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How I Stopped Drinking Wine for 30 Days How I Stopped Drinking Wine for 30 Days
December 5, 2017
by Olena

How I Stopped Drinking Wine for 30 Days

by Olena

How I Stopped Drinking Wine for 30 Days and What Happened - reasons why I wanted a change, my fears, the process, takeaways from living a sober mom's life for a month and where I am at now. | ifoodreal.com

I love wine! We all know I love wine, for Pete’s sake. Wine has been present in my life every weekend for years. You know how people can’t live without sugar, I can’t live without wine. I, myself, can’t believe I am writing about how I stopped drinking wine for a month, or the fact that I’m doing it (it is merely Day 10 without wine as I’m writing this paragraph), or that I actually did it. So if you have recovered from the shock of this turn of events in my life, welcome back and keep on reading.

I believe I do not have a problem. I think I just created this bad habit drinking wine every weekend. However, there are 2 types of wine drinkers:

#1. Like Alex – who doesn’t care if it’s Saturday and he is not drinking wine.

#2. Like Olena – who at the words “no wine” on a Saturday night gets these big eyes and a broken heart.

Being a very self conscious and honest person with my own self, I have been thinking about above mentioned facts lately. I know I’m more “addicted” to wine than my husband, even though I have a full right because I’m a mother. I am a mom drinker, I know many other mom drinkers, however I have known and know enough people who overuse alcohol. “Who am I?” question has been bugging me lately (I would be lying if I said a month in Mexico had nothing to do with this decision). I believe some people have more addictive personality, and some lesson before mentioned. I’m in the middle. I quit smoking, I stopped eating processed foods, I can exercise. So, I can do it if I want to. But do I have a problem with not drinking wine?

After coming back from Mexico where we have been moderately drinking every day, I had a feeling deep inside of me that I need to cut back. I swear I didn’t Google anything but one night this post popped up on Pinterest. I have read it with big interest and it made me think about my own relationship with wine. Completely unprepared and scared to quit alcohol for a year, I decided just to stop drinking without an occasion, which in a few days turned into not drinking for 30 days challenge, and later on into a crazy desire to document and share this journey with you. As I am “growing up”, I’m “cleaning up” my life. I have tackled the diet issue (almost), I’m pretty content with materialistic things I have, I am dealing with “skeletons” in my closet, and now I feel like I need to sort out my relationship with alcohol.

My Relationship with Wine

  • Frequency: Not every night, about 3-4 times a week. Writing this down alone is shocking.
  • Amount: 1-2 glasses or about half a bottle.
  • Occasion: Friday because it is Friday, hello?! Saturday because it is Saturday, hello again?! Sunday because tomorrow is Monday, ugh! During the week because it was a hard day, sure! Vacation – every day because it is vacation. You get the idea.

How I Stopped Drinking Wine for 30 Days and What Happened - reasons why I wanted a change, my fears, the process, takeaways from living a sober mom's life for a month and where I am at now. | ifoodreal.com

Reasons

  1. Weight: The biggest bad ass reason to cut back on alcohol is my growing ass. YES! No matter how healthy I eat, how much I work out, if I keep drinking this much, it is equivalent to running on a hamster wheel. Unless I work out every day like crazy which I do not feel like doing at ALL.
  2. Energy: Alcohol makes me tired, even 2 glasses of wine make me way less productive the evening of drinking and the day after.
  3. Headache: Wine gives me a headache. 1 glass is OK but truth is who stops at a 5 oz glass?! No, let me rephrase – what mom pours 5 oz in a first glass?! Fun is just beginning and I have to stop?! Are you crazy?
  4. Sleep: On the nights I drink wine, my sleep is followed with anxiety and is not as deep. Result is more or less tired, unproductive and a bit grumpy Olena.
  5. Mood: The day I learnt that alcohol actually is a depressant from my friend Jenn who is a psychologist, changed my life forever. And it’s true. Every time I drink wine I think about it and I can totally see how I’m more unhappy when I drink – I’m happy for the first 2 hours but then that feeling of guilt and unbalanced hormones overtakes me. And guess what? Wine hasn’t solved any of problems YET.
  6. Fear: Lately, I noticed that fun things in life don’t seem as fun without a glass of wine. Am I missing out on some life experiences with my kids and husband because of wine? I need to be honest with myself before it is too late.
  7. Envy: I noticed I started looking around and asking myself “That person is enjoying life, looks happy and I know he/she is not drinking”. And it makes me totally jealous! I want to be THAT person. I know  if I’m feeling that way, there is an issue that needs attention. YES.

Fears

  1. Lack of Fun: Will I still be able to have fun at social gatherings and in life without wine? What will I do for so many hours without a buzz?
  2. Replacing with Sugar: Every single human being needs a way to relax and indulge. Many people turn to sugar or food in general when they are trying to quit a bad habit. Where as I didn’t care about desserts for years because I knew I was already drinking wine, I’m scared to replace wine with sugar because of the weight point above. I’m not scared of turning to smoking cigarettes (already an issue of the past), or marijuana (tried that, did nothing for me, smell alone makes me run), or even drugs (I’m well past that stage) but sugar is a concern.
  3. Uncertainty: What is next for me in life? What happens next? How am I going to live without something that has been part of my blood since I was a teenager?

Goal

The goal of this challenge is not to quit alcohol forever but to be HAPPY aka to break a bad habit!

How I Stopped Drinking Wine for 30 Days and What Happened - reasons why I wanted a change, my fears, the process, takeaways from living a sober mom's life for a month and where I am at now. | ifoodreal.com

Process

Day 1 – 8 Without Wine

I decided to approach this challenge by taking day by day. As I “grow up”, I find this strategy along with “go to sleep and tomorrow will be better” working quite well for me. Also keeping busy always distracts me and I’m sure many of you can relate – I’m redecorating our living room so endless shopping trips to Homesense are keeping me occupied and away from wine, harmful for my wallet more than wine but not really because we get to enjoy the space I spent money on for years to come vs. sitting in uncomfortable leather couches and not reading due to lack of lamps. And by the way, I sold our old decor and furniture on Craigslist and new furnishings cost me only $500. Ha!

First Friday: First 4 days were easy because I started the challenge on Monday. Friday rolled in and I had a tiny concern about the night, especially since it was Good Friday – a day off, but I ended up painting a door all day and then in the evening Alex made dinner, we went for a walk and watched TV. First Friday without wine was totally OK although I had “a wine devil” whispering into my ear for some time.

First Saturday: We left our house early, took Skytrain and spent all day in Vancouver taking boys to the Science World, drinking coffee in a boutique coffee shop, walking along the ocean in False Creek, and shopping for a new mattress. When we got home at 9PM exhausted, kids went to bed and me and Alex watched TV a bit. It was way past my usual “wine hour” of 6-7PM, so I was totally OK.

First Social Gathering: Sunday happened to be Easter Sunday and my friend Katie invited us for a turkey dinner. Imagine beautiful sunny day, over 20 people, women are chatting and cooking in a gorgeous kitchen, men drinking beer on the patio, kids running around. Honestly, I was concerned how I will do without wine where everybody is enjoying alcohol, but I can’t say I was terrified. Remember, we are all “growing up” eventually. I did perfectly fine enjoying this beautiful day, amazing food and great people. We got home near 9PM and me and Alex went for a walk because spring air is just SO GOOD right now.

Guess what happened on Easter Monday? I woke up at 9:40AM! Something I haven’t done since I was 20ish and pre-kids.

I haven’t worked out much during this period because I don’t feel like it. Instead, I have been going for 4K walks by myself or with Alex, in the evening, inhaling wonderful spring air of Vancouver. It is so gorgeous outside! I eat the same healthy normal. I have been eating more dark chocolate though, 75% and 85% one.

Day 9 – 14

Weeknights: No problems. I think “the wine devil” is leaving my shoulder, I swear. However, I have enjoyed more than my usual share of dark chocolate and ice cream during the week, which I saw on my face in a form of acne. Sugar + ovulation = not a good mix for hormones.

Friday Night: My sugar cravings have subsided. We went to a friend’s house and I had club soda and a tiny bit of treat.

Saturday: We went to Costco at night, had a nice hot tub after dinner and watched TV. Honestly, this was the day I started thinking I can live without wine because Alex was drinking next to me and I could care less eating my organic strawberries. Wohoo.

Sunday: No problem at all. Wow, is it me or is it really me?!

Day 15 – 22

What a week of celebrations! It was Alex’s Birthday on Tuesday, Mom’s Night on Friday and my friend’s huge Birthday party on Saturday. Making it 2 weeks without wine, I honestly wasn’t very concerned how am I going not to drink wine!!! Even a year ago, not to mention 5 years, I would have been very upset to celebrate anything without wine. On a scale of 1 to 10, I craved wine at 3 during these events. Most shocking part to me was that I still managed to have a ton of fun with laughs, great food and a bit of dessert.

I am starting to think I really do not have a problem and that new life is ahead of me, when we do not drink wine every weekends. I am really enjoying not to wake up with a headache and be present every moment. I’m not going crazy on sugar but I’m having my treats – a bit of chocolate ice cream, a chocolate bar or a small slice of cake, without any guilt since I’m avoiding hundreds (honestly close to a thousand) of empty wine calories each week. Sweet!

I got my period this week and it was shockingly not painful, which has been the case for the past 5 years. First 2 days are usually followed by excruciating cramps. This time barely any pain. Hm, I have found that dysmenorrhea’s symptomps can get worse from alcohol. I also didn’t feel bloated. Overall I feel less bloated every day now. Let’s see what happens next month.

I feel super energetic and productive. So productive, we decided to go on a road trip to San Francisco.

Day 23 – 30

As it is Day 30 of me not drinking even a drop of alcohol, I don’t think I even have much to say except what I have already said last week – it is FINE. I feel totally fine not to drink. I would like to have a drink if it is an occasion, but I’m not going to drink tonight to celebrate the end of the challenge, in case you are wondering. Nope, no desire. Because it’s just fine. I’m content with Netflix, chocolate, a walk, and a book.:)

How I Stopped Drinking Wine for 30 Days and What Happened - reasons why I wanted a change, my fears, the process, takeaways from living a sober mom's life for a month and where I am at now. | ifoodreal.com

Takeaways

  1. Life Is Fun Without Alcohol: Life can be and is amazing without wine if I’m genuinely happy with my life. Wow, seriously, not drinking wine made me brave enough to see a counsellor and to deal with past and present issues. Parties are fun without wine if I’m hanging out at the right parties. By the age of 35, I do seriously evaluate the company I’m hanging out with as time is precious and I’m simply more content to read a book or watch a show if a partying crowd is not my crowd. I think we can all agree on that. I proved myself I do not have an addiction and moving forward I would like to enjoy a glass of wine celebrating a birthday, going out for dinner with Alex or at Christmas. I would be OK to not drink every weekend because it is a weekend but I’m going to enjoy a glass of this beautiful wine with friends at dinner on Saturday.
  2. Weight Loss: I did lose 2-3 lbs. I didn’t have a scale when I started, but I can feel my clothes is fitting more loose. Simple math: 1 lb of fat = 3,500 calories, 4 weekends no wine = 4 x 1,000 calories saved. There you go.
  3. No Fitness: I didn’t workout past month. That is a whole new post in itself.
  4. Increased Energy: There are seriously barely any bad days. Even my period was way less painful. I am full of energy.
  5. Improved Sleep: Hello deep sleep without anxiety when my mind is spinning trying to remember that I didn’t drink a bottle of wine at a night club dancing all night, so how come I feel like crap and can’t sleep?!
  6. Better Mood: Hello, balanced hormones. Seriously, I’m way less irritable, just ask Alex.
  7. It Is Easier to Be Healthy: Well it is. The biggest part is that I feel way less bloated. Another big thing is that I do not crave salty greasy foods the day after I drank a few glasses of wine. Again, hello balanced hormones.

Life is an ever changing landscape. We grow, we learn, we laugh, we cry. It is all OK as long as we are honest with ourselves. Life is a beautiful thing if you are brave enough to look at the core of what really makes you happy and go for it. Denying or delaying your feelings won’t solve the problem, just like a glass of wine will not do the trick either. But if a glass of wine makes you happy and helps to relax, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it! If you are having doubts about your alcohol consumption (like I did), I highly recommend to complete this 30 Day No Wine challenge – you will learn A TON about yourself! And I will be brave and say this – if you can’t live without alcohol for 30 days, probably it is a good idea to seek professional help. I honestly would have, before it was too late. IMHO.

So, cheers to this amazing life!

P.S. I think I will report some time in June how next 30 days will go. 🙂

How I Stopped Drinking Wine for 30 Days and What Happened - reasons why I wanted a change, my fears, the process, takeaways from living a sober mom's life for a month and where I am at now. | ifoodreal.com

89 comments on “How I Stopped Drinking Wine for 30 Days

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  1. I need to know what has happened since then! I am a ‘mom’ drinker too and it’s climbing to 4 ipas every night. I feel not bad in the morning, just anxious and never feel rested. I just got in a bad habit of leaning on drinking to make unfun nights (because it’s life and everything doesn’t need to be fun), fun. I am 35 and In a rut thinking of the last four years I have carried this on. It’s within ‘control’ as I haven’t made poor decisions other than over-purchasing items online … but with collagen fleeting and my liver carrying the burden, it somehow doesn’t seem sustainable to continue on like this. I am ready for a change and I like the 1-month perspective because it doesn’t erase alcohol forever, which seems impossible.

    1. I think the turning point for me was “to make your everyday life fun” and then you won’t need to disconnect from reality. I highly recommend to listen to Tiffany Hann Say Yes podcast. The thing is that adult life can be fun – we have everything for it.
      I am doing fine. I enjoy a few drinks on a weekend and stopped with red wine. Maybe one day I will stop all together. Good luck, you can do it!

  2. Thanks for posting this! I’m a 59 year old male that would love to quit drinking wine for at least 21 days. It’s tough but I know I gotta do it it. I need more motivating factors. I can quit for about three days but need accountability for the remaining days. What suggestions do you have?

  3. I am so glad that I read your article. I needed some inspiration and positivity to motivate myself to stop drinking wine rather than the ‘doom and gloom’ reasons that just make you want another bottle, nevermind a glass! I shall start my personal challenge today, slightly fuzzy headed but certainly feeling determined 😁

  4. I am going to do this after reading your article ,starting april ,I have a wine or 2 each evening and more weekend it’s also stopped me losing the bit of extra weight from xmas ,you sound so positive thank you for sharing x

  5. today i was so edgy because its friday and i did not have a bottle of wine in my house, i have a 11month teething feverish boy 4year old and a 5year old girls that talk 24/7,because they are each others best friends, my husband is a smoker so his always in the smoking section, so i created this bad habit of drinking a 1-3 glasses of wine (the whole bottle) just to zone out from this mom madness…. I just had 1 glass and then googled how to stop drinking wine and fell into this article let me tell you! You are darn spot on! I dnt do sugars because i do wine, i do strong bitter coffees and still cant shed no weight!!!! (cause im nt a snake right, lol). Im going to finish this bottle of wine and sit my hubby down to explain to him that, he will not buy me wine again…. Im freaking out cause I xo not know what im going to replace it with… And what i loved about this article is the fact that you keep yourself active with your family and that is my goals. 10years from now i want to be a super mom super mogal and i know it starts with not opening another bottle of grapes. Wish me luck

  6. Thank you for courageously sharing your story. I can totally relate to it on so many levels. Before reading this article, I thought I was totally alone in this fight. I felt like there was absolutely no hope for me. I thought I was 1 of 3 people struggling with this bad habit I have created for myself. However, you have inspired me and have given me hope to pick myself back up and get back on track to live a healthier and happier life. I am going to start the challenge of not drinking wine for thirty days, today, and will be back to share my experience.

    P.S. I absolutely love your humor surrounding this subject. LOL

  7. Felt good reading your post!! I went through this in my early 40’s. Drinking at least a half a bottle a day. Gained weight, was depressed, demanding job. Then I stopped the wine, started working out a lot, Kickboxing was my thing, lost weight, felt good, very happy.

    Now, late 50’s fell into the same trap.
    Not sure why because things are going good!!
    Crazy, the wine devil on my shoulder again. I really enjoy wine, but hate the described feeling. Your post helped bring me back to reality again, so thank you for that. Will start on my new journey again and hopefully won’t turn back!

  8. Your post is a lifesaver for me. My experience exactly. My drinking habit mimics yours and I couldn’t decide if it was a problem or a habit. I didn’t know the depressant connection but it explains a lot. Super Bowl last night and 3 glasses of red. I feel lousy and am babysitting all day. So- no more worrying or debating or FOMO. The 30 day challenge starts today and I am not the only person in the world with this bad habit.

    1. Good for you! That is the problem – the day after. I also found I don’t crave red wine as much after switching to clear liquor with club soda. Good luck!

  9. WOW!!! I wish I could be like you .👍 I am a wine drinker and unfortunately drinking everyday .I Tried many times but did not work.

  10. I can totally relate. Over the past two years my life has become very stressful and what was once one glass of chardonnay a night has become at least a bottle a night if not more. I have also gained about 50 pounds. I have tried to stop and was successful for two months and then the stress took over and I am right back where I started. Was just wondering have you had any wine since you wrote this article in 2017.

    1. I had. I stopped drinking red a while back because it gives me headache after 1 glass even. And occasionally drink white or rose but switched to vodka club soda. I don’t drink during the week except sometimes maybe once. Wine is hard. Alcohol is hard. I am debating sometimes to stop drinking at all but I don’t want to replace it with sugar or marijuana lol. I know it helps to deal with the cause of stress if possible and then wine problem fades away. Good luck to you and big hug!

  11. Hi again
    I just read you are on Vancouver Island
    My step son just built a house in Jordan River!
    It’s beautiful there!

  12. Very honest and informative
    Wine devil is a good description lol
    My husband and are retired and wine consumption just crept up on us
    Day 1 woke up
    Still weird dreams for me
    My husband has asthma he had a better breathing sleep in one night
    I think a journal is a good idea to see progress
    Thank you

  13. Loved your article. I recently moved to a new state and it’s been extremely stressful. Wine has been a close friend. You’re takeaways where very beneficial. Time to take a break and drop a few pounds as well. 🥂😎

  14. I totally relate to all the facts you listed I have a very similar relationship with wine 3 nights of the week and it makes me feel awful but I still keep drinking it, I really want to try 30 days and by reading how you coped so well o might just try it ! Thank you for being so honest x

  15. I am happy that you wrote about this! It’s so easy to drink a bottle a night( 2 large glasses) and get stuck in this cycle. I don’t like the pounds as I get older and I don’t like how it makes me miss out and feel bad in general. Thank you for inspiring me to cut back too!!

  16. Great post. I relate so much to you…and wine is my bestie currently. What an evil lady she is. I think it’s time to reconstruct my adult self and this post made me feel like I can 🙂 Thank you.

  17. Wow! Very encouraging!! I can take it or leave it—however, there are times when I take it! But it really doesn’t make it any better! The guilt is so overwhelming! And the headaches! I’m ready to just leave it!

  18. This was extremely helpful for me as i was browsing articles for tips on reducing alcohol reduction. thank you very much for taking the time to write this. God Bless

  19. Love this post! I have struggled with my wine intake now for many years, I have done what you did and stopped drinking for several weeks then decided I could have just one glass and am back to drinking the bottle again! I do find myself irritated, annoyed with my kids/ husband, and find every excuse to have a glass at 5pm. Today I was inspired to read your blog because I know deep down that things are better without alcohol. Thank you for being real and honest, I am truly motivated to do your 30 DAY CHALLENGE! I will let you know how it goes!

  20. I have NEVER posted before but HAD to say THANK YOU to all who have told their wine stories. I LOVED wine. I still do and yet I HATE it! Like many have posted, one glass has become one bottle. And the food that follows? Holy cow! I eat healthy all day and then garbage as the wine takes over:( ARGH!!! I am so thankful for all of your honesty! I don’t feel alone with my love/hate relationship with wine. You have all inspired me to know I can quit! I admit that in the last few years of developing this habit has stemmed greatly from divorce, empty nest and living alone. Time to quit the pity party with wine and take care of myself! You are all an inspiration to me! I have bookmarked this page and will read it daily as I move forward. I hope I can find an enjoyable replacement, lol? THANK YOU, AGAIN…

    1. Big hug to you, Ruth! You are definitely not alone in this! I have done exactly what you do many times. And truth is if I were going through what you are I would do the same. I have a crazy fear of an empty nest. I work on it lol. I learnt about wine that it seems like impossible to stop but once you get over the hump of a few weeks or months, you are like not craving it at all. I quit smoking years ago and it was the same story. There is always light at the end of the tunnel and good things start happening when you take charge of your life. xoxo

    2. Wow I can definitely relate! I have a love hate relationship with wine. Following my separation, moving and now living on my own I feel wine taking a centre stage coping with my unresolved issues

  21. Drank a bottle of my favorite cab last night just so I could get through laundry. Now, the morning after, I’m googling how to stop drinking wine. Like you, I workout and eat healthy but still have gut problems because of my daily wine intake. So happy I came across this inspiring post! Congrats on your win! I’m trying this, starting TODAY. 💜💜💜💜

    1. Been there, done that, totally understand. It takes a few weeks to get rid of this habit and once you get over the hump you will be fine. You can do it. You will be like how could I even want that… Puzzles, books and walks help. And tea while doing laundry or bubbly!

  22. I so needed this. I am a healthy 48 year old woman. My biggest battle is wine! I eat well and active but wine is my devil! Not a heavy drinker but a daily one and I’m sick of it!!!! So I am going to let this inspire me! So thank you Darling! Let see how I do!

  23. Wow this is so great! Congratulations and thanks for writing this. I am thinking about following your lead and I appreciate all the honesty, humor and fun in which you shared your experience.

  24. Wow! Thankyou so much for writing this! I can totally relate! I’ve just woken up after indulging in a bottle of white last night feeling like shit, I hate the guilty feeling and memory loss… why do I do it?! I’ve just had over a week free from drink and felt better and didn’t mind it.. then after a long shift at work I felt the ‘need’ for a drink.. planning in only having 2 glasses but then we pour practically a bottle into our 2 glasses don’t we so when I looked at it and saw there was only a bit left I necked that off too.. couldn’t even remember if I’d put my 1 year old to bed.. turns out my husband did.. I have a few social events coming up.. wedding reception saturday night..daughters 1st Birthday party this Monday.. dunno why we drink at kids party’s but we do.. husband’s birthday in a couple of weeks.. and another wedding reception, the thought of not drinking at some of these events actually does scare me.. I know if I don’t drink people are gonna be trying to get me to.. or say I’m boring.. probably even buy me a glass and expect me to drink it.. I can go out and enjoy a glass with a meal and stop there.. but at partys and at home i really do struggle once a bottle is opened!
    I’m frightened to even say this but you have inspired me and I’m gonna take on your challenge! Let’s see if I can face my fears and not touch a drop for 30 days!

    1. Just know that you are not alone. I have experienced your feelings many times. I would say more than half of our population has. Alcohol is so engraved in our social lives. It is a habit. Once you get over the hump of first few weeks it goes easier afterwards. Wine is hard to stop with. You feel so good, it is flowing so smoothly. To be honest I still remember how good I felt after 30 days and now should do it again but a bit scared wit hall the social events etc. But I will do it again. It is important to occupy your time with smth else that brings you joy – read a good book, shopping ,renos, decor etc. and to look forward to it. Then you are not bored and reach for a glass. I hear ya. I appreciate your honesty and know you are not alone.

      1. Thanks for sharing. I woke up today saying if I can’t manage to go 1 week without wine I clearly have a problem.

        Like many of you I don’t drink a lot just everyday. It’s like a alarm goes off at 5pm. Wine and cooking. 1 glass 2 glass. Glass with dinner. Glass watching tv.
        I fall asleep and wake up at 3 am and feel awful. I know it’s from the wine!!!
        It’s 5:45 and I’m wanting so bad to poor that first glass but I’m not going to after reading all you wonderful ladies words.
        🙏 thanks. 12 more hours to go before I wake up and realize I made it thru my first day of zero wine

      1. Thank you for this article. I see it was written over two years ago but is still very relevant especially with the whole “wine mom” trend. There are so many meme’s and shirts and wine glasses and gifts that all revolve around women/moms and wine. It’s easy to forget that sometimes it’s not ok to drink wine every day. I keep telling myself I will stop or slow down starting tomorrow. I am going to aim for a 30 day “cleanse” that ends on my 39th bday. Your article is inspiring, especially the break down of the weeks.

  25. Thank you! Now, I don’t feel so alone. I’ve had a glass of wine each night with my meal – week day or weekend. But lately, I’ve been wanting more than a glass. And found myself feeling all the same things you mentioned above. I’ve been on a workout regimen, and eat healthy, but wine is SO hard to cut out. I don’t feel I’m losing the weight as quickly as I’d like because of the wine. To top it off, online shopping is so easy and accessible. So I’ve been ordering wine every month and my stock remains full. I tried cutting cold turkey…but it doesn’t work. Perhaps I will try to cut out every two, then three, then four days, and so on. Hopefully, I’ll be able to stop.

  26. I, too, have a ‘love affair’ with wine. NOT healthy, NOT good. To prove to myself that I was not totally dependent on it, that I didn’t need it to enjoy life, I didn’t drink any wine January – May. I DID IT!!!
    Then, the little wine voice returned. 😔
    Thank you for sharing! So good to know someone else on the same journey of life – so much to be grateful for and to enjoy without wine. Biggest bonus: memories made AND actually remembered!
    😉🌸💖

    1. Good for you! Yes, actually remembering things is the biggest reward. It’s all about that. It’s about creating life you don’t need numbing from.

  27. I’m so impressed and thinking of doing the same! Silly question, does it count if I switch the wine out for cucumber vodka with seltzer on a friday? 😮

    1. I think if I can keep it under control for only one night I would be ok with it. It is not completely alcohol free 30 days though but I mean whatever works for you.

  28. After my check liver light went off I stopped wine all together for 6 weeks. I missed it, but had to consider my health.
    Now I have wine once or twice a week and am doing great. My numbers are well within the healthy range.

  29. Well done girl!!! I live in Scotland and have just reached 3 weeks today wine free. Not always easy but far more doable than I thought. Have lost 7lbs not drinking a bottle of white a day and eating tonnes of fruit & veg instead of pizza & crisps as I would do after too much wine!!! Feeling great and lots more energy. Can’t believe how much money saved!!! 7 more days to go. Sorted!

  30. Thank you so much for your diary/thoughts/comments/ experiences! am having the same issues, although I have been drinking more wine than you did….kind of every day…..not just weekends. I do not have headaches….but have definitely noticed empty calorie weight gain!! Trying to figure out what type of liquid I could consume to replace my wine craving? I actually like the taste of my everyday wine. Do you have any ideas on liquid substitutions?
    However, I know I just have to make up my mind and simply stop……one day at a time. I do really appreciate your comments on your situation. Thank you!

    1. Kombucha!!! OMG, works like a charm during the week and sometimes on weekends. I make my own and we always have supply on hand. Many of my girlfriends say the same. ANd flavored club soda too. I mean I know I usually drink during the week if something is not going well in my life. So I try to fix the root of the problem. Doesn’t always work but works sometimes. And you are right about making your mind. I think it’s all about balance.:)

  31. Great read!
    I’m actually doing a dry November and here we are day 23! I’m glad I came across your article. It’s interesting how quickly we sometimes gravitate to wine we always seem to find a reason! I had decided to do this challenge with my boyfriend and I must admit it has been difficult at times but what I noticed is when I wanted a drink he didn’t and vice versa. We haven’t been out with groups of friends too much over the month.
    Anywho. As we wind down of our month challenge we will see What December brings! Your article came at a great time! ?

  32. I’m so impressed with you and your article. I have been thinking a lot about my 12 year nightly wine habit. Thinking back, it started when I was in the thick of it and our children were 10 and 12 years old. It just seemed to take the edge off. I never stopped. I don’t get loaded and always feel like I am in control of myself but I have 1-2 every night. When I need to drive, I don’t have wine but I do have it later when I’m back home. It’s weird, I only crave wine. If there is no wine in the house, I don’t turn to beer or hard alcohol but I will make that trip to the store to get wine. I feel like I’m very similar to you (except my habit has become worse, at least you took days off) I work out almost daily, went vegan 3 months ago. (52 yo, 5’8″ 125 lbs) I take great care of myself except this bad habit. I feel like there is a time frame starting about 3:30 or 4pm where I start thinking it’s getting close to wine time (5pm) and the thought stays with me until I open the bottle and then I enjoy so much cooking dinner while I sip/gulp wine. I continue to have my second glass with dinner and then relax with an unproductive evening. I would love to sleep better and be more productive and not want worry if I have wine in the house, etc.

    Thanks so much for your story. I’m gonna try to break my habit too 🙂

    1. It definitely sounds like a bad habit you picked up. It can happen to me after 2 week long vacation, for example, when we have wine with dinner every night. Then it takes a bit of willpower for a few days to break the habit and it might seem hard but then you get over it and it’s all good. Because your habit is very old it might take more willpower and time for you, some people need help and some can do it on their own. But you totally CAN DO IT! You will feel much more at peace and rested. ALcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, coffee all fall into category of very addictive substances but some are more harmful the others. Just please don’t think it’s impossible to break the habit, however it’s important to acknowledge the signs when it became an addiction. I will be honest with you and say that every night drinking, even 1 glass of wine, is not OK. Just trying to help you.:) Wishing you all the best!

  33. Thank you for being bold enough to post such an honest reflection your fears about going without wine! Exactly what I needed to read today as I work towards being healthier to try to conceive. I just love your writing and perspective on this and now feel like I can do it too!

  34. I fit into the older category, but as all of you commented have been thinking about cutting back on the wine for a while (2 glasses every night with dinner). My oncologist has been all over me about it for calories (I’m not huge but at my top weight ever) and alcohol and breast cancer don’t mix. Like some of the comments, I have been weighing the stress relief vs benefits of not drinking every day. Anyway, helps to know there are others out there fighting the same things. Having accidentally found this blog may be a sign and give me the energy to step over the line. Thanks!

  35. Hi Olena. Thank you for your great article. I was searching for tips on how to stop the wine drinking habit when I stumbled upon it. i am on my 3rd week now of cutting back to just the weekend. It feels like 3 months :-). It is still hard. Perhaps that’s my mistake and it would be better if I went cold turkey, however I can’t bear the thought it. I love the good wine with good food combination and feel I will be depriving myself of one of the finer things in life. But I fear the numbness I feel may be also the attraction, especially when I have a stressful day at work. I really enjoyed your reference to the wine devil, I hear him on my shoulder all the time , mostly just before I put the meal on the table. ‘Now wouldn’t that be nice with a glass of wine’ etc etc. He also kicks in after that 1st glass on the weekend…’have another’ ….’you might as well finish the bottle, otherwise it is a waste’…
    My sleep has not approved but my productivity 100%. After 2 full glasses a night I easily spent the rest of the evening till 1am hanging on the couch. In the first week of stopping, I felt really restless and didn’t know what to do with myself. I was even to restless for TV. But now I am doing extra chores, some work, helping the kids more with homework and even getting to bed earlier.
    I never had to much wine in a night, 2-3 glasses is always my max but my real reason for stopping was weight loss and I am happy to report that it is working 🙂
    Now lets hope I can keep this up.

    All the best.
    Genevieve

  36. Thank you, Olena, for this well timed post! I have just finished a master cleanse and was looking for clean eating dinner ideas (to hopefully keep this body clean and to appease a processed-food,pizza-loving husband), when I happened upon your blog. This article completely sums up where my mind has been lately and the discussions I’ve been having with myself regarding my love of wine. I, too, have found that after the first week or so, I do not miss the wine at all, and have noticed vast changes as you so elegantly documented in your blog. Consideme a new follower! Thank you!

    1. Hi Cindy. Welcome!:) Yeah, I switched to beer which is 2-3 times less alcohol than wine, I drink my 1-2 bottles max and I’m good, having a decent buzz that goes away fast and no headaches and never ending glasses of wine. I look at wine differently these days – 1 glass with nice dinner on occasion. All the best to you, and remember it’s not all or nothing for a happy life.:)

  37. I did the same challenge after a dark period where I realized I was probably drinking waaay too much. I went 30 days without any alcohol, lost about 3 lbs, felt clear headed and was able to move forward realizing I am in control of my life and alcohol doesn’t have to be a part of it. I do drink on occasion now but never during the week and in moderation. I think this is a healthy challenge for anyone having doubts about their alcohol consumption and the role it plays in daily life. You are an inspiration as always Olena!!
    -Amanda

    1. Ditto, very well said, Amanda! Good for you. I have arrived to the same place as you and I feel much better. Deep down we all have that gut feeling that is usually right. I always knew that smoking and weeknight (every weekend) drinking was affecting my daily life. It is better to take responsibility for our choices now than “wake up” many years later and wonder what went wrong or why did I do it. xoxo

  38. Olena, I feel like you are my twin. Everything you said I can totally relate to. I am on my first week of cutting out wine for 30 days. It’s Friday and a holiday weekend so I am a little worried about my will power. I found that when I am having a strong craving, I drink a Kombucha and it helps a lot. Thank you for the great posts and awesome recipes!!

    1. There are many of us out there, just because there are so many moms.:)
      Yes, kombucha helps me too. Probably because it has a strong flavour, carbonation and a tiny wee amount of alcohol. In fact, I’m posting a recipe for kombucha on Sunday and now that is summer I’m brewing it in stock pot amounts, I’m serious.
      To make you feel better, I survived Easter weekend and am not drinking this weekend either. You can do it. I’m sipping on kombucha right now.

  39. I love everything about this posting! Even at an old grannie age, I need to stay on my toes and continue challenging myself. Otherwise my a simple treat becomes a self comforting habit that quickly get out of hand and turns into a ‘thing’.

    You’re so darned honest Olena and it is wonderful and refreshing!

    1. No matter what age, we all do need a reality check at times. Life and nutrition, anything in life, will never be perfect. It is all about doing your best majority of time and sometimes we relax too much.
      I appreciate honesty myself. I think the last thing our world needs is another pretend perfection. We live in such confusing times full of ingenuity everywhere you go. And it is playing against us already big time. It’s just hard to come by information that is delivered the way it is these days.

  40. It really does take a few weeks to break a habit. I did a month of no alcohol or added sugar (but fruit was OK) and I ended up noticing a steep drop in my cravings for red wine or some dark chocolate. Fruit started feeling like an indulgent treat. I’m back to drinking red wine, maybe 1-2 glasses a week maximum. When I go to happy hour with friends, I try to switch to sparkling water after the first drink. But sometimes I get a second glass 🙂 It’s never going to be perfect.

    1. No, never gonna be perfect. I do not believe in cutting everything out, that is not life. I am enjoying my sleep without wine now. I switched to beer and quite like it. Just a bit of good quality beer. Now I’m going to try to have only 1 glass of wine. It is all about habit. Chocolate started giving me acne. I need to cut down on that too. Work in progress, never ends lol. But I am so happy with no bloating, lost lbs and SLEEP! I love my sleep!
      Fruit iz amazing!!! I can’t wait for fresh berries and stone fruit.

  41. Nice Post! I am in the same rut. Well first started off with a really bad job and it was wine every night to cope… then when I got a new job that was way better , I thought to myself…Why am I still drinking?? So I started just having it on Saturday and Sundays. A bit of an adjustment. I would like to make the leap to not having it at all , but I live on the Central Coast of CA. and it’s totally Wine Country!…… I think I’ll have to ease into it by having it every other weekend and then eventually set myself free. Thanks again and best wishes!!!

    1. Hi Gail. I think it is just a bad habit you need a period of time to break, and then you will be fine. Just a custom to pick up a drink. I drank wine on Friday night, 2 glasses, and that didn’t go well – I didn’t sleep well and was so tired the next day. Because I remembered for long enough how good it feels to wake up after not drinking, the next day on Saturday I had 1.5 beers at dinner with friends and it was perfect!!! Alex woke up with same headache and tiredness as me the day before. Sunday I drank my kombucha – so good.
      You know, I know for sure all or nothing doesn’t work for me. If I Lived where you live, I probably would want to indulge in some good wine occasionally, 2 glasses max, and usually better during the day not right before bedtime. You just have to find your balance.
      Speaking of where you live. Is it Napa? We are going to San Francisco in July and I’m looking for suggestions what to do in wine country up there.:)

  42. Awe love that photo! You look relaxed! Wine has never been an issue of mine. Sugar has. This is the reason I won’t eat white bread. As soon as I have one piece I will probably eat the entire loaf…maybe its the Ukrainian in me. I like the idea of giving something up for 30 days to challenge yourself. It’s crazy to think that as humans we are constantly “growing” up and changing no matter our age.

    1. Hehe, that was my 2nd glass of wine, that’s why I look happy, plus Alex has just returned from Israel being away for a week for his mom’s funeral. 🙁
      There is this oyster place in a small town of Blaine, WA literally across the imaginary border fence. You order oysters, fresh or grilled, sit outside facing Pacific Ocean, and watch the sun go down with a glass of white wine or beer. Kids get fries and chicken nuggets from across the street delivered straight to the table. Then we walk for an ice cream as big as your face at a nearby dairy store and stroll the boardwalk with kids playing into the dark at the most amazing playground ever. So, it is basically everything you are not supposed to do to be healthy but it is so good to do twice a year on a hot summer night!:)
      Sugar is a drug. I have been enjoying it a bit more than regular in the past month because of no wine treats, now sugar treats. And my acne around ovulation and period times has been the worst I have ever seen! Eventually I’m gonna find the balance and figure it out. Good bread is yummy, hard to stop, I agree.
      The growing part is crazy!!! I never saw it coming LOL. But I LIKE it – I’m way nicer to myself now, I am beginning to love myself just now!

      1. I notice my skin breaks out more during period times too…and that’s when I tend to crave sugar more too. The small town sounds wonderful! My family went to British Columbia when I was only 10 but I still remember it very well. They have Canadian friends that we stayed with. Very beautiful place.

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