There are many things that I thought that I could not get through life without. Cheese, meat, bread, and alcohol are just a few things on that list. Small changes over time become major changes. May 24 marked the one year anniversary of me drinking my last drop of alcohol. While, I don't think I was an alcoholic, I definitely did abuse alcohol when I did drink. One year ago, I managed to get drunk and make myself sick, causing my friend to have to take care of me. It was an awful feeling. I used to be able to drink a lot but since my weight loss, it seems like I couldn't figure out how much alcohol my body could handle. I'm not here to make any excuses. This post is not meant to talk about my experiences with alcohol. It's about my experiences without alcohol.
At first it was a scary thought, terrifying. What would people think? Would they judge me when I say that I don't drink? What would I drink when I do go out? How could I go to a NASCAR race and not drink? That sounded insane to me. The reality is that I knew I liked being sober and fully enjoying all the activities that I participate in. So, as insurmountable as it seemed, I made the decision to stop drinking alcohol all together.
One thing I didn't consider at the time was that I already knew how to eliminate things from my diet that I thought I couldn't. As hard as it was, I managed to live through eliminating dairy. Then I got diagnosed with Celiac Disease. There goes anything with gluten. I had already been through this process twice already (removing meat and eggs came pretty soon after this). So, I decided to make the plunge. I didn't want to be the one that people had to take care of when it came to going out and having some drinks.
I can say that at first, it wasn't easy. It's weird going to a restaurant or bar and everyone is ordering alcohol, and I'm not. I felt even more weird when I would get put on the spot by being questioned about not drinking. My friends have always been very understanding and once I explain why I don't drink anymore, it's all good. Now they have a designated driver.
For the past four years, I've watched what goes into my body. Very rarely would I drink during the week, I never wanted to consume empty calories. So, extending the no drinking rule to social situations wasn't that hard. I love being able to go out with my wife and friends, and waking up the next morning just as refreshed as I do any other morning.
This post is not meant to tell everyone that they need to stop drinking alcohol completely. That's not my mission here. After many years of me drinking, I'm okay with me not drinking. It wasn't as great an obstacle that I thought it would be. What we consume is fuel for the body.