Today’s blog is less about Pilates and more about my experience with health and wellness, which for me is something that goes hand in hand with movement and I thought I’d share.
Nearly 6 months ago I stopped drinking alcohol, I haven’t had a drop in that time.
I feel like this is a fairly monumental achievement for me, as even though I wasn’t a very regular drinker, I did drink and I felt like it became very much part of my week, especially in the time before I stopped.
I’ll be completely honest and say I’m not good at drinking. I’m a bit of a lightweight and I tend to down my drinks like they’re tasty water which isn’t particularly clever when you are a lightweight so it’s been a bit of a revelation to stop.
Because of this not so cool approach to drinking I’d always feel pretty shocking the day after - tired, moody, sluggish,
I’d eat rubbish food desperate to feel less hungover, impatient and the worst thing, guilty.
I didn’t feel like a good mum, I’d waste a precious day off and then be relieved when it was over and the week would start again. I’d never feel particularly energetic at any time but I’d push myself to exercise, work hard, study, etc, but in reality I was pushing myself to burn out, which I did regularly.
I’d look forward to having time off but it would often be tied in with being able to have a drink without worrying about the next day, which I did anyway as the guilt would set in again about wasting the day...this cycle would continue over and over until 6 months ago.
It started with a conversation with my friend, she was telling me about a book she read that encouraged her to give up alcohol for a bit, at that point she hadn’t had a drink for 6 weeks. I was seriously impressed but there was another emotion in there, envy - I was envious of her decision and how far she’d come. I wanted to be at that point but it seemed out of my grasp at that time.
Anyway, not expecting very much I read that book, inspired I read more books on giving up alcohol, inspired some more I then went on to read a few books on the neuroscience behind it all, it’s fascinating stuff!
During this reading marathon I stopped drinking. It was actually easier than I was prepared for, after the initial weekend it felt ok and I knew I’d probably stop for a long while.
6 months in I can safely say I’m so happy I stopped, I’m a little bit proud but most of all I feel so much better.
I think one of the main things for me is there’s no question mark over the days I have off anymore. I know I’m going to sleep ok, I’m going to wake up without a hangover and I’m going to cope with my day. I get loads done, I’m present, I can plan stuff, exercise, do days out, I eat better, no guilt, no feeling awful, just consistency in every way.
Another thing I’ve noticed has improved is my exercise endurance level, I’ve got way more stamina and my fitness is probably better than it’s been in a decade. This for me is such a biggie as I can actually train the way I want to train, hard!
An added bonus I didn’t realise would happen is my emotions are more switched on. When I was drinking, even on the days after, I felt like my emotions were out of focus, blurred or there were things I couldn’t access, now I feel everything and I understand more why I feel them.
So there you have it, my experience of being alcohol free for a whole 6 months. Will I drink again? Yes I’m sure I will, but I don’t think it will ever be a regular thing again.
My hope is by sharing my story and something resonates with you and you’re curious to know more you’ll do some research or you can get in touch with me, I’ll happily reel off all the books I’ve read. Even if you read the opening of one it might just spark something, like it did in me, if you are looking for a way to stop or cut down, maybe this is it.