Why I’m giving up alcohol for 12 months

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Giving up alcohol for an extended period of time is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time – usually on days when I’m extremely hungover – but until now I never followed through with it. I felt like it was getting to the point where I couldn’t have fun unless I was drinking and I could never just stop at one drink. I’ve never been one to drink every night but I would drink at least one night every 1-2 weeks and could never just stop at a few drinks. This would then lead to me feeling tired, bloated, moody and worst of all unmotivated for days afterward. I feel like alcohol was one of the major things that was holding me back from taking the steps needed to achieve my goals, which include updating this blog regularly.

So on the 27th of February my friend Jess (co-creator of Your Spicy Life) and I agreed to embark on 12 months of no drinking together.

In order to hold ourselves accountable, we have made a promise on the awesome website ‘Promise or Pay’ to not drink for 12 months otherwise we must pay $500 to our chosen charities.

Jess and I would also like to encourage you to join us in taking a break from the booze! It doesn’t have to be for 12 months. It can be for whatever period of time works for you. Jay the creator of Promise or Pay was kind enough to create this page for us were you can make your promise to take a break from alcohol or pay your chosen amount to a charity of your choice. You’ll then get a link to share with your friends and family where they can donate to your chosen charity and cheer you on.

We’ve also created this Facebook group that you can join where we can all support each other and maybe even make some new friends.

Below are a few benefits I hope to see after not drinking for a while, in fact I’ve started seeing some of these benefits already!

  • weight loss
  • having a clearer mind
  • gaining at least one extra productive day per week
  • saving money
  • improved energy
  • more motivation and clarity to set and achieve your goals
  • learning how to be confident in social situations without alcohol
  • increased focus and mental stamina
  • improved mood and reduced anxiety and depression caused by alcohol
  • giving your liver a break
  • lowered cholesterol
  • better sleep

For those interested, you can support me in this promise by making a donation to my chosen charity Assistance Dogs Australia through this link If I break my promise (and I promise I won’t) your donation will not go through and I will pay $500 to the charity. Once I complete the 12 months of no drinking your donation will go through. So my goal is to raise well over $500 for Assistance Dogs Australia by the end of the 12 months.

Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Is taking a break from alcohol something you’ve thought about doing for a while? If it is what’s been stopping you? Or if you are someone who doesn’t drink or doesn’t feel the need to drink often or in social situations what benefits have you seen? Or what advice could you offer those of us who are struggling with taking a break from it?

PS: Here is a little bit of info that Jess has put together on the effect alcohol has on your body:

The Impact Alcohol Has on Your Body
Jessica Stacey

Alcohol affects some key neurotransmitters (naturally occurring brain chemicals that sends signals from your nerve cells to a specific target cell that tells it how to act) by suppressing glutamate, the neurotransmitter that gives you energy to do the things you love and by increasing the neurotransmitter GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) which slows down your functioning so you become more forgetful and sleepy (blame GABA for that time you fell asleep in a bar or when you forgot your wallet!)

It also increases dopamine which targets the reward center of the brain to turn on your feel good endorphins in the same way caffeine and sugar do to a smaller extent and cocaine, methamphetamine and nicotine do to a (potentially) larger extent.

While alcohol leaves you feeling relaxed initially, after the effects wear off the next day, your body starts to crave dopamine again, one of the reasons you feel hungover and sometimes even anxious or depressed. This is why some consider another alcoholic drink to be one of the best hangover cures because it gives the brain another hit of dopamine. Not that we recommend this at all!

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