The 3 things that happened when I gave up alcohol for a month

by Yolisa Qunta for All4Women

Blogger Yolisa Qunta has given up alcohol for the month of February – with some surprising side effects …


Since I had a great year in 2016 I decided that the best way to keep the momentum going this year was to keep that that good life decisions train rolling.

I moved back to Florida again in on Christmas day and spent the whole of January acclimatizing and polishing my plans for world domination.

I’m not usually one to make New Year’s resolutions because my combination of impatience and procrastination does not normally bode well for long term planning. So since I know myself, I decided this year I would be about small changes rather than dramatic transformations.

One of the areas I marked for self improvement was my body

Thanks to running and giving up carbs I’m mostly in good shape for my age. But I do have a middle that betrays the fact that I’m pushing 40 – and instead of contorting myself like a pretzel to get blazing bikini pictures on Instagram I decided to fix the root cause.

As the fortune cookie said: if you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you have never done. So in order to attain my dream body I decided to give up all of the sweet life-giving nectar from mimosas to gin.

I chose the month of February because it was the shortest one

In spite of the numerous articles online swearing I would have glowing skin, better sleep and a svelte body, I still viewed this as a sacrifice.

After spending the last day of January drinking like Napa Valley was about to run dry, I woke up on the first day of February with a mild hangover and the dreadful realization that there was no glass of wine over lunch to take the edge off.

So I took a nap instead. Which turned out to be a pattern over the next ten days.

While I half-believed the anecdotal evidence about the weight loss,I figured I would start by getting serious about exercise.

So I signed up for a high-intensity interval training class whose sole purpose appears to be ending my life one burpee at a time.


Clearly my body was in shock because by 3pm every day I was fading like a flower

So daily naps became a part of my routine instead of an occasional welcome respite. In spite of these naps I was still tired after sundown and yawning again by 10pm. I’m going to attribute this to the exercise, because the alternate reason is every day my body curls into a foetal position and cries inside for wine.

The other odd thing that happened is I started craving sweet things

My snack choices normally veer towards biltong, popcorn and cheese. But for reasons I don’t understand, I have eaten half a tub of ice cream in a week and made very short work of a bar of chocolate.

This sugar fix even includes soda. I dont normally drink fizzy drinks, but lately Crystal Pepsi is the only thing that takes away the craving for wine. Because of sods law, it’s a limited edition drink that I have to hunt for in different grocery stores so I ration myself to one a week.

Happily the scale says I’m still losing weight and decreasing body fat weekly, so I’m okay with this sugar rush for now.

As for all those other dreams I was being sold, none have manifested yet. But we are only halfway through the month so I’m still optimistic.

The only time my skin glows is when I’m sweating after another insane class. If I stare at a mirror long enough, I can convince myself it looks slightly better than usual but that involves some squinting, so probably not an accurate opinion.

Waiting for the last two weeks to reveal my true glow…

I’m starting to enjoy those overly-energetic classes

Overall it’s been a great experience, and aside from the awful phase where I experimented with alcohol-free wine, I have no regrets. The craving for wine subsided after four days and my sober self is clearly a sucker for punishment because I’m starting to enjoy those overly-energetic classes.

Am looking forward to a refreshing Pinot Grigio in March, but I think I will stick to the insane exercise routine as well. Because my belly isn’t yet the flat camera ready version I’m longing for…