I didn’t drink during the entire month of January (except for the 1st when I had 5 margaritas…), and I’m not sure that it had the benefits I was expecting. Sure, I spent less money on alcohol. Sure, I used less calories on alcohol. But I didn’t spend less, and I didn’t lose a ton of weight. So aside from not having to deal with the horrible hangovers that come with being over the age of 25, the thing I got most out of my sober January was my newfound lightweight status.
So it’s halfway through February and I think I’ve discovered the trick to being a happy drunk. The secret: minimize your tolerance.
Yep, it’s that easy. I know what you’re thinking… but Jenn, you love going out for drinks! I know I know.
Last weekend, my mother came down to hang out. After seeing a movie (On the Basis of Sex – see it), we went to Top of the Hub (because we were feeling fancy) and got espresso martinis. After only about half of my martini, I looked out the giant windows at the city of Boston, fifty something floors below, and thought, “well, this is blurry”. I blinked my eyes to focus, but couldn’t quite get there. Drunk after half a drink… lovely!
I should’ve known to expect that, though, considering that my first drink after not drinking for a month hit me hard too, and it was a hard cider during the Super Bowl.
It’s funny because while there were definitely moments in January when I’d wished I could have a drink, as soon as the month ended I didn’t rush to have one. I didn’t really want one. I’m not going to say that it was because I felt any type of way not drinking. I don’t think I noticed much of a difference in how I felt. Honestly, I probably slept worse than I would’ve after a glass or two of wine. But I just didn’t have much interest.
So I’ve decided I will only drink when I want to.
Much of the time I feel like I’d been drinking because I was out with friends, and it’s what we were doing. Or I was at a restaurant for dinner and I thought why not get a glass (or bottle) of wine. And even then, I would absolutely drink more than I needed to. Just because. I’m not great at portion control or moderation. Probably one of the reasons I’m on this weight loss journey to being with.
The “do it if you want to” approach is something I’m trying to bring into all aspects of my life. Not that I do much that I don’t want to do normally because as my mom says, I’m “determined, not stubborn”, but the idea is to be more present and purposeful in what it is I’m choosing to do and doing things because I want to versus it being out of habit or obligation.
And with alcohol… I’ve decided that this approach is going to help me so exactly what I set out to do by doing Sober January: save calories and save money. Tipsy after one drink, really feeling it after two… that’s $10-28 depending on how boujee the bar I’m at is. Much less expensive than when I used to throw back five cocktails plus an app and dinner after work on a Wednesday because I knew the bartender and named the drink! (RIP Firebrand)
If saving money and calories doesn’t make me a happy drunk, I’m not sure what will… Definitely not gin. We all know that despite how much I love it, it makes me cry.