Diary of an Abstainer - Week 4
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 4.
As has become the norm, we've asked 'M' a couple of questions
Has your daily routine been affected by stopping drinking alcohol?
Yes it has but only really in the evenings. Whereas before I would get home, sit down with my partner and have a chat over a beer or a glass of wine, we'd call it our relax time, and probably have some nuts or crisps or something, now we more often than not, chat in the kitchen whilst cooking dinner. So we are eating earlier than maybe we would have done before.
Your partner, has she stopped drinking alcohol as well?
Not completely like I have. She has had 1 glass (and a small one at that) of wine once each week. So it's still a great achievement. She doesn't tell me she's having a glass, she's not hiding it but she doesn't want to encourage me but I notice when she has it with dinner and mention it. I don't mind other people having a drink around me, I'm able to cope just fine with it.
It's Monday, nothing out of the ordinary to report but we are now 3 weeks in and starting week 4. Time has absolutely flown by. If you are thinking about giving up drinking, or anything else, I encourage you to write down something every day so that you realise your achievement. It can, for example, be as simple as writing 'DAY 22' in your diary, it doesn't have to be anything more, but write something so you can reflect and not forget.
Here are my vital stats this week.
|Metric (last week)(start)||Imperial (last week)(start)|
|Weight||113kg (112.5kg)(115.5kg)||17st 11lb (17st10.5lb)(18st3lb)|
|Waist||114cm (114cm)(116cm)||45" (45")(45.5")|
|Chest||119cm (119cm)(122cm)||47" (47")(48")|
|Blood Pressure||147/106 (149/105)(155/109)||Level 2 High (Level 2 High)|
|BMI||33.7 (33.5) (34.5)||Obese|
Weight has increased which obviously means so has my BMI. My waist and chest measurements have stayed constant. I'm not disappointed, these measurements are just part of a bigger picture. And those benefits are not linear. It's a bit like when I have dieted in the past, you lose a fair bit of weight, then nothing for a week or two, then it starts again. But of course, I'm not actively dieting at the moment, just consequential changes that have occurred from giving up the booze.
Yesterday I got talking with a man who gave up drinking over 10 years ago. It was a chance meeting and we somehow got onto the fact I wasn't drinking and he told me that he'd not had a drink for over 10 years. When I hear people describe how they would start drinking a pack of 24 cans of beer at 9.30am I realise that my alcohol consumption, which I honestly believe is (or was) fairly typical of modern day living, was not on a comparable scale to the issues others are dealing with. If you can relate to his story, get yourself to a doctor sharpish!
Last night was the worst night's sleep I've had since stopping drinking. Awake from 2.30am to around 4am with far too much going through my head. It can only be stress. Tired with a headache for a lot of the day.
I'm not sure that my headaches are anything to do with stopping drinking. I never used to get hangovers so the fact I feel like I've got a hangover when I'm not drinking is a bit perverse. There does seem to be a lot of cold-type symptoms around at the minute since everyone is now fully out of Covid lockdown so maybe it's that.
Another night of poor sleep - is ice cream the cause? Yes I'm not joking, a couple of scoops of Hagen Dazs is the common factor between the worse two nights sleep I've had in 3 weeks. (This is my personal assessment and conclusion and is in not in any way suggesting that the particular brand of ice cream experience is worse or better than any other, nor that it will affect you in the same way - but if you want to try, the flavours were Salted Caramel and Belgian Chocolate - add your experience in the comments). I know what you're thinking, but that is only two night's, and it was after my vital statistics were measured, so no, that is not the reason this week my stats have stayed the same.
This week I feel I have failed somewhat. Yes I haven't had any beer or wine, but my aim was to do some exercise and that I've not achieved at all. I suppose I should take the win, after all it's another week with no beers, and try to be more organised on the exercise side of things next week.
Week 5 will be published w/c 18/10.
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.