A goal to be alcohol free for a year in 2017, turned into a year and eight months, and after having alcohol back in my 'diet’ for the last 3 months I’ve decided it needs to go.
The motivation for giving up was to set a challenge, not only a month without but a whole year! Knowing that this would be a hard ask, being in Australia and a city where life revolves around socialising and socialising revolves around alcohol, it was never going to be easy.
I woke up on Jan 1st 2017 with a killer hangover from the night before (I had my last sip of wine at 1130pm on New Years Eve that year), and a stubborn determination kicked in that I could and would do this.
What I learnt…
I’ll dispel the myth… You can socialise without alcohol
As hard as we all think it will be, going out with friends and not having a drink in hand isn’t actually that bad. Sure people think you’re strange, but once they are 2 or 3 drinks in they totally forget you’re not drinking. Thankfully, I’m not someone who needs alcohol to get me the dutch courage needed in social situations, and I had plenty of late nights keeping up with my drinking buddies and I was the one waking up for a hike still.
The reaction of others is their issue not mine
Through this time I found a consistency with the questions or suggestions “Surely you can just have one?”, “Just have vodka!”, “But why?”, “How will you get on at social events?” and the list goes on. It seemed to challenge those I was around more so than not drinking ever challenged me.
Life is better without it
Not waking up with a hangover, having more hours in the day, making better decisions and having more energy are just some of the outcomes of a life without alcohol. My trainer at the time said to me a few weeks in that he noticed my energy levels at the start of the week were increased and I wasn’t as lethargic and this is a feeling that I loved.
Alcohol + my body = a bad mix
I broke my non drinking streak just before Kokoda to celebrate my pending 40th with an amazing friend (totally lead me astray) and since then I’ve had a few big nights with friends and the odd glass of wine, g&t or a fortified wine (my fav) and the thought of giving these up for good is hard but I know I have to do it. Post a couple of drinks I now suffer for at least 3 days, have fluid retention, put on at least 2kg and make bad decisions (don’t we all) with food to make me feel better, and that just compounds the issues.
So, why am I giving it up again? It’s simple, for my physical and mental health I just have to.
Having such a long break and then starting again has really shown me that I just don’t need it, and by taking it out of my ‘diet’ it will help me on my journey to getting control over or healing my hashimotos and thyroid troubles.
Since I’ve been having alcohol again, I’m struggling with fluid retention, weight fluctuation, fatigue, lethargy, and worst of all… bad decision making, especially with food.
Enough is enough, it’s obvious that if I’m to hit my goals this is one that needs to be banished and well if I can go a year and eight months let’s aim for two years and beyond!
If anyone wants to join me… I know you can do it!