No Booze February: Week 1

In case you didn't hear, I've given up alcohol for 28 days. My February 2017 will be spent without weekend drinks or happy hours. And I'm happy to report I've made it seven full days (including one Bachelorette weekend) without any alcohol.

My decision to ditch booze came after a friend posted on Facebook that he was thinking of taking a break from alcohol in February. He offered to create a private support group online, so we could all document our progress and have a group of people going through the same "struggles" as we went through the challenge.

I'm single, and my weekends tend to revolve around nights out on the town. Whether it's a girls night out or a Bumble date; I like to enjoy my fair share of vodka-water with lemon (not a lime) on the weekends. And as a result, most of my weekend social life includes booze.

The longest that I've gone without alcohol (since on my fitness journey) is 22 days. When you type it out, that sounds a lot worse than I imagined.

I've completed two Beachbody programs that were each 21 days long that completely prohibited alcohol. The Ultimate Reset and 21 Day Fix Extreme included specific meal plans that I followed to a T in 2013 and 2015. In both instances, I got into insane shape (see below) and had to schedule out when to complete the programs so that my weekend plans were not impacted.

When I ditched booze for 21 Days (2013 and 2015)

I know that alcohol hinders my fitness results. I can feel the difference in my performance when I've had a night of cocktails vs. not.

- My sleep suffers

- I binge eat while drunk

- I'm sluggish, lethargic the next 24+ hours

While I'm a true believer in work hard, play hard (and not restricting yourself), I was up for a challenge this month. I will be going to Punta Cana in April and wanted to use this as a kick-start of getting into "bikini shape" to spend 10 days on a beach with 3,000 other health coaches.

So I committed to 28 days of no alcohol. While I was at it, I decided to work on my meal-prep skills and recommit to doing a full round of the 21 Day Fix Extreme again (like I did in 2015).

To celebrate my commitment to the group, I drank a whole bottle of wine on January 31st. So February 1 started off with a banger headache and regret that I didn't just dump the wine down the drain. Learned my lesson there.

I am SO thankful for the accountability group that I joined -- there are over 70 others that made the same commitment as me to ditch alcohol for February. We have all shared our reason for joining, given tips and shared struggles in the first 7 days. It helps to know that others are going through the same thing as me.

The real test for me was a Bachelorette Party in Austin, TX on February 3-5. While the timing wasn't ideal, I knew that having the accountability from dozens of others would be worth the the short-term sacrifice of not-drinking for a weekend. So I headed to Austin with a set plan on how to avoid temptation and stay strong during our outings.

1. Hold a "mocktail" at the bar.

2. Make sure to get my workouts in.

3. Take the time to get dressed up and feel excited about being out with others.

4. S-M-I-L-E and have fun!

I'm happy to report that the weekend was a success! We had a jam-packed weekend of dinners, bar hopping, bar tours and clubs -- and I didn't drink a lick of alcohol.

Learnings from Week 1

- I thought more about what I was eating. When I drink I tend to indulge in food as well. With having a clear mind, I have been more conscious of what I'm eating when out.

- I felt a noticeable difference in my sleep and how I felt in the mornings. Most Sundays (and sometimes Saturdays) I wake up tired from alcohol-induced sleep. It wasn't the case over the past week.

- I sometimes alcohol as a crutch to talk to others in social settings. This may seem odd, given that I work in "social media" for a living. But I have come to realize that having a drink (or two) can make conversation flow a lot easier (whether it be with women I know, or meeting a new man at the bar).

I'm excited to head into Week 2, as my meal plan and workouts for the 21 Day Fix started up this past Monday. I'll be sure to update you next week on how Week 2 turns out.


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