I will stick my neck on the line and say that the majority of people who made New Year's resolutions have fallen off track - Eat better, drink less and exercise more.....
Am I right?
People don't like to be reminded that they have failed, hell I certainly don't. I still see people slogging it out in the gym, most likely because:
It’s still somewhat of a novelty.
They’ve paid for the membership.
It’s their last hope at convincing themselves that they are still somewhat on track with their “lifestyle change”.
They think hitting the gym gives them a pass to go to the pub afterwards
Beats going home to the nagging wife and the kids running wild.
As we near the end of January we start to see people making less conscious eating decisions, skip a few gyms sessions and when they are at the gym they train less intensely and swap the high impact HIIT sessions for the bike, sauna, and steam room.
As we all know willpower is a hugely overrated asset to have in your arsenal. Why? because it doesn't last. It is a bit like a power boost much like you get with video games. Imagine Super Mario when he eats a mushroom and goes all out in a flurry of speed proving to be difficult to control, and then before you know it, bang!! he is right back to where he started at the same pace as before. That’s pretty much what willpower is. But I am not here to talk about willpower, oh no.
The devil's poison a.k.a - booze
That’s right booze - How many of you made a promise to yourself to cut down on your alcohol consumption, or cut it out completely in January? How many of you are still on track to reach your goal? I honestly don't know why so many people choose January to make such a commitment. We are destined for failure in my humble opinion
Because January is such a fucking terrible month. It’s cold, wet, dark, and most people are skint, bloated and hungover from December. And what do us Brits tend to do when we are tired, bored, or stressed out after a shitty week at work? Have a drink that’s what.
Why change a habit of a lifetime.
Have you followed suit and broken a pledge because of alcohol? A missed gym session after work in favor of a few beers with your mates; a missed morning workout because you went out for a few drinks the night before? Or perhaps, your diet went to shit because you supped on slimline G+T’s but after the 6th one you popped into Macky D’s on the way home.
Give me a break you preachy, righteous bastard I can hear you say!
Hold up a minute
I write from my own experience and hell do I have some experience when it comes to broken resolutions and fuck-ups. But I am feeling somewhat of a smug Git at this moment in time. Don't begrudge me this pleasurable moment, It’s my blog so I can write what the hell I like!! But bear with me before you switch to Facebook or prepare to write a slanderous comment. I want to share my experience with you and how cutting out alcohol has impacted my life.
I feel bloody amazing
Don't get me wrong I have been tempted to swing by the pub for a “couple” of pints on more than one occasion. But I have shown restraint and not succumb to temptation. There have been times when work has been challenging and friends have texted me advising me that “one” drink won’t hurt. But I decided that being weak would simply put me back in the same boat as my previous thirty-nine attempts. This time around I wanted to change, and change I certainly have.
Disturbing and worry statistics of alcohol consumption
2017 was a year of reflection for me and I got kinda sick of doing the same old thing. I never thought I would find myself saying it but I got bored of the pub. Same old shit different day. More to the point I had become very aware of how alcohol was affecting certain people close to me and not in a good way. It had also started to impact my life in areas that it previously hadn’t.
I am not getting any younger
I know you wouldn’t think it (yeah right) but I am nearing the big 4-0 and it bothers me (that’s a whole other blog post) but the reality is alcohol just doesn't align with who I want to be, at least not when I’m drinking regularly. I love a few beers with the lads as much as anyone but I can no longer function to my full potential after a mid-week session. The following day I am pretty much a write off. Everything I pride myself on goes out the window. I eat shit, I am unproductive, I don't feel like the gym, and I’m generally good for nothing. At least nothing worthwhile. Basically, I don't like that version of myself because, in my opinion, it’s a wasted day of my life.
Alcohol is the thief of tomorrows happiness -unknow
I am not getting all preachy here, far from it. I am merely writing about my experience and my decision to abstain from alcohol, for the time being anyhow. I think any sane person reflects on their lifestyle habits at some stage in their life and decides what’s important to them. For some, it would be to give up smoking, become vegetarian, or something else altogether. It’s different for every one of us but having sustained for the majority of January it has become clear that booze is the gateway to everything I despise in life.
The gateway drug (yes alcohol is a drug)
When I drink alcohol I do certain things I wouldn’t normally do. And not a single one of them is a good thing.
DISCLAIMER - I am talking about the extra couple of drinks you get talked into (by yourself or your mates) after you know you should have stopped
I become louder and more obnoxious
I lose all common sense when it comes to spending money
Smoking - I detest smoking but give me a few pints and I become a causal smoker that never buys fags (annoying to non smokers by all accounts)
I end up eating stuff I would never dream of normally eating, namely kebabs and Macdonalds
I can become a dick - cant we all
They are five things that I'm not proud of, but a night of boozing subsequently leads to the morning after (hang your head in shame). Now let's look at the things I've been known to do the morning after a big session.
Wake up tired, hungover, restless, irritable and feeling like shite
Completely forget about my morning routine of meditating, reading and visualisation
Miss the gym
Eat shit (again)
Good for sweet FA for the majority of the day
Does any of the above ring true with you?
As I fast approach the big 40 I am all too aware that time goes by so bloody quickly, it scares the hell out of me. it's also worrying how much we take life for granted. Alcohol had become a burden to me when I consumed it regularly. Am I saying I will never drink again…hell no. What I am saying is that I will consume far less and when I do consume it, it will be for the right reasons. Far too many people consume alcohol to escape their current reality, ease the stress of work or the burdens of everyday life. The simple fact is alcohol only makes matters worse in the long run.
Do I sound like a boring old fart who has gone on some crusade to preach my beliefs on the negative aspects of drinking? Absolutely not. I am merely writing about something that rang true with me and it might just ring true with you. I know people who realised this at twenty, and I know people who made the realisation at fifty. I also know people who continue to over-consume alcohol and fail to live up to their true potential who are now in their sixties. It’s your life so do as you please, I am not here to preach.
I just write about me, my life, my experiences, and share some knowledge in the process.
So let me finishes this blog post with some key points and benefits I found when abstaining from alcohol.
I am much happier
I am much more positive
I am much more productive
I lost weight
I can afford to have more cheat meals and not put on weight
I have more money
I have more energy
I have better relationships
I am much more creative
I am better prepared to rise to challenges and obstacles in life
I sleep better
My skin is much clearer
I stick to my morning routines more regularly
I stick to my evening routines more regularly
I watch much less shit TV
I meditate much better
My workouts are far more intense and productive
I make better decisions at work and my personal life
I have more time to enjoy nature
My life is better
This blog post was originally intended to be about reprogramming and mindset in order to adhere to lifestyle changes. It has quite clearly become a post about alcohol and the devastating effects it can have on our goals, dreams, and productivity. Oh well, it is what it is. I dare say this post will touch a nerve with so many of you; so it can only be a good thing.
I am not preaching even if it might appear that I am. I suppose I'm just keen to stress the impact alcohol can have on your life without you realising it. I have abstained from it at certain periods of my life and have felt amazing for it. However, I am also aware how it has a habit of creeping back into your everyday life and slowly eating away at our productivity and well-being.