Daily Life, Health & Wellbeing

Breaking up with the booze

I’ve had two long stints in my life without booze, since I have been of drinking age.

Both were because of sports related reasons. But now I am thinking it is time again, just because, and I will get to why soon.

In 2011, I ran a marathon, and gave up alcohol for 14 weeks. I felt amazing, but to be honest the training was so intense and I was so shattered by Saturday afternoon that going out boozing was the last thing on my mind. Some people in my training group managed it, and I have no idea how.

Fast forward to 2013, a half ironman program tipped me over the edge, forcing me to evaluate my diet and lifestyle. I decided to follow a healthy regime to meet my goals. Again I gave up alcohol for 12 weeks, but resumed to drinking as soon as the training was over. Both stints away, were supported by health promotion charity Hello Sunday Morning, where you can sign up to be part of a supportive community of other humans who have signed up for 1 month, 12 weeks or a year without booze. It took me a lot of time, past both challenges, to get back to my drinking habits where I am now.

And it is hard to say no.

We are a culture that likes to drink.

We like to mark every milestone, wedding, birthday, celebration, catch-up, gossip with alcohol.

So here I sit, wine in hand, (you know, because it is Sunday), wondering why I am even having it, thinking that it is time for me to stop.

There’s a few reasons why. 

Lately, everything is a ‘drinking’ event. Friday, Saturday, birthdays, dinners, catch-ups, book club, after work drinks, celebrating getting a new writing gig or getting something published. Drinks. Drinks. Drinks. (It seems that everything I go to, is an excuse for a drink.)

Weight gain. (Or no weight loss to be exact.) I used to be able to train like a demon, eat reasonably healthy, and enjoy some wine, while staying trim. Something happens to you when you are almost 35. My body is clinging to fat like it is in a war zone. It might be attributable to my antidepressants, but I also need to fess up that the booze isn’t helping me in my fit for 35 mission. If I am going to go of my antidepressants I want to be in the healthiest place I can be, mentally and physically. (I didn’t mean skinny by the way, I mean healthy.)  Not to mention that alcohol is full of sugar. Full of it. I’m on a pretty good new exercise regime now, of strength days, yoga, cardio and clean food, so why ruin it all with the booze?

Bad sleep. After drinking I feel like I go to sleep easily, then I wake up at 2am WIDE awake and WIRED. I think it is the sugar. Then I can’t fall asleep till 4am again, and wake up groggy, then I don’t go to the gym, or feel unmotivated, resulting in the guilt. This leads to a low mood, and shitty feelings all round.

Booze, I think it’s time we broke up, don’t you?

How about you? 

Love the booze? Hate it? 

Ever had a break from it? 

Happy Sunday! 

Ashleigh XXX



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