That’s it then, the 100 days of no drinking challenge has been completed. Did I crack open the champagne to celebrate? Nope. Did I feel jubilant? Nope, but I did feel quietly proud. I love a challenge, last year I completed The Moonwalk Marathon and the Around The Island Walk. This year, I found myself feeling out of sorts and I came to the conclusion that I needed a challenge, something to work towards.
For a while I had been quietly considering giving up alcohol. After a stressful year I was slightly concerned that my consumption of wine was creeping up. That the way I was looking at wine wasn’t healthy. Stressful day? Unwind with a glass of wine. Busy day? Unwind with a glass of wine. I didn’t drink excessively but I was concerned that I was becoming reliant on it and I decided that a break from it would do me good.
I was also looking forward to some of the benefits that come from giving up wine: clear skin, sparkly eyes, looking younger and losing weight.
Firstly, it’s really hard for me to judge because I chose to give up wine during what was a really stressful time and as a result I was feeling highly anxious. We were packing up and moving house, I had my foot operation and at the same time Youngest came down with a case of chicken pox, to name just a few of the things that were kicking off. Therefore, my sleep was erratic and the night terrors returned with a vengeance. There were periods when I felt seriously on edge, and there were evenings when I would have happily reached for a glass of wine, but I didn’t. Instead, I read all of the literature about why we shouldn’t drink and I think that’s the main reason why I didn’t crumble. I scared myself into not wanting that drink.
Once we moved and I had recovered from the initial unpacking, I slowly began to uncoil and unwind and now I am sleeping really well. The best I have done for a very long time. Yes, there are still nights where my brain is whirring and I find it hard to drift off but on the whole it is much better. I can now count on one hand the number of times I have had a night terror. It’s no longer a daily occurrence.
What About The Botox Effect?
I am very annoyed to report that this did not happen for me. If anything I became spottier. Was that a reaction to giving up the wine? I don’t know but my skin has been awful for three months and it is only just beginning to clear up now. I’ve overhauled my diet and that seems to have helped clear my skin. Sadly, no sparkly eyes and no younger looking skin from giving up the wine – boo.
Have I Lost Weight?
No, if anything I have put weight on. I don’t even know how that is possible. Perhaps I replaced my treat glass of wine with multiple chocolate bars and ice-creams. That might have something to do with it.
Do I Feel Any Different?
I would love to be able to tell you that I feel AMAZING but I chose to give up booze during a really stressful time so it’s really hard to judge. I still feel incredibly anxious at times but what has changed is my reaction to it. I no longer think that a glass of wine will help me unwind. I now recognise that it makes no difference.
What Have Been The Main Changes?
I View Wine Differently
Outwardly there might appear to be little difference but inwardly there have been some important changes. I no longer feel the desire to have a glass of wine. My mind no longer sees it as a little treat, it now views it as a glass of poison. That is a massive change for my way of thinking.
I Feel Happier
I have made no secret of the fact that at times I have found it challenging living on Jersey, and as a result I probably saw that glass of wine as an escape route. A way of escaping my sadness and frustrations. Now I feel far more settled on Jersey and it’s probably no coincidence that as a result I feel like I am able to walk away from booze. Has giving up drink helped me feel happier? Probably, it certainly can’t have done me any harm. However, it won’t cure everything. It won’t suddenly give you superpowers. I still have days when I feel down and anxious but now I feel better equipped to deal with them.
I Started Looking After Myself Better
Once the foot operation was out of the way I realised that I needed to start looking after myself better. I’m eating clean and I have just started exercising again.
I Looked For Other Ways Of Unwinding
Previously, a Friday night would be about slumping in front of the television, watching some awful tv programme. Now I look for other ways to relax. It might be dragging the family down to the beach for a walk, reading a book in bed or just getting an early night. I am now better at listening to my body and what it needs, I am now better at relaxing.
I Don’t Care What People Think
I’m not sure if this is down to giving up wine but I feel that there has been a huge shift in my mental attitude. I now accept that I am not going to get on with everyone, that there will always be two-faced people and that there will always be cliques, and I let it wash over me. I really couldn’t care. I am much happier in my own company.
It Has Made Me Braver
Giving up wine has made me feel like I can take on bigger challenges now, and as such I am speaking on stage at The Jersey Festival of Words, I’ve started The Body Coach training and I’m thinking that now is the time to get over my fear of the sea and start paddleboarding.
It Has Made Me Productive
When I get up early to exercise I find that I am more productive when it comes to work. My mind is sharper and I work more efficiently. I wouldn’t be exercising as much if I hadn’t given up the wine.
Before I started writing this post I was concerned that I wouldn’t have enough positives to share about my experience of the 100 days no drinking challenge. However, now I can see that there have been many positive changes and that makes me determined to stay away from the wine for a bit longer. I feel that I need to give this experiment longer to see what else occurs. Yet, I am reluctant to say that I will never be drinking wine again. Why is that? There are many reasons and I suspect a whole other post is needed for that, so for now I will finish by saying that I am continuing with this experiment. I’m joining the Aussies and I’m doing their ‘Dry July’. I’m taking one day at a time. I will let you know how it goes but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the weight loss side effect because if that doesn’t happen then I will be really cross! 😉