healthy · lessons · life · life & love · self care · self love · self-discovery · wisdom

7 Things I Learned Once I Quit Drinking

1. My social life has diminished… And I’m okay with it. 
Being the only sober one at the bar gets old. So does explaining to everyone why I’m “just drinking water.” Why is everyone worried about what I am or am not drinking?? It’s been fun watching potential suitors get creative in planning dates, coming up with fun activities such as bike riding, meeting for a lifting session at the gym, cooking clean dinners together, taking our dogs to a local dog park and taking my barre class (major brownie points there!). On the flip side, I’ve had some winners say “call me when you can grab a drink.” Others have called me a real “challenge,” complaining how hard it is to come up with a date that doesn’t involve drinking. And they say all the good ones are gone…
2. My true friends could care less. 
We’ve gone to concerts, met for lunches/dinners/coffee (whether I bring my own food or not), spa dates, turned Wine Wednesdays into Walking Wednesdays around our local park, you name it! My good girlfriends are content laying on the other end of the couch in our sweatpants, talking about life lately and could care less that I’m not partaking in our old happy hours or wine dates. They support my goals and encourage me on a daily basis. For those ladies – thank you. I love you girls to the moon and back!

3. I’m saving money. Sort of. 
While I may not be indulging in monthly wine clubs and $15 glasses of wine when I go out, I am “treating” myself to non-food/booze related treats such as massages, facials and a bit of retail therapy. I think if I compared bank statements, I may be spending more now, the funds are simply being reallocated to other things that make me happy!
4. I am early to bed, early to rise. 
Between long workouts first thing in the morning and skipping late night partying, I’m early to bed and early to rise nowadays. My sleeping patterns are predictable and the quality of rest I get is amazing. Considering I’m always on the go and cramming a ton into each and every day, getting sleep at night is critical.  

5. Hangovers are things of the past. 

WOO HOO! Gosh I don’t miss hangovers. Head pounding, dehydration setting in. I sure don’t miss that feeling. I’ve always been the one to experience a hangover after just a few drinks and there is no love lost between me and waking up in the middle of the night with a dry mouth and splitting headache. Given the fact that booze changes our levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in our brains, I’d often wake up the day after a long night feeling a little down and a bit anxious. The scale was always higher on Monday morning than it was on Friday. These days, anxiety is a thing of the past, and the scale is ALWAYS lower on Monday than it was on Friday. I’ll take it 😉

6. I face my feelings/fears instead of numbing them. 
Being perfectly honest, going out and having drinks with friends was a way to cut loose. It was a way to forget work stress, feelings of sadness about an ex, anxiety about being single and never meeting a great guy… Looking back, I realize I was drinking away feelings I didn’t want to confront. Now, whether it’s talking to friends or family or in the comfort of my own home on a Friday night, I face those fears. I confront my feelings head on so I can understand them and move forward. Keeping a clear head has really helped me understand the beauty of turning the page – because there is much more to the book than the page I was stuck on.

7. Becoming more present in my daily life has been the biggest reward. I find myself being who I am – without apologies, without excuses. Without any masks and without covering up any of my truth. I am living the life I’m intended to live – as I truly am. Preparing for my competition has been a blessing because as each day passes, I embrace the broken pieces that have carried over from my past. I used to fear that I may never find someone to love me despite those cracks. Now, I realize that’s as nonsensical as saying sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dimly lit room. Not only will I find someone who loves me just as I am, but I happen to be falling more in love with the reflection in the mirror more than ever before. I have healed myself – I’ve managed to train my mind the same way I train my body. Often times, we think we’re victims – to our past, to our current circumstances. But we’re capable of so much more! I stopped looking for love – and started simply giving it away to those who deserve it. For the first time in a long time, I am genuinely happy with my life – exactly where it is today, without wishing to change a single thing. And I happen to wholeheartedly agree with Audrey Hepburn – Happiest girls really are the prettiest.


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