Monday, March 14, 2011

On the Wagon: Day Six

Each year I give up alcohol for Lent. I'm not a practising Christian or Catholic, although I did go to Catholic schools and my Dad's family hail from the Catholic side of Derry. There are various reasons for doing it, but at the core it is about giving my liver a break, loosing weight and proving to myself that I can do it. For 2011 I have also added snacks, eg crisps, nuts etc to the giving up list.

This year it seems especially important, I am the heaviest weight I have ever been. I am 13st 13lb and 5lb away from being officially obese. For my height my 'normal' weight should be anything between 10st 7lb and 11st 7lb. This seems particularly galling, I have always been reasonably fit, did not drive till I was Thirty so rode a bike or walked everywhere, played football for local teams and 2 and a half years ago was a few lbs under 12st and was running 10k races and half marathons. What went wrong?

Well, at the start wine and cheese most nights, then wine and crisps and nuts and cheese, and then occasionally a tuna and cheese toastie was added to the mix. I developed a habit of drinking considerably more than the NHS recommended limit, each night, while adding various snacks on top of that as well. There are three things that I think contributed to this: One, my lack of self denial, Two, eating at 5:30pm each night since MiniMck arrived (we used to eat at 7:30-8pm, so didn't have time to feel peckish again before going to bed) and Three, giving up smoking.

I have it in my head that if I don't do something this year my weight gain and bad habits will continue.

Today is day six and it is the first day that I feel refreshed and better for being tee-total. This was an easily measurable effect, at 9:30 this morning my class teaching assistant asked me if I'd had a coffee yet. I hadn't, and compared to other days didn't feel like I needed one either. I can already see that I have lost some puffiness around my eyes, although that could be because I am going to bed earlier. I have never been one for early bedtimes, and even though alcohol is clinically a depressive, it always keeps me up and out of bed for longer than I may naturally need.

Today was also the first social occasion I have had since Lent started, it was a football night, Norwich were playing at home and as a season ticket holder my Brother-in-law and I usually go for a pint or two before the match. Luckily this year he has also decided to join me on the wagon for the duration of Lent, so instead we enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea instead at my house before heading to the game.

I am aiming to keep up a regular update on my tee-total Lent, my ups and downs, my challenges and changes and of course my weight loss.

Day six was a good day.
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