Giving Up Alcohol - Week 1

Diary of an Abstainer

Booze Free is publishing a personal account of the experience of 'M' as he embarks on a journey to reduce alcohol intake. This is a live record and will be updated regularly.

To provide some background we asked 'M' a few questions

Why have you decided now that you need to reduce your alcohol intake?

I've always enjoyed a drink and as a result, I drink too much. I know it's too much and it's more than the recommended limit and not just a little bit more, and that seems to be par for the course nowadays. 

How many days per week do you typically drink alcohol?

Probably 5 or 6 days, maybe 7 sometimes.

When you drink alcohol what do you like to drink?

Mainly beer and wine and an occasional cider. I don't drink spirits much which is probably a good thing! if I do, it will be a G&T or a Caipirinha. 

Week 1

Day 1 - 13 Sept 2021

It's a fresh week, a new start and (another) chance to try to get healthier. Monday is usually a day when I try not to have a drink so I'm confident everything will be good today. I'm feeling very positive and almost excited at doing this. I'm ready for a change.

Day 2

Yesterday was fine, no beer or wine and I don't feel any different. I didn't sleep particularly well but my girlfriend would tell you otherwise based on my snoring! Below are my main stats which will be updated every Tuesday.

Metric Imperial
Height 181cm 6ft
Weight 115.5kg 18st 3lb
Waist 116cm 45.5"
Chest 122cm 48"
Blood Pressure 155/109 Level 2 High 
BMI 34.5 Obese

Day 3

Shit! Yesterday was a bit of an eye opener; those stats are so much worse than I expected. So I know I'm not the slightest of people but the fact I have, for the last 20+ years carried my weight fairly well, means I've never really been considered fat or overweight - just 'big boned'. But now I'm carrying a lot more weight and that clearly is affecting my health, I mean look at that BP!! At least my height appears to be ok haha. I am on a bit of a downer today. On the plus side, it was another alcohol free day again yesterday - this is day 3 which, if I did two days without a drink before, would be a reward day.

Day 4

Last night I slept a bit better, in fact I was out for the count and I don't remember waking up at all. Another whole day with no beer yesterday! (or wine or anything just to be clear). I still can't get over that BMI figure! 34 point fucking 5! Just look at it...

Don't you just love the way they put OBESE in bold and the scale shows you're right at the top. It's like if you get any heavier, they'll have to get their IT bods to make the scale bigger.

Day 5

Today is the first day when I think I am starting to feel a bit different. Two main differences I've noticed; firstly in the morning I seem to wake up and be ready for the day a lot quicker. I'm still tired initially but I feel brighter so much quicker. The second difference is I feel a bit thinner or at least less bloated. Two positive differences after 4 days of not drinking. That's not a bad return.

The other thing I've noticed is I am drinking a lot more liquid. I used to have a cup of tea, maybe a can of drink, possibly another tea in the afternoon and then a beer in the evening followed by more beers or some wine. Now I am drinking loads all day, cans, water, tea and am constantly thirsty. Today is Friday, hmmm, I always used to say the weekend started on Thursday, so tonight will be a challenge.

Day 6

YAY! Saturday is here, the sun is shining, I'm feeling good and some of that is definitely down to managing to abstain again last night. So I had some alcohol free beer but was quite satisfied with just having that. A glass of Spanish Grand Reserva would have been lovely but I just looked at my BMI figure and that soon stopped me even thinking about it - maybe the NHS were right to point out in bold that I'm OBESE! No I won't be getting over that quite yet.

Day 7

Sunday is the day I've been dreading all week. Why? Because today I'm going with my son to watch the football; and although we may lose, that's not what I'm dreading. Whilst I've never been one to start drinking at 10am on the train on the way to the match, like I see so many people doing nowadays (they may have a BMI of 23 now but give then 10 or 15 years and see if those two digits have not reversed) I do enjoy a pint, even more-so with my boy, especially when he's buying! I need to be strong today.

Warning: If you think you may be reliant on alcohol, cutting out alcohol completely could be dangerous. Please consult your doctor or visit the NHS website for more information. 

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