Lunarose

Adjusting to no alcohol

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I am currently on day 8 of my first Whole 30, and while I am feeling overall pretty good and haven't had any intense food cravings, the one thing that is super difficult for me is not having a drink at the end of the day. It was my daily routine in the evening to wind down and turn my brain off, and without it I am feeling stressed in the evenings with anxiety and spinning thoughts that won't stop. One of the main reasons I decided to do Whole 30 was to quit alcohol, and while it has actually been easier for me to do it this way (as a part of Whole 30 - more holistic), I am still struggling with it and I feel like it would be the one thing that would make me fail in finishing the 30 days. 

So, if there's anyone who's had similar struggles and finished there Whole 30 or is almost done and seen the light at the end of the tunnel, I'd love to hear from you! I know I will eventually balance out with it if I just keep at it, but would love to hear some words of encouragement to remind myself. 

And if anyone has tips/ideas for "winding down" in the evening, please share! So far I have been going for walks, and trying to just head to bed earlier (something I should do anyways).

Thanks!

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Thank you for starting this topic, @Lunarose! This is a struggle of mine, as well, so I look forward to feedback from others. 

For me, I'm more used to indulging in a few glasses of wine or a couple of cocktails on Saturday nights. My boyfriend misses this aspect of social time with me and tries to tempt me to drink by joking that I'm "more fun" when I drink... Ugh. He's a wonderful man! He just doesn't understand the science behind Whole30. I have been making myself little cocktails of just Lime Perrier on ice and I encourage him to have a beer or whatever, but he pouts. It's the strangest thing! Has anyone else seen this?

15 minutes ago, Lunarose said:

And if anyone has tips/ideas for "winding down" in the evening, please share! So far I have been going for walks, and trying to just head to bed earlier (something I should do anyways).

I've started a routine of drinking a (wine) glass of kombucha before bed. It doesn't have the same relaxing effect as wine, but it does taste good and makes my body sing!

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33 minutes ago, Lunarose said:

I am currently on day 8 of my first Whole 30, and while I am feeling overall pretty good and haven't had any intense food cravings, the one thing that is super difficult for me is not having a drink at the end of the day. It was my daily routine in the evening to wind down and turn my brain off, and without it I am feeling stressed in the evenings with anxiety and spinning thoughts that won't stop. One of the main reasons I decided to do Whole 30 was to quit alcohol, and while it has actually been easier for me to do it this way (as a part of Whole 30 - more holistic), I am still struggling with it and I feel like it would be the one thing that would make me fail in finishing the 30 days. 

So, if there's anyone who's had similar struggles and finished there Whole 30 or is almost done and seen the light at the end of the tunnel, I'd love to hear from you! I know I will eventually balance out with it if I just keep at it, but would love to hear some words of encouragement to remind myself. 

And if anyone has tips/ideas for "winding down" in the evening, please share! So far I have been going for walks, and trying to just head to bed earlier (something I should do anyways).

Thanks!

As far as winding down, do you like tea? Reading? Knitting/crocheting? These are all things that help me "turn my mind off" and relax before bed.

As far as the alcohol stuff goes, there's not really a one size fits all solution. That was one thing that I really struggled with when I did my first round. I was 25, it was summer and it seemed like all my friends wanted to do was go out for drinks. It took a lot of mental strength to be okay going out without drinking, or explaining to people why I was turning down alcohol. Also, it's only been 8 days! Give yourself a little grace to feel your feelings and live in the frustration until you find your new wind down methods and know that what you're doing for yourself is so good and important!

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2 hours ago, SweetEnough said:

Thank you for starting this topic, @Lunarose! This is a struggle of mine, as well, so I look forward to feedback from others. 

For me, I'm more used to indulging in a few glasses of wine or a couple of cocktails on Saturday nights. My boyfriend misses this aspect of social time with me and tries to tempt me to drink by joking that I'm "more fun" when I drink... Ugh. He's a wonderful man! He just doesn't understand the science behind Whole30. I have been making myself little cocktails of just Lime Perrier on ice and I encourage him to have a beer or whatever, but he pouts. It's the strangest thing! Has anyone else seen this?

I've started a routine of drinking a (wine) glass of kombucha before bed. It doesn't have the same relaxing effect as wine, but it does taste good and makes my body sing!

I think you need to sit down with your boyfriend and tell him that his negative comments about you being ' more fun' are actually really rude... I"m sure he's a good guy, but that's unnecessary... yes, we've seen it a lot and it's been talked about a lot on here and it's usually in response to how the person feels about their own drinking... My friend used to say I was more fun when I would go out to eat ice cream and slurpees.. uh, no, Im the EXACT same fun... the EXACT same person... if you don't like THAT person and just want someone to eat ice cream with, then I'm not the girl for you... I realize that's a bit different than the booze thing but I honestly think you need to tell him... it's not a joke... plus, what if you find out after your 30 days that it's only 'worth it' to drink one day a year... is he going to nag you to drink all the other 364 days because I think that would get old... 

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3 minutes ago, SugarcubeOD said:

My friend used to say I was more fun when I would go out to eat ice cream and slurpees.. uh, no, Im the EXACT same fun... the EXACT same person... if you don't like THAT person and just want someone to eat ice cream with, then I'm not the girl for you... 

Yes, agree with all this 100%! I did address it with him immediately, and he apologized and and reminded me he was joking. But the problem is that it's NOT just joking; it's actually a really passive-aggressive form of sabatoge, even if unintended. It brings to mind one of my favorite quotes...

Don-t-worry-about-what-I-m-doing-Worry-about-why-y.jpg

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Hey There!

I've never been a big drinker (except my 20's - that was a bit different), it appeals to me occasionally, but seldom.  But my boyfriend would celebrate the fact that I would indeed drink - think a loud exclamation - of a whoohoo!  She's having a drink!  Now she's going to have fun!  I wouldn't say much to him really, just politely nod and smile (usually it was around company).  But then..... he would then see the after effect of the alcohol the next day.  I would be miserable, cranky, anger easily and very, very short, on top of feeling like the proverbial bag of sh*t.  So quite literally I was no fun.  So now when I do imbibe - it's maybe twice, 3 times a year??? I usually get a comment of - you're having a drink?  Cause he knows - it totally affects me and my mood.

 

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@racheleats thanks so much for your tips and encouraging words! And it's a good reminder that I'm really just getting started... I know that after drinking daily for so long it won't suddenly be easier in the first week but I get worried that the stress won't pass. I know for some daily drinkers the no alcohol thing is a deal breaker and the reason they don't try Whole 30, so I am proud of myself for going for it. 

I do enjoy reading before bed so I might focus on that and I nice cup of tea to wind down. I sew during the day for work so guessing the knitting and crochet might not be quite as relaxing. :D

Thanks again, I really appreciate it!

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5 hours ago, SweetEnough said:

Yes, agree with all this 100%! I did address it with him immediately, and he apologized and and reminded me he was joking. But the problem is that it's NOT just joking; it's actually a really passive-aggressive form of sabatoge, even if unintended. It brings to mind one of my favorite quotes...

 

Love the graphic!  The thing is, if the person you're joking AT doesn't find it funny and it's a slag against them, it's not a joke...Glad you addressed it and hope/assume it won't happen again!

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16 hours ago, Lunarose said:

@SweetEnough yes, I have really been enjoying kombucha! Ginger and guava are my fave. :)

And agreed, it's good to put your foot down with your boyfriend, whole 30 (and your health) is no joke!

Those are my two fav flavors too! If you can find it Trilogy is also delicious :) 

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16 hours ago, SweetEnough said:

Yes, agree with all this 100%! I did address it with him immediately, and he apologized and and reminded me he was joking. But the problem is that it's NOT just joking; it's actually a really passive-aggressive form of sabatoge, even if unintended. It brings to mind one of my favorite quotes...

Don-t-worry-about-what-I-m-doing-Worry-about-why-y.jpg

I love this quote. It should be an official whole30 mantra!

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On 8/9/2017 at 9:58 AM, Lunarose said:

I am currently on day 8 of my first Whole 30, and while I am feeling overall pretty good and haven't had any intense food cravings, the one thing that is super difficult for me is not having a drink at the end of the day. It was my daily routine in the evening to wind down and turn my brain off, and without it I am feeling stressed in the evenings with anxiety and spinning thoughts that won't stop. One of the main reasons I decided to do Whole 30 was to quit alcohol, and while it has actually been easier for me to do it this way (as a part of Whole 30 - more holistic), I am still struggling with it and I feel like it would be the one thing that would make me fail in finishing the 30 days. 

So, if there's anyone who's had similar struggles and finished there Whole 30 or is almost done and seen the light at the end of the tunnel, I'd love to hear from you! I know I will eventually balance out with it if I just keep at it, but would love to hear some words of encouragement to remind myself. 

And if anyone has tips/ideas for "winding down" in the evening, please share! So far I have been going for walks, and trying to just head to bed earlier (something I should do anyways).

Thanks!

Hey, I'm on day 7 and I was struggling hard on my way home today because I am the same person who drinks EVERY night after work and goes ballistic on the weekends. I started Whole30 so I would have all the bad stuff cut out at once, in addition to have something to focus my energy on.  

I was going nuts jonesing for a drink(a big one) but I kept mentally coaching myself to "just get home and make your tea as soon as you get in the door!!".  Not drinking is my biggest struggle for staying compliant. However, I drink Passion Flower tea(Hispanic markets sell it in boxed tea bags called "Pasiflora"). If you look up on the benefits, you'll see it helps with that stress that comes with alcohol cravings and it will help you sleep sooo well the first time you drink it(so save it for pre-bedtime, or with dinner).

I'm totally on your boat as to why I started whole30 and I'm glad you shared, I don't feel like I'm the only one in this journey/challenge.  A few weeks in, the cravings died down(first time I tried to program) so I am trying to look forward to pushing through that barrier once more!

You're already on the best path and I'm here for your support if you ever need it!

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@Uni_corndog0625 thank you so much for your support, and I am here for you too! I can totally relate. When you get in the habit of having a drink or three at the end of the day to wind down, it is soooooo hard to suddenly go without. I think for the entire first week my mind was just racing in the evening, it was terrible. I'm on day 14 now, and it is finally getting a bit easier, what a relief. I am hoping by the end of it, I will be much more comfortable with just having a drink on the weekends, or even not at all. I need to find other healthier ways to wind down in the evening - Whole 30 has challenged me to do that, which is great. And I will definitely pick up some of that passionflower tea, sounds delicious! Thanks again, I'm so proud of us both. :) 

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It's such an interesting thing what a conscious shift in habits and consumption can illustrate, isn't it?  I too am used to a "nice glass of wine" at the end of the day to wind down, relax and take that first deep-breath-kids-are-in-bed-office-is-closed moment.  No joke, I'm missing it too!  The funny thing is, when I really started thinking about why I was jonesing for a glass of wine, I realized something: I am self-medicating.  What?!?!  Ok, a glass of wine at the end of the day is not an opiate or meth habit, but still....yikes.

Self-medication is not necessarily a bad realization and wine consumption is not a habit that -particularly- needs to change after the completion of Whole30; God bless all those French studies about the health benefits of a glass of red wine!  It was, however, quite a jolt to realize that I am not having a glass of wine for 'health' reasons, I'm having a glass of wine because I'm freaked out and looking for liquid relaxation at the end of the day.  Now....wine or no wine....what needs to change here?

But, I think the initial question is how to get through -and positively mark- that part of the day when you and I would otherwise reach for the bottle.  A few things I have found helpful:

  • being outside; I bring a book or a journal if I'm feeling sedentary,  head for the garden or out into the forest with the pooch if not.
  • keeping up a Whole30 journal - how am I feeling?   What did I eat today?  Am I hydrated?  What is success today?  What is challenging? Have I actively wanted to choke someone today because I'm also in the middle of sugar withdrawal?  I somehow feel a bit more accomplished if I put these things down on the page.
  • find some activity that I haven't done for awhile and pick it up again.  The truth of it is that having that glass of wine takes time and for those 30-45 minutes I usually find myself staring into the middle distance considering the universe.  Chemically therapeutic.....but definitely a time suck.  So what haven't I done recently?  Unpacked those last three boxes still sitting there from the last move?  That annoying cross stitch project that I put down last Christmas and haven't picked up again?  Or something fun - tonight I will learn to make those Danish cucumber pickles that I keep meaning to try!  Tonight I will call that long-lost childhood friend with whom I've been trading Facebook messages. Tonight I will....  fill in the blanks with some intention before you even get home.  Then it becomes something to look forward to rather than dead space to fill.
  • I know you're really not supposed to 'substitute' (breaking the emotional relationship to food and all that) but I have found that getting out a really fancy champagne flute (the ones you got for a wedding present and then never use?), dropping three black currents in the bottom and them filling the thing with fruit-infused seltzer is really fun.  The currents ride the bubbles up to the top just like with real champagne.  You can place a bet on which berry will get there first and feel like you are treating yourself well at the same time.   
  • If you've got a significant other, this might be the time to find other ways to 'relax'.  Hee hee...there's more than one way to get your partner to support your Whole30 journey.

The above list is all self-indulgent, of course, but if you are reaching the end of the day completely freaked-out, tapped-out and possibly Mommyied-out (as I am) I think that this is not the time to pick up another shift at the soup kitchen, join the block patrol, or do more volunteering for your local non-profit.  Spend a little time on you - that's what that glass of wine was for in the first place, wasn't it?     Good luck @Lunarose!

 

 

 

 

 

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@HillDweller this is brilliant, thank you! I agree, it is a realization that you are self-medicating - like often I would down a glass of wine without even appreciating the flavors and experience, all I wanted was to get that buzz and turn my brain off. Pretty much like popping a pill! Your tips are super helpful - I especially love the idea of coming up with an evening activity to look forward to, *before* you are done with the work day (as opposed to after, when you are already too frazzled to get creative). And I agree, it is a routine of self-indulgence, which in itself isn't a bad thing so why not just find healthier ways to do it. 

I am really interested to see how I feel about alcohol once the 30 days are done - this is my first Whole 30, and it's been a long, long time since I've gone even 14 days without alcohol (yikes). I can already see a psychological shift taking place. I am truly relieved - I thought I was stuck in a habitual loop that was never going to end, and it's interesting how it's actually been easier in a way to do it as a part of Whole 30.

Thanks again, your support and advice is really appreciated! 

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I am on day 3.  My problem is Friday through Sunday.  Cutting grass, cleaning, going into my workroom and putter with my bike or a craft.  i am going biking and to lunch with friends.  I don't want to explain why I won't be eating a big meal or having a delicious craft beer.  I am the only one of us who drinks, so they will notice this. i just hope I can get through this weekend, which will be my true test.  But I keep looking at the other side. I want to feel good sat, Sunday and Monday morning. I am tired of feeling like crap 3 out of seven days.  

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@MarcyW if it's any encouragement, I'm on day 22 and I had been drinking pretty heavily 7 days per week - not something I'm proud of, I think it was more of a problem than I cared to admit. But at day 22 I am feeling really good, and it's honestly a relief to be able to go without alcohol. Sleeping better, and not feeling like crap in the morning is awesome!

The first week was the hardest for sure. For me it manifested as anxiety and racing thoughts, and just feeling generally crummy in the evening (when I'd normally be drinking). That's great that you're friends won't be drinking, hopefully that will make it easier! It really can become a part of our identity, so I think that makes it psychologically tough.

My best advice, which really goes for Whole 30 in general, is grit your teeth through the first week and commit - try to eat as many nourishing foods as possible. Drink lots of water. Know that it will get easier in the next week or two - it really does!!!

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@Lunarose thanks for the encouragement!   I didn't look at it as though it would be easier to not have a drink with my non drinking friends!  Lol.  They are probably the best people to spend my first dry weekend with!    

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12 hours ago, MarcyW said:

I am on day 3.  My problem is Friday through Sunday.  Cutting grass, cleaning, going into my workroom and putter with my bike or a craft.  i am going biking and to lunch with friends.  I don't want to explain why I won't be eating a big meal or having a delicious craft beer.  I am the only one of us who drinks, so they will notice this. i just hope I can get through this weekend, which will be my true test.  But I keep looking at the other side. I want to feel good sat, Sunday and Monday morning. I am tired of feeling like crap 3 out of seven days.  

I personally think that if you DO explain why you're doing the whole30 and frame it in a more positive way you're better off in the long run. If you try and just explain it away as not a big deal, you're going to get a lot more of the peer pressure - like "oh just have one beer, it won't kill you". But if you tell your friends that you've committed to this 30 day reset and you'd really like to have their support I have a feeling they'll rally behind you.

Rather than explaining why you CAN'T have the big meal or craft beer, tell them about all the amazing stuff you ARE eating and why you decided to take on the reset. List out some of your goals - you want to feel more energized, have clearer skin, finally break your sugar addiction. Just be confident in your speech, and remember that it's no one's business but your own why you are or aren't eating something. Report back after the weekend! I bet it will be much easier than you think :) 

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@racheleats I only explained this to my friends I went biking with (the non-drinkers)  I was ready to cave, but literally, the minute the waitress asked what we were drinking I said water was fine.  I did very well with the food too - tuna steak and house salad.  

My husband told someone I was doing the 30 on 30 (god love him) and I met him out Saturday night (I was his D.D.)   One girl asked about it and asked how much weight I was losing and the typical "diet" questions.  It was hard to explain that it's not about weight, since that is most people's mindset.  So yes, I won't be explaining it to anyone since she didn't understand.  

It was easy be at a bar with nothing to drink (literally, since no one remembers water when they are buying rounds, lol).  I did keep a positive thought about it.  And I congratulated myself each morning when I woke up feeling great.  

Now for weekend number 2.........ha ha

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1 hour ago, MarcyW said:

My husband told someone I was doing the 30 on 30 (god love him) and I met him out Saturday night (I was his D.D.)   One girl asked about it and asked how much weight I was losing and the typical "diet" questions.  It was hard to explain that it's not about weight, since that is most people's mindset.  So yes, I won't be explaining it to anyone since she didn't understand.  

It looks like you're only a week in, but look for non-scale things you can point to if someone asks. For instance, "Well, I started this to see if I have any negative reactions to foods, and you know what? The knee pain I've had for months and months just went away a week in." Or shoulder pain, or skin breakouts, or dark circles under your eyes, or stuffy nose, or headaches, whatever applies. Even, "I've suddenly got all this energy, I was cleaning out the closet/reorganizing the kitchen/deep cleaning the bathroom/other task that I'd been putting off doing for a long time because I never had the energy to tackle it." You certainly don't owe anyone an explanation, but if someone asks, it's nice to be able to give a really concrete benefit that has nothing to do with weight. And then you change the subject and ask how they're doing, or talk about the weather or your local sports team or whatever. 

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On 8/28/2017 at 1:12 PM, ShannonM816 said:

It looks like you're only a week in, but look for non-scale things you can point to if someone asks. For instance, "Well, I started this to see if I have any negative reactions to foods, and you know what? The knee pain I've had for months and months just went away a week in." Or shoulder pain, or skin breakouts, or dark circles under your eyes, or stuffy nose, or headaches, whatever applies. Even, "I've suddenly got all this energy, I was cleaning out the closet/reorganizing the kitchen/deep cleaning the bathroom/other task that I'd been putting off doing for a long time because I never had the energy to tackle it." You certainly don't owe anyone an explanation, but if someone asks, it's nice to be able to give a really concrete benefit that has nothing to do with weight. And then you change the subject and ask how they're doing, or talk about the weather or your local sports team or whatever. 

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I am so glad to have found this topic. I started Whole30 with the best intentions after finding myself heavier than I’ve ever been, cholesterol out the roof, near diabetic, and drinking a bottle of wine pretty much every other day. I convinced myself to do a “modified” whole30, give up the wine and replace it with vodka spritzers or the nor-cal margarita, but the drive to self medicate was still there. I appreciate all of the honesty here. I’m starting to feel like I can do this. :)

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