/ Teetotal is Totally Tantilising

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tombo - on 23 Aug 2016
I'm struggling to get my weight down and also struggling to maintain my training regime. I'm putting it down to booze, basically I do really well through the week (from say Weds to Friday) and come the weekend I go for a few pints, or a few (lot more) pints on a special occasion. I have no control when it comes to having just one or two by the way.

The next day I eat crap and because I am no longer 21 it takes 2 days to recover! This not only effects my climbing but also my work (I'm recently self employed). So I have made the decision to become teetotal to increase my enjoyment of all other aspects in life that don't involve beer.

I'm putting this up here in order to hopefully gain some inspiration from you guys, has anyone also taken the plunge and what are your thoughts? I'm hoping to use the "telling as many people as possible method" to bolster my resolve, so I apologise for this self focused thread!
thebigfriendlymoose - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:
Not sure about going entirely dry, but for a short-medium term period the following has worked for me:

Get a year planner wall chart and a big marker pen, cross off each day you are dry. Simple. As. That. Sounds faintly ridiculous but it has worked for me lately (44 days... not that I'm counting).

The first couple of weeks are tricky - no advice for dealing with that; I just had to be firm with myself and hope life didn't put undue temptation my way.

But after a while of ticking off the days, for me, the thought of keeping a nice uninterrupted row of "X"s became more attractive than the mere thought of a drink. The physical drinking / not-drinking issue was replaced with a game-playing / "ticking" mentality. Each dry day is a small "win" in a life-style based game of "Connect 4" or Noughts & Crosses, rather than a loss of liberty to drink. That said, I cannot attest to any improvement in well-being - I weight exactly the same and still feel crappy every morning.
Post edited at 10:51
nastyned - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

Don't do it - the brewing and pub industries need you!
Morgan Woods - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

I do a dry January and July and always feel better for it. Like you say it's the crap you need to eat the next day to recover. Add to that cans of coke and nurofen etc. Life's too short to spend hung over
Bwox - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

> I'm hoping to use the "telling as many people as possible method" to bolster my resolve

That's probably a good idea, especially if you think people you particularly like and trust would be supportive. On the other hand, a certain type of person might see your temperance as a challenge and try to tempt you for fun.

If you're not an alcoholic, and going teetotal is just a temporary measure, the simplest thing to do is just not put yourself in a situation where you can drink. This'll probably get more difficult in the long term, but maybe you'll have lost the urge and won't succumb so easily if, say, you're out socialising.

If you are an alcoholic I imagine it'd be much harder to avoid drinking, and you'd probably benefit from an AA group or similar.
tombo - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

Cheers all, I'm not alcoholic but when I'm drinking I feel like I am! I like the idea of a chart but I also feel that I need to go full dry as there is always another social thing around the corner.

Going to print out my boozeless wall planner now.
thebigfriendlymoose - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

wall chart - bigger is better plus a big chunky marker pen - it's all about the visual impact of the XXXXXXXs!
Si dH - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

I've done it and it was fine. Recommend looking early for non alcoholic and low sugar drinks you'd be happy to drink at a party. It also helps if your other half isn't drinking either.
ThunderCat - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

This is so hilariously close to my current situation I almost thought you were taking the p*ss

I eat fairly sensibly, do weights, punchbag and cycling a bit (strava says i did 600 km in July). But I love beer. Love it. If I'm out for a ride on the bike up in the hills, there'll be a few pub stops along the way...I know I'm undoing all of the good work.

So I've not really shifted beneath 20 stone for the past six months. I know from previous years that if I stay off the beer for any length of time, the lard drops off me.

So I'm in the middle of one now actually. This is day 5. Whoop Whoop.

I'm going on holiday in October. I'm going to stick with this through September and see how it goes...
ThunderCat - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

> Cheers all, I'm not alcoholic but when I'm drinking I feel like I am! I like the idea of a chart but I also feel that I need to go full dry as there is always another social thing around the corner.

> Going to print out my boozeless wall planner now.

I've actually downloaded an image of a cell wall, saved it into paintbrush, and I've started scratching some white lines / 5 bar gates into it to represent 'days without beer'. Will be able to complete my first 5 bar gate tonight
andrewmcleod - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

Fairly regularly find myself dancing topless on/near the table at 4am+ at a caving hut party (caving huts, always roadside, are quite different to climbing huts - for a start they are much cheaper, usually better facilities, and much easier to book as an individual!). Never felt the need to drink (unlike everyone else there of course).

I'm not teetotal - I do drink occasionally, and get drunk - I drank (heavily) at my birthday, and drank (again heavily) at the birthday before that... sometimes I have even drunk alcohol several times a month!
Rakim - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

Listen to Minor Threat!

Bobling - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

My other half and I did dry January, which we have done for several years now, and got to the end and acted on the impulse I have had every year which is why the hell not just carry on?! We do still drink socially or once in a blue moon at home but we no longer default to the "Had a hard day? Where's the wine!" that we used to. I find the thought of a drink these days turns me a bit funny, I think "Why would you want to do that?!". As someone else said life is too short to spend it hungover (or drunk!), just such a waste of time. Having said that it's great fun when you do drink if your default is not to.

I should make it clear though we have two small children so effectively have no social life and are got up at 7 am every single day. For the first couple of months we would regularly high five on getting out of bed and repeat the mantra "I love not drinking" as we felt so well compared to a boozy hungover sleep.

Good luck! You'll come to love it!
Lornajkelly - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to thebigfriendlymoose:

> But after a while of ticking off the days, for me, the thought of keeping a nice uninterrupted row of "X"s became more attractive than the mere thought of a drink.

I've been teetotal for about 4 and a half years. I originally gave up for a variety of reasons so having multiple sources of motivation made it easier. I noticed, though, that the longer I'd gone the easier it was. I didn't have a calendar (though the suggestion is a great one) but the thought of "I've gone a whole month, I can't go back on it now" turned into "I've gone 3 months/6 months/a year/4 years" etc and now there's no thought of ever having a drink again.

I've had friends try it and not stick to it, so it's not for everyone and not being able to do it doesn't mean you've got a problem. There's things I miss about alcohol, certainly. It's affected my social life, even though I can have fun when I go out and it's a cheaper night out when i do, I feel like I'm removed from everyone else when they're a bit drunk and I'm not. I'm a PhD student so with each new intake (and each new intake of uni climbing club members, back when I was active) I have the questions to field. Of course I answer them and it's fine but it's a little irritating.

Positives: I lost a lot of weight when I first started, partly through not eating quite so much. Kebabs aren't quite so appealing when you're the other side of a few pints of lime and soda, compared to when you're a bit pissed. Nights out are so much cheaper and being able to drive home then get up and do things the next day never gets old! Plus, if I'm giving friends lifts home after nights out then they usually buy my soft drinks for me.

If you're serious about doing it, definitely tell friends because they can ask about your progress. But don't tell people who are likely to give you a hard time if you lapse. Everyone's human and people make mistakes so if you cave in and have a pint on a friday night, don't beat yourself up about it - just get back on it the next day. Avoid the "in for a penny, in for a pound" attitude too. Try it and see how you feel. If it's for you then you'll know fairly quickly, and if it's not then you'll know that too.
Scarab9 - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

I've done it for short periods (month, few months) though I've always intended it to be short term. Main points from me -

+ find something you like drinking so you can at least have something in front of you/in your hand. Alcohol free beers aren't as common as they should be and are sometimes expensive (cheap as anything wetherspoons only has AF Becks and it's one of their most expensive drinks £ vs ml. Yet some expensive pubs have cheap AF alternatives).
- once you've found something try and steer people to those pubs that stock it.

+ if you know someone who might go teetotal with you great, you can support each other and even compete about it.

+ if you lapse, kick your own arse the next day and damn well make sure you don't use the hangover as an excuse to eat shit - the bad food is as bad as the booze!

+Be prepared that some people are a bad influence, some situations are a trigger, and if you go out you're going to be tempted. In the short term, until you get used to being out without booze, try and avoid those situations.

+ longer term - be prepared that being around drunk people when sober can be dull. Some people find that ok, some people find it impossible and lapse, some people end up not going out. I don't have a solution for this one.

+ every time you dont' drink after benig out put a few quid in a jar and celebrate at the end of the week (and later month as it goes on longer. This is to improve the other parts of your life, so you hav e to make sure that's happening or you're going to really miss the drink.

Personally I'm currently on a pretty much not drinking when I'm out thing. Quite enjoy a couple of bottle of beer or a glass of whisky at home with the lass and not enjoying the beer out much and especially not liking the cost. So I'm sticking to the bits I genuinely enjoy and not the bits I'm doing out of habit (helps that we mostly go out to gigs rather than sitting about drinking....see above point on that!).
climberchristy on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

I've been teetotal for over 4 years now. started just intending to do a month to get climbing weight down. After a month I felt so much better - clearer head, slept better, lighter, fitter- that I then vowed to do another month. Once I got past about 6 weeks I even stopped getting the 'it's Friday night after a hard week at work and I deserve a drink' feeling. I was surprised at how quickly I stopped missing alcohol. Never miss it at all now.

Now there are other factors involved in this too, but...
...I lost 6kg going from 68kg to 62kg.
...went from happy to onsight E1 and 6a+ sport to regularly onsight E2 and 3 and even got up some E4 and in sport onsight 7a regularly and done some 7b.

Best thing I ever did for general health and climbing. It's not for everyone but you seem keen to do it so I'd say...Go for it Tombo! You're stronger than you think and I'm sure like me you'll be surprised how easy it is after a few weeks. Good luck!

Trangia - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

Just resolve on the spur of the moment one morning not to drink for the next three months. If you can't do it, you've got a problem, if it doesn't bother you, you're fine.

I've done it from time to time most of my adult life just to prove to myself that I'm in control. After a few days on the wagon you feel great.
thebigfriendlymoose - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to climberchristy:

> Best thing I ever did for general health and climbing.

swine.... 7 weeks on the wagon, and despite 15% of my previous calorie intake being whisky / bourbon, I have lost no weight, climb no differently, and still wake up every morning feeling wretched. I have come to realise that drinking was not the problem... I am just fundamentally broken!
ThunderCat - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

Maybe it was reading this earlier in the day but I had my first massive pang for a beer on the way home today.

It's only day 5.

Been to the gym for an hour at work, then a 9 mile cycle home from Salford. Maybe it was the general knackered-ness, maybe it was the hot weather, maybe it was the fact all the pubs I passed seemed to full of happy drinkers...but I couldn't get that imagine and feeling of an icy cold beer sliding down my throat.

Massive gravitational pull from the pubs in Chorlton, but I managed to fight against it and feel quite proud of myself.

bouldery bits - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

I'll join you.

No more booze till the OMM (October time)!

best of luck dude.

Father Noel Furlong on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

> increase my enjoyment of all other aspects in life that don't involve beer.

You could always mix it up with wine, whisky and the occassional cocktail?

Seriously though good luck. I managed 13 days then gave up. Pizza and a nice Sangiovese did it for me......
Ciro - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

I used to be a pretty heavy drinker, but have been more or less tee-total for the last few years for mental health reasons (which is quite a useful thing to be able to tell people when they start trying to tempt you off the wagon... most back off and accept your sobriety right away, and the few that don't are probably best out of your life).

Everyone's different, but for me the keys to making it easy were a bit contrary to a lot of the advice so far:

1) Not counting the days. I did that a couple of times for short periods (one month and then six), and it made it feel like a sentence, and I was missing out. As soon as I decided to give up indefinitely, and stopped counting it was like I'd committed to the crux and suddenly it was easy.

2) As someone said above, picking a particular soft drink you like and will stick to for a while, in order to break the old habit and form the new one.

3) Get out to all the places you'd usually drink alcohol as much as possible. I was still playing in a couple of pool teams at the time, and popped into my local most other nights after training... it was amazing how quickly ordering soda water and blackcurrent was normalised and habitual for me and the people round about me. When I eventually started having the odd pint again, I actually had to make a conscious effort to order one.

And most of all, any time you feel like you're missing out, consciously remind yourself of everything you're gaining
LeeWood - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

Just read this hard-hitting and (sometimes) amusing article on the topic. But beware - its written by an emerging feminist!


I 'liked' (I mean was provoked) the quote:
“Lord, give me coffee to change the things I can…and wine to accept the things I cannot.”

And as a matter of interest - do you think social/media pressure to drink is equal on both genders ?
Lornajkelly - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to ThunderCat:

well done! You should be proud.

And I don't see it as a gender issue. I think both genders are equally pressured. If anything I'd say it's possibly more of a problem for men who might be judged (or imagine they will be) for refusing a beer in favour of a lime and soda or something similarly "less manly". I'm reminded of the scene in The World's End where Nick Frost's teetotal character talks about how much confidence it takes to order a water when everyone around you is drinking beer. Guys, is this a thing? Or not?
ThunderCat - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to Lornajkelly:

Day 6. Whoop whoop.

tombo - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to Lornajkelly:

I think the not drinking while my male mates are drinking is going to be the hardest thing for me to overcome. I have a stag do camping trip with my friends from school coming up which will almost certainly entail drinking to the wee hours.

For me this will be the biggest test and I am genuinely a bit worried about what they will say! Which is stupid because I usually don't mind if people disagree or oppose me so much. Through the week and on a normal (non social) weekend I reckon I will manage.
Jenny C on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo: Could you volunteer to drive, or find an excuse to take the car with you?

I've never encountered any peer pressure when saying I'm not drinking because I'm driving - although have had, the "oh why, couldn't you have got a taxi?" comment more times than I care to remember.
cathsullivan on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

I cut down massively on drinking alcohol a few years ago and it's one of the best things I ever did. I never regarded myself as having anything approaching a problem of dependency but just gradually started to wonder whether life might be better with a bit less alcohol. And I've always been fairly bad at drinking, ending up with hangovers from hell when other people seemed to have got more wasted yet be suffering fewer ill effects. I'd been pondering the then government guidelines for a while and knew I was over (like most other women I knew so hardly surprising).

Finally I made a decision when I took a day off work to go climbing and ended up drinking too much wine the night before. I still recall sitting in the carpark outside Eric's. Had to sit for a while to get rid of the feeling that I was going to throw up after driving down some bendy roads. I thought, really, this is just so utterly stupid. A day off work in the sunshine with a good friend and climbing partner is a precious thing, and I've made it a lot less fun by drinking too much wine the night before. What a loser. Being hung over enough to throw up was extremely rare for me in those days, but still I reflected on all those days at the crag (or work or wherever) were I was just a bit fuzzy headed, a bit out of balance, a bit dehydrated, full of 'empty calories', a bit out of pocket and sometimes mildly regretful. So, I decided to cut down to the government limits and starting using the drinkaware website to log my drinking. At the time I thought it would be very difficult and therefore not last long. Totally wrong on both counts. I was gobsmacked by how easy it turned out to be. Obviously you'll know how easy or difficult you find and it might be different from my experience it but I think, generally, we should try not to uncritically accept the socially conventional idea that it is crazy, impossible or too difficult to cut down. And the longer I keep it up, the easier it gets because I feel better in many ways and it just makes me so aware of how enslaved so many people are by alcohol, which increases my determination not to be.

Low/no alcohol drinks and using drinkaware (essentially anything to help you keep track) were/are key for me, I think. I rarely drink wine now as well, which is a shame because I really like wine. But it's just too strong and I'd rather have a couple of lower alcohol drinks than one small glass of wine that is gone very quickly. The problem with the new 14 units a week guideline is it might encourage people to save up their units for a binge, which is obviously not an ideal plan. If not going totally teetotal, I would ensure you set a daily limit for yourself that is not transferrable to other days. Don't do 'dry week/month' stuff. If you want to change your life and make a new normal, just do that. I think all the 'dry January' thing serves to do is keep normalising the idea that we should all be blotto the rest of the time and that it's normal to be at least slightly pissed or slightly hungover most of the time.

For me, it helps that, although a lot of my friends drink more than me, I also know quite a lot of people who don't drink very much. So, I'm not often surrounded by people who openly pester me to drink, or abuse me verbally for not doing so. I did once go on a holiday where it felt like a bit of an issue, and some people in my family are a bit difficult in that way. People are sometimes subtly disapproving that I'm not drinking more (and much more so when I don't drink at all in situations where it would be socially conventional to do so).

People who don't drink cause a problem in some social situations because their mere presence threatens the normalisation of alcohol abuse that's so rife. You might have to face the fact that some people will think you're a loser, or no fun or a spoilsport. They might also assume (perhaps incorrectly, perhaps correctly, but certainly presumptuously) that you are alcohol dependent. But it's their problem really and they might just be doing it because deep down they're worried about their own drinking and you're making them nervous. But I guess you just have to stick with what you've decided is good for you and leave them to it.
LeeWood - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to cathsullivan:

> And I've always been fairly bad at drinking, ending up with hangovers from hell when other people seemed to have got more wasted yet be suffering fewer ill effects.

It may seem that way but a lot of folks are unaware of cause and effect. Quite apart from weight control and 'the morning after' alcohol affects inflammation and recovery rate - all those bumps bruises and most significantly tendon strains we are prone to. I have noted better recovery from finger soreness after hard crimping - omitting alcohol.
BrendanO - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

Just putting this up here means you HAVE to try hard, a good move!

I think a period of dry (or -ish, don't beat yrself up), then either one night a week, or one drink a day, or two nights a week of no more than 3 drinks. Sounds like it'll help weight, climbing, work, head, wallet, or all of em!

If it don't work, was an interesting experiment. And by the look of this thread, UKC Fit Club could have a UKC Dry Club running next to it!

Good luck!
cathsullivan on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to LeeWood:

Yes, I think you're right. It's kind of normal to be impaired.

I've always thought I was pretty lucky really to be so poor at holding my drink. It's meant that over the years I've drank less than a lot of my friends, which probably made it easier to cut down. Even when I was a teenager (always the first one with their head down the toilet!) I was kind of glad as many of my friends seemed to end up doing much more disastrous drunken things than I did as they were often so much more p*ssed than me. Good job really, as I managed to do quite a few disastrous things even when only moderately p*ssed or stone cold sober.
Dax H - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

I wish you the best with it.
I am 27 tee total and find it very easy.
Occasionally I get a bit of stick about not drinking, not from friends but I have a lot of acquaintances, fortunately I am big enough and ugly enough that it doesn't bother me.
Never found anything I would do drunk that I won't do sober.

It used to be far easier, soft drinks were a fraction of the cost of alcoholic ones but these days they cost an arm and a leg.
bouldery bits - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

My beerless BBQ was a little tough this evening but I made it through. How you getting on Tombo?
tombo - on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to bouldery bits:
Beerless BBQ eh? Those must be ranked amongst the hardest ones I reckon, well done!

I'm ok during the week really, I haven't had a beer since Saturday. However this weekend I have a BBQ to go to where everyone will be drinking... Apart from me! I'll let you know how I get on after that.

I'm finding this really useful and insightful by the way, thanks all.
Post edited at 10:02
Lornajkelly - on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

I've got a recommendation for you. The good people at http://www.alcoholfree.co.uk/ do a fantastic range of non-alcoholic beers and de-alcoholised wines. It's actual wine, with the alcohol removed. Tastes pretty much the same to me (which is great because I really love red wine). Disclaimer: I'm not sure they can claim it's absolutely, definitely 100% alcohol-free, so if that's a concern then bear that in mind. However if there is any booze left it's a fraction of a percent because I'm sensitive enough to feel the tiny bit of alcohol in fentiman's (fermented) ginger beer, and I'm fine with it. The Weinkoenig Merlot is especially nice. Might help you feel less of a pariah (to yourself) sat around camp while they're all swigging beer.

Another thing I've noticed is that the right groups of friends actually help, rather than make life more difficult. I've encountered people who don't get it* so I stay away from them rather than have to keep explaining and justifying my life choices. It's the classic phrase: Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.

*one of the reasons is that I think it contributes to my migraines, but I'm not prepared to put this to the test by getting trollied and seeing if my migraines increase again. An old friend says this is most unscientific of me. He's welcome to his opinion.
Bobling - on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to cathsullivan:

Good post! The normalisation of alcohol abuse in this society is staggering when the scales are lifted from your eyes. Spending some time in a culture that does not drink helps you see things in a new light too. We have family in Malaysia who use food in the same way we use booze. Hmm get wrecked on lager or have a delicious meal and wake up the next day feeling fit as a fiddle? Not a difficult choice.
ThunderCat - on 26 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

Day eight today. Feel OK. Couple of occasions where the association between an activity and a beer has kicked in (having a meal with the missus) and I nearly wavered and ordered a glass of wine. As it happens the restaurant didn't serve alcohol, so kind of a moot point. Im waiting for that moment where the last molecule of alcohol leaves my body and I hit peak sobriety...like father jack Hackett sitting bolt upright and saying 'OH CHRIST, AM I STILL ON THAT FECKING ISLAND?? '
ian caton on 26 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

Good reason to refuse the drink. "It doesn't actually agree with me anymore".

Phrase to use to self and out loud. "I want one but I'm not going to have one".

Helped me kick the evil weed and extra helpings of pud.

Re booze, my fave Mocktail. Half a big glass of pomegranate juice, half soda water, loads of ice and juice of a lemon or lime. Maybe a bit of mint. It's not sweet and seems to have that edge in the taste, like an alcoholic drink.
colinakmc - on 26 Aug 2016
In reply to ThunderCat:
Your massive pang might have been low blood sugar coupled with a bit of dehydration then. I prescribe Irn Bru....
ThunderCat - on 26 Aug 2016
In reply to colinakmc:

> Your massive pang might have been low blood sugar coupled with a bit of dehydration then. I prescribe Irn Bru....

Memories of cycling over drumochter pass on the way to Inverness. Running out of water and aching with thirst, really starting to panic a bit after a couple of hours.....then arriving at a service station and drinking two litres of Irn Bru in about three seconds. Awesome stuff.
tombo - on 30 Aug 2016
In reply to ThunderCat:

I'm on 8 days too Thundercat, the good thing is I managed to remain booze free all weekend camping (but to be fair we had our baby with us and he wakes up at 5am, so it puts you off). I also managed to refuse beer at a BBQ which I am very proud of.

I made a promise to myself too that I could have a glass of wine once I have achieved a certain thing, which will probably take a few years... So far so good, the big test will be in a couple of weeks time when there will be a lads camping trip :S
gilesf - on 30 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:

I've been teetotal since I was 20, I'm 46 now.
Pretty much what others have said above, the main thing for me was getting out of that lifestyle and doing something else when my mates were out drinking, back then it was messing with cars, now it's climbing or training. You'll have more time to train and recover more quickly. On top of that you'll have more spare cash and a longer expected lifespan, win win!
Good luck with it.
Timmd on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to tombo:
I had to stop drinking because it made me fed up, and then I became diabetic. I found that eventually I just lost the desire to drink.

Your liver will be really healthy, and you'll have more money and less 'lost time'. The one thing I can't/won't quit is cups of tea/caffeine.

Edit: In the long term, there's nothing to stop you enjoying red wine with a meal or something like that after you've improved. The memory of enjoying that at family meals leaves me thinking it's perhaps a shame to forgo something as relaxing and pleasurable. There's huge benefits to not drinking for a while or drastically cutting back though.
Post edited at 12:41
davidbeynon - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to thebigfriendlymoose:

Inspired by this I thought I would give this a go, but modified it slightly as I currently have motivation problems.

Lately I have I tended to be knackered and disinclined to do anything when I get home from work, so I got a planner and a pack of coloured stickers.

Blue for climb, green for run, yellow for walk and red for shame.

In the week since it arrived there has only been 1 day when I haven't done something worthwhile.

Sadly today the green is accompanied by red.
s0458892 on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to tombo:

This thread is great! Love every positive story. Makes a refreshing change from the standard ukc trolling and pedantry.
Yanis Nayu - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to Lornajkelly:

I hardly drink (not completely teetotal but rarely feel like it) and I can only think of once where I got any pressure from anyone to join in (and he was a prick). I think peer pressure can be more perceived than real.

To Cath: alcohol gives me a headache, except for vodka which I can drink without getting one.
luke obrien - on 04 Sep 2016
In reply to s0458892:

I agree, it's really refreshing to see such a string of positive, honest comments. It seems that the OP has really hit on something that A lot of people are taking positive action on.

I'm not a strong willed as many of the people above but when I have cut back on the booze, even if it's just a Friday night it's been a quadruple bonus, less booze calories, then less crisps/chocolate etc, more/better sleep and more likely to exercise the next day.

Hope it goes well for everyone
tombo - on 05 Sep 2016
In reply to luke obrien:

I'm surprised it has been so positive, lively and informative; it has really helped me and I hope some others too!

I managed another weekend booze free and am feeling better all the time, I just need to get my son to sleep in till 8am and I'm sorted lol.

One thing I have noticed is I am more inclined to reach for a cake now, one step at a time eh!

subtle on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to Lornajkelly:

> I've got a recommendation for you. The good people at http://www.alcoholfree.co.uk/ do a fantastic range of non-alcoholic beers and de-alcoholised wines.

Just a question - do these non alcohol free wines contain as much "empty" calories as normal wine? Presume they do?

I like wine and beer, normally have some Fri/Sat and Sun but then not during the rest of the week - have noticed that my resting heart rate spikes at weekends (through monitoring it for exercise reasons) which I assume is due to my alcohol intake (which isn't that high on these nights) so am thinking of perhaps cutting one of these nights out - the Fri night relaxing wine after a week of work/the Sat evening as it's the weekend beer/the wine with the Sunday meal - probably cut out the Sat night beer one

See how this goes - cant promise to maintain the no drinking Sat if we go to a BBQ though!

andy.smythe - on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to tombo:

Never gone tee total but did majorly cut down on the beer many years ago. Very quickly lost a lot of weight and felt much better for it.
L TJSTOM - on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to tombo:

Strongly considering cutting down/out the booze myself. Have done it in the past and the weight fell off and felt tonnes better.

Currently sitting in work feeling sorry for myself after going the pub for a couple of 'quiet drinks' midweek - not my brightest idea...
tombo - on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to TJSTOM:

Do it man Update on here so we can share in the glory (or rather sedate celebrations)
Climbing Pieman on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to subtle:
> Just a question - do these non alcohol free wines contain as much "empty" calories as normal wine? Presume they do?

Generally no. Only tried a few (mainly the beers so far), but from what I've seen anything from a third to more than half less calories in the non alcohol/alcohol free wines. Just watch out for the added sugar ones though as some of these can be very high.
zmv - on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to tombo:

What a wonderful topic. Your ability to tolerate training and recover will pretty certainly increase.

Good luck!
mike8331 - on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to tombo:

hi there done two years without booze I am two stone lighter climb a lot better , and feel a lot better give it a try .
thebigfriendlymoose - on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to tombo:

As a counterpoint, do not expect miracles. I cut out booze for 48 days (not that I was counting!), I lost no weight and didn't feel a great deal better. I still had a significant number of mornings when I felt vaguely hungover (tired, headachy). My conclusion: I am innately unwell and booze was not a significant player in my ills.

Started drinking in moderation again - no weight gain and the odd additional "hungover feeling" day is tempered by the odd highly pleasurable night spent sampling a fine malt (Amrut Portonova tonight) and feeling ultra-relaxed and enjoying the nerdy whisky lover's pleasures of "tasting notes" and "nosing".

That said, the TT spell was a useful lesson, albeit more mental than physical. After having given up booze for an extended period, it seems easier to resist a drink when I know it would be imprudent, but very tempting (~say, after a hard day... but with another hard day to come).
marsbar - on 08 Sep 2016
In reply to thebigfriendlymoose:

I think shorts are not particularly high in calories compared to beer and wine.
meffl - on 08 Sep 2016
In reply to marsbar:

The tracking app that I use has 2fl oz/.25 cup of whisky as 128 calories, zero carbs. This is my bed time dram and quite generous, if I sip it I can easily make it last an hour. So going dry wouldn't have much effect on my weight.

I can see the point in teetotal if you are drinking a lot or have exceptionally hard training goals, but I get a lot of pleasure from my nightly ritual (far beyond the simple alcohol content) and I don't believe this level of comsumption would make any difference at all to mood, or performance for the recreational athlete.

On the other hand, only a small increase and it starts to mess with my sleep and appetite and that's obviously a a bad thing.
L TJSTOM - on 08 Sep 2016
In reply to tombo:

Will do!

You missed a brilliant opportunity for 'sober celebrations' then ;)
tombo - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to tombo:

Another weekend free of booze, feeling bright and breezy, fat seems to be dropping a bit too. However that is being tempered by the fact there was a ton of sugary foods floating around the kitchen over the weekend Sugar next? How about anyone else trying?
Lornajkelly - on 13 Sep 2016
In reply to Climbing Pieman:
Really? That's great to know. I'd never really looked into it but assumed they probably would contain most of the calories of the original drink. I'm happy to take it on the chin in moderation because sometimes it's nice to have a bottle of wine on a special occasion.

Also I'm currently attempting to control my sugar intake. It's not going well because I work in a research lab and us PhD students are notorious cake fiends. There's always cake, biscuits or chocolates in the office and I walk past them each time I go to or from the lab from the office. Procrastibaking is a terrible and wonderful thing. Any tips?
Post edited at 22:17
Climbing Pieman on 14 Sep 2016
In reply to Lornajkelly:

> Really? That's great to know.

Generally yes for most I've seen (not that many so no expert; only started this road in May) - assuming you believe the printed info on the labels of course. Just watch out for those that have added sugar ones, and there are quite a few of these.

Suppose it depends partly on the quality of ingredients that is started with and method of production. I've read somewhere that bottles with poorer quality ingredients to start with "need" added sugar to make them taste acceptable.
L TJSTOM - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to tombo:

Currently on Day 9 booze free (not that I'm counting...). Feeling fine, weight is heading in the right direction but that might be the 3 days running a week.

Daughters birthday tomorrow, so huge temptation of cake! However have a charity 5k to run Sunday, so won't indulge too much.

Sugar definitely next on the hitlist Tombo

tombo - on 22 Sep 2016
In reply to TJSTOM:

Nice one! I might start running too. Or maybe just do more climbing... Unfortunately I have done something to my shoulder which means my weight is plateauing.

I've done over a month now, never felt so energised and inspired to do stuff before. This has allowed me to refocus on my work with a vigour I wasn't expecting.

I am going to have a drink this weekend though, but it will be a one off. It's for my mates camping/stag do and I have chosen to have it as a one off "event". After that back to teetotalism as one off "events" are always round the corner and they soon become every weekend events.
abseil on 23 Sep 2016
In reply to Scarab9:

> .....longer term - be prepared that being around drunk people when sober can be dull..... I don't have a solution for this one....

I've been teetotal for decades, and find that very true. Even worse is that when people drinking around me get very, very merry after hours of boozing, they start to find ME very dull and start saying things like "What's wrong with you??" (I KNOW it's the booze talking as this ONLY happens after hours of them boozing). I too have no solution apart from going home / going to bed before it happens.

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