I Went 21 Days Without Alcohol, Soda, and Dessert: A True Story

The ingredients for pink cocktails (none of which I was able to partake of – haha) at a recent movie party.


For those of you who know me, you know I love to eat. I also like to treat myself to a drink or two (or more) in social settings but I’ll also admit to an occasional glass of wine (or two) while home in my pajamas.

(L to R): Misty, Wendy, Anne, and I with our awesome trainer and world record holder Zena!

Unfortunately at my age I cannot eat AND imbibe without also doing some form of exercise.  So I started going to Zumba classes with Cullen and, after several months, decided I was ready to take the next step toward an active / healthy lifestyle:  I added a workout with friends once a week.  Then for some ungodly reason, I couldn’t stop there.

Here’s an example of a popular detox water account on Instagram. There are a ton of healthy, easy, and inexpensive ideas to make staying hydrated less boring.

For over a year I have been noticing quite a few accounts on Instagram promoting weight-loss through detox teas and fruit-infused waters, exercise programs, or easy-fix supplements.  Others were actual diet plans which could be considered “kickstarters” for a “new and improved, healthier you!”.  I decided to go that route.


The 21 Day Shred by Skinny Mom is the most detailed program I have ever come across!  Eighty some odd pages of clearly formatted, step-by-step instructions that includes meal plans and their own corresponding recipes. There were grocery lists, exercise videos, tracking logs, and everything else one would need to make it through successfully.

Some of the snacks during my six-hour couch potato day watching “The Eddie”.

I did, however, adjust the meal plans based on my schedule and my mood on any given day.  This ultimately led to me eating pretty much what I wanted with the exception of dessert, alcohol, and my beloved Coca-Cola.  Recognizing early that I wanted to succeed without becoming frustrated would prove to be helpful throughout the program.

An open container among the items in Week One’s shopping list was an omen.

Many times we don’t trust ourselves enough to figure out a way to make a seemingly strict program work for our individual needs.  In my opinion, it causes us to be unsuccessful.  Realizing early on that I needed to tweak things really helped me to stay motivated and engaged.

You can’t go wrong with a spinach and grape tomato scramble with turkey bacon to start your day. Prepared egg whites (1/3C) and one egg made for a healthy alternative to a typical three-egg omelet.

The first week forced me to do something I rarely think about – eating breakfast – which was a challenge as I don’t often feel like eating until lunchtime.  Discovering a favorite recipe in the meal plan helped to get me eating every morning (and still does) which has helped to counteract the toll my decade-long struggle with insomnia took on my metabolism.


The second week tested my willpower by having to politely decline offers of sake and wine at two Ladies Night outings.  The biggest test was going without my obligatory mango cheesecake finale at Takenoko Sushi.  The horror!


The third week was pretty much a breeze.  With the exception of wanting to celebrate the end of the program with a Snickers Bar and Guinness, I had no daily cravings for sweets, soda, or alcohol.  Even with all of the the program modifications, I’m down several pounds.

Now that I am finished with the program, I’ve noticed that my meal intake is much smaller, I make healthier snack choices, and I only eat half of my dessert.  (I know, shocking!)  I can’t say that I’ve cut down on my alcohol consumption, but I will say that exercising on a daily basis has combat that very nicely.  I’m still slowly losing weight while enjoying food and time spent with everyone around me.  I’d say this program was a success!  Cheers!



  1. Congrats to you for taking on this challenge! I know it wasn’t easy, but hopefully the rewards outweighed the obstacles.


  2. Good for you and for all of us who love you and need you happy and healthy for years to come! Congrats on your achievement and for being honest and smart about making it realistic for yourself! Very inspiring.


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