We’ve all heard the ‘jokey’ terms – beer belly, muffin top, wine waist etc – but there is some truth in them. What you eat and drink does show up on your body. The additional, but empty and wasted, calories in alcohol will, over time, add inches to your middle and may show in your face too either as jowls or those minute red lines. Eat a diet rich in healthy fruit and vegetables and your skin and hair will show their appreciation as well as your figure being a little more svelte.

I believe in ‘mostly healthy, most of the time’ and do eat chocolate and croissants myself. But, and here’s the key, is small amounts and not as a daily occurrence. I did stop drinking wine (my only tipple) back in May initially as a personal challenge as I was drinking above the recommended units weekly but when that time had finished, I realised that drinking wine was a habit and one I hadn’t missed.  So I stopped. Did that make me a non-drinker? Was I teetotal? In my mind, neither. I had made a personal choice, one that was right for me at that particular time.

Last night, I fancied a small glass of chilled Pinot, so I poured myself one. Sat down on the sofa, took a sip and pulled a face. I didn’t like it! Glass passed to husband (usually drinks red but … ).

Later whilst watching tv, I thought I’d have another taste as previously I’d not long drunk a cup of peppermint tea and wondered if that had made the wine taste ‘off’.  Another sip, same reaction. I really didn’t like the taste. At all.

Back to sparkling water and teas for me.

So, am I really a non-drinker now? I suppose technically and literally, I am as I don’t drink at the moment. Is it a blip? Will my taste buds return and enable me to rediscover the enjoyment of a glass of wine?

What have been the benefits of not drinking? These are difficult to explain. Physically, my waist and belly are slimmer (but that may be down to the exercise programme I’m following). My skin is also clearer (but that may be hormonal). Mentally, I did initially feel a little smug at times refusing alcohol but nobody really cared once my family had got used to me not having a glass in hand. I was pleased that I’d managed to kick a habit but that wasn’t specifically because it was wine, I think I’d feel the same if it was cake or tea or whatever I’d set myself as a challenge.

So two last questions. Am I a teetotaler? No, as I don’t think I will always abstain and I don’t advocate total abstinence. Unless that is your personal decision.

Finally – will my daughters get my stash of champagne? That remains to be seen …………

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