As some of you know, I did a post not too long ago about how I quit smoking. 2018 seems to be a year of change for me as I have put another habit I had wanted to quit to rest; alcohol. I’ve found that despite the title of this post, that I had a harder time kicking booze than cigs. Today I’ll give you guys a recap on why I decided to give up the sauce and how I decided to make it final.
I first want to say that I am not against alcohol or its consumption. I don’t judge people do drink. I personally do not like the person I am when drinking, nor do I want to have the health problems it causes. If you are a responsible drinker, by all means, do you. This is more of a personal problem I have with alcohol and my reflection on it.
I started drinking before I was 18 years old. Random keggers in the woods with friends while drinking shitty warm beer was all fun. Been to college parties, tailgates, house parties, concerts, etc. Even developed a pretty alarming habit when I started my new job in 2017 where I was drinking a few nights a week. As with smoking, after a while I decided that I didn’t even enjoy it the way I used to anymore.
A big catalyst to my quitting was my health. Ever since I seriously decided to do bodybuilding, I knew that I was fucking myself by drinking. Not only does excess alcohol up your estrogen slightly, but all the extra carbs and calories are no good when trying to get jacked. Not to say you cant have drinks and get huge, but its much easier to lean out and keep gains without having all that excess. Combine that with the food I have to eat for muscle growth, and alcohol has no place for me. As I said, you can count macros and drink and still get big, but its just something I don’t want to worry about.
Outside of the gym, there were other health factors. I was sleeping like shit after a night of drinking. Drinking then getting up to hit the gym at 3:45am meant my lifts were shit and motivation in the toilet. Also, I realized that when drinking, my overall mental mood was fucked up for days after. My body felt like shit too. I seriously asked myself “why the fuck do I do this?”
Finally, there had been some times I did embarassing things when drunk. These always hit me the hardest. Worse than the health issues, the sting of acting like a complete fucktard in public (while only a few cases, enough to make me want to give it up) is what really made me want to quit.
As with the way I quit smoking, quitting drinking was done the same way. As I said above I found quitting alcohol harder than smoking. Everyone knows smoking is dirty, unhealthy, and kills you. The social acceptance of alcohol is much different. There are people who think you cannot have a social gathering without booze. As stated, I am completely aware of this, and will not avoid social situations where alcohol is being served. Instead, I’m going to just enjoy the event for what it is. That said, it can be strange to be the only sober person at a social event, though I view it the same way as smoking, as in I personally have achieved something great. Lou Skunt left me with these words regarding the social aspect of drinking:
There is so much life to be lived and so much money to be made! – you don’t need those people. They don’t pay your bills – don’t let them shape your future!
Cant argue with that logic.
Inspired by Allan Carr’s easy way method, I just evaluated what alcohol gave me, and why I liked drinking. It added little value to my life and each drink I took just enabled the next one. The same friend who recommended the Allan Car book for smoking is one I made a pact with to quit drinking as he quit weed. Helps to have a person with you but you can do it alone. My wife continues to have alcohol and that is perfectly fine. She can have 2 drinks and be fine with that. I am a different beast, and I know it, so none for me.
Overall I just feel healthier. Granted my drinking had been regulated back to just Friday or Saturday nights, but I am just over it all. I’m sleeping better. I went down a pants size. I’m killing it in the gym. I feel much more hydrated and skin feels less dry. I just generally feel less bloated and seem to have way more energy. Im hoping that cutting the booze will push my fat loss into the range WB and I have at around 10-12% bodyfat (at 13.5 now.)
After 13+ years of moderate to heavy drinking, I’ve finally kicked the habit. I feel the same way I did when quitting smoking, that overall “Im good without this” feeling. Things change as you get older. Activities you were all about become things you just don’t enjoy anymore. If you’re looking to quit drinking, just make sure you’re 100% real with yourself. Tell yourself you’ve finished your last drink, and reap the benefits.