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Gwen’s #SoberOctober Challenge

“When you quit drinking you stop waiting.”

Caroline Knapp, Drinking: A Love Story

My October challenge was to take on #SoberOctober. My goal was to cease and desist drinking alcohol for the entire month.

So did I do it?

1

HECK YEAH I DID!! WOOHOO!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

I’ve actually been sober for 1 month and 11 days at this point. I’ve been using the I Am Sober app to track my progress. It also shares that I’ve saved about $164. This is based on guessing that I’d spend $4/day on alcohol (this would equal a bottle of wine/beers during the week).

As you can see I’ve been sober for longer than one month. I kickstarted this challenge mid-September and decided to join the #soberoctober bandwagon to keep it going.

The Backstory:

I’ve taken on alcohol-free living before. In fact, in 2016 I went alcohol-free for nine months. I started drinking again when I went on a trip to Italy and REALLY wanted to drink wine. This past September, I got the itch to quit again. I made a half-hearted attempt to pause drinking in July after having a TERRIBLY CHALLENGING green belt test in the martial art I practice called Krav Maga.

Despite working out consistently, I felt miserably out of shape during the test. I knew if I wanted to have better tests, I’d have to take my training more seriously, which involves eating better and drinking less alcohol. Despite good intentions, I only made a half-hearted attempt in the summer and I didn’t actually quit drinking. I’d drink a beer here and there, and wine or champagne on Fridays at work (yes, I work at a really awesome place ;).

The Moment of Truth:

The catalyst to deciding to get back into sobriety was free samples. I was gifted a bunch of free samples of Malibu from a party I volunteered at. I found myself drinking these little bottles here and there in a very ‘numb out’ way. The ultimate moment I found was when I decided to drink one in the bathtub after a particularly hard martial arts class to try to ease my physical pain. I don’t think it’s a problem to drink in the bathtub to unwind, my problem was that I wanted to hide the fact that I was drinking it and that made me uncomfortable.

Time for Progress:

When taking on the sobriety challenge again, I knew I wanted to be able to see my progress. So I Googled and found the I Am Sober app and was thrilled to see how easy it was to track. And it’s a major bonus to find out that I can track how much money I’m saving too!

The Benefits:

The reason we take on monthly challenges here at Mo’ Money, Mo’ Progress is because we are looking to ultimately feel better (by making more progress and more money!)

So I’d love to share some of the benefits I’ve noticed in the last six weeks:

  • I’m becoming an early bird! For some reason over the last week I’ve been interested in waking up and getting up at the crack of dawn.
  • Not hungover. Ever. Full stop.
  • No split energy wondering if I should have a drink when it’s offered.
  • Better focus at work.
  • I know when a party sucks and when to leave.
  • “Mask off, f*cking mask off…” – Future. Really though, when you stop drinking a mask comes off.
  • Losing weight! For the first time in my life abs may become a thing!
  • A more intentional focus on paying off debt!
  • I don’t skip out on Krav Maga classes because I had been drinking. This happened a couple of times.

So to get right down to it, it’s challenging to make a lifestyle change, though Perrier and ‘mock’ beer is not that bad. In fact, it’s actually quite enjoyable!

Also, one final tip is that if you do want to go off the sauce, I recommend following people who are thriving whilst being off the sauce and learn from them. I discovered and followed @thesoberglow who has been an incredibly inspiring person to learn from.

So as of right now, I am still very interested to continue living sans alcohol. This challenge is becoming a new way of life.

My November Challenge?

So what shall I do to make my life more joyful in November? Oh, I don’t know… HOW ABOUT GIVE UP THE ELIXIR OF LIFE AKA COFFEE? That’s right, I’m going to do

#NoCoffeeNovember.

Why? I’d like to say goodbye to waaaves of anxiety. The upper lip jitters when I smile at people. The feeling of my brain leaving my body and coming back two hours later. The migraines. The 24/7 dehydration. The experience of feeling strung out when I get home.

This is a challenge I’m willing and excited to take on at this point in my life. Note that I will still be consuming caffeine (from tea/matcha) though I’m on the hunt for other coffee alternatives.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to join me in #NoCoffeeNovember if you dare!

<3 Gwen

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