I’m giving up booze for a bit, my friends. Nothing crazy — let’s be real, I like wine too much — but my plan is to not drink until I go on vacation in early April. So, I guess it’s kind of like giving up alcohol for Lent, although my dates are off. The timing has more to do with the fitness challenge we have going on at work, which involves not just weigh-ins and caliper testing for body fat, but assessments to test things like core strength and cardiovascular fitness. We started a couple of weeks ago and while I don’t foresee many changes to my diet, as I try to eat as healthy as possible, as often as possible, giving up alcohol is a change I can definitely make.
Calgary is such a drinks-driven city, though. We meet friends for drinks, we go for cocktails after work and we even sometimes put caramel Baileys in our coffees on the weekend (um…that last one might be more “I”, less “we”). Between work, media events (like the one pictured below) and social outings, it’s very easy to have wine a few times a week — and to have more than that on the weekends. I know it won’t be easy, but I’m ready to give booze a break.
This will not be my first time going off the sauce. Four or five years ago, I gave up alcohol for three months and wrote a couple of stories about it for the Calgary Herald. Aside from the story I once wrote about Canadian women who were tired of dating Canadian men and were migrating to the States — whoo boy, did that get everyone riled up! — I have never received so much feedback on a story. People of all ages wrote me emails and letters to say how they, too, sometimes feel like drinking is our unofficial pastime — and that they were feeling encouraged to stop for a while, as well. They rallied behind me, shared personal stories of their own and, interestingly, a few of them even quoted the Bible. (Another person wrote me to say it seemed like a Britney Spears-esque stunt. That stumped me.) The results of that experiment were fantastic — more money in my pocket, more energy on weekends, etc. — so I’m looking forward to this go-round.
I figure that by making the goal public on the TG blog, I’ll be more inclined to stick to it, even when I’m at the many fun media events and restaurant openings in our near future. And if I see you there and you need a designated driver, I’ve got your back.