Raising the Bar: My 30 Day Challenge

This is our bar.

Isn’t it pretty?  All those lovely, shiny bottles all lined up in a row.

Problem is, my husband and I have been spending a lot of time here lately.  Ever since my father-in-law passed away, we’ve found ourselves indulging in comfort food and comfort beverages a little too often for my liking.

My family has a strong history of alcoholism.  My grandfather died of liver disease; my mom has had a lifetime of struggles of her own.  Sometimes I’ve even wondered if I have the addictive personality of an alcoholic.  (There, I said it.)  If so, I’d certainly be what you call a “functioning alcoholic,” but I’ve always had a little fear in the back of my mind that I’m genetically destined to have a problem controlling my limits.

It’s just that, usually when I have a drink, it leads to consuming more than what I intended.  Like I’m a college kid that drinks with the purpose of getting drunk (or really buzzed), rather than a mature adult that can enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner and that’s it.

Truth be told, the longest time I’ve gone without consuming alcohol since I was seventeen years old is about 4 weeks.  When I trained for my bikini competition, I imbibed right up until the end when my coach said, “no mas.”  So I’ve been drinking, on the regular, for 15 years.  Holy fuckin’ shit.

And today I’m dealing with a crushing bout of post-drinking depression.  I’m feeling really, really stupid and just generally bad about myself.  “Why?” you might ask. Well, it has to do with the fact that I acted like a college kid again last night.  We got together with some good friends and stayed up waaaay too late.  And I felt like a pile of dog poo this morning.  And all day.  That’s just great.

But because I’m trying not to get too down about it, I’ve decided to turn this into a blog-worthy learning experience. And confess my sins to the universe, because that’s how I roll 😉

Here is a really interesting post on accomplishing goals and keeping new good habits by implementing a “30-day trial.”  In other words, if you can spend 30 days doing something consistently, it is more likely to become a habit, and will be less daunting to accomplish than if you think it’s going to be something you have to continue doing that “something” every day for the rest of your life.  For instance, if you decide to start working out every day….forever….you might lose your motivation after a week and quit.  It just seems so hard!  However, if your goal has a defined start and end date, like 30 days, you are more likely to achieve your goal and keep your motivation up.

So, I’m ready for a little reset.  Well, a big reset.  30 days, no alcohol.  

I mentioned to my hubs that I wanted to lay off the booze for a while, and he kind of laughed.  And said, “that’s fine, but don’t be disappointed in yourself if you don’t achieve it.”  Which, my friends, officially makes this a challenge 😉

Here are a few things I think would be a benefit of my 30-day trial of no alcohol:

  • Better sleep (I sleep like crap when I drink!)
  • Wiser food choices
  • Losing some of my belly “fluff”
  • Better workouts
  • More energy
  • Higher productivity
  • Regaining a more normal level of alcohol tolerance (meaning, not being able to drink everyone under the table like I usually can)

And here is the downside:

  • Dang, I love a good glass of wine.

I’m already talking myself out of this.  We’re going camping in two weeks, and the entire point of the camping trip is to sit around and drink all weekend.  However, at that point, I’d be almost halfway through the 30 days already!  Can I do this?  I can do it.  And I will do it.  Day 1 is almost complete (LOL!).

And I wonder if this 30-day trial may lead to other 30-day trials in the future?   Could I journal, or workout, or meditate, or draw, or organize something every day for 30 days?  Who knows where this may lead?

And please let me know if you’d like to play along!  It doesn’t have to be the no alcohol challenge – but what is one thing you could do for 30 days to improve your life?  


13 thoughts on “Raising the Bar: My 30 Day Challenge

  1. Hey! I could have written this post myself! lol… I have a similar family background (I’m Irish, so it’s a cultural hazard) and I love a good glass of wine. I called a 90 day moratorium on wine 2 weeks ago, and well…that hasn’t worked out quite the way I wanted, but I’ve cut back a LOT. I feel better and leaner because of it.

    However reading your post made me feel a little better about my wine intake as based on the plan, I’m only supposed to have two glasses a week and I’ve certainly had more than that.

    How close to your competition did you cut it out completely?

    I also started a new challenge today – I’m 100% plant-based for the next two months (and hopefully there after as well).

    Good luck and take a niacin supplement. It might help curb any cravings.

    • Hey girl, I’m glad you can relate to how I feel. And thanks for the tip on the niacin – I’m going to look into that, and I have a milk thistle supplement which is supposed to be good for liver detoxing (ha!).
      I stopped my weekly “treat nights” about 4 weeks out from my competition. Up to that point, I had one night a week while I was training that I’d have some wine and eat whatever.
      And good luck with your challenge as well – I’ll be cheering you on!

  2. You so got this. I know from the competitions you’ve done that your very disiplined and motivated. You can do it. I know during stressful times its hard not to revert back to old bad habits. I’m the same way with not eating when i get stressed but you have to tell yourself your better than that and you deserve to be happy AND healthy.
    I’m here for ya girl.

  3. When I cut out alcohol the worst part is having friends and family ask why (as in, “OH are you pregnant!?”) even if it’s just for the sake of doing it. People don’t understand that sometimes folks who normally drink just need a break for a while.

    • Oh jeez, I didn’t even think of that!! I am so sure I’ll get that question as well, LOL. Yeah, nothing wrong with giving your body a chance to reset occasionally, right? Glad you can relate, and thanks for the comment, Alanna 🙂

  4. Hey Menden! First of all, I’m so glad that you’re posting blogs again. They always brighten my day 🙂

    Second, thank you for being so honest and frank about your struggles and goals. I can definitely relate to things you discuss, particularly your last blog (I think it was your last one) about challenges with eating normally post-competition.

    Third, thanks for the “30-day trial” idea! It is so simple yet so profound–telling yourself you only have to commit to something for a month seems far less daunting than doing it for the rest of your life. I am going to adopt this idea for my chewing gum habit (I’m trying to cut out all Splenda/sucralose type-sweeteners, and this is the FINAL thing I cannot seem to drop, haha)! Thanks girl!

    All the best,

  5. I gave up drinking alcohol. Well, pretty much. I used to drink – a lot. I work in fashion so it was quite normal, but after stopping for a month, save the odd glass of wine or more very rarely (once every few months, usually if we’re away on holiday) I don’t drink. Breaking the habit is the hardest part. All the best with it.

  6. Pingback: A Fall Weekend in the Green Mountain State | My Goal Called Life

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