Diary of an Abstainer - Week 3
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 3.
As has become the norm, we've asked 'M' a couple of questions
Do you have a target period of time to stop drinking alcohol or for any of the statistics you are monitoring?
Clearly I want to get my blood pressure down to High - Level 1 or preferably to a normal level, and my BMI needs to be significantly reduced - I talk about that this week as it is a bit of a shock to me how it's crept up over the last, probably, 15 years! I know it's not a quick fix when I think about it like that. That will drive how long I stop drinking for I think.
What has surprised you most about giving up alcohol?
Probably the weight loss. All I have done actively, is cut out the alcohol. I have noticed that I seem to eat less; definitely less snacking. I haven't intentionally changed that, it has just happened.
Nothing much to report today. a long day with too much to do that would normally be finished off with a glass of red. No such luck today, we are strictly staying on the wagon.
Today I went to see a friend, a friend who also owns a brewery! Big temptation, the smell of the hops and the malt were amazing. He even poured me some beer so I could smell the new hops he had put into his latest beer, and although I was quite prepared to have the smallest of sips to see what they were like, it was quickly snatched from my hands before I had time to decide whether or not to risk the sip. Sometimes you need friends like that (I don't mean those that tempt you and try to convince you to have a beer probably because they could never stop for more than a few days, but) those who are supportive; he would have loved for me to try his new beer and provide my honest feedback (although I know it would be good, so we would probably be more discussing the complexities of the hops). It's not like I would have started drinking pints of the stuff, but you can't really write a blog about abstaining if you're having a sneaky beer on the side! (Of course I know that I wouldn't have actually sipped it anyway).
Here are my vital stats this week - remember that it's all measured at the start of the week so it's only just over 2 weeks.
|Metric (last week)(start)||Imperial (last week)(start)|
|Weight||112.5kg (114.5kg)(115.5kg)||17st 10.5lb (18st0.5lb)(18st3lb)|
|Waist||114cm (116cm)(116cm)||45" (45.5")(45.5")|
|Chest||119cm (122cm)(122cm)||47" (48")(48")|
|Blood Pressure||149/105 (165/105)(155/109)||Level 2 High (Level 2 High)|
|BMI||33.5 (34.1) (34.5)||Obese|
Today I looked a bit more into the BMI calculator, yes that OBESE rating is bugging me. I played with the calculator to work out when I will move from 'obese' to 'overweight'. It seems that to move into overweight category I need to get my BMI down below 30. There are two ways of doing this.
The first option is to lose more than another 26lbs (or 12kg) - yes 26lbs!! And that's only to get to 'overweight'.
The second option from messing with the calculator, and this seems the preferable option is to lose 8lbs and grow 3 inches.
Sorry going to talk about BMI again today. I went and had my 'age 40 checkup' a few years ago where the nurse suggested that the BMI was a bit of a nonsense and I was only too happy to agree with her but clearly that is not the case or it wouldn't be on the NHS website. 26lbs or 12kg - To put that into perspective that's the same as 30 of the 400g blocks of cheddar that they sell in the local supermarket so next time you go shopping put 30 of those blocks in your basket(s) and empathise - maybe take a pic and post it in the comment below!
One thing I have noticed is my skin on my face looks better. As a bloke (and not a millennial, who seem to be more appreciative of the need to look after themselves) I don't go through the routine of daily facial cleaners and moisturisers morning and evening, or even once a week - a splash of water with some soap is all that's needed! My partner however, takes cleansing very seriously and does it religiously and of course I always notice and make comment about how lovely she looks. Men generally seem less bothered (that's not meant in anyway to be sexist, just an observation). But even without all that messing about my skin looks bit brighter, or maybe it's just the new bulb in the bathroom.
Friday night, end of a gruelling week and I soooo would like to walk to nice little country pub I know and have a few beers. Trouble is, they don't stock any alcohol free beer, or none worth drinking; just one of the main two standard bottled lagers, that seem to have been teleported into the back corner, on the bottom shelf, of the majority of public house fridges in the UK. The one the landlord digs out when someone asks what AF beers they have only to find it's now out of date, so coke it is! There is such a choice of quality alcohol free options now why have most pubs not worked it out that cheaper isn't always better.
Lunch out at Eataly in Bishopsgate London today with my kids and my daughter's boyfriend. Whilst we were deciding what to eat and drink we ordered some water (tap) and ended up just sticking with that throughout the meal. We got through quite a few bottles and if it had been wine instead we would have probably doubled the bill.
Next week I think I need to build in some exercise to get that blood pressure down and help the other vital stats look a bit better...
Week 4 will be published w/c 11/10.
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.
Want to check you BMI use the NHS calculator