Drink Tank

Feel the difference

‘So you’re not drinking, or what?’ This was the comment I regularly received when I turned down a glass of wine at dinner parties.

Last year I gave up wine for Lent – not that I’m religious, but I thought 40 days was a reasonable amount of time to go without a drink. This year I added chocolate and cookies to the list when I gave up alcohol for three months.

We’d been to New Zealand for two weeks and both my husband and I had enjoyed the NZ cuisine and wine a little too much for the waistline. So from the end of January to the end of April (my birthday), I went without all three – no alcohol, no choccies and no cakes.

I found it pretty easy to drink something else with dinner – usually water. I think the glass of wine at the end of the day is just a habit – and setting my mind to not drinking was easy – I felt quite self-righteous I have to admit.

The result was rewarding: I could stay up longer; I didn’t fall asleep in front of the TV, and I felt much better in the morning. No longer was I groaning as I swung my feet over the edge of my bed; instead I felt refreshed and energetic, ready to face the day.

It helped too that in March I got a puppy, True, those first few walks were a little challenging, but after about a week or so, I was looking forward to the walks as much as my puppy was enjoying them. And I’m keeping the middle-aged spread at bay.

So what did I learn from the experience? I think setting a time frame (like Lent, or another significant period) is a good idea. I found it more fun to abstain (from alcohol) with my partner as we kept each other honest.

I rewarded myself by getting a puppy, but I think you can motivate yourself by the promise of improved general health and wellbeing. And it is a conversation piece at those dinner parties (although I’m not sure I was very popular with my friends who continued drinking regularly – could they be a little jealous of my will-power?)

We broke our alcohol fast just before my birthday in late April. I did enjoy that first glass of red, but the habit of not drinking has stayed with me: I hardly drink in the evenings at home, nor do I drink during the day at lunch. I do have a glass with dinner if we’re going out – and I have to confess to a stint of drinking a few hot toddies, but that’s only because I had a feverish cold.

My husband is also drinking less, particularly less beer, which he says tastes gaseous to him. So if he and I can do it – and gain so much from the experience – why don’t you too take an alcohol break? And feel the difference.

If you enjoyed reading this, you could follow Bobby at http://about.me/slobodanka.bobby.graham

Bobby Graham

Bobby Graham

Bobby Graham is a digital consultant who specialises in making digital content web accessible, both online and for iPad and smart phones. Bobby has worked in the government sector, in mainstream publishers and libraries. She holds a Masters in eBusiness and a Bachelor of Arts. She occasionally takes a break from consuming alcohol.


  • I too am not a big drinker but don’t mind the odd glass. I would maybe drink one a fortnight normally and maybe two drinks if I was out being social. When I began dry July I had many people comment that I wasn’t a big drinker so why do Dry July as it wouldn’t be a challenge? Interestingly though it has been a challenge- particularly on the two drink social occasions! Recently I attended with my husband a 21st (good friend of my son)…. yep the only sober dancer- awkward but I did it. Today my husband and I went to lunch and he had a lovely glass of red with his risotto while I had an iced lemon tea with penne pasta! I was tempted to use a Golden Ticket but remembered I had voided all I had received.Yes, I think it’s good to pause from drinking as it can become a habit and can creep into your day to day life before you know it. Dry July has been a unique thing for me to experience and I will do it every year.

    • I am back on chocolate but think I need to cut back again.

      So, who’s joining me for a Spring Break? No alcohol from 1 September to 1 December. I’ve started.

  • So, Bobbie, are you back on chocolate now though, or have you maintained a lower intake of that too?

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