I’m Giving Up Alcohol for Lent, But Why Now?

By Janelle @ Run With No Regrets | nutrition

Feb 01

I’ve decided that I’m giving up alcohol for Lent.

While I am not Catholic, I do respect the principles of the Lenten season and how people use this opportunity to deny themselves of worldly excesses, if only for a brief period of time.

So where did this come from?  Why have I made the decision to quit drinking now?  Keep reading to find out!

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A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking about how successful I have been with limiting my sugar intake as part of the Runner’s Reset and wondering how I can keep it going and even take things to the next level.

I have been trying to cut back on my social drinking of alcohol for a while now, and since one of my goals this year is to drink less alcohol, Lent seems to be the perfect opportunity to test it out and see how I do.

So from February 10 to March 25, I won’t have a single drink!  Here are my 5 biggest reasons for giving up alcohol for Lent.

I Want to Save Money

Purchasing alcohol, whether at the bar, liquor store, or beer distributor, is expensive!  I love a fine craft cocktail, but they usually cost at least $12 a pop, maybe $10 if I’m lucky.  And I usually get two!  Even if you opt for beer, all it takes is a few drafts or bottles during the night to rack up your tab very quickly.

Do you know how much a case of good beer costs?  $30, $40, $50…insane!

We may go out only once or twice a week, max, but the amount of money spent on alcohol is outrageous.  It’s even worse when you go to expensive cities like NYC and DC.

As part of this journey, I should probably try to keep track of how much alcohol I would have purchased during Lent to see how much money I’ve saved!

And maybe I can use those savings to splurge on something I need…like more running clothes!

I’m Tired of the Empty Calories

After completing the 21 Day Reset, I don’t want to go back to eating and drinking junk all the time.  Beer is loaded with excess calories and cocktails, my favorite, are full of sugar.  I’ve tried the lighter and “skinny” options of drinks, but they really don’t taste that good.

Everything’s best with moderation, but I really want to see the impact that giving up alcohol will have on my health over the next month and a half.  Will I lose a couple of pounds?  Will I feel slimmer?  Will my running be positively impacted somehow?

I know that it will be challenging to find alternative drinks when I am out, but if I have to stick to water, so be it!  You can never have too much water, right?

I’m Tired of Being Singled Out in the Bar

This is one of my less serious reasons for quitting drinking, but for me, the most annoying thing about drinking, especially in the past year or so, is that I am constantly carded wherever I go!

Can I rant for a second?  How is it that the older I get, the younger I look?  I’ve been over 21 for almost 10 years!  I’m totally fine with it when everyone in the group gets carded, but usually, it’s just me that gets singled out!

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And no, it’s NOT a compliment for a 30-year-old to be told they look like a teenager!

Last year at the 5K Run for Clean Air, I was excited to get my free post-race Victory beer…until I got carded.  Meanwhile, a coworker, about 5 years my junior, was swiftly handed her beer without a problem!  This is my life!

Needless to say, I will be relieved to no longer get the once-over every single time I ask for a drink.  It’s something that I just can’t get used to, so it’ll be GREAT to have a break from being singled out, if only for a few weeks.

I Don’t Want to Use Drinking As a Social Crutch

I’m sure you’ve heard of liquid courage.  When you’ve had a drink or two, it can be so much easier to interact with other people in social settings.  You let loose, you have more fun, you kill it in karaoke or bust out on the dance floor with everyone cheering you on.

I have to admit that I’ve used drinking as an opportunity to “relax”, but getting drunk isn’t my idea of a fun time.  Why can’t I do those things without having a few drinks?

I believe that there is a lot of pressure to drink in our culture, whether people want to admit it or not.  People look at you funny when you don’t participate, especially in my generation. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been teased for declining another drink when I’m out.

By giving up alcohol for Lent, I want to see what it’s like when I don’t have that in my back pocket and actually have to rely on being my normal sober self in social settings.  I’m not an introvert, but I’m not always the most charismatic or exciting person to be around either, haha.  I’m hoping that through this process, I’ll grow to be more comfortable with just being Janelle and not some pseudo-cool person with a drink in hand.

I Want to See What Happens

More than anything, I’m curious to see how abstaining from drinking will turn out!  I’m always challenging myself in one way or another, but this is a challenge that is really intriguing to me.  Because drinking such is a big part of society, I think that through this process I will learn how much it really impacts my life.

How will people react to finding out that I’m not drinking?  Will they judge me?  Pressure me to drink?  Laugh at me?  Or will they be supportive, or maybe even inspired?

How will I feel during the process?  Will I feel healthier?  Will I be frustrated to not be able to go to happy hour after a stressful day?  I have a very strong willpower but this may be more difficult than I realize.

I’ll be blogging about my alcohol-free journey on Mondays so that I can document how everything is going, so hopefully you can follow along!  It’s a little bit scary, but I’m really excited to take on this new challenge!

Is there anything that you are giving up for Lent?  Have you ever given up alcohol for a period of time?

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