and hard.  Hang in there! 

Edited to say that this is a wakeup call to develop some future coping strategies now you know this will happen and how it feels.  Sorry this isn't more helpful right in the moment now.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on January 06, 2019, 06:52:42 PM
Thanks, @Moustachienne !

Yeah, I wondered if there was even a point to sending a semi-anonymous post out to the forum, detailing a personal struggle like that.  But I wanted to share with someone and don't want to reach out to people I know in real life.

A good cry, a hot bath, a few glasses of water (for hydration) and then some ice cold orange juice with (this is weird) some Tabasco sauce on top seemed to help.  The combination of sweet/spicy flavors on my tongue were enough of a jolt that I think it interrupted my craving (and the sugar rush from the OJ maybe helped.)   A good night's sleep cures many ills as well, perhaps.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on January 06, 2019, 07:11:06 PM
 @CrustyBadger  ]I think sometimes just saying the words can be enough to acknowledge the feeling (I want to) , and reinforce the decision (not going to) you have already made. It continues to surprise me at times 18 months in but now I know that the craving means "I feel sad and I want a treat" and I have a list now of other treats that are better for me.

I like your action plan and am pleased it worked!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: smoghat on January 07, 2019, 10:59:00 PM
Dry January for me. I don't want to quit drinking, just get it under more control.

I think in February I'll go back, but limit myself to 3 days a week and no booze when I'm stressed or feeling down. That way is bad.

So far what I'm most impressed by is how much more energy I have late in the evening. I'm up at 1 now (was up at 2 last night and woke up at 8 this morning) I'm sure 7 hours from now I won't feel as sleep deprived as if I'd hit the booze.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Aunt Petunia on January 08, 2019, 06:11:21 AM
My DH and I are doing dry January as well. We are not heavy drinkers but 1-2 glasses of wine a night were becoming a bad habit. So far I don't really feel any different, except for feeling hung over a couple days in, which was weird.  I also get a craving each night while making dinner but it passes after dinnertime.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on January 08, 2019, 06:41:53 AM
Op here. I love that this is still going! I'm not always commenting but watching as they roll in and there is a lot of inspiration here. Keep it up, everyone!

This month I'm approaching a year of no booze so i pulled my financials from the alcohol bar category and compared to 2017. We have spent $2,400 less in 2018! Not directly related but close is our restaurant spending also went down by $1,400! We followed Frugal Woods 30 day challenge late in the year and also managed to cut our grocery expenses by about $6,000. Helluva a sober year financially and I haven't even talked about how much my added energy and motivation has impacted other aspects of life. Was excited to share with those of you on the same journey.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: PoutineLover on January 08, 2019, 06:42:58 AM
Im doing dry january but I did have an exception that was preplanned. So far doesn't seem too difficult, but I'm only a week in so we'll see. Social situations where I'd normally drink are the hardest, but after the holidays I'm ready to just chill. Right now it even feels like I want to go longer, but that may change by the end of the month.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on January 08, 2019, 06:52:16 AM
Thanks for starting this thread, @onemorebike !  It's been very supportive!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Evasion on January 09, 2019, 03:27:06 AM
Trying a short dry January. Day 2 tonight, but the weekend is coming.
I have always been a heavy drinker and have issues at times, but I also realised I spend about $300 a month on it, which is ridiculous. Pretty much my 3rd budget category after rent and groceries.
So I will make more efforts this year for this sake as well as my mental and physical health.
Hope to be back on this thread to share and encourage e AC h other.
Now off to bed for day 3 tomorrow
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on January 09, 2019, 03:47:40 AM
Trying a short dry January. Day 2 tonight, but the weekend is coming.
I have always been a heavy drinker and have issues at times, but I also realised I spend about $300 a month on it, which is ridiculous. Pretty much my 3rd budget category after rent and groceries.
So I will make more efforts this year for this sake as well as my mental and physical health.
Hope to be back on this thread to share and encourage e AC h other.
Now off to bed for day 3 tomorrow
Evasion, have you checked out the 30-day alcohol experiment? A great companion to a dry January.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Gail2000 on January 09, 2019, 04:04:59 AM
Hello all,

I am on day 4. I started this for a couple of reasons. I donít sleep properly and it really does affect my mood. Although in the past couple of spdays I canít say itís improved but gotten a bit worse. So Iím not saying Iím going to start again but am examining the detox process that I imagine is the culprit to the grumpiness.

The boost it will give our budget will be welcomed. This year is really a focus one budget and savings. Considering our income of 90k annually I would expect we could have a positive net worth within Two years. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: MakesCents on January 20, 2019, 08:13:55 AM
Following thread
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Aunt Petunia on January 20, 2019, 08:34:03 AM
Hello all,

I am on day 4. I started this for a couple of reasons. I donít sleep properly and it really does affect my mood. Although in the past couple of spdays I canít say itís improved but gotten a bit worse. So Iím not saying Iím going to start again but am examining the detox process that I imagine is the culprit to the grumpiness.

The boost it will give our budget will be welcomed. This year is really a focus one budget and savings. Considering our income of 90k annually I would expect we could have a positive net worth within Two years.

My sleep got worse for the first week but then went back to baseline. Hang in there, and make sure you aren't replacing alcohol with caffeine. One thing I have noticed is that I wake up to pee more often at night due to drinking herbal tea instead of wine before bed. On the bright side, I have lost a couple pounds without really changing anything else.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: PoutineLover on January 20, 2019, 08:35:54 AM
How's everyone doing, especially those doing dry January? I had 2 nights where I drank with friends, and 2 desserts that included a small amount of alcohol. It's harder than I thought,  but only because of the social settings. Physically and mentally, I've been fine, and I'm only tempted when I'm with friends I usually drink with. Going to continue for the rest of the month anyway. I really want a straight 30 stretch with no cheating, so I think I'm going to give it up for lent as well, now that I've had the practice.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Bracken_Joy on January 20, 2019, 08:40:21 AM
I'm on day 24. I decided before the new year I'd go all the way through my third IVF retrieval with no drinking, in the hopes of helping outcomes. It's amazing how much a black and white view has helped. I'm not even taking sips of drinks if my husband has one or anything like that. Just straight up, no alcohol. It's been easier to stick to this time, I think largely because my husband operates in absolutes. Just because grey areas/just sips has worked for *me* in the past, he'll unintentionally undermine me/enable me because that's not how *he* commits to a goal. It's just interesting- I had never thought about needing to work around HIS way of approaching a change (absolutist vs moderator), rather than just mine.

Anyway, just an interesting insight I had to this whole thing. Still a ways to go, I'll be no drinking through mid-March at least.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: blinx7 on January 20, 2019, 08:52:34 AM

I'm joining with a few exceptions.  I've got four beers in my basement.  I reserve the right to drink one or two of those.  My parents and I split a small membership at a local winery.  I get the equivalent of one bottle of wine a month.  I allow myself maximum of two beers if I go out to a bar with a friend or, in the summer, if I have a friend over to grill.  (I've got a busy job and little kids so this is a once a week or two type thing).

So, I expect like a couple drinks a month rather than 5-10 a week.  $0 spend in my alcohol category this month (though I did have a few beers out layered into the eating out budget).
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Gail2000 on January 21, 2019, 04:58:43 AM

My sleep got worse for the first week but then went back to baseline. Hang in there, and make sure you aren't replacing alcohol with caffeine. One thing I have noticed is that I wake up to pee more often at night due to drinking herbal tea instead of wine before bed. On the bright side, I have lost a couple pounds without really changing anything else.

There were a few nights that were hard like you said. Trying carbonated water at dinner. MBe the same issue as the tea occurs so I have been a bit of a zombie. Thinking caffeine and alcohol have to go? Did you have to give it up as well?
 My husband brought out a bottle of maple licure ( Canadian and proud!)  so I have had a shot to sip on that this week. So not a dry week.



Op here. I love that this is still going! I'm not always commenting but watching as they roll in and there is a lot of inspiration here. Keep it up, everyone!

This month I'm approaching a year of no booze so i pulled my financials from the alcohol bar category and compared to 2017. We have spent $2,400 less in 2018! Not directly related but close is our restaurant spending also went down by $1,400! We followed Frugal Woods 30 day challenge late in the year and also managed to cut our grocery expenses by about $6,000. Helluva a sober year financially and I haven't even talked about how much my added energy and motivation has impacted other aspects of life. Was excited to share with those of you on the same journey.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk



Congratulations!

A nd this is disconcertingly hard.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: ToTheMoon on January 27, 2019, 02:14:58 PM
Hi guys - I claimed back in May that I was in for this challenge -then did absolutely nothing to change my behaviour.  I finally decided in November to take another look at my alcohol intake, and also requested Annie Grace's book, This Naked Mind, and read it.  I haven't yet identified exactly what it was, but something in there resonated with me, and I have not had an alcoholic beverage since.  Just quietly celebrating my 2 month mark yesterday! 

I have requested the book again from the library, as I would love to read it again to see if I can identify the portions that really "spoke" to me, and I have just learned that she also has a podcast that I think I will give a try.

Now can someone help me with the raging sugar addiction that seems to be moving into the space that alcohol was previously inhabiting? :D
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on January 27, 2019, 02:30:01 PM
Now can someone help me with the raging sugar addiction that seems to be moving into the space that alcohol was previously inhabiting? :D

I did a kind of keto-low carb diet for two months when I stopped drinking alcohol.   Drank lots of water and kept my carbs really really low.  I couldn't stay on the low carb meal plan due to family cooking responsibilities just being too challenging.  But I believe the experienced helped keep me from chowing down on the sugar.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: ToTheMoon on January 29, 2019, 10:35:13 AM
Now can someone help me with the raging sugar addiction that seems to be moving into the space that alcohol was previously inhabiting? :D

I did a kind of keto-low carb diet for two months when I stopped drinking alcohol.   Drank lots of water and kept my carbs really really low.  I couldn't stay on the low carb meal plan due to family cooking responsibilities just being too challenging.  But I believe the experienced helped keep me from chowing down on the sugar.

@CrustyBadger   Thanks for this - I need to be more aware.  I have definitely filled the caloric-space with carbs.  More water and more awareness should definitely help.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: DadJokes on January 29, 2019, 10:59:22 AM
My parents were in town recently to visit and meet their newest grandchild. They sort of invited themselves to stay at my house for the week they were in town. In the time they were here, they went through a couple boxes of wine, two 24-packs of beer, and had 2-3 drinks every time we went out to eat. They also bought a couple bottles of moonshine to take home with them... Their stay reminded me of why I moved out shortly after turning 18. I could barely handle that week; I have no idea how I survived as long as I did as a teenager.

While I've never been one to drink much (usually a 6-pack every other week and two beers at the bar before hockey games), their behavior has encouraged me to stop drinking. Now, I'll never turn down a free beer, but I have no desire to buy any alcohol now.

As a side effect, I'm hoping that switching out the little beer I drink for water will help with some much needed weight loss.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: happyuk on February 03, 2019, 03:10:21 PM
I'm lucky i that I have never been overly fond of alcohol and hence found it easy to give up.

In my younger and less mature days of course there were some spectacular foul-ups; various opportunities with attractive young women ruined because I was somewhat smashed.

Stick with it, you'll enjoy it (not having hangovers, being skint, unfit, becoming prematurely old etc).

However, my biggest objection to alcohol isn't even the health / financial factors.  It's what people become when they've had a lot of drink - bores at best, raging assholes at worst.

The only thing to say to people who query why you don't drink (and why does "drink" always mean alcohol?) is "doctor's orders" or something similar. You don't have to justify your social life choices to anyone!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: happyuk on February 03, 2019, 03:31:53 PM
Jordan Peterson, an academic I consider to be sane, grounded, knowledgeable and articulate gives some top-notch presentations on why we should forsake alcohol:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6WQEGULvH8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6WQEGULvH8)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQPz4YVSkyQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQPz4YVSkyQ)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xVMPMiYzF4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xVMPMiYzF4)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryp2k2D6Zvc (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryp2k2D6Zvc)

As with any other kind of substance abuse, alcohol abuse ALWAYS involves massive denial and aggravates whatever underlying problems the user seeks to alleviate.

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on March 09, 2019, 10:40:28 AM
I want to extend a huge thank you to all the posters who mentioned This Naked Mind

I've been a (near) daily drinker for about 20 years and a recent diagnosis of esophagus damage from severe 'silent' reflux (reflux that doesn't cause any heartburn) has caused me to get serious about trying to cut down.  The alcohol itself did not cause the damage, and alcohol is only one of pretty much every element of my diet contributing to reflux (seriously, 90% of my daily intake is on the do-not-ingest list), but it contributes through relaxing the esophageal valve.

But I have been totally resistant to completely giving it up, mainly b/c in 20+ years of drinking, I've experienced no obvious downsides.  One traditional hangover, and a handful of bad headaches.  A couple of arguments with DH that probably were exacerbated my 'filters' being down.

I just couldn't relate to the horror stories I always hear from people who want to stop drinking: no blackouts (never even knew what those were), drunk driving, fuzzy memories, weight gain, embarrassing incidents, missed work, damaged relationships. Nope, I had none of that, probably b/c I typically never drink more than 2 drinks per day. All I had were 20+ years of pleasant memories of fun vacations, socializing, and most esp, being able to turn off my hyper brain and relax at the end of the day.

But that's the rub, right? I realize over the years that I've become psychologically dependent on that 'relaxation' trigger occurring if I'm stressed out, or to transition from work to non-work.  And as my tolerance has gradually crept up over the years, I have recently started to be tempted to increase my amount a little.  And that slope goes one way.

I started dipping into the NM podcast and book a month or so ago, while simultaneously journaling how my daily drinking routine made me feel.  Then I started skipping drinking a day here and there to see how that felt.  Within a very short amount of time my attitude has begun changing, and suddenly giving up drinking (at least as an experiment) started to sound less like a hardship and more like an exciting endeavor.

So I'm in. For a month at least.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on March 09, 2019, 02:13:03 PM
@wenchsenior I fell into the trap of alcohol being the only reset switch for my brain between work and not-work, but it is a lie. A cup of tea, a fancy glass with some juice & soda water, a walk in the park with my dog, any of these can also be a transition. And now, my baseline stress level is a lot lower and I wonder how much of it was chemical reactions to the alcohol and sugar load I was dumping into my body. It's been over a year since I woke up freaking out at 3am and I don't miss it at all.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: tightwaddy on March 10, 2019, 06:41:34 AM
I last had a drink 5 weeks ago today (SuperBowl) after years of essentially daily drinking and multiple (many dozens) of attempts at cutting back, or "moderation."  It's been an interesting 5 weeks, with many different observations along the way. At one point I experienced clarity of mind so sharp it almost felt painful--I don't know how to describe it otherwise; it's starting to feel more normal, but wow.  I knew 2-4 beers a day probably weren't doing wonders for my liver or waistline, but I never imagined they were having such an effect on my brain (though in retrospect, that's pretty dumb).

Anyway, I didn't really start this thinking I'd never drink again. But now I'm wondering.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on March 10, 2019, 07:04:16 AM
tightwaddy,

That's awesome, interesting story about clarity of mind. I'd say I had similar moments along the way. Also didn't plan to quit forever but it is looking like it.

Did you by chance read Annie Grace's book?
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on March 11, 2019, 05:21:46 AM
I knew 2-4 beers a day probably weren't doing wonders for my liver or waistline, but I never imagined they were having such an effect on my brain (though in retrospect, that's pretty dumb).

I find I am able to solve problems better now.  Things just don't seem as overwhelming. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: tightwaddy on March 12, 2019, 06:37:54 AM

Did you by chance read Annie Grace's book?

I started doing her online videos two times prior to this particular dry journey. I think that (limited) work helped me get to the place I'm at now, but I haven't read the full book (my library doesn't have it, but maybe I'll buy it).  @CrustyBadger, to your point, I had a couple of angry work days that used to be a common drinking trigger and then I remembered my Annie Grace journal and thought: if I'm so mad at xxxxxx, why do I want to take it out on myself?  And it definitely seemed like the problem was easier to solve after that.

I'm having some trouble craving sugar in the evenings, but now I'm working on that!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: onemorebike on March 12, 2019, 08:39:17 AM
Was just reflecting on how much not drinking at all has impacted the presence I have with my kids. The mornings and evenings are drastically improved and the payout has been tremendous!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: StarBright on March 12, 2019, 09:33:19 AM
Gave up Booze for Lent and happy to see this thread.

Great to read that some of you had bad sleep during the first week of abstaining. I've had awful sleep the last couple of nights.

I don't miss the actual drink as much as I miss something to reach for as I prep/eat dinner.

I have coffee in the morning, water and herbal tea during the day, and usually wine or a cocktail at night.  I clearly use it as an end to my workday/beginning of family time. I don't really drink seltzer, soda or juice so I'll need to figure out something for the evening.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on March 12, 2019, 09:44:50 AM
Gave up Booze for Lent and happy to see this thread.

Great to read that some of you had bad sleep during the first week of abstaining. I've had awful sleep the last couple of nights.

I don't miss the actual drink as much as I miss something to reach for as I prep/eat dinner.



Yes, I was surprised to have mild withdrawal symptoms on a 2 drinks/day habit.  Mine was major restlessness at the end of the night (when I would normally have a sleepy buzz) so I just couldn't settle to my bedtime routine, and insomnia for the first 4 or 5 nights.  Also, I was a little more anxious and randomly emotional during the first 3 days. 

The fact that I had such notable poor sleep actually spurred me into the 'stop for 30 days' faster than I'd planned.  I had started skipping a few days per week first, but that set off the poor sleep cycle. Then once I understood physiologically WHY that was happening, I thought I'd be better off just going cold turkey b/c otherwise the 'withdrawal' week was going to extend to 2 or 3 weeks.

I'm about a week in now, and the restless and insomnia have just stopped.

I guess I shouldn't be shocked. I know I have withdrawal headaches for about a week if I skip my 2 cups of coffee per day, so logically...

To your second point, I have realized that part of my trigger associated with 'transitioning between work and non-work' is simply that my blood sugar tends to be lower then. If I eat something carby about an hour before I would normally drink, the interest in drinking is much more ignorable.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: sisto on March 13, 2019, 01:11:44 PM
Interesting reading more stories. I found that since I cut sugar and all grain based carbs out of my diet I no longer have any alcohol cravings. I don't plan to completely give up alcohol because I do like to have an occasional glass of wine, but I am happy I no longer NEED it. :)
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: meghan88 on March 13, 2019, 03:33:52 PM
We did Dry January this year and it was fine.  Wasn't too difficult at all.  But we like to travel to Europe, and having a good meal in France without wine just seems wrong. 

Abstention didn't help my insomnia.  I'd really hoped that it would, but it didn't, not one bit.  My energy levels were better though.  Whether we drink or not, we hit the gym hard, and I like to go for one or two runs per week, so cutting back is good, but not always easy.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Joe Schmo on March 20, 2019, 08:30:17 AM
Hit 5 years a few weeks ago...seems like only yesterday.

A glass (never ending) of whiskey always sound good but...
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: jps on March 20, 2019, 09:03:21 AM
Today is two weeks without beer for me. I've had a couple gin and tonics in that time.

Have felt fine. I don't think I was at a point where I had any dependency, but I was just starting to worry about how much beer I was drinking (1/2 most evenings, more some evenings). Wanted to be in a place where I could still go successfully without wanting a beer for a while. So I'll probably keep this up until end of April.

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on March 20, 2019, 02:46:14 PM
Last night I was socialising with friends and it was lovely and then we got to the tipsy ladies math part, followed by tipsy ladies tipping math, and I was tempted to pay the whole bill myself just so I didn't need to listen to it anymore. They were all fine and happy but it was a little awkward being one of the 2 sober people picking up on the close-out cues from the wait staff.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: slackmax on March 21, 2019, 06:46:56 AM
I allow myself one to four beers per day.

If I want to be good and only have one or two, I have a piece of toast with peanut butter after beer number one or two, and then I no longer want another beer. I never believe it will work, but it usually does!

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: OurTown on March 21, 2019, 12:32:24 PM
2 years 7 months 15 days.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: StarBright on March 21, 2019, 12:45:55 PM
Ugh- I clearly have used my drinks as a treat to myself. Have easily done two weeks of no drinking but I've eaten more sugar/flour than I have in years. Am annoyed with myself.

On the plus, my sleep returned to baseline a few nights ago. 

30 more days of Lent should be pretty easy if I don't gain a million pounds. I do have one planned wine pairing dinner on my Birthday (DH made a surprise reservation for my B-day before I had decided on my Lent).
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on April 04, 2019, 12:48:35 PM
Reporting in that I completed my first 30 consecutive days without drinking, and while I haven't ruled out an occasional drink in the future (partly b/c the idea of never tasting another G&T again sets off massive feelings of deprivation, even though I haven't actually HAD a G&T in more than a year LOL), but I plan to keep going, no longer drinking except possibly very occasionally and mindfully...vacations, etc. (haven't decided on that yet...may end up just stopping entirely).

The Alcohol Experiment and This Naked Mind website were incredibly helpful to 1) get me in the right state of mind prior to going booze-free (reducing my anxiety about doing it and giving me a framework to go about it), and 2) as a series of structured exercises that helped change my mindset while I did it.  The program itself (despite being a tad shaky on the facts presented once or twice) seems to rely heavily on techniques associated the cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation/mindfulness, and this really worked wonders for me.

Pretty sure I'll never view alcohol the same way again, and coming from someone who drank 1-3 drinks almost every day, for almost 20 years, it was a relief and a delightful surprise how effective this program has been helping me just stop that habit with minimal angst (after the first few days of white-knuckling through my cocktail hour cravings).  Still some work to do, for sure (tackling less frequent, more stochastic triggers related to stress), but I'm going to keep on working on those.

I know some people report experience surges of energy/clarity, etc., better sleep, and noticeable improvements in appearance.  Alas, none of these has been true for me (I'm just as puffy/red-eyed; actually have had LESS energy and mental focus; and though I sleep through the night much better now, I now dream a ton more (which agitates me) and also have a lot of trouble FALLING asleep as opposed to STAYING asleep). However, I was doing this for health reasons rather than appearance, and some of the physiological benefits to going booze-free would be unlikely manifest for several more months (neurological changes in dopamine receptors, etc), so that's ok.

I also appreciated this experiment for giving me a couple of real 'light bulb' moments...
1) recognizing that even though I have experienced almost zero negative effects of drinking all these years apart from nagging worries about long term health (I am a stranger to hangovers, binges, blackouts, drunk driving, embarrassing incidents, etc, probably b/c I have only consumed more than 3 drinks/day perhaps 2 or 3 times in my life), that didn't mean there were no good reasons to change the habit;
2) assuming for years that I was drinking 8 oz of wine at night, only to actually measure the amount and find out it was 10-12 oz...how did I not know what 5 oz of wine actually looked like?!?;
3) finding out that the official guidelines for drinking put me in the 'heavy' drinking category, and my husband right on the verge, despite our intake being in line with most of our upper-middle income social/peer group for the past umpteen years;
4) realizing how much societal acceptance of/encouragement of regular drinking set the context for my own ideas of what was healthy, when those ideas were not objectively true. Etc etc.

This has also been very useful for my husband.  He did not have as much problem with triggers as I did, probably b/c he never made the problematic mental link associating alcohol with de-stressing or transitioning from 'work' to 'relaxation'.  He noticed me stop drinking after a few days of it, and asked what I was up to.  When I began describing some of the Alcohol Experiment exercises, he was intrigued and began informally 'accompanying' me and self-monitoring (even though I had no intention of asking him to change his behavior). 

Both of us are really happy we did this.  I salute everyone in this thread, and encourage anyone who is in a nebulous gray area of alcohol consumption to give this book/website/program a shot.  Very, very helpful material.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: StarBright on April 10, 2019, 07:23:28 PM
I have passed the one month mark (we cancelled the fancy dinner for other reasons) and am a little grouchy that I don't seem to be experiencing any of the benefits of abstaining. Did it take anyone else longer than 30 days for benefits to show up? Or if you don't feel them at the one month mark do you never feel them in a drastic way?

I feel like wenchsenior in that I seem to have less energy and I'm certainly having more trouble relaxing and falling asleep at night. I've had a few nights where I've ended up listening to a couple of hours of sleep meditations before I finally conk out.

Have also still had issues with craving carbs and am even feeling the urge to spend money just to have something to do! I feel like my evening cocktail was basically my only remaining vice and since it is temporarily on hold I seem to be searching for a replacement vice. It is sorting of bumming me out.

In any case, I'm sure this is better for me than not.  I also had a few niggling health concerns that I thought might be improved by removing the alcohol. They haven't seemed to improve yet, but it is a good data point to know that booze doesn't seem to be causing them.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on April 10, 2019, 09:07:22 PM
I have passed the one month mark (we cancelled the fancy dinner for other reasons) and am a little grouchy that I don't seem to be experiencing any of the benefits of abstaining. Did it take anyone else longer than 30 days for benefits to show up? Or if you don't feel them at the one month mark do you never feel them in a drastic way?

I feel like wenchsenior in that I seem to have less energy and I'm certainly having more trouble relaxing and falling asleep at night. I've had a few nights where I've ended up listening to a couple of hours of sleep meditations before I finally conk out.

Have also still had issues with craving carbs and am even feeling the urge to spend money just to have something to do! I feel like my evening cocktail was basically my only remaining vice and since it is temporarily on hold I seem to be searching for a replacement vice. It is sorting of bumming me out.

In any case, I'm sure this is better for me than not.  I also had a few niggling health concerns that I thought might be improved by removing the alcohol. They haven't seemed to improve yet, but it is a good data point to know that booze doesn't seem to be causing them.


My experience is the same.  Alcohol was my one remaining vice, and though my diet has been healthy and low sugar/heavy veggie for years, I've been eating more crap carbs and sugar in the past month and a half than I can remember when. Maybe that's why my energy level hasn't improved.  I have a bunch of health issues that I thought might be helped by quitting (though only one that is known to be worsened by alcohol, silent reflux). So far, none of the health stuff has materialized with the possible exception of the reflux improving, but I've drastically changed a lot of elements of my diet plus started sleeping most nights on a wedge pillow, and my impression tracking symptoms is that the pillow is doing the most good...it's hard to tell b/c silent reflux symptoms can take months to improve even when the reflux is already improving.

I'm still glad I did it, and still somewhat hopeful of improvement in the next few months.   But I sure wish I felt great like some here report, and I wish I could fall asleep like in the old buzzed days.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Tyson on April 10, 2019, 09:37:49 PM
The longer you've been on alcohol, the longer it'll take to heal from it, at least that's what I've observed.  Usually when people hit the 6 month mark, you can see it pretty clearly in their body and faces - they look so much better. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on April 10, 2019, 11:17:51 PM
What tyort1 said. Some people get enormous upswings immediately. I never did *but* there has been slow and steady improvement in my sleep and overall mental wellbeing.
- The carb/sugar cravings do settle if you stick with it - your body is used to a dump of easy energy from alcohol and is looking for a replacement. 
- It took a little while for my sleep to regulate because I had forgotten how to fall asleep naturally. Pukka sleep tea + Music for Airports was my silver bullet.
- Around 6 months my skin just started *glowing* and my teeth were noticeably whiter.
- I am 10kg lighter than 2 years ago. Like, this came off *so slowly* that it never feels like progress but if I actually look at my fitbit log, this is factual reality and not my messed up perception.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on April 13, 2019, 11:26:04 AM
Really interesting Atlantic article. Possibly particularly interesting to me; over the years, I've watched several people that I know who have severe alcohol use disorder attempt to get sober via AA and fail repeatedly. 

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/04/the-irrationality-of-alcoholics-anonymous/386255/
 (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/04/the-irrationality-of-alcoholics-anonymous/386255/)
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Tyson on April 13, 2019, 12:40:29 PM
Really interesting Atlantic article. Possibly particularly interesting to me; over the years, I've watched several people that I know who have severe alcohol use disorder attempt to get sober via AA and fail repeatedly. 

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/04/the-irrationality-of-alcoholics-anonymous/386255/
 (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/04/the-irrationality-of-alcoholics-anonymous/386255/)

Yep, that's why I go to Lifering - it's a lot more modern and way more science based.  Plus I'm an atheist, so there's that....
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: StarBright on April 13, 2019, 02:41:32 PM
What tyort1 said. Some people get enormous upswings immediately. I never did *but* there has been slow and steady improvement in my sleep and overall mental wellbeing.
- The carb/sugar cravings do settle if you stick with it - your body is used to a dump of easy energy from alcohol and is looking for a replacement. 
- It took a little while for my sleep to regulate because I had forgotten how to fall asleep naturally. Pukka sleep tea + Music for Airports was my silver bullet.
- Around 6 months my skin just started *glowing* and my teeth were noticeably whiter.
- I am 10kg lighter than 2 years ago. Like, this came off *so slowly* that it never feels like progress but if I actually look at my fitbit log, this is factual reality and not my messed up perception.

Thanks!

I love Music for Airports so much that I couldn't sleep to it :) I listen to the Bang on Can recording of it about once a week when I'm trying to focus on work. I've thought of trying Max Richter's "Sleep" but I wonder if it would mess with me a bit.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Joe Schmo on April 24, 2019, 06:57:14 AM
My wife got a new job and i was been planning on drinking a glass of champagne when we had a giant celebration party, but she says she doesnít want a party. Oh well. 5yrs 2mo
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wannabe-stache on April 24, 2019, 07:10:49 PM
This thread has inspired me.  Or i hope it will inspire me.

i don't know if i am an alcoholic. i don't want to admit that because it would be very sad for me to never be able to enjoy a beer again.  i really, really enjoy a nice beer.  and i sense that if one admits to the "alcoholic" tag, they are admitting that they should never drink alcohol again.

in all honesty i have at least 2 or 3 beers when i get home from work, plus a glass or 2 or 3 of wine. every day.

despite my habit i still manage to wake up early and train fairly intensely for athletics.  i have run multiple sub 3 hour marathons in the past couple years despite carrying on this type of drinking habit.  and i hold down i very high paying job.

i definitely have an addictive streak, but i have been able to quit things surprisingly easy.  case in point, i drank a lot of coffee (8-10 cups/day) for the last 20 years and coincidentally i just quit cold turkey a month ago, with no withdrawal symptoms.

my biggest concern as previously noted is that i'll never be able to enjoy one beer again, or a nice glass of Cabernet, because i can't stop at one.

from a mustachian perspective, i have probably $5,000 worth of high end wine in my house that my wife and i reserve for special occasions.  it would be sad to think that i cannot enjoy them any more.

this is partially a plea for help and partially a plea to let me know that i can dial back drinking without giving it up completely.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: snogirl on April 24, 2019, 07:26:41 PM
Just celebrated 15 years sober 4-19-2019 changed my life ODAAT. Grateful.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: PoutineLover on April 24, 2019, 07:49:58 PM
This thread has inspired me.  Or i hope it will inspire me.

i don't know if i am an alcoholic. i don't want to admit that because it would be very sad for me to never be able to enjoy a beer again.  i really, really enjoy a nice beer.  and i sense that if one admits to the "alcoholic" tag, they are admitting that they should never drink alcohol again.

in all honesty i have at least 2 or 3 beers when i get home from work, plus a glass or 2 or 3 of wine. every day.

despite my habit i still manage to wake up early and train fairly intensely for athletics.  i have run multiple sub 3 hour marathons in the past couple years despite carrying on this type of drinking habit.  and i hold down i very high paying job.

i definitely have an addictive streak, but i have been able to quit things surprisingly easy.  case in point, i drank a lot of coffee (8-10 cups/day) for the last 20 years and coincidentally i just quit cold turkey a month ago, with no withdrawal symptoms.

my biggest concern as previously noted is that i'll never be able to enjoy one beer again, or a nice glass of Cabernet, because i can't stop at one.

from a mustachian perspective, i have probably $5,000 worth of high end wine in my house that my wife and i reserve for special occasions.  it would be sad to think that i cannot enjoy them any more.

this is partially a plea for help and partially a plea to let me know that i can dial back drinking without giving it up completely.
I've heard of a medication that decreases the pleasure you feel from alcohol, so it becomes much easier to just have one and stop there, because you actually don't even want more. Also, the article talks about how AA is actually not the gold standard for alcohol abuse treatment, and doesn't work as well as advertised, and it's probably partially because the all or nothing approach and the labeling of "alcoholic" leads to more binging and abstinence cycles but not necessarily actual recovery. (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/04/the-irrationality-of-alcoholics-anonymous/386255/) That being said, this is based only on reading and not practice.
Personally, I started tracking my alcohol consumption using the app alcodroid, which also gives some useful stats, and I've managed to decrease my average consumption. My goal wasn't to quit, but just to get below the level of problematic drinking, which is somewhere around 7 drinks a week for a woman or 1 per day. I don't think you need to label yourself an alcoholic and never drink again, but if you feel that you are drinking too much, there are other options to decrease your consumption.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on April 24, 2019, 08:11:51 PM
Wanna Be stache -The medication is Naltrexone,  I just started taking it. I went 7 months alcohol free last year and this year only one month. So I am trying this drug. It is called the Sinclair method where you drinkas you normally would but take themedication one hour prior. With this medication eventually you loosethe addition part of alcohol. I take it and really only want one beer.
It is by precrition only, but you can get it from India, or Doc in the box/telemedicine.  https://cthreefoundation.org/ for more info

https://cthreefoundation.org/ (ftp://cthreefoundation.org/)
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on April 24, 2019, 09:09:14 PM
This thread has inspired me.  Or i hope it will inspire me.

i don't know if i am an alcoholic. i don't want to admit that because it would be very sad for me to never be able to enjoy a beer again.  i really, really enjoy a nice beer.  and i sense that if one admits to the "alcoholic" tag, they are admitting that they should never drink alcohol again.

in all honesty i have at least 2 or 3 beers when i get home from work, plus a glass or 2 or 3 of wine. every day.

despite my habit i still manage to wake up early and train fairly intensely for athletics.  i have run multiple sub 3 hour marathons in the past couple years despite carrying on this type of drinking habit.  and i hold down i very high paying job.

i definitely have an addictive streak, but i have been able to quit things surprisingly easy.  case in point, i drank a lot of coffee (8-10 cups/day) for the last 20 years and coincidentally i just quit cold turkey a month ago, with no withdrawal symptoms.

my biggest concern as previously noted is that i'll never be able to enjoy one beer again, or a nice glass of Cabernet, because i can't stop at one.

from a mustachian perspective, i have probably $5,000 worth of high end wine in my house that my wife and i reserve for special occasions.  it would be sad to think that i cannot enjoy them any more.

this is partially a plea for help and partially a plea to let me know that i can dial back drinking without giving it up completely.

Well, 'alcoholic' is sort of a made up term, like a pop culture term. It's not used by the medical or psychiatric profession when they are treating substance abuse, or at least it shouldn't be except as a sort of slang.  I dislike the term as well b/c it allows society to support and encourage regular ingestion of an objectively addictive substance, while somehow cordoning off a group of drinkers as 'different' based on extremely nebulous, unscientifically defined criteria.

You sound like a lot of people, somewhere in the middle on the sliding scale of alcohol use between 'never drinks' and 'drinks until it's fatal', and feeling uneasy about the long term trajectory. Which makes sense...booze is addictive to pretty much anyone who drinks regularly.

Setting aside the physical effects, I'd guess some personality types seem more susceptible to psychological dependence or forming a problematic habit of it.  Both my husband and I were near-daily drinkers for most of the past 20 years, but he doesn't have quite the psychological dependence I do/did, so he's always found moderation easier.  The difference seems to be that he never formed any strong mental link between booze and stress relief.  Whereas, I had gone for 15 years of my young adulthood drinking very occasionally and not caring about booze, but then began drinking regularly during a period of un-diagnosed illness that was causing severe anxiety and insomnia.  The 'link' quickly formed in my brain that a drink would help me calm down and sleep when nothing else was working (note: Had I had access to an Rx for sedatives during those months, I'd very likely have formed a habit around those, but whiskey was handy and sedatives were not). 

Even though I got out of that insomnia/health crisis, and went back to drinking more 'normally', that association in my brain remained ("alcohol can chill you out and relax you when nothing else can"), and ever after, the end of a shitty day or a bad bout of insomnia would trigger the desire to have a drink.  And gradually I just developed the habit of a couple of drinks at cocktail hour.  Lots of my social circle drank the same way, and I experienced no negative consequences to my life.  Literally none, not even hangovers. I had nothing but pleasurable associations with it.

But there was always a nagging worry about 1) my health; and 2) the inevitable creep of tolerance and increased intake.   A recent health issue that is worsened by alcohol is what finally spurred me to tackle it.

My advice is, quit worrying about labeling yourself.  If you are feeling concern, then that's all you need to legitimize taking steps.  No need to wait and see if serious consequences might one day arise!   As to moderation, you might be one who can.  Or you might be someone more like me, where you CAN moderate, but just find that it's SO MUCH mental effort to do so, that it seems surprisingly easier to just not drink (though I haven't absolutely 'forbidden' myself from ever having another drink).  Or you might be someone whose brain reacts really strongly to the first couple of drinks, and removes the 'off' switch; in that case, maybe moderation wouldn't work for you.  I've never been a binge drinker, so others here might offer more insight on that pattern than I have.

But it seems like anyone who likes to drink with any regularity just inevitably ends up dealing with 'amount creep'.  That's not a character flaw in you or anyone, it's just a human body's response to booze.

I know the feeling of not wanting to think about potentially giving up something you enjoy. Try framing it a different way in your head...see if you can just start thinking of it as something you get to try (at least for a while) to give your health a boost, and what a relief it will be to remove the nagging worry when you pour a glass.  In other words, just give it a try.  It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought back before I tried it!

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on April 24, 2019, 09:41:19 PM
@wannabe-stache, you might like to check out Annie Grace's book, This Naked Mind.  Or the online program, the alcohol experiment.  https://learn.thisnakedmind.com/the-alcohol-experiment-registration

Rather than trying to decide if you are an "alcoholic" or not, a good question to ask is "Am I drinking the amount of alcohol I want to be drinking?"   and to question whether the reasons you tell yourself you are drinking alcohol are actually true.

For example, one belief I had was that I drink alcohol to relax after a stressful time.   Annie Grace's advice was to question that belief, and make observations about it.   So, on a day I was feeling a lot of stress, and had a drink, to just sit an notice how I felt . before I drank, while I was drinking, a little after the first drink, and an hour or so after the first or second drink.   Just observe.   Did I feel less stress?  Or what did I feel?

In the online program, we did this with a lot of different beliefs:  I like the taste of alcohol, alcohol makes me feel happier, alcohol helps me fall asleep and be more rested and so on.  There are no right answers here.   You are trying to be objective and find out what amount of alcohol YOU want to be drinking.

In my case I realized that alcohol only made me feel less stressed for about 10 minutes.  Then I started to feel MORE stressed, unless I had another drink.  This wasn't someone telling me I *HAD* to stop drinking; it was me noticing for myself that a key reason I thought I drank wasn't actually true.


Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on April 24, 2019, 10:28:15 PM
@wannabe-stache I had just posted this somewhere else earlier today and it ties in with what @wenchsenior and @CrustyBadger are saying
Quote
From my own personal experience, I used to drink on special occasions and enjoyed getting and being drunk. This was probably more booze than medical standards allow but I was classic young and stupid. Not actually a problem.

When it became a problem was when it was my main, and then only, coping mechanism for dealing with other stresses in my life. When I started to be uncomfortable with the amount I was drinking and kept doing it anyway. That was when I needed to stop altogether because it was easier to just not than it was to manage.

If you are not in that mental space you are probably are OK, and you generally know if you are in that space.

I got a prescription for Naltrexone a couple of years ago and used it a couple of times when I was still on the fence about quitting. It really took away the urge to keep drinking and somehow without the booze hitting my chemical receptors I was just tasting the actual flavours which made me realise I didn't actually like wine very much. So I knew I had that in my back pocket when I decided that I was going to take a break from drinking.

My goal was a year off but I didn't tell anyone because I didn't want it to be a thing. I did tell my husband about 3 weeks in and then he was just super supportive re joining in on any activities I needed to fill the cocktail hour window until the habit was broken. When I got to the end of the year it was going so well that I re-upped. I honestly never thought I would quit entirely but my life is genuinely so much better without booze. So much of the mental chatter and anxiety is gone.

Just want to let you know that you don't have to be in the gutter to decide you will take a break for a while.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on April 24, 2019, 11:02:48 PM
@wannabe-stache, you might like to check out Annie Grace's book, This Naked Mind.  Or the online program, the alcohol experiment.  https://learn.thisnakedmind.com/the-alcohol-experiment-registration

Rather than trying to decide if you are an "alcoholic" or not, a good question to ask is "Am I drinking the amount of alcohol I want to be drinking?"   and to question whether the reasons you tell yourself you are drinking alcohol are actually true.

For example, one belief I had was that I drink alcohol to relax after a stressful time.   Annie Grace's advice was to question that belief, and make observations about it.   So, on a day I was feeling a lot of stress, and had a drink, to just sit an notice how I felt . before I drank, while I was drinking, a little after the first drink, and an hour or so after the first or second drink.   Just observe.   Did I feel less stress?  Or what did I feel?

In the online program, we did this with a lot of different beliefs:  I like the taste of alcohol, alcohol makes me feel happier, alcohol helps me fall asleep and be more rested and so on.  There are no right answers here.   You are trying to be objective and find out what amount of alcohol YOU want to be drinking.

In my case I realized that alcohol only made me feel less stressed for about 10 minutes.  Then I started to feel MORE stressed, unless I had another drink.  This wasn't someone telling me I *HAD* to stop drinking; it was me noticing for myself that a key reason I thought I drank wasn't actually true.

Yup. One of my big light bulb moments of "my brain is insistently telling me something that is bullshit" occurred after I'd been journaling a week or so of my regular drinking. I'd noticed that 'cocktail hour' had triggered an actual physical drop in my diaphram, like an actual physical relaxation that passed from my neck down. It was such a great feeling!  And then after one of the daily videos, I started paying attention to precisely when that occurred. And it happened the second I started toward the wine bottle, not 10 minutes after I started drinking!  The wine wasn't even causing most of the relaxation lol.  Stupid lizard brain.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: brute on April 25, 2019, 06:32:47 AM
Not 100% booze free, but I've had booze 3 times this year. My wife's birthday, valentines day, and our wedding anniversary. A bottle of wine split between us and a pour of nice scotch. It was nice to enjoy alcohol as a human rather than needing to pound down more to see if I could get a buzz. Seriously, it was a crazy feeling getting relaxed and a little loopy after a single glass of wine. Is this what normal people experience?
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wannabe-stache on April 25, 2019, 08:45:36 AM
Thanks everyone. Curious - how long did it take for sleep to come easy without the booze?
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on April 25, 2019, 08:57:39 AM
Thanks everyone. Curious - how long did it take for sleep to come easy without the booze?

Suspect it's different for everyone, depending on how much you were drinking. I was drinking ~2 per day, and have a history of erratic sleep patterns prior to and during my drinking years.  It took about 10 days before I stopped being super antsy late into the night every night, and about 3 weeks before I consistently fell asleep easily after getting in bed (note, the antsy-ness was not the same as a craving...I wasn't thinking about alcohol, just very restless).
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wespellitmoustache on May 02, 2019, 04:35:16 AM
Hi all,

After reading this thread a couple of weeks ago I'm now day 10 alcohol free. I'm seeing immediate benefits: more energy, better sleep, less snacking in the evenings.

I've also started reading This Naked Mind and am considering making this a permanent thing, which is something I never thought I'd say. We're off to my favourite wine region in France in Sept/Oct for two weeks at a language school - I think that will be a turning point one way or another!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: OurTown on May 02, 2019, 05:49:11 AM
My day counter on my phone says today is 1,000 days of sobriety.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: MasterStache on May 02, 2019, 05:58:55 AM
I was an alcoholic in my early 20s. And likely drank more than I should have during my time in the military, although I did unknowingly cut back and focus on other more important things. Over the last 15 years or so I've rarely had a drink. Social gatherings on occasion. Honestly I don't even feel great after 1 beer. Now it's an occasional glass of wine sitting on the patio. I just see it as an expensive, unnecessary habit.   
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: DadJokes on May 02, 2019, 06:33:24 AM
My day counter on my phone says today is 1,000 days of sobriety.

Congrats!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: StarBright on May 02, 2019, 07:16:42 AM
I added in a few drinks after Lent was over.

DH and I have had a standing cocktail date Sunday afternoons on the porch for the last year. It is our couple time to decompress from our go go go weekends with chores and kids. I also had a glass of wine after work one night and had a half a beer to go with a burger.

Conclusion - a beer with a cheeseburger is worth keeping (I don't drink soda) and I only have a burger a few times a year, cocktail date with my husband is probably worth keeping a few times a month, but I don't think I'll go back to post work wine or cocktail just for the heck of it.

I've found a couple of tea drinks that I really like in the evening and I'll stick with that for the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Tyson on May 02, 2019, 08:13:36 AM
5 and a half years sober now.  I rarely miss it especially since I'm watching my mom slowly drink herself to death and it seriously mess up my dad's life too.  I wish I could help them more, but they just can't seem to give it up, even when really bad shit is happening as a result. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: jps on May 02, 2019, 09:11:36 AM
I gave up beer for Lent, and then just kept going.

I've lost a few pounds, which is nice. People have asked me how long I'll continue to go without beer, and I just respond with, "for as long as I please."

I'm not sure at the moment how far I'll take it, and I've even had a G&T or two since beginning this, but I feel dang good about myself, especially knowing that it is easy for me to go so long without a beer.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Nords on May 04, 2019, 02:08:52 AM
I was contributing quotes for a blogger friendís post about alcohol, and I ended up doing some math.

On 16 May 2019 itíll be 3000 days since my last beer on 27 February 2011.

I was roughly a two-six-pack-per week drinker (craft beers preferred), which could be estimated at $40/week.  (Or maybe Iím out of touch on the price of a six-pack of decent beer.)  That amount invested in a total stock market fund would conservatively be in excess of $20K.

A couple nights ago I was surrounded by a half-dozen beer-drinking friends, spicy food, and good times.  I belatedly realized that neither the spicy food nor the social proof were enough to cause me to want a beer.  I was more surprised that it had taken me a couple hours to even think of the situation.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: pudding on May 04, 2019, 12:22:25 PM
15 days since I last had a drink. It just got silly, sipping on my beers every single night... getting fat, not enjoying the taste half the time, the cost, the fuzzy head every single morning.  F' that.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: jps on May 16, 2019, 02:59:06 PM
I haven't had a beer since middle of March, and I've lost somewhere between 5-10 pounds with no other changes. It makes me wonder how much beer I was drinking that was keeping my weight so high.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on May 16, 2019, 03:36:53 PM
I haven't had a beer since middle of March, and I've lost somewhere between 5-10 pounds with no other changes. It makes me wonder how much beer I was drinking that was keeping my weight so high.

Heh.  DH did 30 days in solidarity with me, and then began drinking more mindfully than before, so cut his intake by probably a little more than half.  He's quite fit, only a few pounds of extra weight, AND his weight hasn't fluctuated in years. But he told me yesterday: "Hey, I lost 5 lbs...it's been almost 3 weeks and my weight is definitely 5 lbs down!"  He seemed surprised, as well.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: DadJokes on May 16, 2019, 04:28:23 PM
I'm quite jealous. I went from about 6 beers a week to only a few beers total so far this year, and I haven't lost a pound. I'm starting to think my scale doesn't know how to go below 240.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Ozstache on May 16, 2019, 04:46:26 PM
After seeing alcohol have a good go at wrecking the lives of some close family members and it slowly sucking the life from me, I quit drinking altogether nearly 4 years ago now. Best thing I ever did and the only real hurdle has been dealing with the attitude of others who feel I should be still drinking but even that has diminished significantly with time.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on May 16, 2019, 05:07:29 PM
I'm quite jealous. I went from about 6 beers a week to only a few beers total so far this year, and I haven't lost a pound. I'm starting to think my scale doesn't know how to go below 240.

Plateaus are real, for sure. I have the opposite problem, keeping weight ON.  And I was worried that giving up that ~250 calories per day would cause slippage. And it did, but my body does seem to love its plateaus and has stabilized a couple pounds down. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Tyson on May 16, 2019, 06:50:25 PM
I'm quite jealous. I went from about 6 beers a week to only a few beers total so far this year, and I haven't lost a pound. I'm starting to think my scale doesn't know how to go below 240.

When I quit drinking, I didn't lose weight because my sugar cravings went through the roof.  Eventually got those under control and now I lost most of the weight and I tend to keep it off as long as I never eat anything after 9pm. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Cool Friend on May 20, 2019, 07:50:09 AM
I'm joining you guys. I went on a bit of a tear with some friends on Friday night and felt like absolute dog shit all day Saturday. I spend too much on beer and I'm not getting any younger or healthier. Disconnecting my brain used to feel worth the cost, but these days it just makes me feel slow, fuzzy, bloated, and pathetic. Plus I'm tired 24/7. Tired when I wake up, tired throughout the day, tired while drinking, etc.  Signed up for the Annie Grace 30-day thing to keep myself accountable.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on May 20, 2019, 08:48:40 AM
Welcome! That Annie Grace 30 day sober is a great way to start. The first time I did her program I lasted 7 months, then I took a hiatus, now I am back on two months and counting.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Tyson on May 20, 2019, 09:08:20 AM
That's the sneaking thing about alcohol - it generally starts out as a great way to blow off steam or unwind with friends.  But over time it gets it's hooks into you and just makes things worse. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Hula Hoop on May 25, 2019, 10:13:48 AM
I've been cutting down on the booze.  I used to drink 1-2 glasses of wine around 5 days a week.  Wine is really cheap here in Italy so this was a cheap habit.  Also, people tend to drink wine with meals here.  But after drinking a bit too much 2 Fridays ago and feeling crap the next day, I decided to cut down.  So far I had one glass of wine with dinner last week and one beer last night with pizza.  I've found that other things can de-stress me after work - even a non-alcoholic beverage can mark the transition from work to home when I get home after a long day.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: pudding on May 25, 2019, 10:57:06 AM
Just over 5 weeks and no booze.

I have to say it feels very nice to not be tired and hungover like I was before.

After the first 3 or 4 nights of restless sleep after stopping my 2 to 4 drinks each and every night for 11 years, after those rough first few nights my sleep patterns returned to normal and now I seem to have a better quality sleep.

Whereas before I would wake up and be yawning and still tired and wanting to sleep in, now I wake when my alarm goes off and getting up and staying awake seems much easier. 

I've also noticed that my body seems to not ache as much, not sure why except that maybe the booze caused inflammation?

I've dropped about 8 pounds in fat and my 'round' face is, well not quite as round and 2 people commented on how my face looks thinner.


The buzz from drinking had become like this weird thing all of it's own, like I had become it's 'bitch' ... So glad to be on the bright side of that one!

Best of luck out there!  Crush it!!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Hula Hoop on May 25, 2019, 03:15:58 PM
I gave up booze (apart from a quarter glass of wine a few times) during pregnancy and I noticed that I lost weight (apart from my belly) rapidly.  At the time, I wondered if it was to do with cutting out the empty calories from alcohol.  I have a relatively healthy diet and wine/beer are pretty much my only real indulgence.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Fish Sweet on May 30, 2019, 10:37:45 AM
Barring one (1!) beach trip early on in the month, I'm planning on a booze-free June that will hopefully translate into a little more moderation afterward.  I don't (think?) I drink a wild amount (maybe 1-2 beers/cocktails every other day) but frankly that shit adds up to $$$, it's not doing my waistline any favors, and while I truly enjoy cracking open an ice cold beer after a hard day's work and productivity, I also truly dislike the feeling of yearning for that ice cold beer and want to redirect the 'reward' portion of my brain to something less uh, potentially addicting.

Trying to also decide if I'm gonna make the push to cut out La Croix (flavored seltzer water, HORRIBLY addicting also) in the same go, but that might be a bridge too far because it's my current favorite substitute for beer.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on May 30, 2019, 11:22:29 AM
Fish Sweet
There are much cheaper brands of sparkling water than LaCriox, I get the store brand for 25-30 cents a can, you can affort that  compared to a minimum 2$ craft beer.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on May 30, 2019, 02:36:26 PM
We don't get la Croix here but a splash of grapefruit juice in soda water is a nice substitute for the bite of an IPA.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Geographer on May 30, 2019, 06:19:53 PM
Count me in! I've been drinking significantly less beer lately and it feels great. The only alcohol I want to routinely consume will be in kombucha form (<1% ABV).
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Wrenchturner on May 30, 2019, 07:31:50 PM
My first reduction in alcohol consumption came when I found out that sulphites really don't sit well with my digestive tract.  So I had to cut out a bunch of alcohol I previously enjoyed.

Pretty sure I contracted Hep A in Thailand last November and I quit drinking two weeks ago after bruising my liver and noticing how slowly it was healing.  I feel a lot better, less fatigued and my skin looks better.  I do enjoy a beer after work though, despite the risk of habit forming with a routine like that.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: El_Viajero on June 09, 2019, 04:34:59 PM
I'm joining in. I actually quit recently (third time trying). It's been about 20 days now since my last drink. The first time I quit, I made it two whole years, but I'd become what substance abuse professionals call a "dry drunk." You can look it up. Basically, I was sober but very unhappy.

Something that I don't see coming up enough on this thread is that fact that alcohol is a known carcinogen. Don't take my word for it:

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/general-info/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens.html

Whenever you read that alcohol "increases the risk of some cancers" or similar, remember that what you're reading is this: "deliberate consumption of a known carcinogen causes cancer in those who consume it." People really REALLY hate hearing this message because they really REALLY like drinking craft beer and all that.

People who drink regularly also seem to love the one (or however few) stud(y/ies) that suggest(s) a very small glass of red wine may possibly have some potential to help you avoid heart disease. They tend to hate and totally ignore all of the other studies (and there are tons) linking alcohol to all sorts of terrible maladies.

Anyway, that's a digression. Alcohol is obviously poison. We can all have a perfectly happy life without it. Just know that giving up drinking is one of the most radical personal decisions you can make. The social pressure to do otherwise can be intense. I live in a liberal college town. Around here, being a vegan is more common than not drinking.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wannabe-stache on June 12, 2019, 07:53:48 AM
I'm joining in. I actually quit recently (third time trying). It's been about 20 days now since my last drink. The first time I quit, I made it two whole years, but I'd become what substance abuse professionals call a "dry drunk." You can look it up. Basically, I was sober but very unhappy.

Something that I don't see coming up enough on this thread is that fact that alcohol is a known carcinogen. Don't take my word for it:

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/general-info/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens.html

Whenever you read that alcohol "increases the risk of some cancers" or similar, remember that what you're reading is this: "deliberate consumption of a known carcinogen causes cancer in those who consume it." People really REALLY hate hearing this message because they really REALLY like drinking craft beer and all that.

People who drink regularly also seem to love the one (or however few) stud(y/ies) that suggest(s) a very small glass of red wine may possibly have some potential to help you avoid heart disease. They tend to hate and totally ignore all of the other studies (and there are tons) linking alcohol to all sorts of terrible maladies.

Anyway, that's a digression. Alcohol is obviously poison. We can all have a perfectly happy life without it. Just know that giving up drinking is one of the most radical personal decisions you can make. The social pressure to do otherwise can be intense. I live in a liberal college town. Around here, being a vegan is more common than not drinking.

i am on day 2 of the annie grace 30 day challenge.  so that means last night was the first night in years that i didn't have a drink.

what i noticed:
1.  i felt incredibly hungry
2. i drank 3 LaCroixs
3. i remembered the plot of the TV show my wife and i watched for the first time in forever
4. i slept "ok" but mostly interrupted due to a toddler coming into the bed
5. i got out of bed much easier in the am
6. it wasn't as hard as i thought

Are any of these findings strange or similar to what you all see?

does it get harder on the weekends?  after 3 or 4 days?
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on June 12, 2019, 08:15:32 AM
I'm joining in. I actually quit recently (third time trying). It's been about 20 days now since my last drink. The first time I quit, I made it two whole years, but I'd become what substance abuse professionals call a "dry drunk." You can look it up. Basically, I was sober but very unhappy.

Something that I don't see coming up enough on this thread is that fact that alcohol is a known carcinogen. Don't take my word for it:

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/general-info/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens.html

Whenever you read that alcohol "increases the risk of some cancers" or similar, remember that what you're reading is this: "deliberate consumption of a known carcinogen causes cancer in those who consume it." People really REALLY hate hearing this message because they really REALLY like drinking craft beer and all that.

People who drink regularly also seem to love the one (or however few) stud(y/ies) that suggest(s) a very small glass of red wine may possibly have some potential to help you avoid heart disease. They tend to hate and totally ignore all of the other studies (and there are tons) linking alcohol to all sorts of terrible maladies.

Anyway, that's a digression. Alcohol is obviously poison. We can all have a perfectly happy life without it. Just know that giving up drinking is one of the most radical personal decisions you can make. The social pressure to do otherwise can be intense. I live in a liberal college town. Around here, being a vegan is more common than not drinking.

i am on day 2 of the annie grace 30 day challenge.  so that means last night was the first night in years that i didn't have a drink.

what i noticed:
1.  i felt incredibly hungry
2. i drank 3 LaCroixs
3. i remembered the plot of the TV show my wife and i watched for the first time in forever
4. i slept "ok" but mostly interrupted due to a toddler coming into the bed
5. i got out of bed much easier in the am
6. it wasn't as hard as i thought

Are any of these findings strange or similar to what you all see?

does it get harder on the weekends?  after 3 or 4 days?

Everyone's slightly different.  I suspect that a lot of what people experience depends on their dependency (both psychological and physical), amount and frequency that they were drinking, and their particular triggers.   I had a psychological dependency, but no physical one.  I found the idea of quitting very stressful, but the actual process hard for only about 7-10 days, and still easier than I expected.  I had very strong, but brief, cravings as a result of my primary trigger for the first week, and then they diminished rapidly.  I still am triggered occasionally by some of my secondary, stochastic triggers, but it's been mostly mild. I'm waiting to see if I get really strong ones at some point out of the blue, when I am not expecting them.

1.  my appetite improved slightly after a couple weeks. not sure it's related
2. yes, substitutes were helpful in the first couple weeks.  I also suffered cravings partly due to low blood sugar at cocktail hour, so made sure to pre-plan and eat appropriately.
3. n/a for me.  I don't think drinking has ever caused me to forget anything I've done, watched, said, or heard in general (maybe very specific details of something in a conversation or movie I was watching).  However, I don't split viewing of movies over two nights so much any more...I have more energy to watch the entire thing.
4.  I had a lot of trouble sleeping until about 2 weeks in, but I suffered insomnia long before I became a regular drinker. And sleep is pretty good now.
5. No difference for me in terms of energy, except at bedtime. But my baseline mood improved a lot, starting 2 weeks in, and this was noticeable in the morning.
6.  I agree. I wish I'd realized that earlier in life!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: slackmax on June 12, 2019, 04:44:01 PM
Slackmax checking in.   

I want to know if anyone else has the 'sensory enhancement' I get, from about 2  beers (or more).  After a beer or 2, I hear instruments on the stereo that I didn't even notice, when straight. And I see things on the horizon and in the sunset, etc,  that I ignored when straight.     

As for quitting, or limiting, well, we'll see. lol. 
 

 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on June 12, 2019, 05:33:54 PM
i am on day 2 of the annie grace 30 day challenge.  so that means last night was the first night in years that i didn't have a drink.

what i noticed:
1.  i felt incredibly hungry
2. i drank 3 LaCroixs
3. i remembered the plot of the TV show my wife and i watched for the first time in forever
4. i slept "ok" but mostly interrupted due to a toddler coming into the bed
5. i got out of bed much easier in the am
6. it wasn't as hard as i thought

Are any of these findings strange or similar to what you all see?

does it get harder on the weekends?  after 3 or 4 days?

1- yeah your body is used to a supply of easy sugars from the alcohol
2- substitute drinks help!
4- It took me about 2 months to fall asleep naturally but it was less than a week before I stopped waking up at 2am to have a freakout - best part about not drinking for me
5- out of bed much easier because I am going to bed much earlier now that there is nothing [read booze-sugar] fueling awakeness past my natural bedtime. Suddenly I was sleeping 9.30pm - 5.30 am and it feels great.

Whether it gets harder depends. It sounds like you don't have a dependency so I would expect it tpo be easy at 1 or 2 days. It's only been a minor break at this point. It might get harder when you are in situations where you normally drink. I have found that I don't have a problem with hanging out with people who are drinking but an hour is now my limit for tolerating bars - at that point people are getting a buzz on, the noise-level is rising and it is just not enjoyable for me anymore. This used to be the point where I would have another drink to be able to cope with the people and the noise, and now I just leave.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on June 12, 2019, 07:23:29 PM
Slackmax checking in.   

I want to know if anyone else has the 'sensory enhancement' I get, from about 2  beers (or more).  After a beer or 2, I hear instruments on the stereo that I didn't even notice, when straight. And I see things on the horizon and in the sunset, etc,  that I ignored when straight.     

As for quitting, or limiting, well, we'll see. lol.

Yes.  My brain tends to be super 'buzzy' and one of the pleasant things about getting a buzz [from alcohol] is that I could focus more easily on one thing without distraction. I'm now trying to take up meditation to help my ability to focus and to hopefully get the same effect, which I do sometimes miss.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: slackmax on June 14, 2019, 05:02:28 AM
Slackmax checking in.   

I want to know if anyone else has the 'sensory enhancement' I get, from about 2  beers (or more).  After a beer or 2, I hear instruments on the stereo that I didn't even notice, when straight. And I see things on the horizon and in the sunset, etc,  that I ignored when straight.     

As for quitting, or limiting, well, we'll see. lol.

Yes.  My brain tends to be super 'buzzy' and one of the pleasant things about getting a buzz is that I could focus more easily on one thing without distraction. I'm now trying to take up meditation to help my ability to focus and to hopefully get the same effect, which I do sometimes miss.

I'm down to 3 beers per day and holding. When I quit altogether I get a physically tired feeling in day 2 of being straight.  I quit for 3 days in a row a few months ago, just because I was away from home and busy doing stuff. That time I didn't get tired, for some reason. Probably all the external stimuli.   
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on June 14, 2019, 08:06:44 AM
I was amazed to find that draggy feeling took about 2 weeks of not drinking to start to go away, even on 1-2 drinks per day. Apparently the effects of alcohol take at least 1 week to process out of one's system.  I had no idea it took that long.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: El_Viajero on June 14, 2019, 11:56:42 AM
i am on day 2 of the annie grace 30 day challenge.  so that means last night was the first night in years that i didn't have a drink.

what i noticed:
1.  i felt incredibly hungry
2. i drank 3 LaCroixs
3. i remembered the plot of the TV show my wife and i watched for the first time in forever
4. i slept "ok" but mostly interrupted due to a toddler coming into the bed
5. i got out of bed much easier in the am
6. it wasn't as hard as i thought

Are any of these findings strange or similar to what you all see?

does it get harder on the weekends?  after 3 or 4 days?

You will sleep better and it will be easier to get out of bed in the morning. That's for sure. Not EASY, mind you, but certainly less difficult. I still drink coffee first thing in the morning, so there's that.

Drinking the fizzy water can be a good beer substitute if you're not so addicted as to be physically dependent. It gives you the sensation of cracking something open, feeling the carbonation, and drinking it. You might not actually be thirsty, but you're subconsciously craving that experience. Extra water won't hurt you.

Re: tv show. Yeah, if you're in the habit of forgetting the plot of TV shows, it's a good thing you're putting down the booze. It's not as serious an issue as, say... missing dinner every night b/c you were out drinking and then coming home and breaking shit, but it's a sign that things aren't right. It's nice to remember stuff, yeah?

Weekends might be hard if you're only used to spending your time drinking. Find things to do that don't involve alcohol or that would be impossible to do well if you were drinking: riding bikes, rock climbing, playing any sport, doing projects around the house, taking your toddler to a playground or to a pool, etc. Otherwise, you'll probably drink.

If your standard social activity is sitting around with friends and drinking, it will be hard to be in that environment and not drink. The thing to remember is that nobody else really cares whether you're drinking gin or water. People are mainly focused on themselves, sadly. You'll probably find that you're still fun, witty, capable of enjoying yourself, etc. with or without booze.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wannabe-stache on June 17, 2019, 09:32:29 AM
Quote
i am on day 2 of the annie grace 30 day challenge.  so that means last night was the first night in years that i didn't have a drink.

what i noticed:
1.  i felt incredibly hungry
2. i drank 3 LaCroixs
3. i remembered the plot of the TV show my wife and i watched for the first time in forever
4. i slept "ok" but mostly interrupted due to a toddler coming into the bed
5. i got out of bed much easier in the am
6. it wasn't as hard as i thought

Are any of these findings strange or similar to what you all see?

does it get harder on the weekends?  after 3 or 4 days?

On day 7.  So far, so good.  This weekend was tough - I am the cook and usually cooking is accompanied by several glasses of strong beer.  My wife's bday was Saturday and Father's Day was Sunday so i spent a good deal of time craving something while i was prepping.  Also, when we sat down both nights, we had some pretty fancy meals (Salmon Wellington and steak) that would have gone great with a glass of wine.

I am sad to say: I really hope i can go back to drinking casually.  We have a very expensive collection of wines in our home and I have no plans to ask my wife not to drink in front of me.  And, i am sorry, but a nice glass of wine just goes so well with a nice steak.

But, so far, sobriety has been a welcome change.  Going to the grocery store and NOT spending $20+ on craft beer has been a nice change.  Going to bed at 9:30 and reading instead of passing out is nice.  Waking early and getting my training has been wonderful.  And having increased clarity at work and at home, allowing me to be present and in the moment, is hard to compete with.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: El_Viajero on June 17, 2019, 11:42:47 AM
But, so far, sobriety has been a welcome change.  Going to the grocery store and NOT spending $20+ on craft beer has been a nice change.  Going to bed at 9:30 and reading instead of passing out is nice.  Waking early and getting my training has been wonderful.  And having increased clarity at work and at home, allowing me to be present and in the moment, is hard to compete with.

And would you be willing to give those things up?

I used to smoke. A hit of nicotine with a cup of coffee sure felt good, but I eventually quit doing it because I knew what it was doing to my body. Nowadays, alcohol consumption is far more socially acceptable than smoking. However, it's still carcinogenic. Alcohol is classified by the WHO as a Group 1 carcinogen. It gives you cancer.

That glass of wine with your steak is probably delicious for the few minutes you're drinking it. Unfortunately, the negative effects of that glass of wine persist for hours Ė longer if you're a heavy and/or daily drinker.

Trust me, your dinners will still be yummy without the booze.

Since this is the MMM forum, I suppose we can compare this scenario to the rush a consumer sucka gets when they finance that brand new BMW and drive it off the lot. It feels good for a little while, but they pay for that status symbol for years and years.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Tyson on June 17, 2019, 11:45:33 AM
But, so far, sobriety has been a welcome change.  Going to the grocery store and NOT spending $20+ on craft beer has been a nice change.  Going to bed at 9:30 and reading instead of passing out is nice.  Waking early and getting my training has been wonderful.  And having increased clarity at work and at home, allowing me to be present and in the moment, is hard to compete with.

And would you be willing to give those things up?

I used to smoke. A hit of nicotine with a cup of coffee sure felt good, but I eventually quit doing it because I knew what it was doing to my body. Nowadays, alcohol consumption is far more socially acceptable than smoking. However, it's still carcinogenic. Alcohol is classified by the WHO as a Group 1 carcinogen. It gives you cancer.

That glass of wine with your steak is probably delicious for the few minutes you're drinking it. Unfortunately, the negative effects of that glass of wine persist for hours Ė longer if you're a heavy and/or daily drinker.

Trust me, your dinners will still be yummy without the booze.

Since this is the MMM forum, I suppose we can compare this scenario to the rush a consumer sucka gets when they finance that brand new BMW and drive it off the lot. It feels good for a little while, but they pay for that status symbol for years and years.

If it's OK to mock the people that drink coffee at starbucks, then it's even more appropriate to mock people that drink booze, especially socially - talk about a money sink!  And if you're a daily drinker its even worse.  I know when I quit drinking, it freed up hundreds of dollars in my budget that I could then save/invest.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wannabe-stache on June 17, 2019, 12:32:05 PM
But, so far, sobriety has been a welcome change.  Going to the grocery store and NOT spending $20+ on craft beer has been a nice change.  Going to bed at 9:30 and reading instead of passing out is nice.  Waking early and getting my training has been wonderful.  And having increased clarity at work and at home, allowing me to be present and in the moment, is hard to compete with.

And would you be willing to give those things up?

I used to smoke. A hit of nicotine with a cup of coffee sure felt good, but I eventually quit doing it because I knew what it was doing to my body. Nowadays, alcohol consumption is far more socially acceptable than smoking. However, it's still carcinogenic. Alcohol is classified by the WHO as a Group 1 carcinogen. It gives you cancer.

That glass of wine with your steak is probably delicious for the few minutes you're drinking it. Unfortunately, the negative effects of that glass of wine persist for hours Ė longer if you're a heavy and/or daily drinker.

Trust me, your dinners will still be yummy without the booze.

Since this is the MMM forum, I suppose we can compare this scenario to the rush a consumer sucka gets when they finance that brand new BMW and drive it off the lot. It feels good for a little while, but they pay for that status symbol for years and years.

sorry, i don't put a glass of Malbec on par with a Marlboro.  this comes from a former pack a day smoker turned sub-3 hour marathoner...

and no, i don't want to give those things up.  i hope there is a middle ground like there used to be and is for many others.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: jps on June 17, 2019, 12:48:52 PM
But, so far, sobriety has been a welcome change.  Going to the grocery store and NOT spending $20+ on craft beer has been a nice change.  Going to bed at 9:30 and reading instead of passing out is nice.  Waking early and getting my training has been wonderful.  And having increased clarity at work and at home, allowing me to be present and in the moment, is hard to compete with.

And would you be willing to give those things up?

I used to smoke. A hit of nicotine with a cup of coffee sure felt good, but I eventually quit doing it because I knew what it was doing to my body. Nowadays, alcohol consumption is far more socially acceptable than smoking. However, it's still carcinogenic. Alcohol is classified by the WHO as a Group 1 carcinogen. It gives you cancer.

That glass of wine with your steak is probably delicious for the few minutes you're drinking it. Unfortunately, the negative effects of that glass of wine persist for hours Ė longer if you're a heavy and/or daily drinker.

Trust me, your dinners will still be yummy without the booze.

Since this is the MMM forum, I suppose we can compare this scenario to the rush a consumer sucka gets when they finance that brand new BMW and drive it off the lot. It feels good for a little while, but they pay for that status symbol for years and years.

sorry, i don't put a glass of Malbec on par with a Marlboro.  this comes from a former pack a day smoker turned sub-3 hour marathoner...

and no, i don't want to give those things up.  i hope there is a middle ground like there used to be and is for many others.

It's all about the moderation. Will having a glass of wine a few times a week have the same effect as smoking a pack a day? I really doubt it, but I don't know. Will moderate alcohol use one day be viewed like cigarettes are today? I really doubt it, but I don't know.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wannabe-stache on June 17, 2019, 01:00:46 PM

Quote

If it's OK to mock the people that drink coffee at starbucks, then it's even more appropriate to mock people that drink booze, especially socially - talk about a money sink!  And if you're a daily drinker its even worse.  I know when I quit drinking, it freed up hundreds of dollars in my budget that I could then save/invest.

not even comparable.  it takes 1 minute to make a cup of coffee at home.  much more difficult to brew your own beer or squeeze your own grapes.

i'm only 7 days without a drink but even if i go 7 years, i have no intention to hold my nose as i walk by the pub "mocking" all those people having a cocktail at social hour.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Tyson on June 17, 2019, 01:08:41 PM

Quote

If it's OK to mock the people that drink coffee at starbucks, then it's even more appropriate to mock people that drink booze, especially socially - talk about a money sink!  And if you're a daily drinker its even worse.  I know when I quit drinking, it freed up hundreds of dollars in my budget that I could then save/invest.

not even comparable.  it takes 1 minute to make a cup of coffee at home.  much more difficult to brew your own beer or squeeze your own grapes.

i'm only 7 days without a drink but even if i go 7 years, i have no intention to hold my nose as i walk by the pub "mocking" all those people having a cocktail at social hour.

My point is that booze is expensive, even more expensive than fancy pants coffee.  And you donít need booze in order to socialize.  So thereís a financial incentive in addition to the other health benefits.

Of course, people that are addicted, even just moderately addicted, will get angry or defensive at the mere suggestion that maybe giving up booze is beneficial.  Iíve seen plenty of that, first hand.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: El_Viajero on June 18, 2019, 08:31:45 AM
sorry, i don't put a glass of Malbec on par with a Marlboro.  this comes from a former pack a day smoker turned sub-3 hour marathoner...

and no, i don't want to give those things up.  i hope there is a middle ground like there used to be and is for many others.

I hear you. My intention isn't to draw a rigid equivalence between cigs and vino. Rather, I'm comparing the two for the sake of pitting instant gratification against undesirable long-term consequences. The fact that both substances are carcinogenic makes the comparison more relevant than, say... comparing a compulsion to drink with a compulsion to veg out in front of the TV.

Also: Through at least the 1980s, there were daily smokers who were also marathon runners. I know that seems insane now given how socially unacceptable smoking has become, but it's worth bearing in mind that one can engage in self-destructive habits and also do "healthy stuff" on the reg... until the former catches up with the latter. Hell, an acquaintance of mine's retired father is currently a hardcore tennis player and a pack-a-day smoker. It's uncommon these days, but not nonexistent.

I also suspect that booze is only slightly less bad for us, on the whole, than smoking. I can't prove it and won't try to, but I'm not convinced that "normal" social drinking is basically benign. How many cigarettes can one comfortably smoke each week and know they probably won't get cancer? 2? 4? How many alcoholic beverages? If there's a comfortable middle ground of moderation for one, there must be for the other, right? Toxicity is all in the dosage, after all.

Look, I'm not trying to give you a hard time. I'm posting on this thread because I'm trying to quit drinking, too. It's hard.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wannabe-stache on June 18, 2019, 08:52:29 AM
sorry, i don't put a glass of Malbec on par with a Marlboro.  this comes from a former pack a day smoker turned sub-3 hour marathoner...

and no, i don't want to give those things up.  i hope there is a middle ground like there used to be and is for many others.

I hear you. My intention isn't to draw a rigid equivalence between cigs and vino. Rather, I'm comparing the two for the sake of pitting instant gratification against undesirable long-term consequences. The fact that both substances are carcinogenic makes the comparison more relevant than, say... comparing a compulsion to drink with a compulsion to veg out in front of the TV.

Also: Through at least the 1980s, there were daily smokers who were also marathon runners. I know that seems insane now given how socially unacceptable smoking has become, but it's worth bearing in mind that one can engage in self-destructive habits and also do "healthy stuff" on the reg... until the former catches up with the latter. Hell, an acquaintance of mine's retired father is currently a hardcore tennis player and a pack-a-day smoker. It's uncommon these days, but not nonexistent.

I also suspect that booze is only slightly less bad for us, on the whole, than smoking. I can't prove it and won't try to, but I'm not convinced that "normal" social drinking is basically benign. How many cigarettes can one comfortably smoke each week and know they probably won't get cancer? 2? 4? How many alcoholic beverages? If there's a comfortable middle ground of moderation for one, there must be for the other, right? Toxicity is all in the dosage, after all.

Look, I'm not trying to give you a hard time. I'm posting on this thread because I'm trying to quit drinking, too. It's hard.

no worries.  now i'm worried i have a sparkling water addiction.  i can chug 3-4 of those a night!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on June 18, 2019, 08:57:49 AM
sorry, i don't put a glass of Malbec on par with a Marlboro.  this comes from a former pack a day smoker turned sub-3 hour marathoner...

and no, i don't want to give those things up.  i hope there is a middle ground like there used to be and is for many others.

I hear you. My intention isn't to draw a rigid equivalence between cigs and vino. Rather, I'm comparing the two for the sake of pitting instant gratification against undesirable long-term consequences. The fact that both substances are carcinogenic makes the comparison more relevant than, say... comparing a compulsion to drink with a compulsion to veg out in front of the TV.

Also: Through at least the 1980s, there were daily smokers who were also marathon runners. I know that seems insane now given how socially unacceptable smoking has become, but it's worth bearing in mind that one can engage in self-destructive habits and also do "healthy stuff" on the reg... until the former catches up with the latter. Hell, an acquaintance of mine's retired father is currently a hardcore tennis player and a pack-a-day smoker. It's uncommon these days, but not nonexistent.

I also suspect that booze is only slightly less bad for us, on the whole, than smoking. I can't prove it and won't try to, but I'm not convinced that "normal" social drinking is basically benign. How many cigarettes can one comfortably smoke each week and know they probably won't get cancer? 2? 4? How many alcoholic beverages? If there's a comfortable middle ground of moderation for one, there must be for the other, right? Toxicity is all in the dosage, after all.

Look, I'm not trying to give you a hard time. I'm posting on this thread because I'm trying to quit drinking, too. It's hard.

In the early days of cycle racing, the cyclists used to drink alcohol WHILE RACING (read about it when reading about the history of doping in cycling). It used to be considered medicinal and performance enhancing!

It's interesting perusing the comments on Annie Grace's website...there is a large percentage of the commenters that are 1) health care professionals (doctors/nurses/etc.); 2) health 'coach' types of some sort (nutritionist/yoga teachers/personal trainers); or 3) people who are hard-core healthy eaters/exercisers in all other areas.  Most are struggling to reconcile the cognitive dissonance of the fact that they have dependency ranging from physical addiction to psychological dependence with what they objectively know about alcohol (drinking is really unhealthy), their ability to somehow compartmentalize this one unhealthy behavior and rationalize it, and the psycho-social training we all receive in a culture that celebrates 'some kinds' (specifics unclear) of drinking as desirable.

I do know that after absorbing decades of "it reduces heart attacks/it helps blood sugar regulation/Mediterranean cultures drink wine with afternoon and evening meals" messages, and being around friends that drank daily or regularly, it was a real shock when my doctor explained that guidelines for safe intake keep being ratcheted down in various western nations as more and more meta analysis is done, and that the data indicate that risks of cancer outweighed all the supposed health benefits.

It's a bummer, much in the way that meta-analysis of diet keeps shifting the needle on nitrate-filled processed meat further and further down the 'not safe' scale.  Which is unfortunate, b/c bacon is delicious.

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: slackmax on June 20, 2019, 07:26:31 AM

Quote

If it's OK to mock the people that drink coffee at starbucks, then it's even more appropriate to mock people that drink booze, especially socially - talk about a money sink!  And if you're a daily drinker its even worse.  I know when I quit drinking, it freed up hundreds of dollars in my budget that I could then save/invest.

not even comparable.  it takes 1 minute to make a cup of coffee at home.  much more difficult to brew your own beer or squeeze your own grapes.

i'm only 7 days without a drink but even if i go 7 years, i have no intention to hold my nose as i walk by the pub "mocking" all those people having a cocktail at social hour.

My point is that booze is expensive, even more expensive than fancy pants coffee.  And you donít need booze in order to socialize.  So thereís a financial incentive in addition to the other health benefits.

Of course, people that are addicted, even just moderately addicted, will get angry or defensive at the mere suggestion that maybe giving up booze is beneficial.  Iíve seen plenty of that, first hand.

I agree that retail booze at bars is way overpriced. $7 for a pint of Budweiser at some places. Ridiculous. I have been a beer lover for decades, but soon learned when out and about having fun on a hot day and coming across the $7 Bud on tap, to 'just say no'. My frugality is stronger than my craving for beer. Hmmm. Well, if they had a realllly good beer on tap, for $7 a pint, I might get just one.
I see folks at a local outdoor music place buying the $7 pints of Bud all day long. And I assume it's their own money they're spending. Unbelievable.
 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: slackmax on June 20, 2019, 07:34:53 AM
Fell off the wagon. Instead of my self-imposed 3 per day limit, I had 4 beers last night. I had been sticking to the 3 per day rule for four days in a row. Even went down to just 2 beers one day.  Needing to use the will power is no fun.           
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on June 20, 2019, 07:35:59 AM
My husband and I stopped buying alcohol about a year ago and I think it has saved us easily $200 a month.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on June 20, 2019, 08:09:18 AM
Fell off the wagon. Instead of my self-imposed 3 per day limit, I had 4 beers last night. I had been sticking to the 3 per day rule for four days in a row. Even went down to just 2 beers one day.  Needing to use the will power is no fun.         

Much to my own shock, I found it was far easier to just not drink at all (after the first two weeks, that is) then to constantly argue with myself about pouring another half glass every night. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: partgypsy on June 20, 2019, 08:41:01 AM
I am going back and forth about cutting back on drinking. I "feel" like I get more enjoyment than downsides (I've never drank so much I've ever thrown up, and rarely get a hangover). I'm more aware than the average person of the negative effects of alcohol as I have 3 family members who are/were alcoholics, and a couple (my judgment) who abuse alcohol. Because of my older brother our entire family went to "rehab" (aanon meetings).

However I've gotten in habit when I get home from work and make dinner, and most of the time I have wine with my dinner, so I a) watch tv with the wine and nibble on more food like cheese and crackers or chocolate and b) my day is done. While I can still do house work, I am not mentally up for working on my hobbies (writing and art). Part of me justifies that it's Ok for me to have downtime. At the same time my time is limited, and what is being sacrificed is output.. So while I love the wine and downtime, at some point I will need to cut back (limit to 1 or 2 days a week) or entirely refrain for a period of time to get another zine out. 
 

eta my favorite non-alcoholic drink right now is celestial seasonings Bengal spice tea, esp with a little agave syrup and almond milk. YUM


Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: partgypsy on June 20, 2019, 08:50:42 AM
Fell off the wagon. Instead of my self-imposed 3 per day limit, I had 4 beers last night. I had been sticking to the 3 per day rule for four days in a row. Even went down to just 2 beers one day.  Needing to use the will power is no fun.         

Much to my own shock, I found it was far easier to just not drink at all (after the first two weeks, that is) then to constantly argue with myself about pouring another half glass every night.

I totally understand. I did a number of years of no (added) sugar and it was much simpler then trying to reduce sugar by an arbitrary amount. Same thing for me eating meat during lent, or alcohol during pregnancy. Oddly I think it requires less willpower because decision making is already done. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: slackmax on June 20, 2019, 05:28:19 PM
I am going back and forth about cutting back on drinking. I "feel" like I get more enjoyment than downsides (I've never drank so much I've ever thrown up, and rarely get a hangover). I'm more aware than the average person of the negative effects of alcohol as I have 3 family members who are/were alcoholics, and a couple (my judgment) who abuse alcohol. Because of my older brother our entire family went to "rehab" (aanon meetings).

However I've gotten in habit when I get home from work and make dinner, and most of the time I have wine with my dinner, so I a) watch tv with the wine and nibble on more food like cheese and crackers or chocolate and b) my day is done. While I can still do house work, I am not mentally up for working on my hobbies (writing and art). Part of me justifies that it's Ok for me to have downtime. At the same time my time is limited, and what is being sacrificed is output.. So while I love the wine and downtime, at some point I will need to cut back (limit to 1 or 2 days a week) or entirely refrain for a period of time to get another zine out. 
 

eta my favorite non-alcoholic drink right now is celestial seasonings Bengal spice tea, esp with a little agave syrup and almond milk. YUM

Hmmm. That' an idea. Maybe I'll start drinking some sort of decaf tea. Sounds like no way it could replace a beer, but the mind is an amazing thing. Might act as a substitute. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on June 20, 2019, 06:38:04 PM
Slackmax, I drink rooibos chai in the afternoon. Feels like a treat but no caffeine.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: slackmax on June 21, 2019, 02:49:00 PM
Slackmax, I drink rooibos chai in the afternoon. Feels like a treat but no caffeine.

Rooibs chai. Hmmm. I'll check that out, Thanks.   
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Hula Hoop on June 22, 2019, 03:14:45 AM
I've been really exhausted lately and not sleeping that well.  I'm in my late 40s so maybe this is just how life is now but maybe cutting down on or cutting out the booze might give me more energy? 

It's hot now and nothing like a frosty beer after a hard day's work though.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on June 22, 2019, 04:54:22 AM
I've been really exhausted lately and not sleeping that well.  I'm in my late 40s so maybe this is just how life is now but maybe cutting down on or cutting out the booze might give me more energy? 

It's hot now and nothing like a frosty beer after a hard day's work though.

Nothing like an ice cold glass of water with a twist of lemon after a hard day's work!!  (Reframe those thoughts!) . ((If you want))
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Hula Hoop on June 22, 2019, 06:29:40 AM
I've been really exhausted lately and not sleeping that well.  I'm in my late 40s so maybe this is just how life is now but maybe cutting down on or cutting out the booze might give me more energy? 

It's hot now and nothing like a frosty beer after a hard day's work though.

Nothing like an ice cold glass of water with a twist of lemon after a hard day's work!!  (Reframe those thoughts!) . ((If you want))

You're quite right.  I need to get some enticing non-alcoholic options to put in the fridge.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on June 22, 2019, 08:29:23 AM
Went to my first bar-based social event since I did the 30-day program (currently I'm somewhere past the 100-day mark, which gives an indication of just how rarely I socialize in a group at a restaurant or bar).  I drank water, and still found I was able to talk with everyone (all dozen or so of the others had multiple beers) with no problem or major anxiety.  There was still minor 'background' anxiety b/c I don't like being in groups bigger than about 6 people (occasional sport, musical, or theatrical events excepted), no matter alchohol's involvement...I am most definitely NOT a herd animal.  But I'm not sure why I have been convinced for 2 decades that I needed a slight buzz to socialize.  And it was nice that when I really wanted to leave, I didn't need to wait for my husband to sit around for another 45 minutes after his last beer so he could drive...I could just drive and we could leave right then.

One slight negative I noticed, though.  My natural introversion definitely asserts itself more without drinking. Without alcohol, after about 1.5-2 hours, I was definitely ready to leave and be very quiet (possibly for the next week lol); whereas, my typical buzz would have damped down my anxiety and irritation at being in a big, boistrous group and I would have been fine coasting along for another hour or two and I wouldn't have hit such a clear point of 'ok, fun's over and I'm done'.  So I can see how it can somewhat affect one's socializing, if one is introverted.  Extroverts probably not so much.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on June 22, 2019, 03:03:06 PM
@wenchsenior that is very much my bar experience now. I was definitely using alcohol to mute my normal discomfort and let me continue to socialise long after I hit my natural limit. Now I make sure I turn up for the earlier part of events when it's quieter/less of a buzz on and then leave when it starts hitting a certain volume.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: slackmax on June 22, 2019, 05:04:12 PM
You guys, I haven't been to a bar in forever. I can't stand the high prices, plus tip! Oh well, I did go a few months ago since a woman I was interested in invited me to meet her there. And I bought myself a beer and left a tip. The things ya have to do, right?? lol... Offered to pay for hers, but she refused.

ANyway... I had  two beers today around noon, then went out to do stuff, came back around 5 PM and did NOT have more beers. yay!  My standard new  low 'goal' is three beers per day, so only having two is pretty good.

I did make myself an 'alternate beverage', which was Lipton's decaf tea made with hot water and a teabag.  It's working, I guess. I  haven't had  a craving for a beer all evening. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Hula Hoop on June 23, 2019, 07:26:53 AM
I broke down and had a nice cold glass of white wine with dinner last night.  Glad to see that those of us cutting down on booze rather than cutting it out completely are welcome on this thread.

The new me is going to drink one glass of wine or small glass of beer 3-4 days a week.  TBH I never really enjoy the wine after that first glass anyway.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: pudding on June 23, 2019, 03:13:01 PM
2 months so far.  Lost a lot of beer pudding/belly.  I was spending about $10 a day on beer/wine. 

So would have spent about $600 on booze in last 2 months.

I've noticed that I sleep a lot better, it took about a week for my sleep pattern to normalize. But I sleep and wake more rested.

I don't seem to ache and be as stiff as I was, I can definitely bend down to tie my shoes easier.

I definitely DO NOT MISS HANGOVERS!  What a dumb azz thing that was to do for so long.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Moustachienne on June 23, 2019, 05:03:41 PM
Just popping in to cheer everyone on!  I've really appreciated lurking on this thread and seeing the thoughtful efforts so many people are making.

DH and I reset our alcohol habit a few years ago, first by abstaining for several years, and now by very intentional drinking.  For us that means no more than one drink per day (always measured), no more than 3-4 drinks per week and not on consecutive days, no drinking alone.   We are thinking about the amount as we feel we may be slipping back to treating alcohol as a habit rather than a treat.  Alcohol as a treat is great and we'd like to preserve that.  Alcohol as a habit is very insidious and it's quite easy to ramp up before you know it. 

Best of luck to everyone in drinking or not drinking - both with intention.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: El_Viajero on June 24, 2019, 10:03:44 AM
Just anyone needs some extra encouragement, I found this article to be worthwhile:  https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/06/23/732876026/breaking-the-booze-habit-even-briefly-has-its-benefits
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wannabe-stache on June 24, 2019, 05:04:02 PM

Quote

On day 7.  So far, so good.  This weekend was tough - I am the cook and usually cooking is accompanied by several glasses of strong beer.  My wife's bday was Saturday and Father's Day was Sunday so i spent a good deal of time craving something while i was prepping.  Also, when we sat down both nights, we had some pretty fancy meals (Salmon Wellington and steak) that would have gone great with a glass of wine.

I am sad to say: I really hope i can go back to drinking casually.  We have a very expensive collection of wines in our home and I have no plans to ask my wife not to drink in front of me.  And, i am sorry, but a nice glass of wine just goes so well with a nice steak.

But, so far, sobriety has been a welcome change.  Going to the grocery store and NOT spending $20+ on craft beer has been a nice change.  Going to bed at 9:30 and reading instead of passing out is nice.  Waking early and getting my training has been wonderful.  And having increased clarity at work and at home, allowing me to be present and in the moment, is hard to compete with.
Day 14, still going strong.  this weekend was difficult - was down in the FL keys with friends.  it was 90+ degrees, we were hanging by the pool and everyone had a drink in their hands.  luckily, no peer pressure from them but damn would have been nice to have a cold one.

one thing that has surprised me - i haven't lost any weight.  i wasn't big to begin with (160 lbs for a 6'2" male) but i thought i would lose a few lbs.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on June 24, 2019, 08:04:03 PM
Day 14, still going strong.  this weekend was difficult - was down in the FL keys with friends.  it was 90+ degrees, we were hanging by the pool and everyone had a drink in their hands.  luckily, no peer pressure from them but damn would have been nice to have a cold one.

one thing that has surprised me - i haven't lost any weight.  i wasn't big to begin with (160 lbs for a 6'2" male) but i thought i would lose a few lbs.
I opted for a sharp bitter substitute in those situations - grapefruit juice in seltzer being a fav or a splash of pomegranate with fresh lime. Gave the bite and the refreshment I was looking for. I also did not lose weight initially but 2 years later and I am down 10kg. It's different for everyone. You are doing great.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: slackmax on June 26, 2019, 06:50:56 AM
Got home last night after a fun day of doing interesting things and was NOT craving a beer. Although I was definitely thinking about it.  So I had one 12 ouncer at 7.5% ABV.  Enjoyed it.

Decided NOT to have another, because I wanted to notch a 'one beer only' day into my belt.

I was in a good mood yesterday due to coming to a decision finally about something I had been worrying about, and also having had some fun social activity.   

 Being in a good mood, as opposed to being worried or bored, makes it much easier to say no to the brewskis. 



Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wannabe-stache on June 26, 2019, 09:04:07 AM
I think i need to get knocked down a peg or two.

I drank consistently for the last ~7 years, almost always one or two beers a night.

Since 2018 and into 2019, it escalated to having 3-5 strong beers every night, followed by wine at dinner.  i knew it was an issue (wasn't recalling the arguments with my wife at night, failed to recall the plot of whatever TV show we watched or book i read before passing out).

i admitted i had a problem and went alcohol free 17 days ago.

The reason for the "knock me down" request: it has been surprisingly easy.  i am on my first out of town work trip since ditching the booze, in a town i know well with many pubs i also know well.  last night i marched right into the same bar i always visit.  i had no doubt i could skip the booze, and skip it i did.

no one would recommend walking into a bar by yourself to someone that drank like i did for as long as i did, if that someone was just recently sober.

but i did it, and knew i could.  ordered the same meal i usually did and got weird looks from the bartender when i ordered club soda.

i don't want to get overconfident, but is it common to be able to do these kinds of things with such confidence?

does it in any way indicate that maybe i am the type of person that can drink once a week, or occasionally, without getting out of control? i honestly don't know because up until now, i never tried to exercise self control.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Tyson on June 26, 2019, 09:14:52 AM
I think i need to get knocked down a peg or two.

I drank consistently for the last ~7 years, almost always one or two beers a night.

Since 2018 and into 2019, it escalated to having 3-5 strong beers every night, followed by wine at dinner.  i knew it was an issue (wasn't recalling the arguments with my wife at night, failed to recall the plot of whatever TV show we watched or book i read before passing out).

i admitted i had a problem and went alcohol free 17 days ago.

The reason for the "knock me down" request: it has been surprisingly easy.  i am on my first out of town work trip since ditching the booze, in a town i know well with many pubs i also know well.  last night i marched right into the same bar i always visit.  i had no doubt i could skip the booze, and skip it i did.

no one would recommend walking into a bar by yourself to someone that drank like i did for as long as i did, if that someone was just recently sober.

but i did it, and knew i could.  ordered the same meal i usually did and got weird looks from the bartender when i ordered club soda.

i don't want to get overconfident, but is it common to be able to do these kinds of things with such confidence?

does it in any way indicate that maybe i am the type of person that can drink once a week, or occasionally, without getting out of control? i honestly don't know because up until now, i never tried to exercise self control.

In my experience, this is the addict brain trying to negotiate some wiggle room re: drinking. "Hey, maybe I'm not an addict after all!".  I can completely relate, because I quit very easily for several months my first go at it.  After a few months, I felt better and thought "hey that was easy, this isn't so bad, I can probably drink normally now".  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA yeah that didn't work out too well.

But, everyone's different, so the only way to know for sure is to try things for yourself & see what happens.  I know for myself it was almost like I HAD to crash & burn pretty hard so that nagging question of "do I REALLY have a problem?" got a definitive answer (ie, YES I do). 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on June 26, 2019, 09:45:21 AM
I think i need to get knocked down a peg or two.

I drank consistently for the last ~7 years, almost always one or two beers a night.

Since 2018 and into 2019, it escalated to having 3-5 strong beers every night, followed by wine at dinner.  i knew it was an issue (wasn't recalling the arguments with my wife at night, failed to recall the plot of whatever TV show we watched or book i read before passing out).

i admitted i had a problem and went alcohol free 17 days ago.

The reason for the "knock me down" request: it has been surprisingly easy.  i am on my first out of town work trip since ditching the booze, in a town i know well with many pubs i also know well.  last night i marched right into the same bar i always visit.  i had no doubt i could skip the booze, and skip it i did.

no one would recommend walking into a bar by yourself to someone that drank like i did for as long as i did, if that someone was just recently sober.

but i did it, and knew i could.  ordered the same meal i usually did and got weird looks from the bartender when i ordered club soda.

i don't want to get overconfident, but is it common to be able to do these kinds of things with such confidence?

does it in any way indicate that maybe i am the type of person that can drink once a week, or occasionally, without getting out of control? i honestly don't know because up until now, i never tried to exercise self control.

The annoying answer is: it seems like everyone is different.  Unless there is a big physical dependency, most people can stop/control intake for some period of time if sufficiently motivated, even if they have problematic psychological relationships with drinking.  I feel like the question is, what was your motivation to stop and more importantly, what is your motivation to keep drinking?

You started out drinking 'moderately' and gradually you increased your intake. That's natural, b/c the substance is addictive...it's not a character flaw in you.  Now you are abstaining, but it seems like you are still viewing it as a test of your own willpower over a feeling of deprivation.  I might be wrong, but you haven't seemed to have changed your beliefs or assumptions about what you 'gain' from drinking...and you are feeling really good about even being able to stop at all (I've been there!).  But once you succeed in moderating for a while, you will feel confident that you can moderate in the future. At the same time, you presumably haven't changed any of your beliefs about alcohol, so the 'attractions' of drinking will be the same as before, right?  In the past when you were drinking moderately, you didn't mean to become someone who drank 3-6 drinks/night, either, did you?  But eventually you got there.

It might be that simple mindfulness and setting some rules for yourself will keep you on track in the future. But the problem for a lot of people seems to be that the more confident they are that they can moderate, the more flexible their rules get over time: occasional drink becomes one glass of wine with dinner, which becomes multiple glasses, etc.

Personally, I did the moderation thing for almost 20 years (and relatively 'successfully').  I never drank enough to have any traditional negative consequences of daily drinking b/c I capped my amount.  Drinking would 'creep up' over several years, and I'd dial it back for a while, and then it would inevitably creep again.  It was very mentally tiring, but it never occurred to me to just stop b/c that seemed like 'punishment'.  It wasn't until I did that Alcohol Experiment program that my entire thought process changed, and I began to view not drinking as the 'reward' sort of thing, rather than deprivation.

You are in the early stages of really examining your relationship with drinking.  If you stay mindful, you'll eventually figure out how it's going to work for you going forward. 



Self monitoring on all this stuff is very illuminating.

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wannabe-stache on June 26, 2019, 10:27:30 AM
I think i need to get knocked down a peg or two.

I drank consistently for the last ~7 years, almost always one or two beers a night.

Since 2018 and into 2019, it escalated to having 3-5 strong beers every night, followed by wine at dinner.  i knew it was an issue (wasn't recalling the arguments with my wife at night, failed to recall the plot of whatever TV show we watched or book i read before passing out).

i admitted i had a problem and went alcohol free 17 days ago.

The reason for the "knock me down" request: it has been surprisingly easy.  i am on my first out of town work trip since ditching the booze, in a town i know well with many pubs i also know well.  last night i marched right into the same bar i always visit.  i had no doubt i could skip the booze, and skip it i did.

no one would recommend walking into a bar by yourself to someone that drank like i did for as long as i did, if that someone was just recently sober.

but i did it, and knew i could.  ordered the same meal i usually did and got weird looks from the bartender when i ordered club soda.

i don't want to get overconfident, but is it common to be able to do these kinds of things with such confidence?

does it in any way indicate that maybe i am the type of person that can drink once a week, or occasionally, without getting out of control? i honestly don't know because up until now, i never tried to exercise self control.

The annoying answer is: it seems like everyone is different.  Unless there is a big physical dependency, most people can stop/control intake for some period of time if sufficiently motivated, even if they have problematic psychological relationships with drinking.  I feel like the question is, what was your motivation to stop and more importantly, what is your motivation to keep drinking?

You started out drinking 'moderately' and gradually you increased your intake. That's natural, b/c the substance is addictive...it's not a character flaw in you.  Now you are abstaining, but it seems like you are still viewing it as a test of your own willpower over a feeling of deprivation.  I might be wrong, but you haven't seemed to have changed your beliefs or assumptions about what you 'gain' from drinking...and you are feeling really good about even being able to stop at all (I've been there!).  But once you succeed in moderating for a while, you will feel confident that you can moderate in the future. At the same time, you presumably haven't changed any of your beliefs about alcohol, so the 'attractions' of drinking will be the same as before, right?  In the past when you were drinking moderately, you didn't mean to become someone who drank 3-6 drinks/night, either, did you?  But eventually you got there.

It might be that simple mindfulness and setting some rules for yourself will keep you on track in the future. But the problem for a lot of people seems to be that the more confident they are that they can moderate, the more flexible their rules get over time: occasional drink becomes one glass of wine with dinner, which becomes multiple glasses, etc.

Personally, I did the moderation thing for almost 20 years (and relatively 'successfully').  I never drank enough to have any traditional negative consequences of daily drinking b/c I capped my amount.  Drinking would 'creep up' over several years, and I'd dial it back for a while, and then it would inevitably creep again.  It was very mentally tiring, but it never occurred to me to just stop b/c that seemed like 'punishment'.  It wasn't until I did that Alcohol Experiment program that my entire thought process changed, and I began to view not drinking as the 'reward' sort of thing, rather than deprivation.

You are in the early stages of really examining your relationship with drinking.  If you stay mindful, you'll eventually figure out how it's going to work for you going forward. 



Self monitoring on all this stuff is very illuminating.

very well thought-out response.  i appreciate it.

i admit it is still very early.  i also really appreciate a) being more productive at work, b) being more present at home, c) waking earlier and sleeping better, d) just having more time to do STUFF.  so i clearly see the benefits of not drinking.

i was surprised: when i quit i did not experience any symptoms.  i had feared everything from crankiness to insomnia to worse, but nothing really happened.

i don't fault people that can enjoy a drink responsibly and would like to think i could still be one as well.  but who knows, maybe my past indicates i can't.

people may say it's the addict talking - and they may be right - but i truly do love the taste of a hoppy IPA on a hot summer day.  it was always something my dad and i could enjoy together.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: katscratch on June 26, 2019, 03:45:52 PM
I also find that a bitter citrus in cold bubbly water is a good IPA substitute. There also are some kombuchas out there brewed with hops that are even closer to the mouthfeel of an IPA.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: partgypsy on June 27, 2019, 11:02:36 AM
I haven't really been drinking but uh oh, realize my munching habit after dinner in front of tv is just that, enjoyment of continuing to eat after dinner, regardless if I have wine or not. so, only reduction of calories is the alcohol calories, but compensated by perhaps more eating. I think my only solution is just to re-up my pirate booty (usually 1 small bag is enough to satisfy my cravings) and also provision some dark chocolate. Still means I'm munching but at least not as bad.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: facepalm on June 29, 2019, 10:58:45 AM


Day 14, still going strong.  this weekend was difficult - was down in the FL keys with friends.  it was 90+ degrees, we were hanging by the pool and everyone had a drink in their hands.  luckily, no peer pressure from them but damn would have been nice to have a cold one.

one thing that has surprised me - i haven't lost any weight.  i wasn't big to begin with (160 lbs for a 6'2" male) but i thought i would lose a few lbs.

While you have cut out the calories from drinking, you wont lose weight unless your calories are at a deficit (compared to what your body needs).  That would explain why you didn't lose any.

Not that you need to. At 6'2" and 160, you would be fairly thin. I'm the same height at 229#, and appear thin. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: slackmax on July 02, 2019, 07:02:07 AM
Congratulations to those who are going clean.

I'm still limiting myself to 3 beers or fewer per day. About once a week I go off the rails, and have 4 or 5, and the reason is that I like the buzz! Especially while playing my old vinyl records, lol.  I admit it.

But I am able to keep it down to 1 beer some days, and 2 beers some days, so there's that.   

 

 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wannabe-stache on July 02, 2019, 07:04:58 AM


Day 14, still going strong.  this weekend was difficult - was down in the FL keys with friends.  it was 90+ degrees, we were hanging by the pool and everyone had a drink in their hands.  luckily, no peer pressure from them but damn would have been nice to have a cold one.

one thing that has surprised me - i haven't lost any weight.  i wasn't big to begin with (160 lbs for a 6'2" male) but i thought i would lose a few lbs.

While you have cut out the calories from drinking, you wont lose weight unless your calories are at a deficit (compared to what your body needs).  That would explain why you didn't lose any.

Not that you need to. At 6'2" and 160, you would be fairly thin. I'm the same height at 229#, and appear thin.

Nah - just needed some time.  i am down to below 160 lbs now, so the weight loss is apparent.

i figure i eat around 2300 cals/day but was drinking 700-1000 per day.  my weight normalized at 162 lbs, due to running 30-40 miles per week.

now that the 700-100 cals are gone, the weight is moving in sync.

pleased i am
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on July 02, 2019, 08:15:33 AM
I think it was about a year ago that I was inspired by this thread to cut back significantly on my drinking.   I moved to just one beer a day instead of what I had been drinking daily which was to be honest quite a lot.   Then sometime in August I stopped drinking even that one beer and I haven't had another drink since!

It is still going well.  Every so often I do get a strong craving to have a drink.   I've identified my triggers and am even now still trying to find other ways of dealing with that stress because I have learned that life for me is far better if I'm not drinking.  Problems just seem easier to solve.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on July 02, 2019, 08:17:01 AM
I also find that a bitter citrus in cold bubbly water is a good IPA substitute. There also are some kombuchas out there brewed with hops that are even closer to the mouthfeel of an IPA.

I can't remember who, but I think someone on this thread earlier mentioned bitters, which I'd never tried.  I've found that a mix of water or sparkling water/kombucha/grapefruit bitters to be quite satisfying.  At some point I'm going to experiment with making a distillation of fresh herbs (juniper/rosemary etc.) to add in, and try some other types of bitters, as well.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on July 12, 2019, 04:50:51 AM
This was true for me!

https://www.today.com/health/women-who-stop-drinking-alcohol-improve-mental-health-study-finds-t157931?fbclid=IwAR3kutql4YBPBYEhfFmwLV-biaFAYtmKQSNcmysTU88CxRyf7sXCh6eIGdA
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: partgypsy on July 12, 2019, 01:28:32 PM
I revisited this thread because this is something I have been thinking about. In part because the guy I'm seeing does not drink at all, so of course he would prefer I do not drink (but he is not pushy about it). But I enjoy drinking, particularly with a meal.


The Audit is a 4 item scale to see if you have an alcohol use problem. You can find it on the internet and do it if you are wondering if you fall into a danger zone.

Anyways one thing I used to do was drink most nights, even if it was one drink with dinner. Now I am limiting to 2,3 nights a week. I know it doesn't seem like much of a difference but for me it seems psychologically easier to have the default to be not drinking, so I decide TO drink, not decide to not drink. I have done the same thing with coffee, and it is one less thing to purchase at the grocery store.

My brother died of cancer and I spoke to a provider whether me going from my current drinking to no drinking level would cut my cancer risk (alcohol increases risk of cancer) and she said maybe 1%? So not a huge amount but it is there. I calculated that I would save around 520 a year if I went to no drinking. for me I enjoy drinking enough I don't mind the cost, but it is something I am toying with.

Sometimes what I think about is, what about lower alcohol beer? A lot of breweries are making higher and higher alcohol beers, but what about a nice beer with a good taste and refreshment with half the regular alcohol? Or would no one buy that?
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: ducky19 on July 12, 2019, 01:53:54 PM
I've had 1-2 drinks a night for as long as I can remember, but in the past couple of years that has crept up to 3-4. Finally decided I was tired of my stomach being in the way when I tried tying my shoes, plus have a race in September to train for, so gave it up starting Tuesday. I'm 6'0" and 190 is about my fighting weight. 200 I still feel really good. Haven't seen either in a couple years and weighed in at 227.0 Tuesday morning (I always weigh myself at the same time of day for consistency). Went for a recovery run Tuesday afternoon in the heat (had a long race this past weekend), did another 6 mile trail run last night. Sitting at 221.1 this morning - it's an amazing feeling when you can almost literally feel the pounds melting away! Began intermittent fasting today to help with the burn. Have a 15.5 mile run scheduled for the morning, will wait to eat until after. My goal is to get back under 200 by the time my race comes around (mid September). It's kind of a stretch goal, but I think it's manageable if I stick with it (1/2 pound a day). Will keep checking in with progress updates if anyone cares.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: El_Viajero on July 15, 2019, 09:04:13 AM
Surprise, surprise. Alcohol likely increases one's risk of yet another type of cancer: https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/07/14/741063881/mixing-alcohol-and-sun-beware-a-buzz-begets-a-faster-burn
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: slackmax on July 17, 2019, 07:51:46 AM
Not sure if this is good or bad, but I have discovered that inexpensive red wine over ice is pretty good, especially in this heat, with no a/c on. 

Also, amazingly, cheap beer on ice is OK.   

The ice melts and increases the volume of booze one drinks, giving you the feeling of drinking more? 

Still holding to my 3-drinks-or-fewer-per- day rule, more or less.       
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: ducky19 on July 25, 2019, 09:09:25 AM
I've had 1-2 drinks a night for as long as I can remember, but in the past couple of years that has crept up to 3-4. Finally decided I was tired of my stomach being in the way when I tried tying my shoes, plus have a race in September to train for, so gave it up starting Tuesday. I'm 6'0" and 190 is about my fighting weight. 200 I still feel really good. Haven't seen either in a couple years and weighed in at 227.0 Tuesday morning (I always weigh myself at the same time of day for consistency). Went for a recovery run Tuesday afternoon in the heat (had a long race this past weekend), did another 6 mile trail run last night. Sitting at 221.1 this morning - it's an amazing feeling when you can almost literally feel the pounds melting away! Began intermittent fasting today to help with the burn. Have a 15.5 mile run scheduled for the morning, will wait to eat until after. My goal is to get back under 200 by the time my race comes around (mid September). It's kind of a stretch goal, but I think it's manageable if I stick with it (1/2 pound a day). Will keep checking in with progress updates if anyone cares.

12 days in now, down 9 pounds! 218.0 this morning. I have been doing pretty good with the intermittent fasting and have had some really good runs in the past week. I did break down and buy a six pack last Sunday after hitting it hard on a 14 mile run, but nothing other than that. Feeling good, feeling lighter, definitely have more energy.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BiggerFishToFI on July 25, 2019, 09:37:47 AM
Well, finished off the last of the liquor and beer in my house last night. Need to cut down on this chit. As I'm getting older I'm realizing how much my sleep is affected just from a couple of drinks.

First step is to not buy any liquor or beer for a while and see where that takes me. I'll still allow a couple drinks when out to dinner or w/ friends. Luckily the Mustachian in me won't let me buy too many $5 beers or $10 mixed drinks.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: slackmax on July 27, 2019, 05:05:07 AM
Well, finished off the last of the liquor and beer in my house last night. Need to cut down on this chit. As I'm getting older I'm realizing how much my sleep is affected just from a couple of drinks.

First step is to not buy any liquor or beer for a while and see where that takes me. I'll still allow a couple drinks when out to dinner or w/ friends. Luckily the Mustachian in me won't let me buy too many $5 beers or $10 mixed drinks.

Good luck, BiggerFishToFI !  Let us know how it goes. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: OurTown on August 01, 2019, 01:43:19 PM
Hello all.  Congrats to everyone who is succeeding in this challenge.  I will hit 3 years next week. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on August 01, 2019, 01:51:05 PM
Hello all.  Congrats to everyone who is succeeding in this challenge.  I will hit 3 years next week.

Nice going! 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on August 01, 2019, 03:17:59 PM
Nice one @OurTown!

I realised last night that I had passed two years without noticing. It continues to feel good.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on August 04, 2019, 06:29:58 AM
Hi Crusty,

I think you should try to commit to a 30 day No Alcohol fast to see how you feel.

You know, on second thought, I think you are right.    Immediately after reading your comment, I got a little angry and later that night, had a beer in defiance.   "No one is going to suggest to me I shouldn't drink!"   I saw at the time how irrational that was.

And I am realizing that if I just have a drink every couple of days, I am still experiencing all the unpleasant effects every couple of days now instead of every day.  It's like going through withdrawal over and over and over.

I just signed up for Anne Grace's Alcohol Experiment and am going to give it an honest try.   

Thanks @BikeFanatic for the push!

So, it was a year ago that I had my last alcoholic beverage. 

This was probably the best decision I've ever made.

I'm not making a big deal of it in real life, but just thought I'd post here.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on August 04, 2019, 10:04:02 AM
Hi Crusty,

I think you should try to commit to a 30 day No Alcohol fast to see how you feel.

You know, on second thought, I think you are right.    Immediately after reading your comment, I got a little angry and later that night, had a beer in defiance.   "No one is going to suggest to me I shouldn't drink!"   I saw at the time how irrational that was.

And I am realizing that if I just have a drink every couple of days, I am still experiencing all the unpleasant effects every couple of days now instead of every day.  It's like going through withdrawal over and over and over.

I just signed up for Anne Grace's Alcohol Experiment and am going to give it an honest try.   

Thanks @BikeFanatic for the push!

So, it was a year ago that I had my last alcoholic beverage. 

This was probably the best decision I've ever made.

I'm not making a big deal of it in real life, but just thought I'd post here.

I'm so pleased for you, and also very impressed...I remember you were dealing with some tough life-challenges when you decided to quit.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Tyson on August 04, 2019, 10:04:57 AM
Hi Crusty,

I think you should try to commit to a 30 day No Alcohol fast to see how you feel.

You know, on second thought, I think you are right.    Immediately after reading your comment, I got a little angry and later that night, had a beer in defiance.   "No one is going to suggest to me I shouldn't drink!"   I saw at the time how irrational that was.

And I am realizing that if I just have a drink every couple of days, I am still experiencing all the unpleasant effects every couple of days now instead of every day.  It's like going through withdrawal over and over and over.

I just signed up for Anne Grace's Alcohol Experiment and am going to give it an honest try.   

Thanks @BikeFanatic for the push!

So, it was a year ago that I had my last alcoholic beverage. 

This was probably the best decision I've ever made.

I'm not making a big deal of it in real life, but just thought I'd post here.

That is awesome!  Congrats :thumbs-up:
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on August 05, 2019, 07:16:43 PM

So, it was a year ago that I had my last alcoholic beverage. 

This was probably the best decision I've ever made.

I'm not making a big deal of it in real life, but just thought I'd post here.

I'm so pleased for you, and also very impressed...I remember you were dealing with some tough life-challenges when you decided to quit.

Thanks @wenchsenior !!   Yes, I am still going through these tough life-challenges but they are so much more manageable without drinking, it turns out.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: partgypsy on August 06, 2019, 02:15:43 PM
Hi Crusty,

I think you should try to commit to a 30 day No Alcohol fast to see how you feel.

You know, on second thought, I think you are right.    Immediately after reading your comment, I got a little angry and later that night, had a beer in defiance.   "No one is going to suggest to me I shouldn't drink!"   I saw at the time how irrational that was.

And I am realizing that if I just have a drink every couple of days, I am still experiencing all the unpleasant effects every couple of days now instead of every day.  It's like going through withdrawal over and over and over.

I just signed up for Anne Grace's Alcohol Experiment and am going to give it an honest try.   

Thanks @BikeFanatic for the push!

So, it was a year ago that I had my last alcoholic beverage. 

This was probably the best decision I've ever made.

I'm not making a big deal of it in real life, but just thought I'd post here.

Congratulations! I actually know a couple older folks irl who made the switch, and don't miss it because the downsides of drinking outweighed any benefits of it.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: PoutineLover on August 06, 2019, 02:24:19 PM
I'm starting the 30 day challenge today, wish me luck! Thanks for the inspiration everyone
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wannabe-stache on August 06, 2019, 02:56:39 PM
I'm starting the 30 day challenge today, wish me luck! Thanks for the inspiration everyone

enjoy it - i completed it a few weeks ago.  it was eye opening and since completing it i think i am averaging around 1 beer per week as compared to 30-40+ beers per week prior.

i haven't purchased alcohol for 2 months, what a great new source of cash.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: BikeFanatic on August 06, 2019, 05:39:51 PM
@crusty badger- Congratulations one year is huge. I fell off a while, but am back on the wagon.  It took the 30 day challeng ( plus 7 months or more) for me to see that I had minor withdrawal symptoms like bad mood after work even when I had a good day.

Good luck everyone!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on August 06, 2019, 06:02:04 PM
enjoy it - i completed it a few weeks ago.  it was eye opening and since completing it i think i am averaging around 1 beer per week as compared to 30-40+ beers per week prior.


That's amazing @wannabe-stache !!

Yes to the increase in cash -- it's like you got a raise!  (Unless you are already FIREd in which case you are getting a better return on your investments.)
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on August 06, 2019, 07:10:42 PM
Indirect benefits: my husband has drastically reduced his intake now I don't drink. Between that and getting up at 6.30 to run with the dog*, the weight keeps heading downwards, which is a relief because the middle-aged spread was real.

*we can do that now! getting up is easy!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: PoutineLover on August 20, 2019, 01:54:49 PM
I am halfway through the challenge! I did have two tiny sips of other people's drinks just to taste because it was something new, I don't think that counts? It's mostly been easier than I thought. I don't crave alcohol, but the hard part has been abstaining when I'm hanging out with friends in situations where we'd normally drink together. Have saved a bunch of money, but haven't noticed much else in terms of sleep or weight or how I feel.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on August 20, 2019, 05:13:16 PM
good work @PoutineLover !

In social situations, I have found that being really really excited about having a nice glass of ice cold water (or a Coke, or whatever) has been enough to make people not look at me oddly when I don't want a beer or a glass of wine.  You have to really sell it. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on August 21, 2019, 07:47:08 AM
I just got back from a week long trip, which included lots of meals out with longtime friends who were 1) all drinking, and 2) with whom I have always imbibed.  It mostly wasn't too difficult, though I did have about 5 difficult minutes a couple of nights...once when my friend had her husband run to the store specifically to get her wine for dinner, and another when I realized I had nothing available to drink at all but plain water.  I have mentally earmarked such special occasions as ok to imbibe if I really want to, but in the end I found I didn't want to badly enough to do it.  And I had just as much fun, regardless.

ETA: I am coming up on 6 months with only 2 glasses of wine during that time, which would have seemed near-impossible at the beginning of the year.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: PoutineLover on August 21, 2019, 10:28:57 AM
@CrustyBadger I have been making sure I do have appealing alternatives like San pellegrino or Perrier with lime and ice. It sorta looks like a cocktail and I enjoy the taste. Luckily my friends aren't too pushy, it's more on my end that I feel like I'm doing something out of the usual.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Tyson on August 21, 2019, 10:46:58 AM
@CrustyBadger I have been making sure I do have appealing alternatives like San pellegrino or Perrier with lime and ice. It sorta looks like a cocktail and I enjoy the taste. Luckily my friends aren't too pushy, it's more on my end that I feel like I'm doing something out of the usual.

It is out of the usual, for you.  But pretty soon it'll just become your normal.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: PoutineLover on September 09, 2019, 09:12:41 AM
I finished my thirty days. It felt pretty good, and I didn't have a strong desire to start drinking again. However, I did have a cottage weekend planned so I decided to have some just to see how it felt. It was okay, and I drank less than usual but it felt weird drinking again and I think I want to do another break. It seems a lot simpler just to say no all the time rather than make up some arbitrary rules of when I will or won't have a drink. I have another event planned this upcoming weekend where I might drink but then maybe I'll start another challenge. Still not ready to say don't want to drink anymore, but I am actually strongly considering it, which I never though I'd do. How's everyone else doing?
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Eckhart on September 09, 2019, 03:19:07 PM
I did 30 days without alcohol recently.  Then drank moderately for two days, Friday and Saturday of my sister wedding.  Currently on day 9 again.  I enjoy not drinking for health reasons, I just feel better and more energized.  And I love my sleep, its like my superpower.   Longest I have gone without is two years and a bit (Oct 2016-Dec 2018)

Saying No is definitely easier.  The decision is made for you, so there is no extra thought needed.  If you make arbitrary rules, you've got to make a decision to make.  Decision fatigue will set in.  I'm sure there is some scientific evidence to back this up, but I'm too lazy to find it.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: StarBright on September 09, 2019, 03:34:46 PM
I think I'm going back to a 30 day no drink. I was really sleeping better by the end of Lent but drinking has crept back up to several drinks a week and my sleeping has gone downhill. I have an event this weekend for which I had already pre-purchased wine, but after that cold turkey for a while.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on September 09, 2019, 06:13:37 PM
Just passed 6 months since starting the 30 day alcohol free experiment. Only 2 pre-planned glasses of wine in that time, and I am confident I no longer want to be a regular drinker.   Also, I recently realized that if my husband and I hadn't become regular drinkers 20 years ago and had invested the average monthly amount we spent on it, we would be close to 100K(!) richer right now. 

I was just communicating with a much younger person than me, who had fallen into the habit of only socializing at bars, buying rounds, etc, and had recently realized they were spending more than 500$/month on drinking...  Thankful we didn't ever get sucked into that world, and thankful for the extra hundred bucks I can throw at the investments, or charity, every month now. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: SEAK on September 16, 2019, 01:26:29 PM
After having drank heavily for the past 20+ years, most recently 4-6+ beers/day for me, my wife and I are going for a minimum of 30 days booze free. First four days have been OK and we even made it through a 50th birthday party without being tempted. My skin feels better already, I feel less bloated and guessing that the excess pounds should start peeling off as well. And I'm already less irritable with the kids and feel more energetic in the mornings.  I do enjoy beer but hoping we can keep it up and I can have a better relationship with alcohol into the future. And saving $400/mo will be a great bonus!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: partgypsy on September 16, 2019, 02:51:42 PM
Here is my (non) success story. I was drinking 4-5 days a week a glass of wine (90% red) to deciding to only drink 2 days a week. My problem: I am not spending any less money. Before: buy a bottle a week. Now still on average buy a bottle a week (maybe 3 weeks of no booze buying at all). however I end up often throwing out half a bottle because it is stale when I go back to it. 2nd I find I am not consuming any less calories. Initially having a cup of herbal tea hit the spot but I've been having the munchies and eat as much and often more than if I was having my glass in the evening : ( I think part of the problem is that with wine I might just have the wine, or a handful of olives or cheese and crackers, or maybe a piece of dark chocolate. Without the wine I end up craving sweets and end up eating a lot more (and worse) empty calories. It's possible I saved a tiny bit in that there were 2, 3 weeks I did not buy any wine, but not enough to notice in the monthly grocery bill.

Good news I've developed the habit of not drinking every day or close to every day. Bad news does not seem like I am saving anything in terms of health, calories or money. Most importantly, it hasn't helped me become more productive which was my main reason to do it. I'm glad to read of other success stories.   I am going to change to a different target which is to make sure I am using my gym membership, to make sure I use it 2x a week. I went yesterday and it was a great feeling.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: CrustyBadger on September 16, 2019, 06:35:36 PM
Partgypsy, that was my experience too about 4-5 years ago when I quit drinking wine and other alcohol.  I gained weight actually.

This time around, I also went on a low carb diet at the same time, and tried to cure myself of the late night munchies.  Exercise instead of sitting and snacking helped a ton.

As to having to throw out a half bottle of stale wine -- seems like there must be a low tech solution to that.  Don't they make vacuum pump cork things you can use to seal off the wine?    Or buy wine in a bag.  Or something else. Or ... give up wine totally and don't have to deal with the problem!

Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: mspym on September 16, 2019, 07:20:03 PM
@partgypsy When I gave up booze 2 years ago, there was a temporary spike in my weight but it has drifted down over the last 18-20 months and now I am stable at 9kg lighter than when I quit drinking. It did take some time.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: Tyson on September 16, 2019, 07:26:49 PM
Alcohol is like a daily injection of pure sugar.  When you stop, of course you're going to crave sugar!  Don't beat yourself up about it, it's totally natural.  Try cutting alcohol out completely for a month & have a plan in place to deal with the inevitable sugar cravings.  Exercise is a very good strategy, even if it's just a short walk each time you feel a sugar craving.  You can do it!
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: partgypsy on September 16, 2019, 07:52:57 PM
Sugar was my biggest addiction, to the point I ate no added sugar for 4 years. It helped reset my craving level, but now it's getting worse. So I shouldn't say this is a failure, so much as a learning experience. In the same way doing (Orthodox) lent every year (where you also do not drink) while good spiritually, I feel less healthy eating zero animal products for an extended period of time (while if I cheat and eat a little dairy I feel much better. I'll stop going off topic but will be mentally setting minimum 2x a week gym or strenuous physical activity goal for myself and go from there, as I think my lack of physical activity has been my bottleneck for both the sugar cravings and also lack of focus.

I also wanted to add a success story though it is not mine. An old old friend had a very turbulent life as a musician, burning a number of bridges, moving often and yes, had a drinking problem. At some point he got off the booze and married. I am guessing he is in late 50's went back to school and is taking classes and making great progress while also being involved in many additional program activities in his department, including just finished being in a play as principal actor. So I am really glad for him, that he bought himself a second act. Given how productive he is now, I wonder if he ever kicks himself about how much more he could have done with his life when he was young in his 20's, 30's, 40's  if he didn't have that anchor of alcohol around his neck. 
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: wenchsenior on September 17, 2019, 07:51:54 AM
@partgypsy When I gave up booze 2 years ago, there was a temporary spike in my weight but it has drifted down over the last 18-20 months and now I am stable at 9kg lighter than when I quit drinking. It did take some time.

I didn't see any change in weight, when I gave up a habit of drinking about twice as much as partgypsy.  I did temporarily eat a little more sugar while I gave up; I did this to help stave off cravings in the first couple weeks and b/c I was very worried about dropping any weight (which I can't afford to do).  But my body really likes the weight I'm at, and after losing maybe 3 lbs initially, it stabilized right back where it had been. 

Anecdotally, it seems like heavy beer drinkers see more notable weight loss after quitting, though I can't fathom why that would be true, objectively speaking.

I sure have saved money though!  About 60$/per month, I think, if you subtract the 20$ or so that I now spend on replacement kombucha and bitters.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: StarBright on September 17, 2019, 07:57:32 AM
Here is my (non) success story. I was drinking 4-5 days a week a glass of wine (90% red) to deciding to only drink 2 days a week. My problem: I am not spending any less money. Before: buy a bottle a week. Now still on average buy a bottle a week (maybe 3 weeks of no booze buying at all). however I end up often throwing out half a bottle because it is stale when I go back to it. 2nd I find I am not consuming any less calories. Initially having a cup of herbal tea hit the spot but I've been having the munchies and eat as much and often more than if I was having my glass in the evening : ( I think part of the problem is that with wine I might just have the wine, or a handful of olives or cheese and crackers, or maybe a piece of dark chocolate. Without the wine I end up craving sweets and end up eating a lot more (and worse) empty calories. It's possible I saved a tiny bit in that there were 2, 3 weeks I did not buy any wine, but not enough to notice in the monthly grocery bill.

Good news I've developed the habit of not drinking every day or close to every day. Bad news does not seem like I am saving anything in terms of health, calories or money. Most importantly, it hasn't helped me become more productive which was my main reason to do it. I'm glad to read of other success stories.   I am going to change to a different target which is to make sure I am using my gym membership, to make sure I use it 2x a week. I went yesterday and it was a great feeling.

FWIW- this was my experience too. I gave up drinks for Lent and gained 5 pounds (was also drinking 3-5 a week with the occasional week where'd I'd hit a drink a day). I also noticed that I wanted to shop in addition to craving sugar. I really felt like I was just trading one vice for another.

The thing that I did notice was that by the end of 40 days I was sleeping better. I'm going to give it a shot again and see if I can keep the nighttime eating in check this time around.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: DadJokes on September 17, 2019, 09:28:18 AM
Forgot to post here, but I'm taking the month of September off, just to prove that I can (master of my own urges and all that). I didn't really drink much before - a six-pack of 24 oz Yuenglings per week.

I'm a little over two weeks in and don't really notice much difference: no urges, no weight loss, and no significant attitude change. The money saving is only $7/week, so that's not too noticeable, either.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: FI45RE on September 18, 2019, 08:35:52 AM
Forgot to post here, but I'm taking the month of September off, just to prove that I can (master of my own urges and all that). I didn't really drink much before - a six-pack of 24 oz Yuenglings per week.

I'm a little over two weeks in and don't really notice much difference: no urges, no weight loss, and no significant attitude change. The money saving is only $7/week, so that's not too noticeable, either.

I also started a 30-day stint with no alcohol on September 3rd, for similar reasons (prove that I can, see what changes occur in 30 days, etc.). I've been a 1-2 drinks per evening kind of person for a few years now.

So far, I've noticed a big change in ability to sleep through the night (almost immediately) as well as about a 7 lb. weight loss. I am definitely liking the decrease in expenses for the month (usually $75-$100 per month). If it ever cools down here, adding in more exercise will almost certainly boost my weight loss. Not too shabby for ~15 days.

Oh, and surprisingly, I have had very few urges for alcohol since stopping. An interesting case study, if nothing else.
Title: Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
Post by: partgypsy on September 18, 2019, 09:31:13 AM
eta the guy I'm seeing suggested I just buy either no wine, or buy wine only every other week, and that way actually save on wine costs (drinking 2-3 drinks a week means throwing out 1/2 bottles of stale wine). It makes sense, and if I do that consistently will save around $260 a year.  He also agreed that for me committing to regular physical activity will make the biggest difference for energy and productivity.