Giving Up Alcohol - Week 2

Diary of an Abstainer - Week 2

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 - This is Week 2 (missed Week 1?)

Following on from last week we've asked 'M' a few more questions

Are you looking to abstain completely from drinking alcohol in the future or practice mindful drinking?

When I decided to abstain from alcohol and keep this record, I was thinking probably I'd give up completely for a while and then maybe I'd drink occasionally but now I don't know. I'm actually really enjoying not drinking. 

Your blood pressure seems quite high, have you been to a doctor about it?

Yes, the doctor has told me that reducing weight and doing more exercise will help reduce my blood pressure. Obviously I'll be keeping a closer eye on it than I might normally as I will be recording it every week for this publication. I knew it was higher than it should be as I'd had it tested before but even then it was still lower than it is at the minute!

What are you drinking instead of alcoholic drinks?

I am drinking soft drinks in cans, lower sugar versions, and also alcohol free beers. The beers are actually really good and most have nutritional info on them and I was surprised how low in calories they are. 

Week 2

Day 8

I felt good this morning. After getting through the whole of the day at football and not having a beer, in fact not even really wanting a beer, I felt a sense of achievement. It may not seem much but it's a success and if you're reading this blog chances are you'll recognise that. Successes should be recognised and celebrated, just not with a glass of wine or a pint!

Day 9

Another good start to the day steadily deteriorated as I have had a few headaches today. The sort of headache that's just there all the time, front of your head, and starts to get you down. Today I measure my vital stats.

Metric (last week if different) Imperial (last week if different)
Height 181cm 6ft
Weight 114.5kg (115.5kg) 18st 0.5lb (18st3lb)
Waist 116cm 45.5"
Chest 122cm 48"
Blood Pressure 165/105 (155/109) Level 2 High 
BMI 34.1 (34.5) Obese

So it seems that a week off the booze has resulted in a 2.5lb (just over a kg) weight loss. I am quite surprised (and pleased) with that in the first week if I'm honest. Especially as I've made no other changes although I have noticed I eat less when not drinking. Blood pressure is both higher and lower whatever that means. I am still OBESE but luckily my height has remained the same!    

Day 10

It's Wednesday and to be honest I can't really believe that it's day 10 - that time has gone so quickly. Quite a few headaches again and I have not stopped all day. Tonight we've decided to have fondue, yes I know it's bad for you, and it's midweek, but I am really struggling to think of what to have, can't be bothered to cook, and the fondue was in the fridge. And besides, normally it would be accompanied by copious amounts of white wine but not tonight. Wine did go into the fondue (and the alcohol cooked off) and it smelled like a very good wine. And for the first time (ever) we have wine 'left over', open, and in the fridge.

Day 11

Today I woke up and the first thing I noticed was my headache. When I looked in the mirror my eyes looked like piss holes in the snow and felt like it too (not that I know what piss holes in the snow feel like, in fact it's highly unlikely they have any feeing at all but you know what I mean). I've just checked the alcohol free beers that I had with the fondue just to make sure they were alcohol free and I'm pleased to confirm they were. Surely I can't still be detoxing from alcohol on day 11! There are two explanations I can think of, 1) I really didn't drink enough fluids yesterday or 2) that fondue is much worse for me that I thought. I think it's probably the latter. Note to self - avoid all mirrors and reflections today.

Day 12

My eyes feel (a bit) better today. I made a conscious effort to drink more fluids yesterday. I've been busy, non-stop little jobs tying up loose ends and getting some things ticked off before the weekend. I also felt like I spent half the day going to the toilet; so this is what I can't work out, if I drink lots of fluids but spend all day disposing of those fluids, how can I be more hydrated! When I was drinking I could go most of the day without a pee - didn't that help my hydration? (hmmm)

Day 13

Saturday, a visit to the New Forest and normally that would mean a visit to one of the picturesque pubs for relaxing beer and a snack. And quite often my partner would offer to drive so I could have a second pint (and some more snacks). None of that this time. We will, at some stage, go for a beer - alcohol-free of course - and sit watching the world and the ponies go by, but that requires a bit more planning or a lot more self control than avoiding the situation altogether.

Day 14

Sunday we went to a garden party - oh dear, but DO NOT WORRY I went prepared and took my own alcohol free beer. Beer and pizza was extremely good although maybe not helping the blood pressure! The best thing was not feeling thirsty all afternoon and into the evening. I had a great day and it was even better for not losing the whole of the afternoon.


Week 3 will be published w/c 4/10.

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. 

For more information on hypertension (high blood pressure) please see the British Heart Foundation, the NHS website or speak to your doctor.

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