What Happens When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?
...By Choice, I Mean. Not Because of "an issue."
I remember years ago reading an interview with Jennifer Lopez where she was quoted as saying (I'm paraphrasing from memory), "I don't really drink. Maybe a few sips of champagne at a special event..."
In Jay Z's book, Decoded, he talks about getting bonkers high with Biggie once when they met to record a track and he had a realization. He knew he was out of it (and didn't like that) went upstairs, sobered up and thought, then and there, never again. He wants to be sharp, aware, in control of all his faculties so he can make the most of all his situations and opportunities (and look where it's gotten him!).
In Tim Ferris's book Tools of Titans, Laird Hamilton says he would tell his younger self, "stop drinking, stop drinking right now!"
Tom Ford is quoted in Esquire DEC/JAN 2018, discussing that after leaving Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent to start his own company (2004), "I could not juggle all of the things that I do now if I were still drinking...clarity in the mornings was a great surprise."
Since starting down this path, myself, I've noticed other notables saying similar. From celebs to business leaders to guru types.
Now I know why.
Quitting booze...by choice. I'm personally in this club since June 2016. And, just...wow. It's revolutionized my being. In so many positive ways.
So...what happens when you quit drinking alcohol?
Profound changes in lifestyle, health, sleep, weight, socializing, goals, focus and happiness!
You're on your game.
Clear. Astute. Focused. Healthy.
Large and in charge, baby.
1. WAKE UP AWAKE and NEED LESS SLEEP
There is less grogginess about getting out of bed. This is likely due to sleeping more soundly - I don't generally wake up in the middle of the night parched / dehydrated or needing to use the bathroom. I'm refreshed, my body has re-energized while I was dormant (rather than worked to cleanse out poison). At the beginning of my alcohol abstinence, I was sleeping a lot less and wanting to hop up super early and DO STUFF! Then I settled back into my "normal" 6-8 hours-ish but it generally leans towards shaving an hour off of how long I used to sleep.
2. STOP SWEATING / SLEEPING HOT AT NIGHT
HOLY HELL. Sometimes I used to wake up drenched in sweat. I didn’t realize that was a cleanse struggle, I just figured I "slept hot." I thought - I’m so sorry, my body, to have done this to you for 20 years! It's gone, completely gone. I don't sweat at night anymore.
3. WEIGHT JUST FALLS OFF
Such a nice perk. Better sleep, eating less, exercising more. Duh, for sure. But before all those things were more of a chore, you know? Now they are just part of the regular "me." Such as...
4. BE LESS HUNGRY
Not sure why but I get full faster and am just not as hungry. Another mark on the "staying fit" checklist of cutting out (or way back on) alcohol.
5. EXERCISE MORE
All that free time, you know? Might as well kill some of it at the bikram studio. There is an urge to stay fit and healthy...it feels so good.
6. HOTTER / BETTER SEX
If you and your partner both don't drink alcohol (as a lifestyle, not, like, just for a night) - the awareness, the presence, the senses, all the bodily functions are hyper-intense and functioning, compared with when you are a drinker. GET IT.
7. LOTS MORE FREE TIME
Whether it's after work or at brunch, once you start drinking, production stops. Now I have so much free time. I'm blazing through books. I launched Lovage Inc. I have an active rock band. All my clients and projects get more attention. My house is really clean. Etc. 😊
8. LOTS MORE ENERGY
Don't drag and get fatigured in the same way. What a feeling! Personally, I'd consumed alcohol somewhat for my entire adult life (20+ years!) and had never dried out completely so not experienced this level of energy and awareness before.
9. CLARITY OF MIND
I'm clean, clear, focused, alert, aware. More confident and less self conscious. Funny because traditionally we drink to feel that way. But the clarity and awareness - it makes me feel so calm and with it. And...powerful. To do. To create. To interact. To engage.
10. FEEL THE FEELINGS MORE
As in - emotions are not so dramatic and I'm more empathetic. Both pluses in my quest to be calm, assured and happy. I genuinely laugh again. Sad to say but I'd stopped laughing. I mean, I laughed but not authentic, joyful, heartfelt-response laughter.
11. FACE SPOTS LIGHTEN UP
Quickly. Like, within a few weeks I noticed that old freckles turning into age spots were lightening up a bit and I had a big 💡 moment. I realized - oh my god, age spots are often referred to as liver spots!! Your liver’s job is to detoxify. Mine is doing its job now without impediment.
12. SAVE TONS OF MONEY
Dang. Cocktails and glasses of wine at dinner add up. The money savings is pretty huge. You can pretty much plan on your meal bill being halved or more.
13. STAY IN CONTROL
The chance of doing or saying regrettable things drops by about 95%. You are there, listening, paying attention. Not spouting off or flailing about willy nilly. You won't wobble and sway when you walk. You won't get the spins. You won't be puking in a public toilet or find your self helpless on a dirty floor. You won't start fights over nothing or yell in your outdoor voice, indoors. You won't have wild emotional highs and lows or be as reactive when something excites or upsets you. You'll remember everything that happens. 😀
14. BECOME SUPER AWARE THAT ALCOHOL IS FREAKIN' EVERYWHERE
So prevalent that almost all events, meet ups and experiences are centered around it. People talk about nursing cocktails or having their twelve pack with them like a proud parent. We all happily share getting bombed on our socials and it is applauded. So many businesses make their living off of alcohol sales and promotion. Not to mention lawsuits and recovery centers. It's big business.
Do all your social activities revolve around alcohol? By societal default?
I mean, I knew this but with a sober eye I really see it. Alcohol is...EVERYWHERE. ALL. THE. TIME. And though it causes much strife with addiction, injury and death, society still wholeheartedly encourages ample drinking.
It seems strange, and sometimes absurd, to me now - watching the prevalence of people willingly nursing this stuff which makes them sick, weak, and less than all they can be.
Most of the population is perma-compromised. Dulled. What a shame - one life, baby! Feel it.
What could YOU do at full capacity? 💪🏻
Watch the video below for an even more in-depth analysis. Details on everything listed above plus thoughts on why we have such a drinking culture and how to navigate our drinking world as an abstainer. 🌿
Familiar Faces :
• 60 CELEBS who don't drink alcohol
I like to post this blog or the YouTube Vid a couple times a year and it is a somewhat taboo topic, apparently. I always get a few private messages about it but rarely public commentary.
So... Questions? Personal tales? Want a pep talk? HOLLER AT ME : firstname.lastname@example.org Happy to chat about it.