I Stopped Drinking, and My Workouts Have Seriously Improved

When I was still drinking once or twice a week, it really began to take a toll on my energy. Instead of feeling sluggish just the day after having a couple drinks, I felt the impact almost daily. On the weekends, instead of carving out time for a long run on my favorite trail (something I used to love to do), I’d make time for a nap. Then after I woke up, I still felt too lethargic for a good workout. During the workweek, I’d pull up my yoga pants and slide on a tank top, but when I actually attempted to work out to a HIIT or Pilates video in my basement, the effort wasn’t really there. I’d go through the motions, but I never pushed myself to break a sweat or even breathe very hard. Once I stopped drinking, things began to change.

Cropped shot of an attractive and athletic young woman looking tired after a workout in the gym

I made fitness a habit more than five years ago, but recently, I found myself in a deep rut. Instead of working out five to six times each week, I’d work out once or twice. I just couldn’t salvage enough energy some days, and after some careful thought, I realized the culprit: alcohol. So, since the light bulb went on, I’ve stopped drinking completely. It may not be forever, and I don’t take lightly the ability to “just stop,” but it’s been three months since I began experimenting with the whole sober-curious movement, and I can see a giant improvement in both my motivation to exercise and my workouts in general.

No, it didn’t happen overnight. I wish it were that easy. But each week, both my motivation and workouts got easier – and, dare I say, fun again. When I stopped drinking, I slept better, ate better, and no longer needed those weekend naps. So once I put on those workout clothes and hiked to my basement, I began to push myself all over again. I dusted off and picked up my weights, got on the treadmill (which was accumulating cobwebs), and chose more difficult workout videos to try. By not drinking, it’s as though I removed a giant – and very prickly – hurdle from my fitness life.

There are still days I have to push myself to work out, but I do it, because now I have the energy to peel myself off of the couch.

No, things aren’t perfect now. There are still days I have to push myself to work out, but I do it, because now I have the energy to peel myself off of the couch. And once I start, I noticed a huge difference. Not only do I intrinsically want to push myself to be better, but because I no longer have that leftover alcohol in my body, I can. When an instructor is yelling at me through the TV screen, “You’ve got this!,” I actually believe them. I can push myself a little further with each workout. I follow the advanced workouts because I can. I’ve added more weights, chosen longer workouts, and gotten my cardio back where it used to be. Most importantly, I’ve enjoyed it.

Chloe x Halle: In Perfect Harmony

Finally, I’m back to running on my favorite trail. And although the distance isn’t quite where it used to be, I now have the energy (and drive) to get myself there. You see, now that I no longer feel sluggish days after I drink, the motivation deep within me has returned. And nothing feels better than that – doing something healthy for my fitness because I want to. So, for now, this sober-curious thing is working for me, body and mind.

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