Sober Curious: A mindset shift to apply to your fitness journey
For many of us, alcohol is woven into our social, cultural, and personal lives. Way back in 2018, The Washington Post reported study results that millennials and Gen Zers were drinking less than baby boomers and Gen Xers did at their age. And it’s only gotten bigger from there.
The recent rise of the Sober Curious movement is something that has been on the Iron Nomad’s radar for a long time, and we love how it fits in with our core values and 5 pillars. We are excited to share the personal experience of Sarah, Iron Nomad’s Founder with you!
Please note: we are all about the love and educational value of this, and are in no way judging or preaching. We are simply excited to show you how you can apply the Sober Curious concepts to any of your fitness goals and find successful shifts where you might have been stuck.
What is the Sober Curious Movement?
Call it Mindful Drinking: this mindset shift encourages you to examine your relationship with alcohol in a bid to help you make more informed choices about drinking, instead of straight up “quit drinking.” Of course, for many people, once they begin to examine their relationship with this substance, they naturally end up removing alcohol from their life completely and replacing it with activities that promote optimal health, focused nutrition, and community.
Why is this Sober Curious mindset so successful?
The traditional all-or-nothing approach of full sobriety/abstinence -“I will never drink again.”- relies on willpower and your ability to force yourself. As we all have different relationships with restriction and authority, this can often have an impact on our ability to ‘not fall off the wagon’.
Instead, Sober Curious takes a mindful and individualized approach to notice how alcohol is affecting your life. It emphasizes the idea of being mindful and intentional about alcohol consumption, rather than relying on it as a default form of leisure or stress relief.
This is a GEM that we can apply to all aspects of our fitness journey.
We love this movement not only because of Sarah’s inspirational journey (read below) but because it is a balanced and realistic approach to apply to any of your fitness goals and the negative behaviors that, aren’t helping you and are most likely keeping you stuck.
So let’s get Fit Curious 😂
When we take a mindful and intentional approach to our nutrition and the way we move and improve our bodies, we thrive. We swap out the all-or-nothing rules for questions that get us to our personal truth, and help us make informed, authentic decisions about our own needs and journey.
“I will cut out carbs” becomes, “How do I feel before, during, and after eating carbs? Will strictly cutting carbs work for me, or will the stress and cravings negatively affect me in other ways, and spill into other areas of my day? What if I tried a meal without carbs and noticed how I felt, and paid attention to my energy that day as I work, work out, rest, and recover?
Bring on the curiosity, self-reflection, and personal growth, and with it, your fitness goals will flow because they are in alignment with your unique experience.
So what’s Sober Curious really like?
Our Founder is Sober Curious! Read Sarah’s story:
Growing up in Ireland, I was immersed in a culture that revolved around alcohol. From a young age, too young to mention here, I have always had a ‘work hard play hard’ mentality. ‘Play hard’ normally included copious amounts of alcohol and I won’t lie, it was amazing craic.
However, with the maturity of gracefully aging and the hang-xiety that steamrolls into your life around the time you enter your 30s, I became curious about my relationship with alcohol. I started to read about the sober curious movement and spoke with some sober friends.
The feedback was pretty incredible: an entire year of no beer fear, no three-day hangovers, saving money, not saying or doing something silly when under the influence…sign me up.
To be clear, my recent relationship with alcohol would be considered averagely healthy by most people. Last year, I would typically drink twice a month and rarely get very drunk, more like the drunk side of tipsy. I am not someone who leans toward alcohol when sad and I would not be considered someone who had addiction issues.
8 weeks in and it has been interesting.
Two main takeaways so far…
Firstly, people’s reactions when you mention you are not drinking alcohol for an entire year is wild. Even friends who do not drink frequently or in excess, seemed alarmed as to why I was doing something ‘so extreme’ and ‘surely, one glass of wine with dinner won’t hurt you’ and ‘what about your birthday? What about my birthday? What about St. Patrick’s day? What about when you go on holidays?’ … the list goes on.
The gold: it is so empowering to notice how strong and confident I feel about my choices and my journey without having any alcohol-related anxiety or self-doubt creeping in.
Secondly, I recognize I am someone who likes to celebrate and commiserate with alcohol –
‘I have had such a productive week, I deserve a drink’
‘I have had such a shit week, I deserve a drink’
Sitting in the (mild) discomfort of not being able to drink in those moments, was illuminating for me.
I’m definitely not into judgment or telling anyone what to do. I simply love to educate and share methods that actually work to move you forward in your health and wellness goals.
Follow my journey on Instagram!
Try on this approach to get Fit Curious in your journey towards fitness, longevity, knowing yourself, and loving your body.
If you are also curious to understand more about the impact of alcohol on the body, check out this podcast episode from Huberman Lab.
If you are looking for ways to connect with a community of fit, fun and mindful individuals, follow us on social media and check out our retreat schedule.