One of the first things you do when you find out you are pregnant is… live alcohol-free. For my first child, I gave it up for 9 months and then resumed right back where I left off. Alcohol was part of our lifestyle–wine with dinner, drinks with friends. I could never see myself without enjoying a drink at an event or special occasion. In high school, we coined the term veggiebor. This referred to a state of fun that occurred right before being drunk or intoxicated, and I loved it. I felt more self-confident, social, and part of the group when I hit that state of being.
Motherhood Changes Everything
Once I became a mom, I was more cautious, mainly because it was horrible to wake up with a hangover and have to soothe a crying baby. The few times I woke up in the middle of the night, with the room spinning, to have to take charge and take care of my son, was just about enough. Little by little I slowed down the pace. I drank more water, introduced Kombucha as my cocktail alternative, and found other ways of enjoying my time. Not to mention that with my exercise program slowing down due to time restrictions, the calories saved from skipping a drink here and there were all so very worth it
For my second child, the alcohol thing took on a different twist. I gave it up once I was pregnant. Then, after I gave birth to my daughter any sip, or even the smell of alcohol, made me nauseous. Now granted, I did love my wine, and heaven knows I tried so many varieties in hopes of finding one that settled nicely into my stomach. But nothing seemed to do the trick. I resolved to take this as a sign, and I have never looked back.
Living Alcohol-Free and Loving It!
It’s been over ten years, and honestly, I don’t miss a sip, but the journey for me has been quite eye-opening. I dealt with so many people judging my choices, and I dealt with myself, wondering if I was missing out on something.
This journey helped me to discover 5 things that have had a positive result in me and my life:
1. Alcohol was the shield that made me feel more fun and sociable.
I learned that I had the ability to leave my comfort zone, without a drink in hand. There was no need for alcohol to start up a conversation or to release my personality. I became secure with simply being ME.
2. I learned that there was no need to change my personality for others.
I don’t know if this was from marriage, friends, or family, but I always felt like I had to portray a specific side of myself in different situations. Many times childhood traumas are brought up by these situations, and alcohol was the way of creating a personality that I thought others would accept. Unfortunately, none of these sides were ME. Without the cocktails, I discovered who I really was. I learned to be more confident and comfortable in my own shell.
3. OK, this one is strictly for VANITY.
Do you know how many calories you take in per drink? Sometimes up to 400 or more. Alcohol also digests as a sugar, and that excess sugar loves floating around the waistline. By giving up alcohol, and not replacing it with sugary drinks, I managed my weight with less effort in the gym. And as every mom knows… time is of the essence!
4. I am a holistic lifestyle coach, so food and nutrition go hand in hand in my world.
For the body to digest and breakdown a glass of wine or a cocktail, it robs the body of nutrients. These nutrients are needed to fortify health on a day-to-day basis. Then there’s the sugar issue. When the body has to digest sugar it actually places the immune system on hold for a bit of time. I now catch fewer colds, feel better digesting my foods, and have a more consistent amount of energy throughout the day.
“What people in the world think of you is really none of your business” –Martha Graham
5. I must admit… I was concerned about what others thought, what I did, how I acted, you name it.
Alcohol always seemed to amplify those feelings. I can’t begin to explain how freeing it is to no longer care. Between being sober and reaching a certain age in life, I am great with who I am. I don’t need others to enjoy myself, and I don’t need to hold a drink in order to feel part of the group.
This is ME!
With 10 years of sobriety under my belt, I feel the healthiest from the inside out. I truly believe you are what you eat or drink. One of my goals is to continue to live a healthy and empowered life. I plan to live without limitations from 90 and beyond. We all have different views on this, but one thing is for sure: your health is your foundation. Make the right choices throughout the day to empower your body to be the best it can be.