Sober bees, how did giving up alcohol affect your brain/body?

posted 7 months ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
948 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2019 - City, State

anonbee123123 :  Hi Bee. I am going to be a year sober. I am an alcoholic. So giving up alcohol is something I had to do. I definatly have gained alot of weight, due to the fact that my body is craving the sugar from the alcohol. So I eat alot of sweets. Also instead of day drinking (which I did everyday) I am now eating during the day. It also has helped me with mentally. I know have a clear mind, I am intouch with my feelings. As where before I would drowned them in the booze. When you drink your anxiety is much worse even though you may not feel it at the time, but yes the next day it will hit you hard. Especially if you get the “Oh what did I do”, ” why did I say that”, ” I can’t remember doing that”. Alcohol only intensifies the anxiety. With the weight gain though that is definatly my fault I can have control over it, I just choose right now to enjoy the sweets ( I never ever ate sweets before) which I shouldn’t because I am getting married in 6 months. But I would rather not drink than worry about my weight right now. I hope this helps. Good luck. If I can answer any questions let me know.

Post # 3
Member
1927 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

anonbee123123 :  I did notice I lost weight after stopping drinking, and it helped me to lose weight easier on diets as well. When I have food binges and mess ups, it seems easier to recover from that weight gain now that I don’t drink. Then again, I used to be into beer, but had transitioned into liking surgery drinks such as margaritas, which will blow a diet in a sip. 

Post # 4
Member
1045 posts
Bumble bee

I take periods of time without drinking, generally a month or more. Sometimes diet related, sometimes I feel like I’ve just been too heavy with the drinking and need a break. Right now, I’m dieting, so I haven’t had a drink in over two weeks and don’t plan to for a good while.

I kick myself after every evening I spend drinking. I wake up in the morning (even after just two drinks) feeling fuzzy and achey.  I’ve considered giving it up for all but the most special occasions (birthdays and holidays), and limiting myself to one glass of a beneficial alcohol (certain beers and wine have more antioxidants, etc. than others). I just know I feel like crap after drinking. It’s never worth it, and I know that’s probably a personal thing… but… that’s my feel on it. 

I can definitely tell you that my mood improves overall when I’m not spending two to three mornings a week fuzzed over. My weight benefits. 

Post # 5
Member
506 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2019

Helped my mental health a LOT. No more anxiety about what you did or might’ve done the night before, no more cycle of drinking because of depression and then being depressed from drinking, over and over. Idk that I noticed any physical changes. Except for not being hungover all the time. 

Post # 6
Member
6384 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m on an alcohol break too! It’s only been a week so far, and I haven’t noticed a ton of change. The biggest thing to me is how big a part of my life it is/was. This was the first fully alcohol free weekend in at least a year, maybe two. So just thinking about that, is kinda fucked up. I can’t think of almost anything else that has been that constant. Even coffee, meat, sugar, etc. So I think it’s good to do this to re-adjust my perspective. We don’t normally drink much when we go out because of the price, so it’s mostly at home comforts and luxuries. Do I NEED a glass of wine while cooking dinner? Of course not! Would a beer be great after some chores, sure, but not necessary. 

Obviously I’m still early on, but I’m looking forward to being healthier and having a healthier relationship with alcohol too. 

Post # 7
Member
490 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

I am pregnant and havent had any alcohol since July.  Prior to that I would average 3 glasses of wine during the week and another 3-6 drinks between Friday/Saturday/Sunday.  I definitely felt like I was starting to drink too much.  The biggest initial change was that I lost some weight.  Some of this was due to the slight morning sickness I experienced, but I think most of it is due to not drinking.  The second thing I noticed is that I rarely get headaches now and when I do they usually go away fairly quickly.  Prior to that I would get headaches every week or two that would last for a day or two.  These were probably hang over related. I also started sleeping a lot better.  I can’t say much for mental changes because pregnancy/baby brain are real and my mind feels fuzzier than it ever has, but I imagine there is a mental clarity that comes with not drinking as well.  I definitely do not plan to go back to drinking as much as I did, but am looking forward to enjoying the occasional glass of wine again. 

Post # 9
Member
333 posts
Helper bee

I feel that me and the fiance binge drink WAY too often. So I am planning to quit for a while. But I also feel extreme anxiety and sick after drinking. Even small amounts. 

The anxiety clears up a lot. I sleep better. My stomach gets better. As in I have IBS and GERD but it pretty much goes away 100%… because well the physical and mental aspects are gone. I just feel over all better. IBS can be caused by anxiety. GERD is totally from the alcohol. Has to be.

The only thing I notice thats not so great is my appetite goes up. I crave things I never like otherwise… such as desserts. @keviah12 Makes sense now.

I am by no means religious but this morning I saw a thread on lent and figured this could… well should… be something I give up for it.

Post # 10
Member
364 posts
Helper bee

Gave it up for 11 months a few years back. That was my longest stretch of sobriety and it was AMAZING. I lost a lot of weight, felt more energy, had more clarity and was overall more productive. My senses are heightened, if that makes any sense. Nowadays I will have an occasional drink, very rarely. Physically, my body has reduced tolerance so I can’t tolerate a lot anymore. Socially, I learned to be less awkward about declining alcohol in social situations. I highly recommend.

Post # 11
Member
652 posts
Busy bee

I’ve been sober for a few years. I don’t remember exactly how long because it wasn’t planned, it just happened. I stopped binge drinking before that but I would still have a glass of wine or a beer once or twice a week, then I cut that out too. I was hoping it would help with my chronic headaches, but I still got them. I honestly didn’t really notice any changes other than I wasn’t spending any money on it. 

Then I cut out refined sugar and WOW! That has made a huge difference in my life. No more headaches, a few inches off my waist, no fatigue… it has been great. 

So I’d recommend cutting out both alcohol and refined sugar 🙂 

Post # 12
Member
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

My partner and I only ever drink on Friday nights, and a couple beers on Sundays with family dinners.

We found early in our relationship that we were drinking way too much during the week (way too much), and we needed to cut it way down. So we did, instantly.

But, we never go out (saving for wedding). So it’s a bottle (or occasionally 2) between us of wine on Friday date-nights and 1-2 beers on Sundays. Never drink outside those times except for special circumstances (like I have my bridesmaid’s 30th this Saturday, so I likely won’t drink much if anything on Friday).

This has worked wonders for us, both with our sleeping and our waistlines. I’m never good at just cutting out things I love, like wine or sugar, because I always end up craving it more, and eating/drinking more than I planned.

I haven’t had much of the “oh god what did I do” anxiety since my university days, because a) we rarely go out to drink and b) I don’t ever do anything intoxicated that i wouldn’t do sober. Also I never ever let myself get that drunk in the first place….

Instead of cutting it out, maybe try cutting it down to start with?

Post # 13
Hostess
8428 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

anonbee123123 :  I gave up booze for a month to kick start my pre-wedding diet. I helped with weight loss, I slept better, I mentally felt better. I think after my hen do and wedding I will remain cut down on booze. 

Post # 14
Member
2925 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I was never a big drinker but I haven’t had a drink since last spring and I don’t miss it at all.  I was pregnant, so naturally that was my reason for not drinking, but I haven’t had anything since my daughter was born in January.  I do have some anxiety and looking back, I think even having one drink made it worse.  Now my anxiety is different because I’m sleep deprived but I don’t have the desire to medicate myself with alcohol.

My husband gave up drinking in college when his best friend killed himself driving drunk.  He went through withdrawl which he said was awful.  He has like one drink a year, usually if we go to a wedding.  He doesn’t like the taste of it either, which helps.  My husband is in really good physical shape for his age and since he works in health care and sees first hand the detrimental effects alcohol can have on the body, it’s easy for him to stay away.

Post # 15
Member
1159 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Tacoma, WA

I have my first dress fitting in early April, so I decided I would make March an alcohol-free month as a final push to get my weight down where I want it. I’ve already lost around 60lbs total and wanted those last few pounds to go before the fitting. I also, honestly, just wanted to see if I COULD stop drinking for a full month, since alcohol always plays such a big role in my social life and is how I typically relax after a long day. I know I probably drink too much, too often, and was curious to know how difficult it would be to just…not drink.

I started on March 1st, of course, which was a Friday, and since Fiance and I normally enjoy Friday nights at home watching movies and having drinks together, it was a little weird at first to not have anything, especially since Fiance wasn’t joining me on my no-alcohol mission (yet). We also frequently go to brunch on the weekends, where we enjoy a couple of mimosas. Again, a little weird to sit there with my diet soda, but nothing terrible. A few friends invited us over for a gathering, and another friend invited me out for drinks, all pretty normal for us, but with my not drinking this month, it again felt a little awkward, but it was fine.

Normally, I have at least some wine every night, whether it’s a glass or a few glasses. It’s how I unwind and relax before bed. This has been the most difficult part for me, honestly. For the past few nights, I’ve been taking a long bubble bath, instead, and it works out just fine, though. 🙂

The positives were apparent pretty quickly, actually. I woke up early on Saturday morning ready to go meet with our photographer. No fuzzy brain. No headache. No lingering mild hangover. I felt great! My sleep has improved drastically, as well, and I wake up feeling rested and ready for my day, rather than foggy and lethargic. Anxiety is still there, always will be, but not magnified like it usually is after a night of drinking. My face is less puffy, too, and my skin looks brighter and isn’t all flaky and dry like it sometimes gets after too much drinking.

As far as weight goes, I did my weigh-in yesterday and I was UP 3 lbs, but I’m also at the tail end of my period, so I’m not putting much stock in that right now. 😉

Here’s to the rest of the month alcohol-free! I’m excited to see what else comes of it!

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