Rolling over, I look at the clock, it looks back telling me to go to sleep. It’s only 1:30am, and with more and more frequency this has become the magic hour that shakes me from my sleep.
If anyone ever wanted to live in the epicenter of amazingness, I would give them a road map to Sonoma Valley. We are blessed with the best food, weather and wine to be had.
Our friends and neighbors are some of the best winemakers in the world and alcohol is a big part of the culture here in the Valley. Heck, we had wine bars at our kids school plays, functions and recitals as they grew up.
It’s odd, something in me has changed. When I step back and look closely at drinking alcohol and how it makes me feel, I start to question if it’s something I still enjoy.
Let’s get real, not drinking in wine country is like not going to church in the south, it’s blasphemy.
With that said, I’ve still concluded that drinking alcohol adds no long term value to my life, if anything it’s the exact opposite. That doesn’t mean I’ve quit drinking, and I haven’t.
It’s not easy to say no, in fact, it’s hard. I can justify a million different reasons why I can have a glass of wine or a few beers. Honestly, I don’t need a million reasons; one will always do the trick.
I’m not saying my drinking is extreme or I need to visit AA anytime soon. I just know the habits and patterns that have been in place for the last 15+ years, no longer serve me.
Three areas of my life that directly improve when I don’t drink.
There is no comparison whatsoever to how well I sleep when I haven’t been drinking. I sleep through the night; I wake up fresh, feel energized and alive.
As I age, sleep becomes more of an issue for me. Not sleeping impacts every area of my life in a negative way. You’d think this would be a no-brainer as the number one reason to either stop drinking or limit my drinking, but so far, I have pushed this aside for a nice Russian River Pinot with dinner.
Having one beer or one glass of wine is fine, but I’ve found it to be a slippery slope. One turns into two and the next thing you know I’m wide awake, scrolling through Twitter at 2am.
My metabolism went on vacation when I turned 32 and hasn’t been seen since. I think my gut is like a magnet for fat, I’m pretty sure I gained 2 pounds just walking by the candy aisle in Safeway today.
Drinking impacts me in a couple ways when it comes to my fitness. Alcohol is like liquid bread; the calories are a killer.
Drinking alcohol has a 1, 2, 3 punch.
- The first punch comes from the calories in the alcohol itself.
- The second punch comes from a buzz induced appetite for pub fries or the double-double from In-N-Out Burger at 11:30pm.
- The knockout punch comes from the lack of motivation to exercise consistently. If I have the option of having a cold beer in the afternoon or going to work out, beer wins. I like to pretend I can do both, but the reality is, I don’t.
The older I get, the more intense and consistent my activities need to be in order to be fit. Walking or riding my bike just won’t cut it anymore.
Removing or limiting bad habits makes a big impact on how much time I devote to my health. Getting old is bad enough, getting old and fat is even worse.
If I drink beer or have a glass of wine, I instantly enter recline mode. I don’t watch much television, but my creativity and productivity go right out the window when I have a drink.
This one is pretty clear cut. I’m not where I want to be or need to be when it comes to lifestyle or savings, and this is unacceptable. The last few months I’ve been looking closely at my habits, activities and priorities to determine what I need to do to get back on track.
With all the things I can do or add to improve my life, the things I need eliminate or at least cut way back stand out as a bigger priority.
On the list of things needed to free up my time and creativity to effectively move forward toward my goals. Beer and wine are at the top, sigh.
Journeyman 30-day challenge
I didn’t write this to be a Billy Graham revival post about drinking alcohol. Talking with many friends over the last few months, I found this to be a common thread for a lot of us. How much to drink, how often to drink or God forbid to stop drinking altogether.
I’m launching the Journeyman 30 day challenge, no alcohol for 30 days. It will be interesting to see how we sleep, how we feel and how creative we are as a group after 30 days.
If sleeping better, losing weight, feeling better and getting focused on making more money are priorities, let’s do this together.
What do we have to lose? Click here to get details on the challenge!
This Week’s Podcast
Here is an interesting podcast episode with Ben Greenfield talking with James Swanwick from ESPN SportsCenter about drinking and how James improved so many parts of his life by not drinking alcohol for a while. It’s worth a listen.
For more info on Ben Greenfield and his podcast visit his iTunes page. Be sure to check out other episodes and subscribe to Ben’s Podcast if you find you connect with him. Also, make sure to leave a rating and a comment in iTunes, so Ben feels the love.