How Did Giving Up Alcohol for Lent Go?

By Janelle @ Run With No Regrets | fitness

Mar 28

Easter is in the rearview window and I have completed my Lenten sacrifice of giving up alcohol.  And no, I didn’t cheat once!

I’m excited to share my results after not drinking for nearly 50 days in February and March for Lent.  I didn’t have a single drink on Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, or any time that I was really stressed and needed to unwind.  It was quite a challenge and an adventure!

I’m linking up with Jill Conyers for Fitness, Health and Happiness, which totally fits the bill for today’s topic!   Check out her page to see what everyone is up to!

How did my sacrifice of giving up drinking for Lent go? Check out my recap! #sweatpink #lent Click To Tweet

For the first time, I decided to give up drinking alcohol for Lent. And I made it through successfully! Check out what I learned in the process. More tips on health and fitness at!

Recap of Giving Up Alcohol for Lent

First, I’d like to say that I hope you had a wonderful Easter if you celebrate!  I’m grateful to have had a wonderful long weekend with Bret full of running, house hunting and enjoying college basketball!

I had my first drink of alcohol after 4 pm on Easter Sunday.  It was a Blue Moon Vanilla Wheat and it took several sips for me to actually enjoy the taste.  How strange!  Despite that, I’m so happy to finally be on the other side.  I feel like I have a little bit more freedom back, even though I’m not pressed to drink all the booze now!

So let me share my results of giving up alcohol for Lent based on my initial post with my reasons/goals, and then I’ll grade each point!

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Money Saved?

We definitely saved a good amount of money over Lent thanks to my quitting alcohol!  When Bret and I used to go out to eat, I was eager to try a new craft beer or check out the cocktail selection on the menu.  During Lent, I found water to be way too bland with most meals so I tried a variety of options:  mocktails, non-alcoholic beer (GROSS), or ginger beer.  Most of the time, these were a fraction of the cost of my regular choice.  I also noticed that sometimes, Bret didn’t have as many drinks as he normally would.  Sometimes, not always!  And he bought fewer cases of beer for the house.  I like to think that I was a positive influence.

Grade:  A-.  

Empty Calories Avoided?

anniversary cake 2016

Because cake is healthier than cocktails?

Um…not quite.  To be honest, I felt a little guilty sometimes about my choices for alternatives to alcohol because they were often on the sugary side.  I already mentioned drinking a bit more soda than I normally do during Lent, but we also ordered more desserts than usual!  Was it worth it?  I think so because they were often quite delicious!  But I’m sure the calorie count didn’t exactly balance out…

Grade:  B-.

No More Being Singled Out At the Bar?

I get singled out to be carded every time I go out because my youthful glow makes me look 10 years younger than I actually am, especially when I am out with people that are my age.  I can’t stand it!  But wouldn’t you know that since refraining from drinking, every time I went out, the servers never asked to see my ID?  Go figure!  I ate at several bars during Lent and never had an issue.  Not once! So of course, that spell will be broken now that I can order drinks again!

Grade:  A.  

Loss of Drinking As a Social Crutch?

Penn Band festivities and no drinking?!

Penn Band festivities and no drinking?!

This was the area that I was most worried about.  Drinking for me is a social activity.  How would I fare in public settings without being able to drink?

Well, wouldn’t you know that I can actually get by without the booze?!  Sure, I was a little bummed that I couldn’t toast “properly” with friends sometimes, but I’m glad that I stuck to my guns.  No one judged me or gave me funny looks.  Some people admired that I was able to do it, which I really appreciated.

Unfortunately, I had to attend a loved one’s funeral during this period, and drinking was a way to bring the family together to think of happier times or even share more sensitive emotions and moments.  I couldn’t join in, and it was a struggle…but not nearly as much of a struggle as what the family was going through.  Talk about having perspective!

Grade:  A.

Seeing What Happens?

Not being able to drink was pretty easy in the beginning, but the last 2 weeks were rough.  I had some fierce deadlines at work which brought on a lot of stress.  I would have loved to go to happy hour to unwind, but I couldn’t.  If I didn’t have a run scheduled, I had to cope instead by clearing my head with mindless entertainment.  I guess that’s not the worst thing in the world.  I did finally catch up on How to Get Away With Murder and Veep!

And when it came to running and fitness, I really do wonder if my lack of drinking helped my performance in the Rock N Roll DC Half Marathon! Training in February went really well:  yoga, boot camp, weight training and running had me feeling pretty awesome though beat at the end of the day!  I hope to keep it up and do a better job with my nutrition moving forward.

Is my skin clearer?  Did I lose weight?  I really don’t feel any difference than I did before quitting alcohol.  Maybe the benefits are easier for others to see?  I really don’t know.  I do feel good and have been doing a much better job of staying hydrated throughout the day!

Grade:  A.

Overall Grade: A-

I’m very proud of myself for successfully completing the challenge to give up alcohol for Lent.  It may seem like a very small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things but for me, I learned a lot about myself through this process.  Now that I can drink again, I’m realizing that my “taste” for alcohol isn’t as strong as it used to be, and I think I’ll be much better off in the long run because of that!  It’s nice to have once in a while, but I’m glad that I can be comfortable in my skin without it.  But I can’t wait for my first boozy brunch…it’s been so long!

Did you make any sacrifices for Lent?  How did it go and what did you learn in the process?

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