What’s a woman without her vices?
I have many vices, some people might suggest that our individual vices make us the person we are. Personally I think that without some sharp edges I would be a little boring.
My biggest vice is alcohol…. I’m known to have 2-3 glasses of wine 2 or 3 nights per week. It’s my favourite beverage. The ritual of getting home, making dinner whilst sipping on a glass of red is relaxing. The warmth of the wine, the feel of the glass in my hand, the anticipation of the tannin’s tingling along my throat…… even typing that makes me feel good.
A few weeks ago I participated in Bupa Australia’s #HealthyChat on twitter. The subject was alcohol and it was one I was extremely interested in. I thought I knew enough about this vice to keep my daughter & I safe, however after the chat I realized that I didn’t know that much at all!
I thought I would share some tips that I learned in the chat. Most of these tips came from Registered Dietitian Rosalyn D’Angelo.
- Recent evidence suggests that any potential health benefits from drinking alcohol probably have been overestimated
- Alcohol is carcinogenic and is related to cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, liver, colorectum & female breast
- Low levels of alcohol intake can reduce stress, tension, anxiety, self-consciousness & increase feelings of happiness – although it is not recommended to start drinking in order to get these benefits
- Measure out what a standard drink looks like.. 100ml of wine in a big glass looks like less than in a small glass! A large wine glass can sometimes hold up to 4 standard drinks
- Usually 100ml wine = 1 standard drink- typically you may be served about 150ml at a restaurant… =1.5 standard drinks
- Can spirits (approx 5% alcohol) = 1.2 to 1.7 standard drink
- 30ml nip spirits = 1 standard drink
I’m not a resolution maker, I hate when people say “I’m giving up alcohol” or “I’m on a diet” or even “Coffee is bad, so I’m quitting” all these statements are rather final and in my mind set the statement maker up to fail. The all or nothing approach rarely works for me. I tend to feel pressured and rebellious in these situations. So events such as “Dry July” or “Feb Fast” don’t work for me.
But I took something from that chat. I think it was the catalyst for me to realise that I was on a slippery slope, towards drinking a bottle of wine a night again (like I did in my pre-worm days)
In the days preceding the chat & I think even that night, I was faced with an upset toddler who wasn’t happy to settle without some mama milk. I have ALWAYS calculated my drinks around her needs, however on these 2 or 3 occasions, I stuffed up. I had drunk 2-3 glasses of wine, and Worm needed my milk. I offered cows milk, I offered water but nothing would be the substitute – I had to feed her.
As I fed my child my tears started falling, we’d gone this far with our breastfeeding relationship. Nearly 2 years without me attempting to ‘pickle her brain’ and here I was now giving her milk that nearly certainly had alcohol in it. Now if this had happened once I might not have been too worried…. but this was 2 or 3 occasions in very quick succession, each evening my guilt was growing, each evening I imagined my beautiful intelligent daughter losing brain cells through no fault of her own.
So I stopped drinking……
Initially it started as my normal no drinking before an event routine. As I prefer to have a few alcohol free nights before racing, to enhance hydration, and to avoid any nasty race-day hangovers.
As the days have passed though, I’m not sure what to do. I’m not sure what I want to do really.
When this post gets published I will have been alcohol free for 13 days. Not long I know, but for me this is HUGE…. I struggle with 1 alcohol free day per week, let alone 13 of them all in a row.
To be honest I have thought about having a glass of wine & so many times during the writing of this I have wandered down the hall & stared at the wine rack, but each time I have had an enormous weight of guilt press down on me, and I have returned to the computer with a bottle of water in my hand. I’ve even made it through Mothers Day without the obligatory glass of bubbles.
I don’t know how long I will abstain from alcohol for, maybe until I stop thinking of it? Right now my biggest tests are when I walk in the door from a hard days work, it’s a ritual to start cooking dinner, select a wine and pour a glass….. a habit I suspect.
It also sounds & feels a little like an addiction…. so for now I drink my water….