Before you drop your wine glass of prosecco, no I’m not confessing to being an alcoholic or being dependent on alcohol, or whatever label you want to whack on it. However, Gary Growth has got me thinking. I want to be here for my children and I want to do everything possible to ensure that I am. Yes, I am probably having a little freak out over Gary and the fact that I am rapidly approaching my 40th birthday, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t embrace this new wave of wanting to get healthy, of wanting to put down the glass of wine.
Every time I switch on the radio I am confronted by that rather alarming statistic that they keep wheeling out –
“4 in ten cancer cases could be prevented, largely through lifestyle changes” – Cancer Research UK.
Now this statistic normally brings out two reactions. Firstly, I have an overwhelming urge to stick my fingers in my ears and start whistling. Secondly, it makes me feel very angry because I have lost people to cancer, people who I know lived a very healthy lifestyle. On the other hand I also know people who smoked and drank for most of their lives and they are still going strong in their 80s. I try and reason with myself that my weekend wine habit isn’t going to make a blind bit of difference to whether I do or don’t get cancer, but then a little voice whispers “what if it can?”
I have been thinking about why I reach for the wine on a Friday. I link the uncorking of a bottle of wine to the act of celebration – “hurrah the weekend is here” but what does that glass of wine actually do for me? Does it really help me unwind? Does it make me feel happy? Nope. The only thing it does help me with is falling asleep. However, if I have more than just one glass of wine, then I know that the next day I will feel decidedly meh. It doesn’t help my anxiety. It does precisely nothing for me. Yet every weekend I reach for my wine.
Wine On My Cornflakes
So I am not pouring wine on my cornflakes, I can go days without having wine and I don’t go on massive benders and blackout, but I still feel like I want to give up the wine. In fact, I have a couple of glasses and I fall asleep, so wine is hardly making me scintillating company. I’m not saying I will give up wine forever but I want to do 100 days booze free. Yes, 100 days of no booze. Am I mad? I know that during the week I will be fine, it’s the Friday and Saturday evenings I will struggle with. I have done Dry January but by the end of the month I was ready for my wine again. I need to find something else to replace the wine with. I need to retrain my brain and body so that it doesn’t associate wine with being a reward, so that it doesn’t associate wine with “me” time.
Booze Is Bad For You
I recently read that alcohol is considered a more dangerous drug than heroin. I also read that if it came out on the market today then alcohol would be made illegal. That weekend wine habit suddenly doesn’t look so harmless. When I shared this with Mr C he rolled his eyes and muttered something about it being the only vice we had. He thinks that once the Gary Growth saga is over I will go back to my usual wine loving self. I daren’t tell him that I am also thinking we should both try to go vegan again, give up sugar and give up dairy. I’m picking my battles ;-). However, I am inclined to think that these 100 days should go relatively smoothly, shouldn’t they? I mean how long is a 100 days? Now I think about it, that is a long time.
I Love A Challenge
I do love a challenge though. Last year saw me doing the Moonwalk Marathon and the States Island Walk. As Gary has robbed me of my ability to do anything like this for now, I will have to do the 100 days booze free instead. At least this challenge won’t leave me with dead toenails. Also, I am always one to jump on the bandwagon, admittedly I am normally the last one to do it (I like to call it fashionably late), and not drinking is a very cool bandwagon to jump on at the moment. Apparently, the average Millennial barely drinks. They don’t see it as cool. Drinking rates amongst adults are now at their lowest since 2005. Women in the 40s and 50s are also abstaining from alcohol. Sobriety is everywhere.
I have downloaded an app in which I can log every day I don’t drink and I am reading all of the scary literature I can find about why drinking is bad for you. 100 days here I come, I’m going sober-curious. Will I do it though? Watch this space.
Update – since writing this post I have now done 12 days. Do I feel any different? Nope.