What the hell guys, I thought the “it’s harder as you get older” thing was a myth. I used to roll my eyes at people that would say “just you wait!” The times I’ve had a drink for the first half of this year, I’ve really felt awful. I can feel it in my body, my hair, my eyes, my skin, my mood, my energy levels. I’ve even wrote an oath the last few times claiming I’ll never drink again but then Friday night rolls around, it’s a birthday, there’s elderflower processo and the oath goes out the window. So you wouldn’t think July was the most ideal month to give up alcohol but I needed it.
I’ve always been open about the fact I drink. I definitely started to drink more when I left dance college and went into my twenties which was very social and it was the norm to get drunk every weekend at least. I wouldn’t say I was a big drinker so a lot of drinking for me would be a few cocktails or half a bottle of wine. Over 2 glasses and I’m gone. As I started to drink more throughout my twenties, I’d sometimes have shots on a night out, gin at parties and bottles of processo at weddings, I realised I could drink more and it starts to become normal to have more than 2 drinks. Aside from 1 incident throwing up on the train incident (yep me) I could handle my drink and never really felt like a binge at the weekend effected my weight, my health, my focus/productivity the next day. Then it’s like I hit 25 and along with it came hangovers from hell, bad skin, cravings of all the carbs and weight gain.
The reality hit me at the end of June when I sat down and realised I’ve probably had a drink almost every weekend in my twenties! That’s insane. It actually made me feel a bit gross! For years I’ve suffered on and off with bloating and fatigue and would get so frustrated because I eat well, I exercise, I get enough sleep (most nights), I take care of myself but every weekend I was putting something in my body that put it all out of wack, my poor body having to process the alcohol every weekend and get me feeling vibrant and spritely again by Monday morning. I think it had had enough and I really wanted to do a little experiment to see if giving up alcohol really would make a difference to how I felt, thought and looked too because I do care about how I look and I’m not ashamed to admit that. I want my hair to me thick, my eyes to bright, my nails to be strong, my skin to be glowing and my body to be healthy and trim and my mind to be sharp! So I decided to say goodbye to alcohol in July.
I didn’t have any holidays planned or huge events but as you know this time of year (well all year nowadays really) there’s always something where it’s expected you have a drink or you just want to. It’s Summer, there’s a rooftop, everyone’s happy, Pimms all the way! I knew this would be the thing I’d struggle with the most, not necessarily the missing alcohol part. I love wine, I love processo, I love gin but other than that it’s more the socialising, the feeling like I’m letting my hair down and the fun that follows a few glasses that I love. The first weekend I had my brother’s birthday dinner at a gorgeous Italian, perfect for a glass of red. I really wanted one and as you know I always think a bit of what you want is fine and on any other day I would but this was my challenge and I really wanted to give my body a break. So I resisted, the next day I felt fresh and focused and excited for my month ahead.
Thursday 6th July – it’s a Thursday, leading up to my first weekend alcohol free. The sun has been shining all week and I am starting to really crave a nice cold glass of white wine at the weekend. I think I’m so used to getting into weekend holiday drinking mode as the weekend approaches but I’m more excited about seeing how I feel without. I’m at the theatre Friday and the girls are over for a sleepover Saturday so too occasions where I won’t miss the odd glass.
26th July- I get a message from my cousin who turns 21 at the weekend and all the family are getting together for a celebration and I’m 100% having a glass of champers. I felt good in myself for not having drank each weekend and I did enjoy being able to get up on a Saturday and Sunday and want to go for a run and make the most of the day etc but I honestly didn’t feel that AMAZING health wise. I thought I’d see a huge difference in my skin and energy levels but I didn’t and actually just really felt like my mental health would benefit from having a glass of red and switching off!
So I lasted 26 days and perhaps I would have felt like a whole new woman after a year of no alcohol but I don’t really want to do that right now. What my little alcohol detox did do though was reset me. It’s bought me back to drinking in moderation. I know now that I absolutely cannot drink processo or anything sparkling and I cannot mix my drinks. Since July, I’ve only really had 1 or 2 drinks when I have drank and it’s usually red wine or a night cap of baileys. I definitely don’t need to drink to have fun and actually hate the feeling of being out of control. I’m really pleased I did it and listened to my body and now feel like I know my limits more and how I want to balance my lifestyle moving forwards.
I’d recommend having a little month off alcohol post Summer if you’re feeling you need to reset and your Saturday, Sundays and potentially Mondays are spent feeling crappy, scrolling through social media aimlessly and searching for answers to last nights problems in the fridge.
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Love, Lottie x