So, it’s 31 October today, and therefore, a big happy Halloween to you all!
We’ll be closing the curtains on October 2019 in a few short hours, so I think it’s time to reflect on what was supposed to be a sober month but turned into a learning experience instead.
So, I started the month really well, I didn’t have a drop of alcohol for more than 10 days (the hardest days to be honest, because I had become so used to just grabbing a glass of wine after dinner in the evening). Mr OneBigStressball and I went to my mum’s to visit, and even then I didn’t have a drop of what she’s brought back from the supermarket, even though it was my favourite wine and I think I could have finished the entire bottle in one sitting had I had the inclination to. That was the day I beat Mr OneBigStressball and my brother 6 times in a row at Monopoly Deal, so I’m chalking that down to the fact I didn’t have alcohol to cloud my judgement and decision making. Mini win.
The second week, I had a couple of drinks with some people from work, but didn’t pay for a single one. This led to Mr OneBigStressball and I to decide that, if people wanted to buy drinks for us, we wouldn’t say no. If we drank but didn’t pay for it, it wouldn’t count as a drink. This plan allowed him to go out with work twice and get hammered twice, all without buying a single drink for himself.
On the third week, my best friends came to visit, and I did have a couple of wines during games night. However, the bottle these came from were the bottles my mum had bought for us during our visit back home. We’d brought them home to save them for November, and hadn’t touched them, therefore, we hadn’t bought them and in our new rule about drinking things we hadn’t bought still counted in this case. The following Tuesday, I received news that made me come close to the edge of having a full on nervous breakdown, so again, I had a glass of wine from the bottle from my mum’s. No regrets there, I needed a night to be alone and cry and the wine helped calm me down and aided me in getting to sleep that night.
This past weekend, Mr OneBigStressball’s parents came to have dinner with us, and his mum, him and I shared a bottle of wine between us. I don’t think I’ve ever met up with his mum and not had a drink, so that was expected.
So. Ultimately, I didn’t do a full, official Sober October, but I did succeed in not buying myself any drinks at all, and, apart from that one Tuesday night when I would have kicked off at someone if I didn’t get a glass of wine in my hand, I didn’t drink at all during the week. It has been a learning curve, and it’s been a tough month – below are a few things that I believe happened as a result of me not drinking anywhere near as much alcohol as usual:
- My skin cleared up. No joke I break out in spots as soon as I look at a glass of wine, and this whole month I think I’ve had 2 spots in total, which I’m blaming on hormones (ugh). Saving concealer and money. Ideal.
- My lil belly podge shrunk. Listen guys, I’ve done a bit of research, and wine is not good for you (I’m talking calorie wise, I know that there are some health benefits to wine). A standard glass of red has around 250 calories, and I don’t pour ‘standard’ glasses. Throughout this month, if I were to assume I refrained from drinking my usual glass-a-night at around 300 kcals a glass, I saved on average 2100kcals a week. So a whole days worth of food. In just a week. It makes me shudder a little thinking about it, and to be honest has been quite triggering thinking about it – I’ll elaborate on a future blog post – but hey, my stubborn belly fat has shifted a little bit, so I’m not complaining!
- I saved money. Quite simply, a bottle of wine costs about £7. I usually go through 2 bottles minimum a week, so lets say £14. Over the course of 4 weeks that’s £56. Money saved. Happy bank account.
- I got stronger. I’ve been lifting weights for about 4 years now, and have found myself in a bit of a deadlift related rut over the past year or so – never getting over 75 kilos or so. Well, last week I FINALLY joined club 80kg, and am t=hopefully on my way to joining club 100 by Christmas… fingers crossed! On top of this, I did my first ever unassisted pull-up.
5. My anxiety hasn’t been as bad this month. Apart from a few hiccups, it’s been a relatively calm month for me. Not as many anxiety and panic attacks, and I feel like my headspace has been a lot clearer and I’ve been reacting to rubbish situations more positively, which has always been a bit difficult for me to do.
At the end of the day, I don’t think I’m going to give up the wine completely, I like the fuzzy feeling it gives me when I’m in that gooey place just between tipsy and drunk, and I like having a drink in my hand when I’m out socialising or have friends round (I think it’s like a security blanket thing) but I am going to make a conscious effort to keep my drinking to the weekends and not drink during the working week, especially with the festive season coming up!
Maybe next year I’ll manage a full Sober October !
Have a great Halloween everyone!