Thinking of going TeeTotal?

"Why on earth would anyone go TeeTotal?" was the common reaction when I first started testing the water in Nov 2021. My responses were generally "Why not?",  "No, I'm not crazy", "Yes, I know that's 365 days!" and "Do you want to do it with me?!" 

You see, most years I set myself a challenge. Be it an ultra walk, an abseil, a dry month, going veggie, moving abroad, getting married (LOL). I decided on a biggie to celebrate my 50th birthday. I decided to go #TeetotalFor2022

I've successfully completed #DryJan numerous time over the last 12 years and I have even slotted in the odd #DryNov too. But since moving to Spain, I have found these month-long challenges harder.  When the sun is out 360+ days a year, the booze is uber cheap and there are more opportunities to be social, it's REALLY hard. When I finalised the decision to give this challenge a try, I put it out on Facebook and made as many people know as possible. Knowing my personality, I needed to be accountable. I knew this was the right move for me. Overall the reaction I got was really positive and supportive, not only did I have some great encouragement and words of wisdom, I found that several friends offered to do #DryJan to help me through the first month, and to my delight a couple of other friends said they would attempt the whole year with me. It was nice to know that I wasn't the only mad one!

I started a Facebook group and couldn't believe that 20 people became members within the first week. If you are thinking of moderating or stopping your drinking of alcohol, then please do consider joining us. You don't have to have started your AF (Alcohol free) journey yet. Initially I called the group TeeTotalFor2022 but It's morphed into a great platform for those thinking of becoming AF doing #DryJan or considering staying sober for longer. We support each other through our own challenges and goals with alcohol. Whatever they may be.

I thought I would also blog about my progress. Please feel free to comment below with your experiences and tips. I look forward to reading them. 

JANUARY - No Alcohol #DryJan

Traditionally I would be starting a dry month knowing it was a temporary break from alcohol, and I'd already be looking forward to the end of the month for an ice-cold glass of white, or a warm red that had sat breathing by our open fire. This time, I started with my head in a different place. With confidence and feeling more in control. There was an air of excitement to see how my experiment would go. Was this a challenge too far?  My last dry month was in November. I struggled. I struggled a lot. That's never happened to me before, and alarm bells started ringing. In December, I drank because there was a party, a dinner, Christmas, my birthday weekend away, the sun was out, or it was cold outside. I used any excuse because I knew I would be stopping on New Year's Eve. Like a child, I overindulged on a daily basis. A bottle of vino most days and a large glass of Baileys. By Jan 1st I was actually glad I was giving my body a break. It needed it. 

My immediate aim for the first month was to drink more water and trying to eat and drink as nutritiously as I could. But why is it so easy and quick to drink a bottle of vino, yet water is that much more difficult?! 

Alcohol affects every organ of the body, but most of the impact is on your liver. Alcohol raises Bilirubin levels, which can give some nasty symptoms for us with Gilbert's Syndrome. I wanted to address this and get my liver working properly for me.

I am thrilled to read in my Facebook group and personal messages of the progress the members are making in the AF journey. There are stories of people not drinking during really special personal events, where normally the champagne is popped. There are reports of stressful days being endured AF when the wine would be opened almost as the first steps are taken over the threshold after a difficult day at work. Even some of their partners have curbed their enthusiasm for drinking as much.

What are the reported benefits of giving up alcohol for 30+ days  

  • Weight loss - See my table below for my weight loss in the first month.
  • Better sleep - 
  • Better skin - 
  • More energy -
  • Better mood - I found that my anxiety was better managed. I know that alcohol, no matter how small a quantity, definitely made my worries seem more and helped with a general low mood.
  • Boost in brain power - As the first week came to a close I already found I was being a lot more productive. 
  • Increase savings - It's so inexpensive out here in Spain, that there wouldn't have been much difference to my bank balance. My husband says a round at the bar is actually cheaper if I drank wine or gin, instead of water or AF options!
  • Enhanced awareness - I became more aware of the negative influence alcohol had on my life, that my relationship with it was not a positive one. I now realise I used it to help with my confidence in a group situation and to mask the unhappiness I felt being so far from family during the pandemic. I am aware that I don't need alcohol to have fun and a giggle. In fact, I am less likely to put myself in situations where I don't really want to be there in the first place! 

Negatives of giving up alcohol for 30+ days

  • NONE for me. Apart from the fact, I began to inwardly judge those having beer or wine before midday.
What results did YOU experience? 
Come back to read my progress - If you wish to add your thoughts, hints or tips, please feel free to comment below - Thank you, Tracey x

FEBRUARY - No Alcohol

One day is 86,400 seconds. In the whole of January that's 2,678,400 times I didn't, when I could have. And I'm going to keep on going!

Come back to read my progress - If you wish to add your thoughts, hints or tips, please feel free to comment below - Thank you, Tracey x

Recommended to read / listen to

Recommended by me or the Facebook group members

  • Hip Sobriety
  • This Naked Mind
  • The Sober Millennials 
  • Laura Mckowen

Information for the stats nerds out there!

My stats as per 1byone health app:  Red = Excessive  |  Yellow = High  | Green = OK  |  Blue = Too low
Height = 5ft 11 MY ideal
(as per app)
END Total Loss
or Gain
Weight 129 to 157 lb 168.2lb
BMI 19 to 25 24.1
Body Fat 21 to 35 % 32.9
Body Water 45 to 60 % 47.9%
Bone Mass 6.2 + 6.4lb
BMR 158 1260
Muscle Mass 81 to 93 lb 106.4lb
Protein 16 to 20% 11.6%
Visceral Fat under 9 7.0
Skeletal Muscle Rate 49 to 59 % 36.4%
Subcutaneous Fat 19 to 26 % 29.8%
Fat Free Body - 112.8lb
Body Score - 92

BMI = Body Mass Index
Body Fat = Body composition fat tissue ratio
Body Water = Water weight, which includes the blood, lymph, extracellular fluid etc
Bone Mass = The weight of bone tissue in the human body
BMR = Basal metabolic rate. The minimum energy consumption required by all the organs 
Muscle Mass = The total muscle weight of the body
Protein = The important components of all cells and tissues in the human body
Visceral Fat = Fats distributed in the internal organs and abdominal cavity of the human body
Skeletal Muscle Rate = The ratio of muscle of the human body
Subcutaneous Fat = The ratio of fat stored in your skin to your body weight
Fat Free Body = The weight of the human body that is fat-free
Body Score = Index of physical health as per the app

Come back to read my progress - If you wish to add your thoughts, hints or tips, please feel free to comment below - Thank you, Tracey x

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