why i quit drinking alcohol
A little over two years ago, I quit drinking alcohol and I wanted to talk about it on here for a couple of reasons. First of all, I think its something that not a lot of people talk about! Society has made it so that drinking alcohol is the norm, and not drinking is unusual, or even taboo. Second of all, maybe it will make someone out there consider the lifestyle they are living, and whether or not there is something about it that they can change sooner rather than later. I, personally, remember reading this blog post SEVEN YEARS AGO, and wish that I, myself, had taken action at that point.
I feel like all my life, I couldn't wait for the day that I could [insert any "big" life moment here], and drinking alcohol was one of those things. I grew up with alcohol as just a normal part of life- countless "happy hours" after the beach, after a day of golf, just randomly; family and holiday parties and listening to conversations about who was in charge of bringing the wine; watching my two older sisters go through high school and college while I was still a little kid; seeing everyone seem so happy and having [what seemed like] so much fun drinking in real life, on TV shows, movies, etc.... it really was just a part of life- it was everywhere, all the time.
I drank alcohol in high school, in college, and throughout my twenties. I guess that it loosened me up, made me not so uptight, made me not care so much about anything. It also made me feel out of control of my emotions, my behaviors, my words, my reactions, my thoughts, my behaviors, my eating, my health, MYSELF. I didn't realize it at the time, but it turned me into someone I truly was not. At this time, I also didn't care one bit about nutrition. Did I hate my body? YES. Did I want to lose weight and get in shape? YES. Did I do anything to change the way I was feeling? NOPE. I didn't think about the calories or carbohydrates that were in whatever I was drinking. I didn't care about the foods I would eat while or after I was drinking. I didn't care that the next day I wouldn't even move my body much because I had basically poisoned it with what I did eat and drink- I would probably just eat more junky food because deep down I knew I was completely out of control anyways. I just didn't care. Looking back at it now, I hated myself then. So much. For so long. And it makes me sad.
BUT, IT'S OK because over two years ago now, I decided to change everything. I was already about 2 years into my "fitness" journey at that point. I had spent a year learning how to lift, and a year Crossfitting, and I was finally feeling "fit". I knew that the one thing holding me back was my nutrition, and the fact that I wasn't taking it as seriously as I was taking my training. Yes, I was definitely eating 1,000 times better, but I knew my diet was holding me back. I knew that I could feel, perform, and look the way I always *wanted* to deep down, but hadn't yet taken the strides necessary to actually do so. That was when I decided to stop making excuses, stop living in denial, and to learn how to eat. I started following a meal plan, and with that, I cut out alcohol completely. Just like that. At age 30. It was so easy for me because I was no longer in denial, and for the first time in my life, completely 100% honest with myself. Up until this time, denial was at the root of all of my unhealthy choices in all aspects of my life. Now, I knew what macronutrients my body needed to do it's job and to get me to my goals. I knew that not providing my body with what it needed (either by eating insufficient macros or excess macros), I wasn't going to get where I wanted to be. I knew that drinking alcohol would stall my progress physically and mentally, and it was simply no longer worth it to me.
Ordering seltzer or Diet Coke when Mike and I were out to dinner, having something other than alcohol at happy hour, it all became a no brainer to me. I did get many questions, comments, and looks from fellow diners, bartenders, friends and family, like they just didn't get it. They would ask me how long I was going to not be drinking, they asked if I would still drink on (insert any occasion), almost as if it made them really uncomfortable having me around not drinking alcohol. But I did not care. I did not let it make me feel weird. Mike helped me make it not feel weird because he didn't care at all (he was probably just happy to be saving tons of money on expensive drinks!!) Over time, the questions and looks stopped. My favorite bartenders would fill me a giant seltzer without even asking, and my family would offer me an array of non-alcoholic drinks. Every now and then, when we are around new people, I get questions or looks of disbelief (which I think is so strange because I would never ask someone about their alcohol drinking habits), but I simply don't care.
It is no coincidence that the past two years have been the best, most fulfilling, most focused, stress free, happy years of my life. I have been completely present in everything that I have done and gone through. I feel a huge sense of clarity about who I am as a person, who I want to spend my time with, and my energy on. I have been the absolute bravest and best version of myself. I have become empowered, and proud of the person I am. I have learned how to handle emotions, negativity, responsibilities, and adversity in a way that I could never have before. I have finally learned who "Lindsay" really is and I think she is really great.