Up to this point I’ve talked about the many benefits I’ve experienced since quitting drinking. Increased awareness, addressing my fears, finding out who my true friends were – these were just a few of the positive things that came out of this very difficult decision.
But I have to share, there is another side to this experience for me: some less-than-spiritual side effects of cutting alcohol from my daily diet have also emerged. As always, I welcome your additions to my sexily sober list:
- Younger looking skin: When I was drinking regularly, I noticed puffiness around my eyes and a doughy quality to the skin on my face. (Not cute!) When I quit, changes in my skin were the first things I noticed. Initially my face was just less puffy and doughy and there weren’t the same fluctuations in appearance from day to day. Next, there were fewer breakouts, which makes sense given the havoc alcohol wreaks on hormone levels. Last, my skin tone evened out; brown spots and redness didn’t go away completely but faded noticeably.
- Sounder sleep: I’m not saying that I used to drink until I passed out (though that did happen occasionally, it was rare), but drinking did make me drowsy, which made sleep very accessible. At least at first. But 3 hours later I’d awake with a start and not be able to fall back to sleep until the early morning hours. Getting out of bed in the morning was an arduous task and at times I was sure someone had slipped rocks into my pockets during the night. This made for some very unattractive mornings. Since I stopped drinking, I don’t have this rebound sleep effect. My new norm is sleeping soundly through until morning.
- More energy: Obviously related to better quality of sleep, my energy levels have increased appreciably since I quit drinking. Don’t get me wrong: I’m still no morning person. But while I used to have to titrate my coffee intake according to the previous night’s alcohol intake (and usually still found myself dragging ass), now a single cup of really good (STRONG) coffee does the trick. Though I might have a second cup for the pleasure of it, it’s not essential to peel my face up off my desk.
- Trimmer tusch: Within the first month of quitting drinking, I noticed my clothes fit better and I needed to pull out the fat jeans less often. Though I don’t weigh myself, I’d estimate I dropped about 10 to 15 pounds. This could have been for several reasons: less fluid retention caused by the seesawing effects of alcohol on body water, the fact that I was less likely to mindlessly eat after a couple of drinks, or the simple subtraction of daily calories consumed (alcohol has 7 calories per gram, which is almost as much as fat, and one drink can have anywhere from 70 calories to more than 300).
Though the “deeper” benefits of quitting drinking far outweigh the “shallow” ones, who wouldn’t like the frosting on that cupcake?