Having fun while sober? Not as bad as it sounds, trust me!
I have been battling some annoying health issues over the past year. I am not a crazy eater by any means, but I do indulge in more bread and candy than I should. Long story short, I have had to make some pretty strict changes in my diet for the past month (and for the next month as well) to get my system back in shape. One of the worst parts of my diet: no alcoholic beverages. None. Zilch. And this couldn’t have happened at a worse time! It’s summer, and there are so many events to go to, most of which involve drinking.
How do I manage to keep my diet in check while not wanting to gauge my eyes out? Here are a few tricks that I’ve learned that help to have fun without having a drink:
1. Give yourself a pep talk.
This may sound dumb, but if you tell yourself how good you are doing before you even go somewhere with alcohol, you are more likely to stick to your guns. Why? Well, who wants to let themselves down? No one! Before I go to any party and I know I’ll be offered drinks, I say “Don’t do it! You have come so far and already feel (and look) so much better! Don’t ruin it now!” Knowing the progress I have made and reassuring myself that I am doing the right thing always makes me feel confident that I won’t slip up.
2. Let your friends know what’s going on.
This is crucial to being able to enjoy yourself. If you let your friends know up front what your reasons are for not drinking, they are a lot less likely to hand you drinks. Unfortunately, you may have an asshole friend who likes to tease you with a Corona (rude!), but you have to be adamant with them that you can not drink! And of course, the more drinks everyone else has in their system, the more likely they are to forget that you’re sober. So, you may have to remind them. A lot. Which leads me to my next point…
3. Be prepared to be annoyed by drunk friends.
Oh, man, is this the worst. Your friends are all drunk and happy, and love to remind you of how drunk and happy they are. Meanwhile, you are becoming increasingly more bitter that they can drink and you can’t. I manage this by letting go of my annoyance as soon as it pops in my head. So what if your friend keeps annoyingly poking you? Don’t you do the same when you are allowed to drink? Be a little more understanding and don’t be a buzzkill. You are out to have fun, so don’t ruin it for other people. And if you don’t think you can handle their drunken shenanigans while sober, avoid the whole situation and don’t go out. That’s the sad truth!
4. Have a drunk mindset.
May sound weird, but trust me on this. Our inhibitions are greatly decreased while drunk, so we tend to let go a little more and go with the flow. While I’m not encouraging you to act like a hot mess fool, I am saying that you can still have the same level of fun with a 0.0% BAC level. The trick? Just let go. Seriously! There is nothing worse than being uncomfortable while everyone else is obviuosly having fun. Dance, sing, twerk, whatever. Do whatever you would do if you did have a drink (i.e. talk to the good-looking person at the bar, dance on a table, etc). If you think you look stupid, who cares! If anything, people will think you’re drunk. Haha, funny. You’re stone cold sober. And do you really need alcohol to have fun? I hope not!
5. Carry around a tonic water.
Another weird trick, but it works! If you have either water or soda in a cup and are continually getting refills, you don’t have that “empty handed” feeling. Also, people will see you already have a full cup and may back off a bit. Try it; it has worked every time for me.
6. Take pics.
Just to be funny, I take pics of my friends while I’m sober and they aren’t. That way, I can recall to them what the hell they were doing when they ask and show them proof. For some reason, this gives me life!
I am living proof that you don’t have to be drinking to have a good time. I have gone out every weekend since beginning my diet, and with the exception of the smallest cinnamon whiskey shot (I’m actually encouraged to have a LOT of cinnamon on my program), I have been alcohol free! I can start drinking again in mid-August, but I will most likely continue to limit my intake for the next six months. Follow my tips, and you will be good, too! And also, hangover free! Yay!