Why I Avoid
Unless you know me well, you wouldn’t know that I don’t drink alcohol. Everyone I tell this to is shocked to hear such a thing, almost as if I’m telling them that I never use the bathroom or something bizarre!
I decided to share this and include this in the “BODY” section of my website because not drinking is a huge part of how I take care of my body and preserve beauty. You can do all of these other self-care rituals and treatments, but at the end of the day, if you’re also trashing your body it doesn’t do very much good. My hope is that in sharing this, it might help other people feel comfortable in deciding not to drink too.
Before I get hate mail calling me a hypocrite, I want to address that I do post pictures of wine or other drinks from time to time on my social platform, but these are other people’s drinks and the photo is purely for the aesthetic (don’t judge). I do not drink, that is the simple truth.
Have you never taken a sip of alcohol in your life? Of course I have. When I was younger and hadn’t yet developed any opinions of my own and was just doing what everyone else was doing, I went along with it and by all means, I DRANK.
I’ve come to a point in my life where I want to do what’s best for me — what’s going to make me feel good about myself. You might assume that it could be uncomfortable being the odd man out when I’m with a group of people sharing drinks, but ultimately, that's nothing compared to the discomfort I feel when I’m not being authentic to myself.
I choose not to drink for a number of reasons —
ON A PERSONAL LEVEL
I don't feel like I'm depriving myself of anything, it's quite the opposite actually. I don’t feel well during or after drinking — I am repelled by the smell, taste, everything about alcohol, and for that reason, I don't drink. When I did use to drink, I ended up regretting it about 80% of the time and that’s not a very appealing percentage if you ask me. After many unpleasant experiences, I thought to myself, there's no way this stuff can be good for me if I'm having such violent reactions to it every time. My body literally rejects it like poison. So to me, alcohol is toxic and that’s why I treat it as such. I don’t ever mean to shame anyone who does drink, it’s just not for me. And again, I don't ever long to drink because I am genuinely repulsed by it.
HEALTH AND BEAUTY
Alcohol doesn’t do any favors for your appearance. Perhaps the biggest issue I have with alcohol is that it promotes aging. It does this by creating AGE’s in the body. What are AGE’s?
AGE stands for Advanced Glycation End Products which you can think of as wrinkle-causing proteins in the body. These compounds form in your body from consuming overcooked/burnt foods, alcohol, sugar, soda, etc. Once formed in the body, they speed up signs of aging such as wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin. AGE formation in the body DIRECTLY causes a breakdown of collagen (the main protein supporting healthy skin), increases inflammation in the body, and promotes weight gain.
I do everything in my power to prevent AGE formation in my body because the more AGE’s you have, the more visible damage you have on your skin. Even if you don’t see blemishes, brittle hair, or dull skin today, I can guarantee that alcohol is hard at work behind the scenes sabotaging your appearance and the visible consequences will be apparent soon enough.
We all know alcohol has empty calories with absolutely zero nutritional value, but I don’t know if everyone realizes the havoc that it wreaks. Aside from creating AGE’s, it steals nutrition and hydration from your body, disrupts your delicate hormone balance and stresses your liver (the key organ for a glowing complexion). Alcohol also affects blood flow to your skin, leaving it lackluster or flushed with broken capillaries.
Not drinking doesn’t mean being a party pooper — I try to still be a part of the party, I just do it my way. I’ve often reflected on the idea that people feel they “need” alcohol to let loose, be a free spirit, or have a good time. Yes, alcohol does physically alter your cognitive function, but I sometimes think drinking has a placebo effect. Just because people know this substance is supposed to help them let their hair down, they immediately start acting differently. I consciously try to enjoy myself and have a good time by simply training my mind to be happy on its own, not by inducing it with an external substance.
I like to be festive and celebrate just as much as the next person, which is why I’ve created a signature drink (if you can call it that) that I order when everyone else around me is drinking an alcoholic beverage.
My go-to “mocktail” is a Sparkling Rosemary Lemonade. I have it made when I’m out by simply asking for club soda mixed with lemonade and a rosemary garnish. It usually comes in a cute presentation (just like a real cocktail) and I get just as much enjoyment out of it as my alcohol-consuming friends and family! And if you're worried about people judging you for not drinking or giving you a hard time, they won't know the difference when you're holding a mocktail in your hand. Everyone around me knows I don't drink, but if they didn't know me, no-one would ever guess that my drink doesn't contain any alcohol. Here's a secret — a mocktail looks just like a cocktail, so not drinking doesn't have to be a whole public service announcement. You can make it a very private decision if you're more comfortable doing it that way.
Another fun thing I love to do is test out different mixed drinks on menus places — I just ask them to hold the alcohol. Call me a nerd, but I have a lot of fun trying new creative concoctions everywhere I go (and without the hangover)!
In a way, every time that I choose something else over alcohol, it's a gift to myself and I’m happier when I make the choice to take care of my body. For some, my way of living might be too extreme, but try substituting at least one of your alcoholic beverages for a mocktail and see how you feel.