Does alcohol affect your lifestyle? Here are the top 7 reasons why?
So it was March 2019 and I had not been feeling great. The bottom line is I was turning yellow jaundice and my stomach was expanding. I was a drinker but no more than my friends and only ever wine. I was not your typical patient.
There was me thinking I was fairly average and that I was pretty normally actually. Does alcohol affect your lifestyle? It certainly did mine!
However, not only was it affecting my lifestyle it was affecting my health. Now don’t get me wrong, I like a long lunch with friends, the wine flowing but this got me thinking about how stuff has changed radically and how it has affected my lifestyle.
I have to say overall it has improved, so let’s take my top 7 reasons for why.
Your Pocket, Wallet and Purse
I once read a book once that went over my head as I did not really drink much coffee. It was a called a Coffee Millionaire or something like that. On reflection maybe I should have done as it has benefits for my liver.
The author explained the notion was that if you put away the price of a coffee every day you would with investment become very well off.
I think that is true but maybe the author missed a bit of information which what you do with the money you save on alcoholic drinks, wine whiskey, beer.
Even if you are having a few glasses of wine daily at say £6.50 after work and you do that 5 days a week, over a year you would have an amazing £3380 to invest.
That eye watering number when you think about is an amazing amount of money to save, travel, do home improvement or maybe take a course that will also help you to develop yourself. You could even start paying off your mortgage.
Action : Work out how much you spend on alcohol and then decide what you would do with it?
Friends and Acquaintances
This is a real biggie, as when you are drinking people never say anything, then when you stop they think you have a problem. So you start not to drink and they encourage you to drink more saying “one won’t matter”.
Well for me it could kill me so I am really upfront about it.
I actually said that to someone those exact words, and they had nowhere to go with it.
It’s also one of the reasons I am passionate about 0.0 alcohol free drinks and the abv stat (alcohol by volume figure). It really does take the pressure off.
Now if you have a serious problem alcohol free options may not be right for you. For many however it is the perfect way to get variety in your drinks rather than just drinking a pop soda or sparkling water.
If your friends make comments or your work colleagues just be up front. In my experience most people would drink less given the opportunity especially if they are with like-minded individuals. I wrote about the importance of getting a hobby here
Action : Be upfront with your friends and say why you are reducing or stopping your alcohol intake. The more upfront you are, the fewer places there are for them to go. Ignore the gossip, it’s their issue.
When you change your lifestyle without alcohol you start to think about addiction which in itself is a loaded word. If you say it people look away. However, we are all addicted to something because it can make us feel good. We can be addicted to
- Going Out
- Cleaning ( I wish I was)
And yes of course alcohol. It comes down to this that we are wired to move towards pleasure and away from pain. However, our brain can get so wired in pleasure that we forget that one of the byproducts could be pain. In my case my liver but it could be anything to do with our lifestyle.
Imagine that your brain is full of connections, hundreds, thousands and millions of neurons that join up and create shortcuts that eventually become embedded. It’s why we automatically do something without thinking.
I could have gym bags with me but I would still end up in the fab Chinese restaurant with a glass of wine. We become stuck in our ways.
Action: So begin to ask yourself what you are addicted to and is that the lifestyle you want? Maybe take a bit of paper and draw a line down the middle, on the left-hand side write down what you think you are addicted to then on the other side write down what could be the negative impact of that on your lifestyle.
Check in with yourself and ask if it’s OK. You might be surprised at the answers.
If you are interested, one the best addiction courses for mild cases is produced by Mark Tyrryll who was one of my early mentors and coaches has a great online course.
Please note I am an affiliate partner of Mark but never recommend anything that I think is not great. He is one of the best in the business and you can study it in your own time. It certainly makes you think. Just click the banner below.
This is a big one and stays with me from day one of my journey as I have been told it is imagined and it’s just in my head.
However, I even have anecdotal evidence from people who hardly drink anything who have asked for an alcohol free beer and got that look of “what planet are you on?” Many places don’t have many options and when they do you get an odd look and sometimes they don’t even know that they sell it.
Now I don’t think this happens with just cola or water but if you ask for an alcohol free drink in a bar or restaurant you do get some funny looks like you have asked for the impossible.
It happened for the first time as I was boarding a train but missed it by two seconds. Now normally I would go into the station bar and have a few wines but given my health now that would be out of the question.
The railway station was empty however so I went into the pub and I asked for one of their 0.0 beers. The response I got was “ what’s the point?”.
People are strange and forget they are in business sometimes. So many people I know have had these experiences that I now know it’s not just me.
If I get to chat to the manager I explain that non-alcoholic drinks have a yearly growth of around 23 per cent and I can’t believe he or she is not part of that. We have an adult conversation about it and either they care or they don’t .
I have actually started to go places where they do care, I am voting with my wallet.
As Hilary Devey says who is a British entrepreneur if they don’t want your business they may as well lock the door and throw away the key.
Action : You are the customer and if you want to try an alcoholic free option go for it. Be bold about it
I don’t just mean personal relationships but the ones you have with the world around you. Yes alcohol can affect your lifestyle and to be fair it can for many be a great sense of fun but it can also be a big killer of the relationships between you and the rest of the world.
Begin to think about your relationship with everyone and how alcohol affects it. If it’s fine then no problem. However, people on my blog have told me it has affected their relationship with
- Your environment
- Wife/ Husband/Partner
People think of alcohol and relationships just as family, friends, loved ones but the truth is summed up with this question “what are you voting for in your life and how is your relationship with everything?”.
Nothing is separate and as they say the mind and body is one system.
Action : Pick each of the areas above and ask yourself what is the relationship you have with the area and alcohol. Write down two or three things that you might want to change as a result.
So we all choke and cough when the doctor goes through the limit of alcohol intake and talks about our health but in reality they are right. Alcohol can kill and yet we are so wrapped up in diet, smoking, general fitness and the alcohol world we live in we would not give it another thought.
When you are in a hospital ward and a consultant says you have 48 hours to live and you were just a social drinker trust me it changes your relationship with alcohol and health.
I realized I only have one liver and if you saw some people I was on a ward with it would be enough to change your attitude full stop. In fact when the consultant said I could die it took me all one second to say to myself “I am never drinking alcohol again”.
I just stopped. There wasn’t any alcohol in my system when I was admitted to hospital as I had not drank in a few days full stop but I knew my liver needed some love there and then if I was to live.
Action : Look at the alcohol by volume of what you are drinking. So ABV. Keep a diary and review each week. You will be amazed at the units you have stacked up.
In you would like some help with some reviews on alcoholic free choices just click the relevant review below for my summary
I would love to know, does alcohol affect your lifestyle? What changes do you think it would mean if you cut back or gave up alcohol? Have you already done so? if you have please share your success story here. If you leave a message I always respond.