I have written previously about my evolution into healthy living during 2021. Read the full story here, in summary everything shifted in July at a festival of all places. That was the time I decided life had to change. I had to get fit and healthy again both in body and mind.
The two months that followed that mind shift have been amazing. Summer holidays were a lot of fun, I exercised loads, ate healthy food and my mental health and self-love improved hugely. As at the 19th of Sept, the day I decided to start my alcohol-free challenge I had already lost 7 kg of fat, well on my way to getting back to where I feel the happiest.
But I was Still drinking
I wouldn’t describe myself as a heavy drinker, more of a binge drinker. It’s how I learnt to drink as a 16-year-old. Every Saturday night we would go out and binge, shed our inhibitions and end up in questionable situations.
This life continued through university with Wednesday and Friday night drinking sessions. My 20’s were all about Friday nights being the big night out after work had finished. My 30’s were slightly less alcohol fuelled as I spent much of it pregnant or with small children.
There was always the binging though. I would go out with my friends in London, or weekends away we would binge. Consume large amount of wine, Prosecco or cocktails to the point of extreme drunkenness, sometimes memory loss.
Since covid, drinking became a luxury treat for me and so many others. Days were SO boring that the only treat was a nice G&T every day, once the daily walks has lost their excitement. By 2021 I was having a refreshing G&T most days and then going out with my friends for a binge drinking session occasionally, once covid restrictions lifted, weekly on a Thursday night.
Taking bigger step towards healthiness
I wanted to carry on the healthiness and well-being and the universe (a PR agency!) brought to me an alcohol-free challenge, supported by the One Year No Beer Community.
I was given the choice of going alcohol free for 28, 90 or 365 days. Both the 90 and the 365 days felt scary, so I went for the 28-day challenge and was send a wonderful hamper packed with non-alcoholic treats from the likes of Silk Tree, Lyres and Aprtf. Plus, a book from the founders of One Year No Beer. I read the Ready, Set chapters on the day before my challenge began and I was all set to Go. You can currently save 25% on the OYNB challenges by using the voucher code MUMMYPENNY25.
This was sensible to read the book just before I started the challenge. I was well prepared and informed of the challenges that would be ahead along with the huge benefits I would feel during the 28 days. These were the standout benefits for me.
Creation of Time
Time is precious and can’t be bought, but its easy to lose. Especially when you have a hangover. The day after a heavy drinking session will likely be a day spent feeling awful, tired, binging on sugary food and generally a day lost. Sometimes this expands into a two-day recovery if it was a spectacular binging session.
I am excited about the time created through no hangovers and anxiety the next day. Just think of that extra self-care, work, time with children that I can do in that time.
Of course, an important one for me is the amount of money I will save. Alcohol is expensive. A decent bottle of wine is easily £7 from the supermarket or £30 from a restaurant. And it can be consumed so quickly. Water on the other hand is free.
The bill for dinners out will suddenly by cut in half. And no, I will never split a bill evenly if the other people are drinking and I’m not! A pub round suddenly reduced to £5 for two rather than £20 (two gin and tonics in a London bar one week ago was £21!).
I have been keeping a regular spending diary on my blog since covid lockdown started, so believe me I know how much I spend on alcohol. A normal weekly spend on booze is around £50 to £100. I estimate a £300 saving in 28 days just from not drinking.
I am keen to carry on with my fat loss and know that stopping drinking alcohol will do a lot to help that. I weighed myself on the Boditrax machine at the gym on day one of the challenge and will weigh myself again on the last day of the challenge.
Obsessing with my weight is something that I’m trying not to do with tracking fat loss, but its incredibly motivating to see the kg fall away and be able to fit back into all my lovely clothes that fill my wardrobe from healthier times.
By Day 21
I can add a few learnings by day 21 of the challenge. The most positive shift has been a huge increase in creativity and focus. I am waking up early and focussing on writing and creating content. I am powering through my to do list. And I can see an impact in my business. Website traffic is up, work projects are plentiful, even social media followers are increasing steadily. This challenge is having a positive impact on my business revenue.
I have found the no drinking alcohol fairly easy. I am more than happy to drink my non-alcoholic goodies; I’ve even experimented with cocktails using my non-alcoholic gin and aprtf. I have had one challenging night out so far, a night with drunk friends, I just ended it early and was on the train home by 10pm.
Physically I know I have lost more fat, as I’m back in my skinny size 12 jeans. My skin is glowing, my eyes are brighter, and my nails are stronger.
This no drinking thing is amazing. Why not give it a go?