5. Get all the Benefits of Giving Up Drinking Alcohol

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.― Edmund Hillary

After the initial month during which I wasn’t totally convinced if I was going to succeed in giving up drinking alcohol, I’d started to notice how much healthier I felt. I noticed that I’d started losing weight was down from 82kg to about 78.5g without really doing anything other than cutting alcohol out of my diet and going to a weekly salsa class.

Losing weight without trying

In the first month I lost 3-4kg. Now this was a bonus and one I hadn’t expected, so was yet another positive to add to my increasing list of positive reasons for giving up drink.

The weight kept dropping off until I reached a point where I’d lost 7kg by just stopping drinking. I felt the fittest in years, I hadn’t needed a weight loss plan, and I didn’t even anticipate that I would lose weight.

More health benefits

Other health benefits started to become more obvious. First off my skin started to feel fresher and more alive, was certainly pinker and healthier looking. I suffered from teenage acne and for the last 15 years had always suffered a bit of dry skin and eczema. Within 2 months of stopping my eczema had shrunk completely, so I was left with a tiny bit on my hands and leg, instead of all over my lower legs and wrists.

This natural detox and cleansing of my system was amazing. I felt as if a blanket had been lifted off of me. I felt I could do anything. With the salsa classes I’d gained loads of confidence and was now starting to believe that more or less anything was possible. What I didn’t fully appreciate were the significant health benefits when giving up drink.

The following are all reduced when you give up drinking for just one month:

  • Cholesterol
  • Liver fat
  • Weight
  • Glucose

Source: http://www.healthline.com/health/quit-drinking-alcohol-for-a-month#2

I went to the doctor and got my cholesterol levels checked out. Great, they were low (3 mmol/L). Unfortunately I had never checked them before, when I used to drink, so I can’t say for definite what the change was. But I’ve since read that giving up drink can drastically lower your cholesterol levels.

Better sleep, more energy levels

I’ve always been reasonably good at getting up in the morning. I enjoy going to bed late, but I like to get up early, the afternoons are something else. That is siesta time. Without the drink though, there were no hangovers, no days wasted lying in bed trying to shift a hangover. Those days were behind me, long gone. Now I hop out of bed at 6 on a week day and much the same on the weekend. My body is used to it now. Energy levels are so much higher – if I could bottle it and sell it, I’d be a millionaire. Although in my life now I feel I have made it already. Not financially, but in terms of the quality of my life.

Learning from this experience has taught me one thing: to believe in myself. I knew in my heart that I could do it, but making that jump and actually doing it, is the thing that I thought I could never do.

New family life keeps me busy

Now I have a wife and child and we’re in a fabulous relationship that just couldn’t have existed before. I was the most argumentative person in the world with just a couple of beers inside me. I was unreasonable and hard to live with, to say the least.

I sometimes wonder what I could have done had I given up alcohol earlier. I had a lot of adventures and life would have turned out differently. Who knows? I wake at night and sometimes smile, because I managed to break a habit and everything has turned out so much for the better.

I couldn’t be happier

My 5 steps were more like 5 phases of my life as I went through the process of detox and stopping drinking. For me they worked, they helped me to think about the process, why I was doing it and what did I hope to achieve at the end of it.

The process of writing up about it after all these  years later I find myself happier than ever that I went through the process and weaned myself off alcohol. For me now, life is so much fuller more fun and happier without alcohol. I’m glad I was able to break free.

I was lucky that I wasn’t more reliant on alcohol. Some people are and they experience withdrawal symptoms when coming off alcohol. It’s important that you talk to your doctor if you’re in this position.

My diary still helps me

I still keep my diary and sometimes take time to read through notes I made years ago. The notes I made then help put things into perspective. I could see at times I really struggled to break the habit and on occasions I was close to relapsing, though I never did. Something I’m really proud of and something that continues to push me into the future knowing that I won’t need alcohol to get me where I’m heading to.

My blog is here to help you too

I really hope that if you’ve found my blog about giving up drinking useful and inspiring! If you’re in a similar position then I hope you gain something positive from my own experience. If you do and you’d like to write a comment then please do, your positive comments will add a richness that others will benefit from too.

Thank you for reading this today – please add your comment to the growing list, so that others can benefit from your experiences too! I recommend this book, ‘Feel the Fear and do it Anyway, by Susan Jeffers’, as it has helped to further develop my inspiration to succeed.
<!–P.S. Looking for more inspiration? Check out Amazon’s latest Best Sellers List of self-help books.–>

Don’t forget, it’s never too late to make a start on the next chapter of your life.

Quick jump to the other steps:

  1. Overcome Denial
  2. Getting Support
  3. Rewarding Yourself
  4. Change Your Life
  5. Reap The Benefits

…and these are the book references that have helped me write this blog:

  1. Awaken the Giant Within, Tony Robbins – Buy on Amazon US/GB
  2. Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential, Carol Dweck – Buy on Amazon US/GB
  3. Feel The Fear, Susan Jeffers – Buy on Amazon US/GB
  4. Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl – Buy on Amazon US/GB
  5. S.U.M.O (Shut Up, Move On), Paul McGee – Buy on Amazon US/GB

861 thoughts on “5. Get all the Benefits of Giving Up Drinking Alcohol”

  1. Hi,
    I have toggled back and forth for over a year–do I have a problem with alcohol or not? I have cut back from about 24 glasses of wine to about 9 per week over the past six months. Sadly, I keep trying to quit but everyone I know drinks. I don’t have one sober friend. I started regular drinking white wine at night in my 40s after back surgery to help with chronic pain. Fast forward to age 57 and I got two rare forms of breast cancer. Clearly it would be better for my health if I could convince myself I need to give it up entirely.

    My husband drinks and most of our friends are moderate, some heavy drinkers. I need support that is private but do not feel comfortable going to AA meetings. Not sure what category I fit in (alcoholic? Heavy? Moderate?). How can I get support I need and remain anonymous? My husband is fine about the evenings I choose not to drink, but he doesn’t think I have a problem. As I said before- I am still not sure if I need to quit—but having said that I drank three glasses of wine last night while he was out for an evening of surf fishing. Any real suggestions you have would be helpful.

    Like

    1. Hi Barbara, It is very difficult for someone else to answer your question, “Do I have a problem with alcohol or not?”
      I think the only person that can really, and truly answer that one is yourself.

      If you are of the mind that your drinking is more than you would like it to be, but find it hard to moderate, (I was in this situation) then the answer is probably yes, you do have a problem.
      Whereas if you find it easy to moderate your drinking, and don’t feel any cravings or sense of loss when going without for several days (or weeks) then you could probably say that you don’t really have a drink problem.

      I think much of it is down to individual perspective.

      Many people drink excessively and beyond, without ever thinking that they have a drink problem, and there are many others who drink extremely moderately who do believe themselves to have a drink problem.

      Whichever answer you decide suits your own lifestyle, I DO know from my own experience that giving up drinking can only enhance your life, alcohol does not bring the confidence and happiness that we are brainwashed into believing it does. This can take while of going without to truly take on board. Quitting drinking alcohol would bring many good and positive changes to your life.

      Alcohol takes a great deal from us, and gives us virtually nothing in return.

      One of the main hurdles to quitting, as many people have found out, is the attitude of others. It takes a while to learn how to deal with this, different people will deal with it in ways which they find suits them best, after a while I just started telling people that I had made a lifestyle choice, and left it at that, it became unimportant to me what anyone else thought or said regarding my decision.

      Should you decide that you would like to quit drinking, then there is a wealth of information, useful advice, and support in the pages of this blog, also check out anything you can find online to help you through the initial stages and beyond.

      I am now almost 17 months sober, and nothing could ever convince me to return to being a drinker now, I have gained so much more from life than I had before.

      The first six months of my own sobriety are posted on this blog, if you would be interested in reading it you can find the first post here:-

      https://stopping-drinking.com/living-without-alcohol-a-diary-of-life-outside-the-pitcher-plant/comment-page-1/#comments

      I hope my reply was of some help to you.

      My very best wishes.

      Steve Green.

      Like

      1. Hi Steve, i would love for you to email me from time to time,I stopped 1 week ago tomorrow, suffer from anciety that was the reason wine became my friend, I thought. I would drink 3 or more glasses a night to forget my pain. worked for about 2 or 3 hours, ying in bed for hours with no sleep. my husband brought it to my attention , i felt no compassion from him or support. he is a great man but I felt cause he could not drink anymore that he judged me.I need as much support as I can get. could you email me and guide me where I need to go? thank you Christine

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    2. Buy the book or audiobook “The 30-Day Sobriety Solution” It has transformed my relationship with alcohol, I can not recommend it enough – honestly.
      Good luck to you – I wish the very best on your journey!

      Like

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