For the first time in my life I am practicing giving up something for the Lenten season. I chose to give up alcohol. There have been days I contemplated trading that out for something easier yet here I am, alcohol free. I have certainly discovered a few things about myself at the mid-way point to the season. So while I did this in practicing my religion it has provided some benefits along the way that I didn’t really expect.
Improved Productivity. I never really anticipated this as a benefit until I caught myself staring at light bulbs in Lowe’s at 9:45pm on a weekday. We had a light bulb go out in our refrigerator and this is the type of thing that normally would have waited until the weekend as a task. Yet, while running to get stamps for our oldest child’s school project I somehow found myself at Lowe’s looking at replacements for said light bulb. It dawned on me that this is what people who don’t drink wine in the evenings must do, be productive and just handle their business! Whoa!
Glowing Skin. I’ve had an increase in the amount of people who have told me that my complexion looks amazing. I do have a good skin care routine however it’s likely received some major help with the increase of lemon water. I recently replaced my citric intake with lemons in my water and there are so many wonderful benefits to it. From helping to blast away bacteria that causes skin infections like pimples, to the high amount of vitamin C that helps prevent and repair age spots, to helping wrinkles stay at bay, lemon water is the way to go. Alcohol does dehydrate the body which can leave your skin looking dull so this makes sense to me on the increased glow.
Losing Weight. Sure everyone says the best way to lose a few pounds is cut the alcohol. I was still skeptical until it happened. I’ve lost about 7-10 pounds since the beginning of the Lenten season. Can you say MOTIVATION?! Umm… yes, sign me up for some more. Honestly, I think this piece is what fuels me to not throw in the towel. Alcohol has a high calorie content and while I am not really counting calories my body likely was.
Save Money. Never really thought about this 19 days ago when I began the journey however it was getting a bit expensive as my tolerance levels had increased drastically over the years. At the end of the Lenten season I’ll be a cheap date for my husband, lol! Although I think he’s totally thinking that now when I order water instead of wine if we go out to eat. I haven’t started setting the money saved aside yet, likely should have done that, but you totally could.
Better Health. Being able to nourish my body with something more beneficial leads to better health overall. It can help reduce your risk of developing serious health issues such as liver or heart disease, and can also help lower your blood pressure. No big shocker here, it also can help reduce your risk of cancer. It can provide mental clarity and increase your mood and energy levels, too. It’s somewhat helped me sleep better, although I am a terrible sleeper ever since being diagnosed so any improvement is a gift.
With all of the benefits I have found this to be no easy task, won’t lie about that. My weekly indulgence of Chinese food was halted because wine typically is associated with it. You see, I have the most amazing Chinese place nearby, for those of you old enough to have watched the TV show, Cheers, Rice Cooker is my Cheers. When I walk in the door, everyone knows my name and they begin to pour my glass of wine. I then sip my wine while I wait on my take-out food. It.Is.Magical. Now that you are singing, “sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name… and they’re always glad you came.” Here comes my confessional. I had the request Friday for Chinese food from the hubs and I think anxiety met somewhere with excitement to see the gang. Just like normal, the owner poured a glass before I could stop her and honestly I didn’t have the heart to tell her I gave it up for lent. I drank the glass of wine, lent season failure, face palm. I felt like I should have been in a confessional booth, repenting. Instead, I repented in the car, if that’s even a thing. Hey, I’m new at this, no judgement zone!
I will count it as a win that I refrained from buying a bottle of wine at the grocery store since I had this trip up. I am right back to practicing the Lenten season for the next 21 days. I’m learning to lean into Him a little more and I’ve enjoyed my time with my savior and with my new found discoveries along the way. Who knows, maybe I’ll lose another 10 pounds!
Cheers to not being perfect, confessionals, discoveries, and the Lenten season!