19 July 2017 · posted in wellbeing
Before you start making faces and think that I was an alcoholic in a previous life, I was not. In fact, I was never a big drinker. When I went out with friends I would occasionally have a fruit beer or when we went dancing I would have some cocktails but I was never into wine, real beer, champagne or anything stronger (like Whisky). Whatever strong alcohol (Vodka) I did consume had to be masked by tons of sugar (mostly RedBull) so I couldn't taste the alcohol anymore. Then I started wondering ... if it doesn't taste good and if you don't like the feeling of not being completely in control of your body, even for just a little bit, why drink it? So a little over three years ago, I quit alcohol and I think that little milestone deserves an update. Before we jump in I want to clarify: I don't judge you if you drink! This is just my story with my choices.
DO YOU MISS IT?
Not one bit! If we go out for drinks I will mostly order a mocktail, which in my opinion always tasted better than "the real thing" (I love virgin mojito's that are made with either apple juice or Sprite!), frech orange juice (which is lovely but mostly too expensive for what you get) or a fizzy drink like Appletiser, Agrum or Iced Tea which I only drink when I'm out anyway so that already feels like a treat!
DO PEOPLE STILL LOOK AT YOU WEIRD?
The remarks, the rolling eyes and the "Are you pregnant?" questions of most people have stopped for the simple reason that after three years everybody that is in my circle knows that I don't drink alcohol. Occasionally I'll get a remark from someone I've recently met or one of my new colleagues but it's gotten much less frequent (and less annoying!) than in the beginning.
DO PEOPLE STILL TRY TO CONVINCE YOU TO DRINK?
Sadly, yes. Most of the times this happens it's just out of politeness that either friends or family members will ask if I want a glass of Cava too. I think they know the answer before I tell them, but for some reason they feel obliged to ask every single time. But that doesn't really bother me because I know they just mean well. Some other friends/colleagues though, jokingly say that they will get me to drink one day and those comments make me really mad. If or when I ever drink alcohol again it'll be because I choose to, not because somebody else makes me. I just ignore those comments, laugh them off, but deep down I really don't agree with that kind of peer pressure and I have to bite my tongue to not respond.
DID YOU NOTICE ANY CHANGES IN YOUR BODY?
Honestly? No. When you're looking for a way to lose weight, quitting alcohol will not help you much. I do agree that it's an overall healthy choice and if you drink a lot of it, it can definitely hinder your weight loss, but don't quit alcohol just for the sake of weight loss.
SHOULD I QUIT ALCOHOL TOO?
That is completely up to you. The only thing I can say is: do what feels right for you. If you really enjoy your glass of wine or the occasional cocktail, don't give it up. Maybe just drink a little less and enjoy it more mindfully. Restricting things you love is, in the long run, not sustainable after all. It will only make you crave it more and that's when things go wrong. But if, like me, you feel like the only reason you're still drinking alcohol is peer pressure and social expectations: just quit. In the beginning you will get some annoying questions and comments but I promise, they will subside. Do what makes you happy and don't let others pressure you into something you don't feel comfortable with!