No one would have called me an alcoholic, but quitting drinking changed my life

Image credit: Shutterstock - By MsMaria

Let me start by saying that I’m a guy that loves a drink. Whether it’s having a relaxed beer with myself after work or drinking shots of tequila with my friends on the weekend, I absolutely bask in the glory of hindering my senses.

But recently I noticed that perhaps I was drinking a little too much. My pot belly was massive and the amount of hangovers I was dealing wasn’t conducive to high work performance.

That’s what having 30 drinks a week will do for you. Not exactly healthy.

So I decided that enough is enough and gave up alcohol for one month.

Here’s how it changed my life:

I never had a day off work

I work online so I generally don’t have days off – unless, of course, I’m hungover. So considering that I gave up drinking, hangovers were unable to stop me. I was working consistently every single day.

Did I get more work done? Probably, and I was producing higher quality work as well.

My body feels healthier

Too much alcohol definitely has a way of making your stomach feel bloated and your body feel weak.

I’d gained 8 kilos in 6 months, and most of that weight went straight to my stomach.

Now I don’t feel so bloated. Hangovers were the main reason I wouldn’t exercise during the day, so that didn’t stop me anymore.

I’ve been exercising nearly every day and my body feels awesome.

I’ve already lost a couple kilos and I can feel the muscle piling on my body much quicker than it used to.

I realized that I suck at socializing

Besides the fact that I love having beer to relax after finishing work, I also use alcohol to help me socialize. I find it fun and energizing.

But without alcohol, socializing became difficult. I was boring and didn’t have much to offer any conversation.

Does this mean that alcohol made me better at interacting others? No, but it provided the illusion that it did.

In reality, I was still the same old, boring person. No wonder I’m still single!

All of this made me realize one thing: I’m a boring person and I’ve been relying on alcohol to make me interesting.

This is a great learning experience. Socialization is a key part of being human and I need to make myself and my life more interesting. I’ve been stuck in routines and need to try new things and expand my knowledge.

I’m currently traveling while working and I have the opportunity to meet lots of interesting people, so it’s time to saddle up and make an effort.

I lost 5 kgs

Yep, one month of no alcohol made me lose weight, mostly around my stomach. I’m not the type of person that easily loses weight, so 5 kgs is a shit ton for me.

It’s remarkable how bad beer must be your waist line!

I ate healthier

Because I was watching what I was drinking, it made me watch what I was eating, too. I’m sure that this helped me lose weight and feel heathier as well.

I don’t about you, but usually when I’m drinking beer, I’m not afraid to have a side of french fries as well.

Here’s why I’ll never binge drink again

After doing research, I believe the real problem with alcohol is binge drinking. Having 1-2 drinks is usually fine, but it’s the binge drinking that really gets you.

First, there are short-term effects. We’ve all experienced those hangovers that literally make you incapable of functioning. But nobody talks about the long-term effects of consistently binge drinking.

According to Health Hub, drinking alcohol excessively for a long period of time can lead to serious problems with your digestive system, brain damage, heart and kidney troubles and liver disease. Watching this video from a psychiatrist on alcohol addiction is scary enough:

Here’s my plan now

This experiment taught me a lot. Life without alcohol is healthier, productive and eye-opening. I realized what problems alcohol was masking and what I need to do to improve myself and be happy.

I have learned that moderation is the way to go. It’s definitely fine to drink, but you need to learn to control yourself.

However, I’m still going to completely cut alcohol out of my life. There are too many benefits not too 🙂

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Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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