Going into this challenge, I'd persuaded myself that it really wasn't going to be a big deal. After all, I don't really drink much during the week, so if I just find a way to get through weekends without booze, it'll be a snap. Right?
Not so much.
I'm having a rough week. It's all First World problems, so I won't bore you with them, but my stress levels have been high and energy is low. And what I guess I didn't realize -- or maybe just didn't want to admit -- is that I turn to beer as a chill-out more than I realize. I'm not saying I'm pounding "on a Tuesday," but those ones and twos over the week can add up. And there were at least three evenings this week where I would've really appreciated a pop.
Worse, however, is the part I really could have seen coming: the weekend. Often, the weekend is the time where I feel like I can cut loose, relax, let go of some of life's little worries and enjoy some beers. And this is the kind of week where my strategy for getting through it is looking forward to quittin' time on Friday.
Not this weekend.
This weekend is going to be the challenge. Where can I turn for that stress relief? Exercise? Maybe, but it's going to have to happen indoors -- it's freezing out! Other interests? Considering that next on the list is cooking, perhaps not -- replacing my beer calories with food calories isn't much of an improvement. Catch up on sleep? Sure, but I can't stay in bed all weekend.
A recent study says that people tend to drink more on the days they exercise. And one hypothesis for why is that you have more time for both of those activities on the weekend. I'll buy that -- there has been many a long-run day where I "reward" myself with a few delicious craft brews.
As I said to my friend Dan yesterday, it'll probably be good for me to learn how to cope with a week like the one I'm having without turning to booze. That said, I was hoping that by this time, I'd be feeling better and more energetic than I normally do, and that's just not the case. I was hoping that I wouldn't be sweating a dry weekend, and that's not the case. I was hoping that I'd feel glad that I took on this challenge, and I honestly can't say that's the case.
But I've made a commitment, and I've made it public. I was looking forward to doing this challenge, and I'm still committed to it. So I'll check in again in a week or so and let you know if anything's changed. I have to think it's going to get better.
I know a few of my friends -- any Regular Guys? -- have taken on this challenge, too, I'd love to hear from you, too. How are you feeling? How bad is the suck? Are you going to make it for 30 days? Comment below, on Facebook or on Twitter.