Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dry July and beyond

I have a headache kids. And sallow skin.

I don't always feel and look like this. Infact, a spray tan tends to work wonders, including knocking off a few kilo's in the swoop of a spray gun. But tis what lays beneath that matters, and what's been lying beneath has been mighty murky.

After what should have been a fantastic break in China in May, which in all other ways it was, I came back to Sydney with a thud. That would be a thud to the ground due to the excess weight I was now carrying in my belly, and the dull thudding occuring in my head.

After China? How? Why? Let me explain.

First stop, Cocktails. Next stop, Bailey's. Third stop, Bloody Mary's for brekky. You get the picture.

For six whole days (and just quietly, I think I may be talking about myself in the main here) we drank. And drank. Slowly but surely. Not enough to get pissed. Just perpetually merry.

But...there is a but...and here it comes.

A couple of girlfriends landed in China looking better than I had ever seen them. As it turns out they had both completed a 30 day challenge, that included amongst other wierd and wonderful things, refraining from drinking alcohol for 30 days straight. I was intrigued.

Could I get myself a piece of that magic they were exuding? I decided to contact the guru of said challenge, Chris Walker and find out.

After a nothing short of amazing meet up he...rejected me. I am led to believe for the loveliest of reasons, but I suspect tis because he suspected I needed to find my inner beauty in other ways. Like by stripping away bad habits one by one.

Infact, and without skipping a guru beat, he still encouraged me to go dry on alcohol and a few other goodies for a month. I walked away from that meet up feeling like I was floating on air. And did something I never do. I went to the supermarket and bought sunflower and other seeds I can't remember the names of, all manner of beans and colourful vegies, and lots and lots and lots of soda water.

With Balkan determination I set straight forth on my 30 days all by myself and didn't look back. No alcohol, no coffee, no diet coke, no meat.

The impact was immediate. I got a headache and craved a glass of wine. Yet I persevered, and by day 5 my partner was commenting on the whites of my eyes, and work colleagues on the fact I had cheek bones.

Losing weight and looking sparkier were not the only benefits. My back stopped aching, my mind was sharper and my wallet was heavier. All in all, I was feeling and looking hotter than I had looked for ages.

Of all the things I had cut out, it was the my first glass of wine I craved most and I counted down the days towards it one by one.

Infact, I was convinced that what the challenge had surely assured me of, was that I want alcohol in my life. I've never been a binge drinker (or even a big drinker), just an accidental semi regular drinker, so I set forth on my accidental semi regular drinking with gusto. I wonder now whether I was testing myself.

One week in I crashed. I felt like crap. Two weeks in and the spring had sprung out of my step and my sleeping had stopped being sound. Three weeks in and there is no denying the goodness (and godliness) had slipped out of my bod. And I have only one place to lay blame. It is squarely at the foot of that now empty bottle of drambuie on the benchtop.

So I'm quitting folks. Yep, you heard it here first (or maybe second if you're on my facebook - see you lot get all the news first). I am done with alcohol. If we catch up, I'll suggest it be over that other beverage befitting of our (that would be my) age, tea. Now don't snuff your nose, I'm not averse to you slipping in the odd shot of Baileys. And I so totally totally get that drinking a glass here and there is fun. I'm just talking about me, at home, and as a general rule.

Don't think I can do it? The guru made me realise I could. Infact, I'm already there. Besides, like the nutcase/clever cookie that I am, I just posted it publicly.

I think husbands (even the goodies that just like sharing a drink with you) and the craziness of kids, tis what drives many of us to that corner of the pantry for a little bit of magic. Nothing like that glass or two to help you get through a ball juggling day. And there is ofcourse nothing like a glass or two for social lubrication. But ditching it for a month at least can be fun (and kilo squashing).

I am sober, hear me roar (and snore - coz I know I'll be sleeping better).

What's your story when it comes to those lovely glass bottles? Are you friends or foes? I'd love to know....

Dovic xx
PS Tis dry july in a couple of days...if you feel inspired, you know where to find me (I will either be right here, or at the tea house).


  1. Awesome!!! Hmmm. I would love to try that. I find it hard when Hubby likes a few drinks and we end up at opposite ends of the sobriety metre though. But no point managing that situation I suppose ... better to lead through it! Nice work Dovic. Very inspiring ...

  2. Oh goddess, now you have me crying again: my keyboard is mopping up snot! Huge hugs to you.

    In light of the recent posts and exchanges that you and I have had, you can probably take a guess at how incredibly happy your post makes me, for you, for you beautiful babies, for your spunk of a man. It is just a brilliant choice you make.

    You are a babe with a brain and a huge heart. xx

    (Now I have to go blow my nose. My jammie sleeves are sopping.)

  3. I love that you have blogged again and I love what you have blogged about. Our bodies are awesome in telling us exactly what they want.

    I don't drink anymore because it makes me feel yuck. I might occasionally have a glass of wine and the effects are immediate. Both at the time of drinking and the next day. My body doesn't like the poison that alcohol is. I don't have a problem with anyone drinking, in fact I've done my share when I was younger. Now I'm in my forties my body wants me to be good so it can live longer and healthier.

    Whilst you have "dry July and beyond" I will have a "sugar free July and beyond" because that is my current poison. Cheers to more tea!

  4. Oww thanks. It certainly aint a piece of cake. Drinking is kind of like a national pass time and I am pretty sure that every person I have bumped in to in the last 24 hrs has mentioned wine (like multiple times). But I think you nailed it for me 'livinglifeasme' - tis that my body wants me to be good and its about time after all the thrashing I've given it that I give it some lovin and care back instead.

    Thanks for the comments guys - they make my cyber days. Was expecting there to be a bit more splitsville, with a bit of 'whatever, but not me' thrown in? But maybe not?

    Dovic x

  5. I'm with Annie - sugar is the habit I would find nearly impossible to kick! And tea, you can forget it. I've always had an uneasy relationship with alcohol, in my teens I had very bad glandular fever that took years to shake - unfortunately also prime-time drinking years and I indulged as much as the next kid. Unfortunately, the next kid would get a thumping head and eat a fry up, whereas I would have a food-poisoning like reaction - vomiting, migraine and could hardly eat for days. These days it's settled down a lot but the legacy remains. I have to be really careful what I drink, when and how much. I can have a glass of really good wine with food, and if the stars are inalignment and the wind is blowing in the right direction, I won't experience any side effects. But it can be a bit of a gamble. I don't find it hard to manage, I just have a glass to test it out once in a blue moon, when I really get the urge. I do enjoy the occasional shandy on a summers afternoon. Hubby doesn't drink much either - we are the local teetotallers!
    Now if I could only develop the same take-it-or-leave-it attitude to sugar (6+ cups of tea a day, each with a teaspoon of sugar, for starters...)

  6. Wow, Dovic, if ever there was a day I needed to read your post....! Don't underestimate the power of a strong conviction (such as yours here) and the effect it can have on people you've never met (that'd be me!).

    Your ways with alcohol sound like mine. I can go a week sometimes and give myself a pat on the back as I open a bottle and say to myself "Well, good for me, now I will have a drink as a reward." It's a habit, I enjoy it, it can be a great way to "be an adult" after a day of being with the kid. But there's no denying the toll it has taken on my body (both in agility and in weight gain around the middle).

    I'm SO doing this! If you can.... I reckon I can. Good luck :) (and please wish me some too)

  7. I don't drink, haven't for years, but I'd love to try this guy's challenge! It sounds great

  8. God I have to do something. Seriously am actually getting quite used to having drinks and waking FINE the next day. But my gut is expanding and I am no longer even getting a buzz. So to you Ms Dovic, I will say this, I am going to give it a red hot go. :)

  9. I've been saying for months now how I'm going to get myself fit and fab for my 40th in Sep, and I've done...nothing. I've been suspecting for a while now, that it's not just the lack of movement that has seen me start to put the weight on, but the glass (and sometimes two) of wine at night.

    I've commented on others posts that I was inspired to do something and at the time I meant it, but then...nothing.

    I feel like this is the 'sign' I needed. I really want to do this. This week especially, I've noticed how much I'm putting on on my stomach. Seriously - I look pregnant. I hate it. I'll feel better about myself if I don't have that.

    I probably won't stop the wine altogether, but I'll definitely reduce it (already have actually this week, except the last 2 nights) but I'm going to walk and cut out the crap I'm eating.

    Thanks for the inspiration, hon. xx

  10. Very inspiring, I have been thinking about this post since I first read it 2 days ago. I come from a family where alcohol is free flowing constantly and there is definetly some moderate to severe alcoholic tendencies in my parents. I don't want to turn out that way..

  11. Thanks for all the comments guys. In the most part I've stuck to the no drinking rule since posting. Since I carried on my dry in May, I have let a few glasses pass my lips on a couple of merry girl outings and there is absolutely no doubt that I can feel it the next day. Is it age? Does tolerance for alcohol reduce as you get older? I'm starting to think so. Maybe with daily life being so busy and being so battle worn already there is no room left for an ounce more battering (and no time to sleep it off?).

    I haven't forgotten the sigh and relaxed drop of the shoulders that comes with that first arvo/evening sip (did someone mention school holidays???) but me thinks I'll find other better ways to cope. Fingers crossed anyhow.

    Finally - food for thought - a friend mentioned the back ache could have been from dehydration (apparantly often the cause) which makes sense since I drink a lot more water when not drinking the other stuff. Interesting I thought.

    How is everyone else going? This is one of those situations where if I heard anyone else proposing what I've proposed, I'd think they were stalk raving mad!.

    Whatever side you sit, I hope you're enjoying itx

  12. So we're now into September. How are you going with the wine situation now? I have a love-hate relationship with wine (love it, the taste, the social element) but hate the effects on my brain and waistline, now I'm in my mid-30s. It's a shame, but I do feel so much better without it.



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