7 Things I learned from my 30-Day No Drinking Challenge

As of yesterday, I have completed my 30-Day no drinking challenge. I celebrated finishing my last board exam to become a registered physiotherapist in Canada with a glass and a half of wine. Sauvignon blanc, my favorite white. I had full intentions of finishing more than 2 glasses, however after starting the second glass I just wasn’t feeling it anymore. I switched back to tea. Strawberry Rhubard Parfait from David’s Tea to be precise. I guess old habits really do die hard.

I have learned some valuable lessons over the past month and will absolutely carry them along with me in the future.

1. You don’t need alcohol to have fun

Although the last 30 days have largely been consumed with studying, I have to say I have had plenty of really fun times, alcohol free! In fact having a sharp mind allowed conversations to flow with even faster wit and quick comebacks

2. People really don’t judge you if you choose not to drink

Having been to university, lived in dorms and done my fair share of partying in my early twenties, I was constantly surrounded by alcohol and strong encouragement to drink. Now, a few years later, I still just assumed that there would be judgement should I turn down a drink. The opposite is true, by turning down said drink, praise and encouragement were often the responses and it felt pretty darn cool.

3. You feel a lot better

This one is fairly straight forward. As the month went on, I was studying more and more, but I really felt a lot clearer in my head. Which was really important for this exam.

4. It forces you to come up with new ways of socializing

There are plenty of things to do in Vancouver, however it is so easy to just meet up with friends on a patio somewhere over appies and drinks. This month was a great oppotunity to get together and try new things I have been meaning to do! For example the Air Extreme Trampoline Gym in Richmond was awesome, making brunch over some studying is super fun and board game nights are just some of the ways I “partied” this month.

5. It saves a lot of money

I haven’t exactly counted pennies yet, but I do know that my bills from going out to dinner and buying groceries have been much smaller than previously. Thats a fantastic thing for someone with school debt like I have!

6. It helps you shed a couple of pounds

Alcohol is filled with empty calories, and as a result of cutting it out, those empty calories are cut as well. Although I have lost a bit of weight over the past month, I don’t attribute it entirely to not drinking and more to just better choices in lifestyle overall. I have been going to the gym 4-5x per week and playing soccer 2x/week amongst other activites like walking often and doing some yoga at home. Check out my 7 Minute Abs and Total Body Workout Circuit for exercise ideas!

7. Sunday morning sans hangover is awesome

Waking up everyday without a nagging headache is pretty fantastic. Heading to the gym on a Sunday morning is so much better if you aren’t dragging last nights wine with you.

For anyone who has been thinking about doing this I would strongly suggest it. You will realize it isn’t nearly as difficult as you anticipate and you will feel great. Feel free to ask me any tips or tricks!