A month ago my significant other asked me if I would join her on a 30-Day Challenge and naturally I was game to participate. I’m usually down for this sort of team building exercise so I was like GO TEAM! (Imagine me jumping enthusiastically in the air with 1 arm pointing to the sky conjuring all the coordination of a 6’8” man while simultaneously try to kick my own ass like a cheerleader)
But then I was like…hey you sneaky woman, what’s the catch?
In my mind the challenge would be something trivial like:
- Eating a salad once a day
- Remembering to floss every day, or
- Writing down 3 things I’m grateful for every morning
All of which I should probably do given the fact that I’m a slightly overweight, non-regularly flossing, cranky man in my mid thirties. But no, the challenge was not trivial. It was giving up one of the few things I really relish…beer, fine whiskey, and an occasional tequila shot. But I digress…it was a Wednesday and I don’t normally drink on Wednesdays so I agreed without a thought.
So let me walk you through the next month:
- Days 1-8 ~ No problem…I only had to make it through the weekend, and I don’t drink during the week. Lionel Richie sang it best.
- Days 9-11 ~ What I refer to as the second weekend. I find myself frantically looking up mocktale recipes…find one for a Moscow Mule, which to be honest was good, besides the whole not getting a buzz thing.
- Days 12-15 ~ Again, weekdays no problem.
- Days 16-19 ~ We buy all the ginger beers in the metro area, proceed to taste-test them all – unanimously agree that Goslings and Bundaberg are the best. Netflix and chill all weekend.
- Days 20-22 ~ We discover the hidden joys of kombucha – that’s right all you yoga hipsters, I now know why you drink it. If you find a variety that tastes like cranberry you can almost imagine yourself on the beach of cape cod on a warm sunny day
- Days 23-26 ~ Week days again…but I nearly cave to the siren’s call of half price wings and $3 draws with the guys. My S.O. would never know, right?
- Days 27-30 ~ We actually invest in a kombucha making kit – at this point in our sobriety we think it’s a good business plan, have you ever bought kombucha? It costs twice as much as beer, and it’s not regulated by the government in any manner…what could go wrong?
To summarize the experience- It wasn’t quite as bad as what Josh Hartnett’s character had to go through in the movie 40 Days and 40 Nights. I didn’t find myself sweating profusely, having the shakes, hallucinating, or hiding from members of the opposite sex, but I did end up being a lot less social.
It made me realize how much we use alcohol as a social crutch. It also made me realize how difficult actual alcoholics must have it. While it was better towards the end of the experiment, I still didn’t feel the social connection when out with friends who were drinking.
On the bright side I saved about $300 (probably because we didn’t eat out as much either), I lost about 10 pounds, and we never had a hangover. Would I recommend it…I’d say that depends on how much you enjoy ginger beer and kombucha. If you do try it, I’ve got some great kombucha to sell you.