Author Topic: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!  (Read 50906 times)

StarBright

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #400 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.

DadJokes

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #401 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.

FI45RE

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #402 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.

partgypsy

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #403 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.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 09:36:39 AM by partgypsy »

BikeFanatic

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #404 on: December 20, 2019, 03:53:39 PM »
My Update-- been booze free again last 4 months. Really felt a boost of energy after 3 months. I found a craft beer company that makes non alcoholic beer called Athletic Brewing. They actually ship the beer from CT. I am drinking the Upside Down ALE TASTE LIKE A REAL BEER, TASTE LIKE A 4% ALCOHOL WHEAT/BELGIUM BEER, No kidding! I also had the brown ale and the IPA.
I may never go back to drinking these beers are 60 calories.
I cant tell you how much i look forward to the mornings these days.

Tyson

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #405 on: December 20, 2019, 05:27:22 PM »
My Update-- been booze free again last 4 months. Really felt a boost of energy after 3 months. I found a craft beer company that makes non alcoholic beer called Athletic Brewing. They actually ship the beer from CT. I am drinking the Upside Down ALE TASTE LIKE A REAL BEER, TASTE LIKE A 4% ALCOHOL WHEAT/BELGIUM BEER, No kidding! I also had the brown ale and the IPA.
I may never go back to drinking these beers are 60 calories.
I cant tell you how much i look forward to the mornings these days.

I remember when I quit drinking, after a few months I had a similar reaction.  I was like "wait, you mean I can feel good in the mornings?  What?"

Aunt Petunia

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #406 on: January 01, 2020, 05:00:07 AM »
Jumping back in for January. Will allow myself a cheat day on the 4th though.

Malkynn

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #407 on: January 01, 2020, 06:55:46 AM »
I'm in!

I started a drug trial a few weeks ago, and it doesn't seem to be super compatible with alcohol. Going 100% alcohol free until our trip to Ireland in April where I will most certainly drink beer, which is fine as I almost never drink more than one, maybe two in a day.

BikeFanatic

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #408 on: January 01, 2020, 07:50:59 AM »
This thread has helped me immensely! I did quit 3 times between now and April 2018. Total months without alcohol over 2 years will be 16 out of 24 if I make it to April 2020, which I will.  Everytime I go back to drinking I am dissapointed with drinking not being as good as I remember it being.
I will say that the quitting experienced has helped me cut back when I did go back to drinking. I only drank 3 beers at a time but so often that I drank 30-60 beers every month.

Congrats to everyone wo decided to make a change in 2020, and big shout out to Onemorebike who statred this threadback in April!
Keep us posted on your progress

wenchsenior

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #409 on: January 01, 2020, 08:29:49 AM »
Likewise, I want to say Happy New Year and a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has participated on this thread.  If I hadn't heard about This Naked Mind on this thread, and read everyone else's comments about how it had changed their thinking around alcohol, I am not at all sure I would have gotten the impetus to successfully quit my nearly 20-year-long wine-with-dinner habit.  It would have been very hard to convince me how negatively that 2 drinks/day was affecting my mental health, but it's true.  I feel better emotionally and mentally than I have since my 20s (when I was a very occasional imbiber). And all of you guys on this thread are a big part of the reason.

Thanks, again.

onemorebike

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #410 on: January 01, 2020, 10:12:48 AM »
OP here. This thread continues to amaze me, although I'm not the best at engaging with all the updates, I'm reading them and they are inspirational.

As an update for me, I stopped drinking in January 2018 and haven't had a sip since - it is truly unbelievable how different I am as a result. I've got the time, energy, and interest to pursue all of things I've always wanted to do but never made happen and life just feels richer. My presence in each moment is fuller and more apparent. Yes, I have more money for my mustache, but in spite of saving thousands a year, the real benefits have been in my quality of life with my family, friends and myself. (and my life previous to stopping was pretty privileged to start!)

Love seeing all of your hard work, keep it up.

-onemorebike

PoutineLover

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #411 on: January 01, 2020, 11:43:48 AM »
I'm going to do dry January this year, very excited to have a sober month. It felt so good last time and then I slipped back into old habits. Drinking is mostly a social habit, and that was the hardest part of saying no. Not sure if I can make any commitments beyond the month now, but will see how I feel at the end of January. Going to have an uber frugal year so not drinking would definitely help.

Tyson

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #412 on: January 01, 2020, 12:26:46 PM »
OP here. This thread continues to amaze me, although I'm not the best at engaging with all the updates, I'm reading them and they are inspirational.

As an update for me, I stopped drinking in January 2018 and haven't had a sip since - it is truly unbelievable how different I am as a result. I've got the time, energy, and interest to pursue all of things I've always wanted to do but never made happen and life just feels richer. My presence in each moment is fuller and more apparent. Yes, I have more money for my mustache, but in spite of saving thousands a year, the real benefits have been in my quality of life with my family, friends and myself. (and my life previous to stopping was pretty privileged to start!)

Love seeing all of your hard work, keep it up.

-onemorebike

It's been over 6 years for me and I feel exactly the same way.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #413 on: January 01, 2020, 12:39:41 PM »
Dry January begins.  I do this every year to remind myself that it is possible and there is not a dependency.  After my life got blown up in 2017 by my X Asshat I feared that I would rely too much on the firewater to avoid being present in my own brain.  Glad to say I have not slid down into despair with that self-medicine but it is good to check myself regularly.

Good luck to all who are similarly undertaking a period of abstinence for clarity, godspeed to all who have made it a lifelong choice for their own personal, heartbreaking reasons, and to those doing it for purely financial reasons, rock on with your badassity!     

HappyCheerE

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #414 on: January 01, 2020, 03:50:23 PM »
I did Drynuary for the first time last year - jumping in again now. One change is I am making an exception for parties (one with friends Friday, and our work holiday party was snowed out and will probably be this month). I really enjoy my wine with dinner and don't plan on stopping long-term, but the month reset seems like a good thing. @MissNancyPryor I love "to remind myself that it is possible."

Also started the Winter Wildebeest thread because last year the combo of no alcohol and 3 miles outside every day felt like a challenge worth tackling. Only aiming for 2 miles daily this time.

Great to hear everyone's inspirational stories! Happy 2020 to all!


CrustyBadger

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #415 on: January 01, 2020, 05:14:54 PM »
Way to go, @onemorebike ! I'm glad you started this thread. It was the impetus for me to give up alcohol and my life is much better for it.

I stopped drinking in August 2018 and haven't had a sip since, either!  Just realized I went through two friends' Thanksgivings; 2 family Christmases; and 2 New Year's Eve parties with friend  since then.  All these events are typically places where fancy beer, wine and cocktails are featured.    Yet I had no trouble just abstaining.

I do find I am more emotionally present, more balanced, and have a great ability to solve problems.  I am not noticing significantly better sleep however.  Am gearing myself up to try to cut back or give up coffee now, as I am drinking far too much.  I had such success with Annie Grace's "Alcohol Experiment" a year and a half ago and am wondering if there's something similar (an online support group/educational program) for quitting caffeine?  Anyone know?

BikeFanatic

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #416 on: January 01, 2020, 05:31:10 PM »
Outstanding Crusty Badger!!!!

I also quit caffeine but am back on it. I quit easily without withdrawal because  I weaned myself down. I used 2 sccops decaf adn 2 scoops regular coffee then down to 1 scoop regular and 3 scoops decaf. I did that over a month.

jps

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #417 on: January 02, 2020, 10:38:13 AM »
Checking in here again!

Last year I did about 50 days w/o alcohol in the spring. Really enjoyed it, and felt slimmer. Not drinking a whole lot anymore after that (2-3 drinks/week), but wanted to do a dry January this year.

Best wishes to everyone else who is doing this!

Malkynn

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #418 on: January 02, 2020, 04:57:53 PM »
2 days down.

I'm a wine with dinner person, so that's when I feel like something is missing. I'm prone to having very entrenched habits, so developing new ones is easy for me, but breaking old ones makes me pretty cranky.

Instead of wine, I went to the gym for my endorphins.
I was planning on hitting the pool every time I wanted wine, but the damn pool is closed for 6 weeks, so gym it is.

wenchsenior

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #419 on: January 02, 2020, 05:10:16 PM »
2 days down.

I'm a wine with dinner person, so that's when I feel like something is missing. I'm prone to having very entrenched habits, so developing new ones is easy for me, but breaking old ones makes me pretty cranky.

Instead of wine, I went to the gym for my endorphins.
I was planning on hitting the pool every time I wanted wine, but the damn pool is closed for 6 weeks, so gym it is.

OMG our pool just reopened today after 3 weeks closed, and I hit that pool like some sort of very flabby, water-obsessed, middle-aged floaty toy LOL.  Last year it was closed for about 2 months for repairs, and I was so desperate that I spent a truly unmustachian sum on a 6 month membership at a private swim club pool. Which was really nice, but BOY was it expensive.  But swimming really helps my chronic pain, plus I have trouble meditating except when I'm swimming, so it was like a double hit of relief today.  Not to mention that I thought my carb-laden rear end was going to meld to the couch this past couple weeks...

Malkynn

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #420 on: January 02, 2020, 05:48:29 PM »
2 days down.

I'm a wine with dinner person, so that's when I feel like something is missing. I'm prone to having very entrenched habits, so developing new ones is easy for me, but breaking old ones makes me pretty cranky.

Instead of wine, I went to the gym for my endorphins.
I was planning on hitting the pool every time I wanted wine, but the damn pool is closed for 6 weeks, so gym it is.

OMG our pool just reopened today after 3 weeks closed, and I hit that pool like some sort of very flabby, water-obsessed, middle-aged floaty toy LOL.  Last year it was closed for about 2 months for repairs, and I was so desperate that I spent a truly unmustachian sum on a 6 month membership at a private swim club pool. Which was really nice, but BOY was it expensive.  But swimming really helps my chronic pain, plus I have trouble meditating except when I'm swimming, so it was like a double hit of relief today.  Not to mention that I thought my carb-laden rear end was going to meld to the couch this past couple weeks...

This is officially my favourite post I've read in a very long time.

paulkots

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #421 on: January 04, 2020, 01:42:11 PM »
Back into this. No booze from January 2nd until April 27th. I have a few bets going since there are 3 of us involved.

This should really help me since I am also trying to reach other goals regarding finances and health to do a roadtrip to Arctic Ocean and Alaska.


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Malkynn

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #422 on: January 05, 2020, 07:36:55 AM »
Had my first challenges yesterday, first had dinner at my SIL's where I normally drink pretty freely, not only that, but we brought her champagne, which I love.

Then after that, was invited to a party of new friends I recently met in my building. They're a bit younger, there were tons of drinks, and this is only my second time hanging out with them, which can be kind of awkward when you are the only one not drinking. Plus, I wouldn't have had to worry about driving home.

Anyhoo, both events went smoothly and the whole thing was a lot easier than I expected. No one flinches when you say "I can't drink because of my drug trial."

A few times I almost instinctively poured wine into my empty water glass, but I caught myself quickly.

Overall, I found I really didn't miss it, but I did find I had a lower tolerance for trying to yell-talk to people over very loud music.

iluvzbeach

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #423 on: January 05, 2020, 10:56:03 PM »
I think Iím in.

Growing up, it was always important to me that I not be one of ďthose peopleĒ who made a habit of drinking every night. I even carefully chose a DH who was not a habitual drinker. Then, over time, I found myself having a glass of wine 5-7 nights a week, then two glasses and, finally, oftentimes three.

Iíd always been an excellent sleeper, but was finding myself to no longer be a good sleeper. I chalked it (and increased anxiety) to middle age.

Sometime in early 2018 I established a self-imposed two drink limit, but found it easy to ignore more often than I liked.

A major family traumatic event in late summer/early fall caused me to intentionally cut back my alcohol consumption as I was fearful it would be too easy to use alcohol as a tool to help me cope with the family matter. I knew it was important to deal with this very trying emotional situation with a clear head.

Iíve had occasional drinks in the past several months, and at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I had one glass of wine on 12/26 or 12/27, but nothing since. Iíve also lost 12 pounds without trying since this all began in late August.

I recently started reading this thread and got This Naked Mind from my local library. Iíve read this thread in its entirety and Iím intrigued. Iím currently about 10-15 pages into the book.

I donít know whether Iíll stop drinking altogether or just do a reset, with the plan to go back to very occasional consumption of 1-2 drinks. Iíll figure that out as I go along.

At this time, Iím sleeping better and I can feel a difference in my mood (+) energy (+) and anxiety (-) levels. I am totally in for Dry January.

Thanks to onemorebike for starting this thread and to everyone else who has posted their story and how theyíre doing.

mspym

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #424 on: January 05, 2020, 11:13:12 PM »
In for another year! Honestly at this point I don't think I will ever drink again but I quite like the act of choosing this because it is the right path for me. Sleep continues to be amazing, as is the overall reduction in my background anxiety levels.

FIRE_guy

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #425 on: January 06, 2020, 06:00:07 AM »
In for another year! Honestly at this point I don't think I will ever drink again but I quite like the act of choosing this because it is the right path for me. Sleep continues to be amazing, as is the overall reduction in my background anxiety levels.

Well done. You should be proud.

After seeing what alcohol has done to some close family memebers over the past year or two, I have been telling myself for the past 6-8 months or so to give up booze. I'm 33, married, 1 kid, so we don't party like we are in our 20s, but we have a great group of friends that we do gather with every 3-4weeks and there's always a hangover the next day. I have successfully eliminated all booze except for those monthly-ish "parties".

What was the hardest part for you? Any behaviours you started doing to replace the habit? Any tips for a wannabe like me?

Malkynn

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #426 on: January 06, 2020, 06:48:00 AM »
Some thoughts

-I don't think I mentioned, but DH is happy to go along with whatever I want to do on this front. He's extremely active and health conscious, so it's great to not be on my own in this.

-Yesterday we set stakes: if one of us slips up, we have to take on the worst chore that the other person normally does for a set amount of time.

-I am an intense creature of habit, so I'm seriously considering quitting red wine permanently. Red wine was my go-to stress reliever during my doctorate, and it became part of my day to day life.

I don't even like alcohol or its effects, even if I were having a major wine craving, another form of alcohol could be placed in front of me, and I wouldn't drink it.

I'm not sure what my future relationship with alcohol will be. I don't need to make that decision now, but I've committed to cutting out red wine for the year, which will probably be indefinite. I feel like those established neural patterns could so easily be rekindled, so it's not worth the risk of retriggering a habit I don't want.

I mean, if I don't even like the part that's poison, then why have a habit that's poisonous???

Joe Schmo

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #427 on: January 06, 2020, 06:59:58 AM »
In for another year! Honestly at this point I don't think I will ever drink again but I quite like the act of choosing this because it is the right path for me. Sleep continues to be amazing, as is the overall reduction in my background anxiety levels.

Well done. You should be proud.

After seeing what alcohol has done to some close family memebers over the past year or two, I have been telling myself for the past 6-8 months or so to give up booze. I'm 33, married, 1 kid, so we don't party like we are in our 20s, but we have a great group of friends that we do gather with every 3-4weeks and there's always a hangover the next day. I have successfully eliminated all booze except for those monthly-ish "parties".

What was the hardest part for you? Any behaviours you started doing to replace the habit? Any tips for a wannabe like me?
Youíre not gonna fit in at your monthly party anymore. Thatís just a fact. If everyone drinking to ďalways hungoverĒ then youíre just gonna be the sober guy/people around whilst everyone else has too many so be aware of that. It might be fine the first time or two but after that you will get bored of being around drunk people.
More facts. You end up hanging around with people like you in this life: education level, income level, drinking level, kid level etc.

wenchsenior

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #428 on: January 06, 2020, 07:16:47 AM »
Some thoughts


-I am an intense creature of habit, so I'm seriously considering quitting red wine permanently. Red wine was my go-to stress reliever during my doctorate, and it became part of my day to day life.

I don't even like alcohol or its effects, even if I were having a major wine craving, another form of alcohol could be placed in front of me, and I wouldn't drink it.

I'm not sure what my future relationship with alcohol will be. I don't need to make that decision now, but I've committed to cutting out red wine for the year, which will probably be indefinite. I feel like those established neural patterns could so easily be rekindled, so it's not worth the risk of retriggering a habit I don't want.


I relate to a lot of this.  There seem to be two main patterns of drinkers...the daily habitual drinkers that are not inclined to binge, and those that respond super intensely to one hit of alcohol and then have trouble finding an 'off' switch.  Eventually, of course, because of building tolerance, many of us with a built-in 'off switch' end up becoming bingers by default. It seems like people who are genetically and physiologically wired to be 'strong responders' from the early days really struggle with moderation in any form.

What I am interested in, like you, is the question of successful moderation if you are a habitual, psychologically dependent drinker (like I was), but never a natural binger.  That's an interesting experiment in progress.

I didn't plan to give up alcohol entirely, but only to quit my decades-long habit of evening wine.  I did that, don't miss it, and have had ~6(?) drinks total since I did that alcohol-free month about 9 months ago.  There were no particular occasions that I 'looked forward to/planned to drink'...it's more like I no longer make drinking part of my daily routine, but I'm not interested in beating myself up on the rare occasions I do still drink or putting a bunch of special rules on it. My only hard rule is...no more wine with dinner at home b/c that was 90% of my lifetime drinking and that routine involves the vast majority of my triggers.

So far, I haven't had any desire to look for 'special occasions' to drink more often (i.e., I'm not going out with friends more as an excuse or whatever, and I've socialized plenty of times without it in the past 9 months).  But I AM wary of drinking very often, b/c of the inbuilt brain wiring around it.  So I can see where just taking it completely off the table might simply become easier.

At any rate, I'll keep reporting in how it's going over the next few years.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 07:18:35 AM by wenchsenior »

PoutineLover

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #429 on: January 06, 2020, 11:55:38 AM »
So far so good with the alcohol, but I did slip up with smoking. I meant to stop both for the month since I don't want smoking to replace drinking, even though I do them for different reasons. But I had an activity planned with some friends that I thought would be more fun if I joined in, and it was. But I did say no to offers of wine and beer, and it wasn't a big deal at all. Still going to keep up the challenge.

mspym

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #430 on: January 06, 2020, 12:27:58 PM »
In for another year! Honestly at this point I don't think I will ever drink again but I quite like the act of choosing this because it is the right path for me. Sleep continues to be amazing, as is the overall reduction in my background anxiety levels.

Well done. You should be proud.

After seeing what alcohol has done to some close family memebers over the past year or two, I have been telling myself for the past 6-8 months or so to give up booze. I'm 33, married, 1 kid, so we don't party like we are in our 20s, but we have a great group of friends that we do gather with every 3-4weeks and there's always a hangover the next day. I have successfully eliminated all booze except for those monthly-ish "parties".

What was the hardest part for you? Any behaviours you started doing to replace the habit? Any tips for a wannabe like me?
Youíre not gonna fit in at your monthly party anymore. Thatís just a fact. If everyone drinking to ďalways hungoverĒ then youíre just gonna be the sober guy/people around whilst everyone else has too many so be aware of that. It might be fine the first time or two but after that you will get bored of being around drunk people.
More facts. You end up hanging around with people like you in this life: education level, income level, drinking level, kid level etc.
It depends. People may surprise you. It turns out *I* was part of the problem - refilling people's glasses etc, and without that, the people I hang out with drink less than I had assumed. I still go to book (wine) club every month, and it's better because I self-regulate instead of talking over people.

1- know that there will come a point in a party where you will want to go home. Booze is getting into people and the volume is rising, people start to repeat themselves. The boose esters start coming out. Cut out at this point, it gets boring unless you can divert to a dance floor or something like that.
2- have a drink in your hand! I found the habitual patterns easier to break with a substitute. It also gives you a reason to refuse a round.
3- I tried naltroxene at the early stages and it was both weird and good. It turns out that with the buzz receptors blocked, you actually taste what you are drinking and it's often - not very nice? I was surprised to learn I hate the taste of wine. I am happy to drink half a non-alcoholic beer but wine smells bad.
4- some people see amazing changes immediately, it took me about 6 months for a lot of the positives to kick in and they were subtler than I expected. Losing 100g a week doesn't sound like much, but 2 years later you're 10kg lighter.

It is often good to start off during a challenge, dry July, because people understand it but then there can be pressure to resume. I found quitting on a super random Sunday near the end of a month worked for me because I was always near a milestone that I wanted to reach - so close to a week/a month/ nearly a calendar month--until the patterns were set.

caleb

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #431 on: January 06, 2020, 01:06:54 PM »
Great thread, and I'm inspired by the stories.

I jumped on Dry January this year as a little bit of a check-up.  We've gotten on the wine-with-dinner train more than I wanted to acknowledge.  Two drinks a night with dinner, and you're on the border of "heavy" drinking.

I guess this is day #6 now, and I'm pleased that it's been no big deal to abstain.  A friend of mine quit altogether a few years ago when he tried to take a break and realized he had serious physical withdrawal symptoms, which worried me.  Good news is that I haven't noticed it physically one way or the other. 

Behaviorally, I do find that I've been drinking more herbal tea in the evening.  I've found I'm just as happy to drink tea as I am to drink wine or beer.

Socially, it hasn't been any big deal.  We've already been through multiple dinners and parties where the drinks are free flowing, and it's been fine not to participate.  I just had the first "let's get happy hour" email come through my inbox of the month, which does reinforce how much alcohol is part of our culture, but I'm much more aware of it when I'm not participating in the drinking part.

So it's all good news so far.  This is the first time since high school (almost 20 years!) I've deliberately stayed away from hooch for an extended period, and fortunately it's all been positive.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #432 on: January 06, 2020, 01:43:12 PM »
I make my own kombucha and do a secondary fermentation to get bubbles and add flavor.  I find that it can do the job when I am jonesing for something different on the tongue that is immensely refreshing.  Depending on the flavor it can have the bite of a beer or be tart with my own berries from the garden, or perfume-y with lavender if I am in the mood for subtlety. 

I have enjoyed learning how to do this over the last 2 years.  Even with very high quality ingredients it costs less than 15 cents a bottle.  Post-secondary ferment it gets down to essentially zero sugar with untraceable alcohols.  Good stuff.   

Tess

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #433 on: January 07, 2020, 10:13:24 AM »
Almost 14 years sober (will -- I hope -- hit that mark in April) and plan to do what is necessary to stay that way in 2020.  I have a great life but I won't if I start drinking again.  I am so grateful to have put down the booze.

Malkynn

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #434 on: January 07, 2020, 11:14:41 AM »
Daaaamn

This Naked Mind is pretty solid stuff.
As a former neuroscience researcher, with specific education in both addiction and sleep science, it takes some pretty opaque science and lays it out quite effectively, plus I can see the neurolinguistic programming in the writing.

Interesting read, thanks for the recommendation. 

wenchsenior

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #435 on: January 07, 2020, 11:46:04 AM »
Daaaamn

This Naked Mind is pretty solid stuff.
As a former neuroscience researcher, with specific education in both addiction and sleep science, it takes some pretty opaque science and lays it out quite effectively, plus I can see the neurolinguistic programming in the writing.

Interesting read, thanks for the recommendation.

Yes, it's quite good...seems to take a lot of inspiration from cognitive behavioral therapy techniques.  There's a few inaccuracies (such as Grace's belief that sugar cravings that often accompany giving up drinking are influenced by the fact that most alcohol is composed primarily of sugar...it isn't AFAIK) but they are sort of immaterial to the helpfulness of the material (in the sugar example, the cravings are likely caused by the brain searching for a substitute hit of dopamine, etc., and finding it with sugar...it probably doesn't matter where the sugar cravings come from).

seemsright

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #436 on: January 08, 2020, 09:28:35 AM »
I have decided that I must get off the alcohol. I sleep like crap when I have a drink in the evening. I sleep like crap in general. But worst when I have a drink in the evening.

I have gotten in the habit of having a what I call a sip at 8pm. After the kid goes to bed and dinner dishes are cleaned up. It could be a glass of wine, a gin and tonic, or a old fashion. But I need to ditch all of those options.

But I do not want to give up my sip and conversation with the hubby.

I was was with my 82 year old friend yesterday and she was saying how she puts a splash of flavored balsamic vinegar in club soda. I tried it yesterday and man it was so good. I found some chocolate flavored balsamic vinegar from the local oil and vinegar shop. I still slept like crap last night. But here is the hope that having this sip instead of the alcohol in a few weeks I will sleep better.   

PoutineLover

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #437 on: January 08, 2020, 09:50:21 AM »
I was was with my 82 year old friend yesterday and she was saying how she puts a splash of flavored balsamic vinegar in club soda. I tried it yesterday and man it was so good. I found some chocolate flavored balsamic vinegar from the local oil and vinegar shop. I still slept like crap last night. But here is the hope that having this sip instead of the alcohol in a few weeks I will sleep better.   

This is a really cool idea. I got a pack of different flavours of balsamic vinegar for Christmas, so I'm definitely going to try this.

Tacopwr

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #438 on: January 08, 2020, 10:37:45 AM »
I've thrown my hat into the ring on this. I've given up alcohol for a few weeks at a time in the past, and I recently drank way too much on a long distance trip and spent all night worshiping the porcelain god in the motel bathroom. I just really screwed up and drank 4 craft IPAs, a Natty Daddy (if I buy one of these it should be a red flag that I'm already too wasted) and finished my partner's bottle of wine all in one night.

The 300 mile drive home in a blizzard really sucked the next day.

My normal drinking is 1-3 High Life cans/bottles 3-5 days a week.


4 days in! There is one High Life sitting in the back of the fridge whenever I feel ready to partake again.

jps

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #439 on: January 08, 2020, 10:43:38 AM »
I just really screwed up and drank 4 craft IPAs, a Natty Daddy (if I buy one of these it should be a red flag that I'm already too wasted) and finished my partner's bottle of wine all in one night.

Had to google what a Natty Daddy was. Oh my gosh. That sounds like enough for a whole night in itself, but also a really bad decision anyway.

Malkynn

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #440 on: January 08, 2020, 11:01:23 AM »
Yesterday was my first day back at work in nearly 3 weeks, and it was a god damn cluster fuck where I spent a solid 10 hours in a low level rage.

I come home late on Tuesdays, right around when DH goes to bed, so he definitely doesn't want to deal with my chaotic psycho energy. So it's been a typical routine to say a quick hello, shower the filth of my job off of me, cozy up on a lounger with a book and a kitten, and sink into a few glasses of aromatic red.

Last night the option just didn't seem appealing. I can't really drink water at work because I don't have time to pee, so the exact same routine with some nice hydrating water sounded A LOT better. Not waking up totally dehydrated sounded great!

One really great benefit of this whole Annie Grace thing is that I'm not feeling any need to try and substitute for alcohol. On previous rounds of reducing alcohol, I always struggled to find decent substitutes, and they were perpetually disappointing. My brain wants what it wants, hence why I wouldn't even drink a substitute alcohol when what I wanted was wine.

This time I don't even feel the need to bother with substitutes. Even last night, the water wasn't an alternative to wine, I was drinking it because I needed hydration. I drank it quickly and then went drinkless for the remainder of my wind down ritual and I didn't feel anything was missing.

I have a history of responding extremely well to CBT, so I'm not terribly surprised.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 11:04:50 AM by Malkynn »

Malkynn

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #441 on: January 14, 2020, 06:30:57 PM »
Two weeks down, still easy and getting easier.

Just about finished This Naked Mind, and listening to Allen Carr's book on audiotape, which I think I actually prefer. Overall, seriously expecting to decide to not drink again, period. Have definitely decided to give up red wine for at least a year.

iluvzbeach

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #442 on: January 14, 2020, 08:28:00 PM »
Iím also 2+ weeks into this. I actually figured out 12/28 was the day I last had a drink, a glass of Prosecco at a show.

Iím about halfway through This Naked Mind and my eyes are wide open. Iíve listened to about 10 of her podcast episodes. No desire whatsoever to drink and Iíve even been around people who were drinking several times, no issue at all.

ice_beard

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #443 on: January 15, 2020, 12:39:32 AM »
12.5 years.
Thank you Dr. Bob and Bill and many, many others. 

Mmm_Donuts

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #444 on: January 15, 2020, 06:43:23 AM »
I'm posting to follow.

I am on the fence as this is something I would love to try, but so much of my social life involves drinking - going out for dinner and sharing wine, or going over to someone's house and bringing some nice wine to share. Also my husband and I really enjoy opening a bottle of wine on weekends and finishing it off in one night.

However, it's starting to affect my sleep as I get older. I notice that after drinking just one glass of wine in the evening, I wake up in the middle of the night and toss and turn for a while.

I just ordered The Naked Mind from the library. I think I'm looking for more motivation to take a break from alcohol. I have a really stressful job so it does help me unwind, however I'm looking into meditation as well, and I think developing a meditation practice and calming the mind that way might be a healthier unwinding tool.

Hope you don't mind a fence-sitter joining the group. I appreciate the book advice and maybe I'll be further inspired by your journeys here.

BikeFanatic

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #445 on: January 15, 2020, 06:47:24 AM »
MNN Donuts,
I think you should get the book and also consider signing up on Annies Grace site the alcohol experiment, 30 days of videos to help you experiment with sobriety for 30 days. I learned alot in those 30 days about my relationship with alcohol. Welcome to the thread and good luck even if lurking only.

Malkynn

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #446 on: January 15, 2020, 06:58:45 AM »
MNN Donuts,
I think you should get the book and also consider signing up on Annies Grace site the alcohol experiment, 30 days of videos to help you experiment with sobriety for 30 days. I learned alot in those 30 days about my relationship with alcohol. Welcome to the thread and good luck even if lurking only.

I second this.
The Alcohol Experiment is actually best suited to start while you are still drinking, so it's the perfect time for you to sign up. I signed up about 4 days after quitting, and I genuinely feel like I missed out a bit on the process.

The whole thing isn't about quitting necessarily, it's about learning exactly what role you want alcohol to play in your life. It just so happens that once a lot of us start looking closely at the role of alcohol in our lives, that we actually *want* to give it up completely, but that's not at all a necessary outcome of the experiment.


Mmm_Donuts

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #447 on: January 15, 2020, 08:34:52 AM »
Thanks Malkynn and BIkeFanatic for the recommendation - I signed up!

I like the idea of just being mindful of the actual effects of booze to see what's really happening. I watched her videos about the experiment and I could see that it might be true, that alcohol provides an initial rush but that rush fades away quickly and leaves me feeling worse than I felt before having a drink.

Glad I posted here, thanks for the encouragement and we'll see how this goes! I'm going to start with that - just noticing how I feel before, during, and after that first glass of wine.

PoutineLover

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #448 on: January 15, 2020, 09:00:11 AM »
When I drink I definitely notice effects on my sleep. I wake up, toss and turn, and I feel less rested in the morning. Two weeks into dry January now and I'm feeling really good. No temptations really, other than an event where some of my teammates tried to get me to drink. I had to say no a few times, but I was pretty comfortable with it and I think I was able to make them understand why I don't want to give in. Last year I made a few exceptions for special events in January, but by the end of the month it didn't even really feel like I had given up drinking. My dry month in August was much better, I made no drinking exceptions. I'm going to approach the next decision though: do I stop a week early because I'm going on vacation, or do I have a dry vacation? Thoughts are welcome.

Tyson

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Re: Give Up the Hooch: Booze Free for as long as you please!
« Reply #449 on: January 15, 2020, 09:53:04 AM »
When I drink I definitely notice effects on my sleep. I wake up, toss and turn, and I feel less rested in the morning. Two weeks into dry January now and I'm feeling really good. No temptations really, other than an event where some of my teammates tried to get me to drink. I had to say no a few times, but I was pretty comfortable with it and I think I was able to make them understand why I don't want to give in. Last year I made a few exceptions for special events in January, but by the end of the month it didn't even really feel like I had given up drinking. My dry month in August was much better, I made no drinking exceptions. I'm going to approach the next decision though: do I stop a week early because I'm going on vacation, or do I have a dry vacation? Thoughts are welcome.

A dry vacation will certainly be cheaper.