Saturday, February 21, 2015

How's My 30-Day Challenge Going?

Glad you asked.

To be honest, I don't know how things are going. It's been three weeks now, and I still can't say that I've found a rhythm to it. As I figured, Sunday through Thursday haven't been much different from my life before February. Yeah, that first week was awful -- not because I wasn't drinking, but just because it was an awful week, and I just kind of could've used a beer. But since then, going through my daily routine has been pretty much fine.

That brings us to the weekend. And really, what I never realized is how much of the social gap alcohol can fill.

  • When my wife is out with friends, I've found that I'd just as soon stay home, rather than hang out with the guys -- because that hanging usually involves a few cold pops. 
  • On Valentine's Day, we had a nice dinner out. But neither of us is interested in Fifty Shades of Grey, so there really weren't any movies to catch. Normally, we'd head to our local watering hole and enjoy a good conversation over a couple of drinks. That really wasn't in the cards. 
  • Earlier in the month, a friend and I caught a basketball game at Rutgers. We might have gotten a post-game nightcap, but he wasn't going to drink solo while I sipped water.
This is the longest stretch I've gone without a drink in a long, long time. What I have realized is that I don't need alcohol. It's not actually hard not to drink. It's been a little boring at times, but not actually difficult. 

On the other hand, I can't say that I've reaped any major benefit so far. I'd love to say that I'm full of energy and raring to go, but that hasn't been the case. I feel pretty much the same as I normally would. It's been nice avoiding the occasional hangover, but overall, I haven't noticed any physical differences. And I think my hopes of creating an additional calorie deficit were probably overly optimistic. Really, given the amount I drink normally, I'd likely be down only about 6000 calories over the course of the month. That's maybe 2 pounds, and doesn't even account for the high thermic effect of alcohol. (Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, but you spend 13 percent of those calories metabolizing it.)

Tonight is Saturday night, and it's snowing, so I'll likely be homebound and dry tonight. Next Sunday, I'm running a half-marathon, so Saturday would've been dry anyway. So if I manage tonight and Friday, I'm basically done.

And when I'm done, I'm done. One Regular Guy reader -- actually Regular Gal Liz Walter -- has said she may keep going into March. I wish her well, but I'm ready to get back to normal life.

These guys are waiting for me!

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