After 69 days, I am no longer on the sober path, leaving everyone with a few lingering questions. What happened? Why do it in the first place? Do you feel like you failed? What did you learn? I plan to answer all of these questions in this post.
Fortunately, this is the most exciting part of the post for me. I think one of the common themes of this blog is living life intentionally. Whatever decisions we make, just be an informed consumer. Spend money or perform exercises with intention. This decision is much the same. From the start the intention was clear and when it ended, it was just as intentional. I actually was on vacation with my girlfriend and we were in Savannah, Georgia. This place will be very special to us since this is the place that I asked her to marry me and spend the rest of our lives together! Breaking the streak was more about wanting to celebrate this once in a lifetime moment with the person that I can’t wait to continue on this journey together. That is the simple reason why I chose to end my challenge.
Why do it in the first place?
Just a quick reminder of why I did this in the first place. The challenge of not consuming something for a month seemed like a great start to me, but it did not push the needle in my opinion. Trying to not consume alcohol for 365 days seemed like much a greater challenge for me. From the start, 365 days was the goal, but the purpose was to challenge myself to push the limits in my life. In this case it was alcohol consumption, in the future, who knows what other areas in my life I will look to improve.
Do you feel like a failure?
I think this may be a common question that people think about when a goal is not reached. To answer the question, no I do not feel like I failed. There are so many things that I learned about myself throughout this process. I think you have to re-frame what you think of when you think of the term failure. Did I fail to reach my goal of not drinking for 365 days? Yes, I did, but that was not the reason that I was attempting this goal. My goal was to challenge myself and to learn from this experience. In that aspect, I learned more about myself than I ever thought I would and it certainly was a challenge for me (and my fiancé).
What did you learn?
There are a few key takeaways from this experience. The main thing that I learned would be that any pressure that I felt was all internal. I think less people noticed or asked about it than I had expected. The pressure to have a drink was all internal and that was a very interesting part of this whole process. I never once had someone try and pressure me into having a drink. Not one person cared that I was or was not drinking. In my head, I felt “left out” at times, but this feeling was again all internal.
I think I also learned that you can have the same experiences with or without alcohol. I know that this may seem very silly to have learned, but you will have the same experience at a party or cookout if you have a few drinks or if you have zero. Nothing changes but the way you feel the next day.
Exercising and body composition seemed to have changed for the positive during this process. My body fat percentage plummeted and I felt better at my workouts than I had when I was drinking. These are just some happy side effects to the whole process but I will keep these in mind when I want to slim down or tone up. (like for a wedding!)
Would you do it again?
Lastly, I have a feeling that this won’t be the last time that I try this. I did feel better and did see positive results both physically and mentally. It may be similar to the first time that I fasted where you make it 36 hours and feel like you are going to die and then the next time you try it; 48 hours seems to be pretty easy. I think that it was a very good effort for the first try and I imagine that I will follow up on this goal in the future.
Thank you for those that followed me during this journey! Please reach out to me on Instagram @moneyandimage to ask other questions and I will be glad to answer!