As I approached 40 with two 1 year olds in tow, I started to evaluate how well I actually looked after my health. Having twins to look after was definitely starting to take its toll on how I found time for me. I was grabbing at high fat snacks instead of eating proper meals and after having a drink, at the weekend, I found it even harder to be 'on the ball', the next day. I hadn't lost much 'baby' weight at this point and I was feeling pretty down in the dumps. I also found, as I was approaching the big 4 - 0, that I was starting to develop a stronger sense of anxiety, the day after drinking a little too much alcohol. This would last for a day or so, then start to ease up.
When I was younger, I did what everybody else seemed to be doing at the time. I worked all week and lived for the weekends so that I could go out and party. I would drink heavily from the mid- afternoon on Saturday and I was always well on my way by the time we arrived in town; for the night out at about 8 o'clock. Sundays were for hangovers and lying in bed until lunchtime. The younger body is definitely more able to fight off the effects of alcohol. I never used to believe this notion - I thought older people were using this as an excuse not to drink as much.
Nowadays, I choose to control the amount I drink much more carefully. I'm not a stick in the mud and I still enjoy a glass of wine, as my blog sidebar will tell you. The picture below was taken in the garden, last Friday evening. For me, drinking alcohol is now a much more sociable thing to do for relaxation and having a good chat with somebody, rather than drinking to get drunk. I never start an evening with the intention of getting drunk. I'd much rather be in control of my thoughts and actions.
Since I have taken control of the amount I drink, I've gradually lost a considerable amount of weight. The most significant, positive change for me, though, is on my mental health. My anxiety is under control and drinking less has definitely helped me to focus on keeping my mind happier. I feel so much better in the morning and ready to tackle the day ahead. Cutting down hasn't even been hard work. It's been quite easy to take control and still have a good time without feeling like I'm missing out. It's a new way of life that I'm going to stick with, now that I've realised how important it is to look after yourself, as you are getting older.
Here are a few tips that I use to help me to cut down on the booze.
- Schedule drinking time when drinking at home.
I tend to drink wine on Friday and Saturday evenings. I tend to buy the same amount each week with my grocery shopping and I know how to make it last. I also only drink from 7:30p.m onwards and yes this rule applies even on gorgeous, sunny afternoons like the one we've just had. Don't get me wrong though, I am sometimes 'clock watching' from about 6 o'clock, waiting for 'wine time.'
- Pour smaller amounts into your glass.
This does work. I don't like a full glass of wine anyway, as it tends to go warm before I am half way through it. Psychologically, my brain encourages me to sip what I have got, because there is only a bit in the glass. Plus when you go to the fridge to fill it up, you can keep a check on how much you are drinking and time stood at the fridge, is time when you are not gulping the wine down.
-Pick wisely when you are on a night out.
I tend to think very carefully about the best drinks to have when I am going out for the evening. I try to choose drinks that have less alcohol in them, because I'm always tempted to drink more when out with friends for the night.
One You is here to help you get back to a healthier you. Get free advice and support to improve your health by taking the How Are You Online Health quiz today.
The website, backed by, Public Health England is packed full of information about how you can make positive changes to your health and offers further tips in addition to the ones I have listed above, on how you could alter your drinking habits to have a positive effect on your well-being.
I took the quiz and the results said that I am currently under the suggested units of alcohol per week, but I need to be careful that I don't save my daily units up to use all at once, at the weekend - hence the term, binge drinking.
After you have completed the quiz, you will receive some useful suggestions and best of all, personalised support ideas to help you to improve your overall health. You also get the chance to access some great One You apps. The One You Drinks Tracker app is brilliant. It even shows you how much you could be, potentially, spending on alcohol and makes it easy to keep an eye on the booze and take control with daily tips and feedback.
There is only #OneYou.
Are you making any positive changes to your health at the moment? It would be great if we could all share even more positive tips in the comments below.
Disclosure: I'm supporting One You, Public Health England's new health campaign which provides free and personalised support, advice and tools to help adults make small changes to improve their health now and in the future. Take the Online How Are You Quiz now!