Friday, October 22, 2010

30 Days (Mostly) No Booze Complete

The experiment has ended and it was a definite success, though not because I was completely dry for a month. My original goals of not drinking for a month were:

1. Be more healthy
2. Spend less money
3. Gauge the impact on my social life

Since I wasn't drinking I figured I might as well eat healthy, too, and I can report that I lost 8 pounds during the month. Estimated dollar savings is about $200, so both of those are significant numbers.

The downside I learned pretty quickly, however -- a hit on my social life. Good or bad, much of my social life involves hanging out at the bar with a friend or two. I love the atmosphere of dark bars and enjoy the conversation of friends. It was difficult to go through a weekend without feeling like I could go out at night and my strategy became to just be a hermit. Through limited contact with the outside world I could limit temptations.

When did I first break down? After surviving a work trip to Milwaukee (!) I broke down in Portland, OR. I didn't have to, but I was out with co-workers and it felt kind of inappropriate to be the one person not drinking. I'm sure that's psychologically a twisted reason, but it's how I felt. I did not, however, get drunk during the month. Took it pretty easy the 4 days I did drink.

So what did I learn?

I loved the healthy aspect and feel like I've gotten myself on a strong trend of eating healthier. I've found some new recipes which I think will stick with me for awhile. I also learned that drinking really is a social crutch for me and I'd like to learn how to broaden my socializing beyond the bar. Perhaps I'll join a knitting circle.

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