I decided to stay off the beers for the whole of February. As a beer lover and sometimes blogger it seems like a pretty strange choice but I had a few of personal reasons and February is a great month, maybe its the clean four weeks maybe it’s the last month of summer. For whatever reason I have stayed completely sober for the whole month.
More interesting than the why, is the what I learned. Here are a few out takes from what I learned from having a full month off drinking:
- Alcohol isn’t good for you. When they say ‘what’s your poison’ they mean it, alcohol can poison you. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink it or you should stop forever. It just means you should be aware of how much you’re taking in, not just in alcohol, but in energy and excessive consumption.
- Taking a break is healthy! It seems like the logical counter point to the first point. When you stop drinking, your body changes. I’ve noticed I don’t get as fatigued when I exercise and that I’ve been eating less. It’s good, I’ve even lost a little weight. People say that beer isn’t the reason for beer bellies. This is true, but beer and alcohol in general does have effect on your overall health.
- You don’t need to drink, especially if it sucks. Why do we drink bad beer when it’s the only one available? Its senseless, aside from getting drunk, all drinking bad beer does for me is make me angry and make me fat. I’m angry enough about bad beer without drinking it and I don’t need to get any fatter, I hate myself enough already.
- Drinking is not a stress relief. I had a few fairly stressful days in Feb. My first instinct was to drink, but when I resisted I learnt something. It’s much easier to deal with a problem if you keep your head clear and deal with it front on. Drinking is a great avoidance technic, but it doesn’t solve anything, which sounds like something someone says at a horrible conference on success, but it’s true and its easy to forgot when you are feeling a little hot headed.
- Drinking great beer RULES. By far the hardest moment I had during my month off was when my Beer Masons pack arrived. Looking at all those taste delights made me remember what I loved most about beer. Enjoying one or two super delicious, complex, interesting beers is something I will always love.
- Its not hard. You just stop. You set a date to start and a date you want to reach. Not doing something is about the easiest thing you can do. It also saves you money, it cleans your liver out and you feel good for it.
I have no regrets about my little jaunt into sobriety. I don’t intend on quitting alcohol full time any time soon, but I have given myself some perspective on the role that it plays in my life. I want to reduce how much beer I drink and focus on quality, drinking unique beers that are new, tasty and enjoyable.