My Dryathlon: Day 15
AS cliched as it may sound, I feel much more energetic fifteen days into my no alcohol spell than I did at the start of January.
I've been running for longer at the gym (even if it is just five minutes extra, it's five minutes I couldn't do pre-Christmas), I've been full of beans on weekend mornings (instead of nursing a gin-fuelled hangover well past midday) and I've actually lost some weight (without going through the routine humiliation of a weekly weigh-in).
Yes ladies, a good five pounds has dropped off in 15 days, just from abstaining from the booze. No extra exercise, no lettuce leaf diets, no strange supplement pills or bizarre energy drinks.
Really, you could call it effortless weight loss.
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That's not to say my sole inspiration for deciding to do the Dryathlon was to lose weight. I have a healthy BMI and I don't need to shed lots of excess pounds, but the extra ones I'd gained over Christmas seemed to have disappeared since I hid away my wine glass.
My main curiosity about this experiment was to see if I would actually feel healthier if I didn't drink.
And I can conclusively say that I do.
I have more energy, my skin feels fresher and my weekends haven't been plagued with headaches or nausea.
However, a family meal on Sunday did prove very frustrating. There was wine on the table, several bottles in fact, but none for me.
My glass remained empty, replaced instead with a sturdy pint of coke. It has to be said - the fizzy sugariness of the substitute alcohol didn't even go half way towards the satisfaction of the buttery taste of a glass of Chardonnay and I was caught gazing longingly at my sister's glass at one point.
But after pulling myself together, a swig of my coke and a quick look around the restaurant, I realised I wasn't alone.
There were several other people sipping soft drinks and water, and they all looked pretty content with their beverages.
Later that evening I compared how I felt with how I would've felt if I'd had a few glasses of wine with dinner.
I decided I certainly wouldn't have gone for the brisk after-lunch walk or opted for a salad in the evening - instead it would've been an afternoon of films followed by a takeaway tea.
And I decided that maybe this no-alcohol thing was proving to be more beneficial they I expected. Who knows, another fifteen days and I might be a newly converted tee-totaller.
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