I wrestled with the title of this, Fat, Tired, and Worried. But I’ve always tried to keep the talk real here and want to be honest about how alcohol affects me. 

Cabo AF (Alcohol-Free)

I recently went on a family trip to Cabo, my second time there AF (alcohol-free). It was an amazing trip!  I didn’t miss drinking, and I got to enjoy my vacation so much more than the drinking ones. It was a great experience that made me want to share with you what it’s like for me to be sober curious.

Looking back, I can’t help but think about all the effort that used to go into planning alcohol. It’s crazy what we used to do, like packing a whole case of wine in our luggage and bringing wine canisters and our favorite plastic glasses for the pool. Our Cabo vacations revolved around drinking, where I would read, sip my wine, and nap. Repeat. After a few days, I would feel bloated, experience stomach issues, and be too tired to play with my kids. Coming home, I would feel fat, tired, and worried.

I know the word “fat” might rub some people the wrong way, but it’s how I feel when I drink, even just a little. I now understand it’s how alcohol affects me both physically and mentally. And the title isn’t meant to be self-deprecating or stir up any body-shaming chatter either- I’m being open and vulnerable. It doesn’t matter what size you are, but if you feel like crap, nothing else matters. For me, drinking has a domino effect where I inevitably end up drinking more and snacking on bad foods, leaving me feeling puffy and clothes fitting tight.

“Hangxiety” is a Real Downer

I’ve never been big on labels. Call it what you want, but I drink what I want when I want. There’s no dramatic rock-bottom story here, and I doubt anyone in my life would say I have an issue. But as I’ve gotten older, even one glass of wine makes me feel bad. My energy is low the next day, and a grey cloud hangs over me, sometimes for days. It even triggers my worry and anxiety. “Hangxiety” was a real thing for me. The lingering worry, self-doubt, and overthinking as the fallout from a few glasses of wine was a downer.

Over the years, I’ve also felt this tension- more like a contradiction- between my healthy lifestyle and wine. I mean, I have a degree in this stuff, follow all the nutrition gurus like Huberman and Lugavere, try to eat healthy most of the time, and even battle with my kids to keep crappy food out of the house. But when it came to that seductive glass of wine or that warm buzz feeling, I used to turn a blind eye. Ok, and then there’s the mom guilt. The cringe-worthy moment when your kid asks you if you’ve had wine because you’re acting “funny.” That’s not exactly the best feeling in the world.

Alcohol is a Sneaky, Little Bitch

I’ve been on this rollercoaster for decades – the on-and-off love affair with wine. Alcohol’s a sneaky little bitch. She would lure me in, promising to take the stress away and help me loosen up, but all it would do was leave me feeling fat, tired, and worried. So, I’d try really hard to moderate. I created all sorts of rules to maintain “balance.” Still, they never worked (I mean, alcohol is in the top 5 addictive substances in the world, right next to heroin). Moderation was exhausting for me. Eventually, I grew tired of feeling tired and wanted off the ride.

The Gift

But this blog is about a secret, more like a gift I need to share. The more time I spend away from wine, the more I experience true joy- this feeling of abundance and peace, and I can’t imagine trading it for a 20-minute buzz. I took this selfie having one of those yummy AF mornings to try to capture it.

Choosing to be sober curious has been a game-changer. I feel more vibrant, energetic, and genuinely more connected with the people in my life. It definitely beats feeling fat, tired and worried. Not to mention, I’m sleeping like a rockstar, have increased energy and focus, and have the few extra seconds I need (most of the time) to keep my cool with my kids. I’m not saying this is the better way. I just know I feel better, and it works for me.

And have you noticed that being sober curious is having a moment? In case this is an unfamiliar term for you, being sober curious means just that- getting curious about the role alcohol has in your life. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you never drink alcohol. It simply means that you think and reflect more on why, when, and how you drink. Check out your beer aisle the next time you go to the grocery store, too. The non-alcoholic (NA) market is booming, and more celebrities are opening up about their sobriety. Even in the Bravo universe, sobriety is a hot topic. I’ve been particularly inspired by Kyle’ Richard’s AF journey on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Kyle, you go girl!).

I don’t believe in forever labels (except in my marriage). Who needs that kind of pressure, right? Will I drink wine again? Who knows- all-or-nothing commitments never work for me. But here’s what I do know- I feel good, and wine is small and irrelevant in my life.

If anything I’ve shared strikes a chord, or if you’re curious about taking a break from alcohol, give it a try. I’d love to hear your story.🤍

Consider experimenting with something different in your glass tonight. Check out my favorite mocktail recipe- Lemon Pomegranate Spritzer.

Food and Mood Lab Mocktail
Holiday mocktails with Amy