Yesterday, I hit the halfway point of my 100 days of sobriety challenge. I haven't consumed alcohol in 50 days and it has been a big blessing to my life.
Quick note: I decided to do my 100-day alcohol fast to give my body a break and to discipline my life for funsies. That's exactly what this fast has been, and I've seen positive things happen over the past 50 days of alcohol freedom. Below are five awesome things that have happened after 50 days of sobriety:
1. I rediscovered my love for running. Over the past 50 days, instead of heading to happy hours after work on Friday, I've headed to the gym. My happy hours are even happier because they're now an hour of hot yoga at my gym, a tough workout or a run. I restarted a new workout program (Charlie Mike by Ashley Horner - it's free and challenging and you should do it!) and rediscovered my love for running, which has been the best part. I stopped running consistently after my last half marathon in October 2015, during which I was in a ton of pain and felt super sick afterward. I took time off from running to build more strength in my body with weight lifting and cross training. However, I've been running more over the past 50 days and it feels good to get back into it. Running has served as my therapy and mental relief since 2010, and I started to miss it recently. I even signed up for my fourth half marathon, Rock 'n Roll Virginia Beach, and convinced two of my best friends to run it with me!
2. I started bike commuting. I've been tossing around the idea of purchasing a bike and riding to work since I first accepted a job that is closer to home. A few weeks ago, I finally pulled the trigger and bought an REI Co-op Cycles CTY 2.1. I made my maiden voyage last week and have two bike commute days scheduled for this week. Bike commuting was intimidating to me for a long time, and though parts of it are still challenging (like riding on a busy road at 5:30 PM), the benefits are so much greater than that one hectic stretch of road.
3. I've learned to say "no" to booze. This is probably my favorite thing that has happened in the past 50 days. I've attended work happy hours, a hockey game, spent time with friends who were drinking and gone to dinner all without consuming a drop of alcohol. For me, declining a drink in these situations before my fast was less likely, but now it's super easy. And guess what? I haven't felt like I was missing out once (not even at the hockey game, in which the Capitals BLEW IT).
4. I've slept great and haven't felt like crap. This is another favorite benefit. One beer or one glass of wine will often wreck my sleep. However, in the past 50 days I've experienced great sleep and haven't felt like crap from alcohol once. I've also been more clear-headed and haven't carried around an ounce of embarrassment from drinking more than I should have - and man, it feels good.
5. I'm developing a healthier relationship with alcohol and the people I typically drink with. For the most part, I've realized that I don't need to drink in many situations and that I can fully choose when and where I want to drink, without feeling peer, cultural or habitual pressure. Quality time is my primary love language and because time with my husband and friends has been alcohol-free, our time together has been more meaningful and intentional.
I'm excited for my final 50 days of sobriety, and for the growth I'll continue to see in my heart and mind. If you want to join me in my final *official* 50 days of sobriety, let me know!