You know what’s sad? When you bite into an apple or a banana and they’re going off. I did both yesterday, and it made me want to cry into my granola.
Anyway, that’s not what this is about. Today’s post is a little exploration into something I like to tall Tee-totellie. Since the start of November, I haven’t been drinking alcohol. Very much. Ok, once or twice I had a red wine or two, like at my brother’s 30th birthday. But other than that, no alcohol for me.
There wasn’t a real reason for this…. I had thought it might be a good thing to do in the lead up to Christmas. To be honest, wine is my most favourite drink. Of course in moderation, but you can’t beat a crisp Chardonnay in the Summer or a bold Shiraz in the Winter. I’m not a huge drinker, but I remember my Dad picking me up from a party once when I was a teenager and I was mortified that I couldn’t do the seat belt up properly without a few attempts. I still remember his bemused face while I was trying (very unsuccessfully) to play it cool. It’s been a while since I’ve gone for longer than a week without a drink, so I thought now is a good time to chill out a bit and see how I go.
There are lots of health-related reasons why you should not drink, as well as health-related reasons why you can, or in fact should. One glass of red a day is supposed to help your heart. And Runner’s World have featured articles showing that a small amount of alcohol can actually help you: here’s one describing how beer can reduce the risk of stroke as well as help hydrate after a run. So, cheers to that!
My own choice wasn’t motivated by training or health, more curiosity. Once I abstained, I noticed that my pleasure in the habit of having a glass of wine was just as tied up with the ritual of it all than it was the drink itself. In the beginning, I bought a bottle of non-alcoholic wine to try out because I enjoyed the practice of getting the glass, holding it in my hand and sipping.
That was a surprise to me: but the non-alcoholic wine was ok, and I was still able to get that feeling of winding down. I have never been really into tea – herbal or normal – and sometimes I wanted something a bit more grown up than squash. That’s where good old alcohol-free, in it’s nice long wine glass, came into it.
As the weeks have gone by, I’ve become quite the herbal tea fan. And that makes me feel so mature and calm, like I should also start pilates. My favourite is Twinings Mango and Cinnamon. Now I’m not so fussed as to whether I’m holding a wine glass or a mug in my hand: that association of a wine glass = relaxing after a long day is gone. In terms of how I feel: I don’t feel much different on a day-to-day basis. Perhaps I have more energy in the evenings, and I spring out of bed more easily, and without a thick head, but it’s not like I was drinking loads before. I would love to be able to do a comparison on running pre and post-tee total. In November, I did feel that I was getting stronger and had more energy to run, but then things had to slow down in December anyway in terms of running.
That’s not to say there aren’t some down sides. For all I’ve not been drinking alcohol, I have cultivated quite the diet coke addiction. It just tastes so good, and is my current substitute when out with friends. And I’m eating a lot more chocolate. I guess that’s because I always would have chosen a glass of wine over some chocolate in the evening. Sometimes you just need to treat yourself, particularly after a stressful day: there are times when Peppermint tea just ain’t gonna cut it. So…. yeah. More chocolate. Also, and this is a concern for me, my dance moves aren’t as adventurous, so the world is clearly missing out there.
It’s not a permanent thing. I know people who have made the choice to give it up permanently, and I admire them. I don’t think it’s for me: I enjoy the social element of sharing a bottle of wine with friends, and I enjoy the taste of it. But it’s been a good thing to do before Christmas – it’s made the lead up much cheaper for me, and in a season of over-indulgence, it’s been nice to wake up feeling healthy!
I wish you all the happiest of Christmases. SB and I are driving cross-country from Durham to Devon today – the perfect way to spend Christmas Eve. I saw this online and it made me LAUGH:
And finally, if you need a pick-me-up this Christmas, PLEASE look at this link. It’s a little girl experiencing the rain for the first time, and her face is THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN. Look at the bottom ones!!!!!!