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....
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).