I randomly decided to take a month off of drinking. Just to see how it would go. I did not expect to succeed. I didn't expect it to go as easily as it did. What I did expect, was to feel like absolute sh*t after my first real night out. I was right. I felt awful.
The group I workout with is supposed to get our BioSignature completed at the beginning of each month (thank God for re-occurring events on calendars). At the beginning of October, we did our pinch tests. And compared the the one I had done in August, I had lost 2% body fat and gained about 5 pounds of lean mass. I was pretty stoked about it. To be completely honest, I hadn't really been trying that hard. I mean, I weight train 5 days a week, I was also practicing yoga twice a week (I've recently backed off... more on that later). But I wasn't eating that great. In fact, the day we did our BioSig in October, I went home and ordered an Imos pizza, and ate the whole damn thing. #IDGAF
ANYWAY- I wanted to see what it would be like if I actually gave a sh*t, and actually put forth some effort in regards to my body composition and overall health. I mean, I am studying to be a PN Coach, and I did just get my PICP, I should probably practice what I preach.
It really wasn't that difficult for me to not drink. I already hardly drink as it is.. mostly just on Saturdays. From time-to-time I will have dinner with a friend, and have a glass or 4 of wine, or just, you know... the whole damn bottle. Whatever. Most Friday evenings are spent on the couch with a bottle of wine.
Ok. Maybe I do drink pretty often. (That's me in that gif)
Moving on - not drinking during the month, made me SUPER productive. Every morning I woke up feeling like a freaking fireball (each day was better than the day before). I was sleeping like a god damn baby. I was consciously eating better (i already eat pretty well) but without alcohol, I wasn't hungover eating pizza, french fries, chinese food, or whatever else I would normally go after.
Also- I think this is the most important thing... My stress levels were significantly decreased. I still had the normal stresses from work, that sh*t is inevitable. Normally, when I'd get stressed, I'd say "I need a drink" (out loud, via text, instant messenger, etc.), and then I would hold on to that stress, and tell myself that all I had to do was get through the rest of the day, and I could go home and drink an entire bottle of wine. But now that I wasn't allowing myself to drink, I would force myself to get over the stress. It took a little while for me to figure out how to actually get over it, but as the month progressed, I got pretty dang good at it. Stress is a mental thing.
So, after completing the month, and actually going over by a few days, it was time to do another pinch test. I was pretty pleased with my results. Down 1.4% body fat, and gained .8 lbs in lean mass. I certainly would have liked to have higher numbers, but I'm definitely not going to complain. I'm not sure that those numbers were enough to keep me from drinking ever again... if anything, the way I felt overall was convincing enough.
The same day as the pinch test, I had a wedding to attend. I expected there to be copious amounts of alcohol, and I expected to drink just as much. I probably had 2 bottles of wine, to myself. (In reality, I had like 4 glasses.. but my tolerance went WAY down) I mean, I was basically starting from scratch. I. Was. Drunk. Woke up the next morning, feeling so terrible. All I wanted to do was lay in bed all day, do nothing, and feel sorry for myself. But instead, I got my *ss out of bed, and forced myself to be a functioning member of society (PS - looking through a cookbook, trying to decide what I was going to make for the week, made me sick to my stomach).
I showed up late to the gym that morning, (by like 5 minutes)... and the first thing I heard was "I didn't think you were coming today" (I let everyone know that I would be drinking the night before, and to count on not seeing me). I was so miserable, that I couldn't actually train. I've also dislocated my collar bone, so I've been resting that.
I made Derik do my BioSig again that morning. I wanted to see what damage I had really done to my body. I was UP by almost 2% body fat.. which was bullsh*t. I guess I saw it coming, but I was (and still am) freakin pissed. I worked so freaking hard all month, making sure that I was putting whole foods in to my body, weight training 5 days a week, and getting enough rest. But to go out ONE NIGHT and have my percentages be all f*cked up, is ridiculous.
[Editors Note: BioSignature results can be effected by a number of things, are an estimate, and simply a tool we use to track objective measurements. We create data in which change is able to be tracked consistently. We also track girth, weight, strength, and take pictures for the same reasons. However, Jessica's point remains, a night of drinking can really f*ck up hard-won results.]
BY THE WAY - It took me THREE GD days to feel normal again. I was in a fog. I felt completely useless. I wasn't sleeping well. Granted, Day Light Savings decided to show up (which was very unwelcome TBH), but I was tossing and turning, all f*cking night. Like, I just had a normal night of sleep, last night. Which, has caused me to be in a great freaking mood.
Moving forward - I can't say that I'm going to cut out alcohol completely. I LOVE red wine. AND I just read an article that says red wine, in moderation (ha!) is good for gut health. Who am I, to question science? SIGN ME UP!
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