Giving up the booze

Anyone out there done what I am about to do?

After a good few too many years of binge drinking I have decided to take the plunge and give it up.

I've got two stone to shift, real confidence (not just that you get from a bottle!) and self esteem to get back and running to improve... I think that's reason enough!

Advice, thoughts, stories - anything to help.

My best tip to date is drinking cranberry (or other red coloured drink) from a win eglass - gives you that wine feeling without the wine.





  • Good luck egglett

    (i couldnt)
  • I guess it depends on what sort of a drinker you are - if it's just social, then Voodoo Smiles is right - other people's attitudes are very important.

    If you have a more serious problem, and a physical and psychological dependency, it might be wise to contact your doctor for help.

    Don't expect to do it over night (especially if you're in the second category), don't beat yourself up if you slip up, and keep focusing on what you want at the end of it!

    If cranberry juice in a wine glass works, do it! And the soda water with(out) vodka sounds like a good trick too! Ignore other people as much as you can - they;re often only jealous!

    And good luck
  • Yeah, good luck Egglet, wish i could do it. although gonna have to cut down seriously if i'm gonna train for FLM. Keep us updated on how your doing.
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    I rarely drink these days at all, and I really don't miss it.

    Actually, that's not really it - I prefer not to drink. If I have more than a couple of glasses of wine, I start to think about how rough I'll feel in the morning if I have any more, and the things I'll miss out on if I have a hangover (running mostly, but lots of other things too). If I drink soda and lime (my non-alcoholic drink of choice) I think of it like pre-hydrating for my next run. It almost feels like it's cleaning my system, and I feel good.

    Maybe it's something in my character, but I find something perversely satisfying about refusing to give into the people who try to convince me that I can only *really* enjoy a night out if I get completely bladdered, and that I can just leave the car and get a taxi home "so that I can have a drink".
  • goodluck egglet,i packed in drinking in 1987,not touched a drop since,all down to willpower,had plenty of good oportunities to start drinking again though.

    most notable,1998,mum died in march of that year,we were really close,then in sept got made redundant after 20 and a 1/2 years with the same company.came through with flying colours,joined total fitness health club in walkden in 2000,started running 18 months later and up to now health has never been better.

    drinking in moderation is ok,but if you want to go tea total go for it and don't let friends try to make you feel guilty about not drinking as mine did.
  • A note of caution

    make sure you get some help with the self esteeem thing
    alcohol can be a crutch to deal with that

    and if you dont have that-you need proper support from elsewhere
  • Thnaks for all th ecomments - good to hear what everyone else get's upto.

    I've not got an alcohol dependancy problem, just that when I do go out I always overdo it and it does interfere with training - I've never been able to run with a hangover, and I end up eating too much.... chipshop or curry then Sunday mop up food!

    I've also decided that that "it's friday - bottle of wine at home" isnt doing me any good either.

    I'd like to go a whole month with nothing and then see from there. I know I will miss having a couple butit's the more than a couple that I dont like naymore and the "cant remember" bits that I feel I dont need!

    I've got to say that I dont think pubs do enough for non-drinkers. Think I'll be going along the Tonic water, soda water line as well.... get so sick of diet coke and there are only so many orange juices or J20's you can drink!

    Thanks for your thoughts - will giveit a whirl!
  • I agree entirely with the Nessie. It's amazing to see the attitude of 'friends' who seem uncomfortable if they see you without a drink when at a pub. They seem to think that you can't enjoy yourself without being drunk. I think a lot of it is because they are envious that you can choose not to drink whereas often they can't.
    I think the main thing when stopping drinking is to realise the benefits. Don't look at stopping as missing out on something, or depriving yourself. You're not. I found I had to change my social life a little as going for a drink ( to get drunk) with mates turned out to be really boring and empty. (Funny, I 'd never noticed when I was drunk.)
    I used to shedule a run the day after a night out. This used to help me stay on soft drinks, it also made me feel better the next day that I didn't feel like death warmed up and that whilst others were in bed witha hangover, I was running through some grat scenery feeling great!
    Good luck.
  • Good luck, Egglett.

    I gave up a few years back for an 8 month period, when I was first diagnosed with clinical depression. ALthough it is initially a stimulant, and what made me such a bright sociable person in college, alcohol is ultimately a depressant, and the tablets I was put on were not advisable to be combined with drink. So I took my docor's advice and gave up both alcohol and caffeine. It was difficult to begin with, as I was at university at the time, but it got easier as I got into it more, and I started to enjoy having more of my student budget available for little extras (when you're as low as I was at the time, even a new pen for note-taking in uni feels like a real special treat!!)

    Even though I still suffer the depression (clinical is an illness, not a result of events, so I'm a sufferer for life - the trick is not to let it control you - and the running helps), I will admit that I wouldn't like to try quitting alcohol again!!!
  • Egglett, I am exactly the same as you. Although I dont have a dependency problem I tend to over do it on nights out, and feel rubbish the next day then gorge on the wrong foods and then feel pants for the next few days. have said as from yesterday am not going to drink for a month (thats the plan anyway) and see how I feel.

    Got the GNR coming up and in between working am finding the time difficult so to wipe out 1 or more days with a hangover seems pointless!

    Got a friend coming over to see me later this week who I met at Uni, and its going to be difficult not to drink and find something to do to keep her occupied as well! Am sure she will be very understanding-maybe cinema and a bite to eat!

    Anyway good luck with the abstinence, hopefully we will both manage a month off the booze and then who knows!!!
  • egglet. ditto - i never really drank very much, if anything, during the week but i had a tendency to make up for it at the weekends.

    i quit a few weeks ago because i'm training for an extremely difficult race next year. its been a lot easier than i expected.
  • StylishStylish ✭✭✭
    Hi, I gave up about 9 years ago and saying no have never been a problem to me. If you're going to do it then IMO it's best to stop totally straightaway, not on a gradual basis.
    No more hangovers and wasted days. Also easy to get back into training even after long breaks.
  • It all depends how self controlled and disciplined you are. I gave up for 1.5 months in March this year as I wanted to lose weight quickly having just started running again after a 3 year gap and challenged myself to do the Kingston Marathon on Oct 10th.

    Because I had a clear goal it was not very difficult.

    Recently I've done the same by saying no alcohol from mid August to race date and in any case with marathon training I'm finding that I don't really get much time to socialise.

    Giving up for ever though would be a different matter and I guess I'd only do that for serious medical reasons.

    Still, good luck with the giving up - you'll certainly feel the benefits quite quickly.
  • Thanks again - I've been thinking all day about this.... I dont think I will find it easy at weekends but I want to try.

    Boyf stumbled in last night - 2am.... stunk! I could hear him and his mate giggling like kids at god knows what then up he comes "sweeeaaarrrs tha Elviss Viseo?" - dear heart! I thought - blimey - that's what I'm like on it and boy did he look rough this morning.

    I agree too that having a bit of extra dosh will be nice. And training - getting a Sunday training day back will be magic!

    If any of you want to keep this link up as a kind of diary and how you doing type thing please do. I'd find that helpful....unnatrutal born runner we could swap "how'd you do" stories.

    I'm already trying to invent unboring non-alcoholic drinks for the weekend!

    Ta for all your comments - very helpful
  • Word of advice Egglett, dont drink too many J2O's. Has a tendency to give you the runs!

    I found that if I admitted I wasnt drinking then people would stumble up to me and wave their drinks in my face.For the rest of the night they keep slurring in your face trying to encourage you to drink.

    It's sooooooooooo annoying.

    The best feeling is passing them on your sunday jog looking bright eyed and bushy-tailed as they come out of Spar with calorific stodge and crap to absorb the hangover. Tell them your ready to have that drink with them now& watch them turn green!
  • Go you ! I feel precisely the same way about my boozing and am going to try and have a month off. My non alco drink of choice is fizzy water and pink grapefruit juice - very refreshing without being too sweet.

    As for other people it's the same as when you tell them that you run - you're obsessed or mad or both. It makes other people feel inadequate when they watch you being healthy and therefore they feel they have to knock you rather than support you.
  • Glad you're keeping up with it!

    I never drink much, never have, very rarely will have one in the pub, and I get SOOOO much stick for it from 'friends', who think I can't enjoy myself.

    I end up spending half the night trying to justify why I'm not drinking, and therefore end up NOT enjoying myself!

    Also, i have a partner with a dependency problem, and often don't want to drink as I've seen what it can do. It can be rather offensive to have people shouting in your face "it won't do any harm!" I suspect they mean well, but is very irritating!
  • The best mad look people give you is when you tell them you dont want to drink because you've got a 7m run planned the next day.

    The run isnt made easier by the consumption of the J2O's the night before tho!

    Daffy-bet it wouldnt go down well if you went up to people yelling bout the dangers of drinking. Prob get banned from the pub!
  • Lows - exactly! I would never do that - obviously it's an individual choice - but surely that's the point? It's MY (and yours) individual choice not to drink on a particular night, and we houldn't have to justify it!

    Agree on the miserable choice of non-alcoholic drinks though. I usually have blackcurrant and soda, although Vodka Revolution (ironically!) do a decent selection of non-alcoholic cocktails that taste good too
  • Egglett-how u doing?

    2 days now,feeling fine.Not doing too bad, nothing in the house and didnt get in till 9 last night and will be same tonight.Think the key might not be to think about it too much,or am going to start thinking I am depriving myself. Am going to miss the odd glass of red more with tea than nights out with friends-that will be easier me thinks!!
  • ubr,it'usually late on when you srart missing the drink,

    during the day you keep yourself busy,early evening not too bad.

    just stay strong and focused.

    will be really difficult when you are out with your mates,but then again this will show just how good your mates are.
  • Cheers Kippers

    Sounds like I have a problem doesnt it???
    Really I havent,just trying to make most of my days off by not feeling a bit rough!!!

    Thanks for your thoughts :)
  • Hi,
    I decided to give up the booze three weeks ago and I can't believe I've stuck to it!! I'm trying to train for the FLM and so I decided to bit the bullet!! (It also has to do with me having a rough night about 3 weeks ago - where I vowed never to drink again!!)
    I agree with some of the other comments, about loads of people looking at you funny when in the pub and not drinking - but I think that is more down to their own feelings of guilt!!

    Just stay focused and remember your liver will thank you in the end!
  • What I noticed most from giving up the booze was that my face shrunk down in size. Not in a scary 'Beetlejuice' kinda way but i wasnt so bloated.Also lost 7 pounds in first week just from cutting out the cider.
  • I saw this
    today and though of your thread

    pretty inspirational i thought !
  • Well I'm inspired by reading all your comments... weight loss is another factor for me Lows - need to drop two stone and to be fair I've mainly kept it on because of drinking at weekends... drink eat hangover eat! Cant win!

    It's my 9th day of no drink and I feel ok about it.

    Been on my first run in just over two weeks today - managed 5 miles which I am chuffed about as I'd damaged my achillied tendon the other week (OUCH - and BOTHER!) but it seemed ok today.....

    ANYHOW - point being taht it gave me chance to have a good think baout this drink thing so here's what I thought:-

    1. I can do it
    2. Sod what everyone else thinks of me
    3. Have to start inventing drinks (think I've done some of that already)
    4. Did a bit of "picturing" being in the pub with soda water in hand
    5. Talked t o boyf and said "look I could be a miserable cow for a bit" - he's behind ME giving up - bvut not him (Grr!But then that's his choice isnt it)
    6. Realised how great a Sunday run will be

    So all in all I think I'm worth a bit of time off booze and time on getting in shape and improving running....

    My biggest thought is about me and my personality. It keeps going round that when I'm at work I sometimes laugh so much with people at stupid stuff that my sides hurt.... I'm not sure I do that when I'm drunk! I want to take giggler out with me not drunk and laugh at 'owt!

    So I think I can go for this - I've done 9 days and not missed drinking yet...... I think I can do 31 - and more?!

    Anyhow bedtime beckons
  • top girl egglett well done, the first day of giving up drinking was hardest for me.

    i was on the brink of ordering a pint when one or two chirped in with youv'e no willpower.well that was it red flag to a bull,mates can be so cruel,but once i'd passed my driving test they were all for me not drinking.

    just keep the determination and you'll be fine.
  • Good luck egglett.

    A couple of years ago I used to drink way too much and missed loads of work through hangovers. Now I've cut down life is so much more fun - you just find you have a lot more time and enjoy things more when you feel better.

    I sometimes stop drinking completely for 10 days or so and I find that's enough to make me want to be careful the rest of the time. If I am drinking I don't have more than two units.

    I hope your boyfriend is being supportive -he'll follow your example when he sees how good you feel.

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