Author Topic: Reducing drinking!  (Read 2038 times)

albireo13

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Reducing drinking!
« on: October 04, 2017, 04:57:59 AM »
I have to admit that drinking has become my worst enemy.  It robs me of motivation, too many calories, lost free time.
Most days after work I deal with de-stressing by drinking wine in the evening, usually 3+ glasses.  Weekends too.

I've gone cold turkey before but that hasn't lasted.

Now is the time to regain my old self.

My goal now:  weekends plus 1 day a week,  2 glasses of wine max, or 2 beers.

Anyone else have success stories doing such?



bluewater

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2017, 05:20:14 AM »
I hear you. After that first glass i have zero motivation to get anything productive done. I'm a few days into the Whole30 which for me one of the primary motivators was to give myself a set boundary around drinking.  I've tried the only x number of y per week and just got nowhere.  I'm essentially going cold turkey for the 30 days but the sell for me was this diet is intended to reset your relationship with the what you put in your body. Good luck to us both!

partgypsy

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2017, 09:10:44 AM »
I am toying with something like this. I don't every day but most days have a glass of wine (or 2) with dinner. While enjoyable and relaxing (my life is really busy!) it lowers my motivation to almost 0 to do anything the rest of the evening. Plus I like to eat, munch on snacks while drinking which = more calories than I need.

I haven't decided on whether cold turkey for 30 days, or more likely drinking either one or 2 times a week (I have a girlfriend and it's pretty customary to share a bottle of wine while watching our guilty pleasure tv show (GOT currently) which is 1/week, plus can give myself one other "pass" to drink.

As far as going cold turkey, both times I was pregnant I didn't drink for the 9 months plus about a month afterwards (breastfeeding). And it was no big deal. If I did want to go cold turkey 100% it was nice to have an odouls during social situations, to enjoy the taste and also fit in.

albireo13

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2017, 09:52:51 AM »
Exactly,  1 glass of wine leads to another and then I have 0 motivation as well.  Plus, I get the munchies pretty soon and out come the cheese and crackers!!

The Whole30 sounds intruiging.  I'll check it out.   It feel it is actually tougher for me to restrict to a few drinks a week rather than go cold turkey.

Still, I don't want to eliminate wine entirely from my life ... just re-train myself to exercise much more moderation.

tinkertailor

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2017, 04:14:03 PM »
Semi-success story here (still working on it).  I never drank much in my teens and 20s but hit a bad and still ongoing extremely stressful patch of my life in my early 30s.  I started having a couple of drinks in the evening with dinner to try and relax, but it soon became a bad habit.  At the worst point I was drinking a bottle of wine a night, 3-4 nights a week.  Obviously, that had to stop, as well as being horrifying when I worked out the cost over a year!

Like others, I found that my productivity went down to zero in the evenings but it was still really hard to break the habit.  The only way I could do it was to stop keeping alcohol in the house at all and only buy it when I had a proper reason to.  And then, if it was a bottle of something that I wouldn't finish in one go then I'd pour out what I'd allow myself to drink in one night at the start and stash the rest of the bottle in the attic, or in the garage.  Sounds ridiculous, but if I put it in the fridge then I lost my willpower after the second glass of wine and I'd go and get another one.  If I had to make a conscious decision to fetch it from somewhere inconvenient then I could usually stop and talk myself out of it.  Now I rarely drink on weekdays at all and might have a glass or two on a Saturday night, but it's a vast improvement.

Tris Prior

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2017, 06:29:23 PM »
I've been toying with this idea. After the election, I found myself having a glass of wine with dinner most nights, instead of only on weekends. I recently discovered that none of my fall/winter pants zip, and I haven't otherwise changed my eating/exercise habits. So looks like I'll have to reduce the booze intake or else buy all new pants. :(

I've had mixed success so far. It helps that I have terrible fall allergies and my allergy meds do not play nicely with booze; I get unpleasantly drunk really fast, so on bad allergy days it's easy to abstain. I do not want to experience that again! But if I haven't had to take meds that day it's been hit or miss whether I resist.

Basically I need a better way to cope with stress resulting from the news, than having a glass of wine. Considering that I've also cut desserts and white carbs and in general am trying not to spend money at all, I'm coming up blank. I think that for a while wine was replacing dessert when I was really dying for baked goods. Everyone always says exercise but I am just not a workout sort of person.

TreesBikesLove

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2017, 11:17:50 AM »
Basically I need a better way to cope with stress resulting from the news, than having a glass of wine. Considering that I've also cut desserts and white carbs and in general am trying not to spend money at all, I'm coming up blank. I think that for a while wine was replacing dessert when I was really dying for baked goods. Everyone always says exercise but I am just not a workout sort of person.

Have you tried information diet? I, too, lament hearing the daily drama about Trump but still wanted to stay informed on world events so I use the NPR One Android app. It is all the same stories as NPR on the radio but you can skip any stories you don't want to hear and also can listen to podcasts (Planet Money is my favorite). Recently I have been using the skip button prodigiously whenever the stupid Las Vegas story comes up (we still don't know his motivation oh my goodness!! let's interview his short-term girlfriend from SE Asia!) and less as much with Trump stories unless it's about the NFL.

...

On topic, what are your guys' opinions  on moderation versus cold-turkey with regards to alcohol? Moderation is more difficult from a self-control perspective because it is easy to slide back into daily habits. However, is moderation better from a psychological standpoint because it teaches enjoyment without excess? Alcoholism runs in my family and I aspire to be like my partner. She can smoke or drink socially but will very rarely just have a drink for no reason.

gypsy79

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2017, 02:12:21 PM »
albireo, I've had success lately with this. Back in March after my habit got out of control, I vowed to stop drinking for a while and then return to moderate drinking only if I wanted to. (I am very rebellious, even against myself, so vowing to never drink again would have resulted in me immediately getting wasted.)

I ended up not drinking at all for 6 weeks.

Since May I have been limiting it to weekends plus 1 day a week just like you. During the week, I usually limit it to one glass per sitting and on the weekend, 2 glasses per day max. Although occasionally I've had 3 on Saturday and none on Sunday. Depends on what's going on.

I've lost 5-6 pounds basically without trying, and I feel so much better. Also doing much better at work. More clear-headed.

Tris Prior

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 02:50:10 PM »


Have you tried information diet?

Kind of? I limit my exposure to news (and the Make America Kittens Again Chrome extension is the best thing ever!), but I don't want to give up Facebook and I tend to see lots of headlines that raise my blood pressure and anxiety - though at least I can usually keep myself from clicking the link.



On topic, what are your guys' opinions  on moderation versus cold-turkey with regards to alcohol? Moderation is more difficult from a self-control perspective because it is easy to slide back into daily habits. However, is moderation better from a psychological standpoint because it teaches enjoyment without excess? Alcoholism runs in my family and I aspire to be like my partner. She can smoke or drink socially but will very rarely just have a drink for no reason.

I've been torn on this too. Right now I am leaning toward not having it in the house, but allowing myself a drink when I'm out. Too easy to pour WAY too large of a glass of wine at home, and then, what the hell, why not have another. Whereas if I'm out, and paying for every glass, I'll naturally limit myself because damn, that gets expensive, and I feel a bit of moral outrage at paying the same amount for 1 glass of wine as I usually do for a bottle!

TreesBikesLove

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2017, 10:11:52 AM »
but I don't want to give up Facebook

This, here, is your problem.

albireo13

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2018, 08:44:08 AM »
Update ...

 It has not gone well for me.  I got back to drinking and once or twice a week I have been getting crocked (1+ bottles of wine).
Short of AA program, I want to take the next step.

  What's weird is that some days I have no interest in a drink at all and I'm just fine.   Then it's either a bad day at work or my over-needy elderly parents trigger an evening of "F-it all" drinking.   It's definitely stress that is the trigger.  When I am relaxed and happy, I have no craving.


Any recommended readings, blogs, inspirational stuff, etc?

Thx.

ginjaninja

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2018, 08:48:53 AM »
Check out the following websites they have opened my eyes:

http://www.hipsobriety.com/
https://www.lauramckowen.com/blog/

neo von retorch

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2018, 09:48:16 AM »
  What's weird is that some days I have no interest in a drink at all and I'm just fine.   Then it's either a bad day at work or my over-needy elderly parents trigger an evening of "F-it all" drinking.   It's definitely stress that is the trigger.  When I am relaxed and happy, I have no craving.

Something that seems to help me is that I think... "am I drinking because I want to taste a delicious beer/wine? or because I'm grumpy/mad/stressed?" I don't let myself drink for the second reason...

mspym

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2018, 08:59:18 PM »
@albireo13 another resource a lot of people find useful is Annie Grace's Naked Mind which really does reset you. There's a book and she's on youtube and I think someone mentioned there is a 30-day course you can sign up for, in the Booze Free As Long As You Please gauntlet - which you are always welcome to join.

From one stress-drinker to another, it was easier to just stop letting it be an option at all. Good luck.

partgypsy

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2018, 12:37:13 PM »
If that's happening, then you may need to take drinking off as an "option" for destressing. So, instead you -exercise - hit a punching bag, dance crazy music dances (I'm talking like look at old soul train videos). Whatever works for you to create a  positive de-stress reaction. A nice herbal tea, 20 minute nap with a warm compress on your eye lids, yoga, foot soak. They say it takes 30 days to "reprogram" your habit.

I've been doing pretty good. Past month or so each week when I go to the grocery store I buy 1 bottle of wine. It may mean I drink a glass over multiple evenings. But, if my friend and I end up drinking the whole bottle in one evening, so be it, i'll have to wait until next grocery trip for more.  It's nice because it takes the decision off me.
I DO have beer in fridge as a courtesy to ex, when he drops off kid from school. But as I don't crave it I leave for him. 

I wanted to add that for myself, cold turkey was easier than trying to do something in moderation. For example there were a number of years I ate no sweets, because eating no sweets was easier for me than trying to eat them in moderation.
 
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 01:15:41 PM by partgypsy »

Slee_stack

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2018, 01:16:00 PM »
I enjoy flavorful beers.

My biggest personal concern is the calories.

I'm intentionally taking smaller sips and taking longer to finish a can/bottle.  I try to savor the flavor and extend the overall experience... while trying to end up consuming one less beer for the day.

I also try to use an insulating mug or koozie to keep it colder longer.

Its allowed me to cut down a little.  I do tend to limit any beer to weekend only, but that does mean 3 days per week. 


Linda_Norway

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2018, 03:14:18 AM »

  What's weird is that some days I have no interest in a drink at all and I'm just fine.   Then it's either a bad day at work or my over-needy elderly parents trigger an evening of "F-it all" drinking.   It's definitely stress that is the trigger.  When I am relaxed and happy, I have no craving.


Do I remember correctly that your parents are very demanding, and request you to drive up to them for doing chores? Would part of the problem be that you are not good at saying no to them and setting limits? If you would only help them within your schedule, I guess that would cause less stress.

You need to work on lowering stress factors in your life, and as other mention, not making drinking an option for stress relieve. What about taking a good walk outside, followed by taking a warm bath and then reading a book in bed?

ducky19

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2018, 07:18:29 AM »
After a particularly rough night out last Saturday, I decided I needed to take a break from the booze. Pretty much been a daily drinker for the past year or two, usually 3-4 drinks max - weekends would be a bit more. Destressing from work is the main reason I drink. I don't usually drink to get drunk, but would occasionally get hammered. Since last Saturday, have not had a single drink. The plan is to stay dry until mid September when I'll be in TN for a race and will be staying at an awesome campground/brewery where I plan to have a couple of beers after the race. I don't consider myself an alcoholic since it was a simple decision to stop drinking and wasn't that hard, but I realized my relationship with the booze had reached an unhealthy point. I don't plan on going back to drinking on a daily basis, more because I realized how much I was spending each month than for any other reason. I plan to add that money to the 'stache each month from now on and I'm running again to deal with the stress in a healthier way. Feels good, definitely empowering.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2018, 07:23:13 AM by ducky19 »

Tris Prior

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2018, 07:57:50 AM »
I've decided that I have to totally keep it out of the house, going forward. Drinks outside of the house only. Since I posted to this thread last fall, I lost nearly 20 lbs, largely from cutting booze. Decided to limit it to 1 drink per week, but there's just something so seductive about a cold beer on the back porch when it is hot out.

I also got frustrated at having to toss most of a bottle of wine because I'd pour myself 1 glass of it and then it would go bad by the time the next week rolled around and I was allowed to have another. I even bought one of those fancy wine vacuums but it didn't really help much. Easier to just not buy it and have the occasional glass with a dinner out.

I miss it. Not in an alcoholic sense, or in a wanting to be drunk sense (usually). But I've cut out almost all of my previous food treats - which is why I was drinking more last year in the first place, I think. Try as I may, I cannot convince myself that water or herbal tea is a treat. I've yet to find a good substitute. And I STILL effing hate exercise, haha. More power to you who get endorphins from physical activity; I get pain and exhaustion.

furrychickens

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2018, 08:02:42 AM »
I personally have had to go completely dry. I went sober for a few months this year, tried reintroducing it in small amounts earlier this month, but “small amounts” quickly became 1-3 every day and my body and depression cannot handle that.

So back to sober, outside of very small amounts I get in kombucha and medicinal tinctures I make. 7 days, 16 hours according to the tracker on my phone :)

Edit: should add that it helps my wife has also decided to completely quit drinking and much of my family doesn’t drink either. A lot of our friends do, but my closest friends are all very supportive of me not drinking.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2018, 08:04:40 AM by furrychickens »

ginjaninja

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2018, 11:48:40 AM »
Neither of my parents drink and I have also wanted to change my attitude around it.  Every time I stop drinking for a period I lose 10-15lbs in ~6 weeks.  I am starting to realize that there is always an excuse to drink.  For example in September I was invited to a festival hosted by a brewery that I might skip out on, I have a wedding on the 8th, and a "prom"* to visit.  At first I was thinking "omg, how can I not drink at the wedding?  I need to in order to celebrate with my friend"  Then I started to realize that my parents have not had a drink for 30 years, have been to countless weddings without alcohol, and I am going to be just fine with a club soda. 

Tris it is awesome that you have lost so much weight!  Now that you have cut out sweets and alcohol have you started to lean towards other habits?


FireHiker

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2018, 12:12:25 PM »
I think my husband and I need to do this. All summer we've been having a drink with dinner. Rarely more than one, and not every day, but it's been most days lately. I'm most interested in the financial and weight aspects. I can easily have one drink and stop, but I sit all day at work. I just don't need the calories. We did have success yesterday: went to Trader Joes and didn't even look at the alcohol section! The good/bad of TJs is I can just get one of something. Good because I don't need to buy a full six-pack...bad because it seems I buy something every time. I'm going to focus on reducing alcohol and sweets; those are my weaknesses for sure.

Tris Prior

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Re: Reducing drinking!
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2018, 01:11:24 PM »
Tris it is awesome that you have lost so much weight!  Now that you have cut out sweets and alcohol have you started to lean towards other habits?

Thanks! And, not really; I mean, I counted calories when I was losing but now I'm basically just trying to minimize sugar and carbs (like booze, the rule has been, don't have it in the house).

To be fair, I haven't totally been booze free since I lost the weight; once I was done losing what I gained I felt that 1 drink per week was reasonable as long as I didn't start putting weight back on. But that spilled over into 2, 3, 4 drinks per week. Never more than one at a time, but I suspect that's how I gained the weight in the first place as I had no other changes to my eating or activity habits. I feel like the solution is not to keep it in the house. Though I may revisit that when it's winter and negative 1 bazillion degrees out, haha

The good/bad of TJs is I can just get one of something. Good because I don't need to buy a full six-pack...bad because it seems I buy something every time. I'm going to focus on reducing alcohol and sweets; those are my weaknesses for sure.

I love TJ's mix and match beer; unfortunately the liquor laws where I live mean you can't buy just one. Have to buy as a 6-pack. Which is such a bummer; sometimes you just literally want ONE beer, you know?