Author Topic: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!  (Read 50933 times)

mspym

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #350 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.

slackmax

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #351 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. 




wannabe-stache

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #352 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.

Tyson

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #353 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). 

wenchsenior

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #354 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.

« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 09:47:12 AM by wenchsenior »

wannabe-stache

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #355 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.

katscratch

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #356 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.

partgypsy

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #357 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.

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #358 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. 

slackmax

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #359 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.   

 

 

wannabe-stache

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #360 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

CrustyBadger

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #361 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.

wenchsenior

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #362 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.


partgypsy

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #364 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?
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 03:07:48 PM by partgypsy »

ducky19

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #365 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.

El_Viajero

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #366 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

slackmax

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #367 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.       
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 07:54:24 AM by slackmax »

ducky19

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #368 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.

BiggerFishToFI

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #369 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.

slackmax

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #370 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. 

OurTown

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #371 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. 

wenchsenior

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #372 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! 

mspym

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #373 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.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #374 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.

wenchsenior

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #375 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.

Tyson

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #376 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:

CrustyBadger

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #377 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.

partgypsy

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #378 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.

PoutineLover

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #379 on: August 06, 2019, 02:24:19 PM »
I'm starting the 30 day challenge today, wish me luck! Thanks for the inspiration everyone

wannabe-stache

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #380 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.

BikeFanatic

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #381 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!

CrustyBadger

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #382 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.)

mspym

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #383 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!

PoutineLover

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #384 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.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #385 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. 

wenchsenior

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #386 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.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 07:49:00 AM by wenchsenior »

PoutineLover

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #387 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.

Tyson

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #388 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.

PoutineLover

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #389 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?

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #390 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.

StarBright

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #391 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.

wenchsenior

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #392 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. 

SEAK

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #393 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!

partgypsy

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #394 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.

CrustyBadger

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #395 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!


mspym

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #396 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.

Tyson

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #397 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!

partgypsy

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #398 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. 
« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 07:32:16 AM by partgypsy »

wenchsenior

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #399 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.