Drink & Diet – the New Chicken & Egg?

The other day, whilst lying in front of the TV, eating my way through a family size bag of Doritos. Feeling like I’d been hit by a bus – the result of yet another hangover. A cruel realisation hit me, the realisation that most days of my adult life can be categorised into either being:

Necking a bottle of wine

There’s nearly a weeks worth of alcohol units in this drink

a) drunk

b) hung-over

c) or on a diet

This realisation was enough to make me seriously think about having a baby. For no other reason than it would force me to give up booze for 9 months.

At first I laughed, then I nearly cried, then realised I was bored. Bored by the dilemma of the number 14. A number I’ve been plagued by since turning 30. Let me put it in a currency you’ll instantly understand – 14lbs and 14 units. And this is what it comes down too, a causality dilemma.

My Chicken & Egg

I’d be much much happier if I were 14lbs lighter.

I fail constantly to limit my alcohol consumption to the recommended 14 units a week.

As philosophers throughout the ages have debated ‘which came first, the chicken or the egg’ I suspect many modern day women face what I’m coining the ‘number 14 dilemma’.

Are we 14 pounds heavier and unhappier because we drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week? Or does drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week make you happier than being 14lbs lighter?

Cheers in Huella's bar Doncaster.

Nothing quite says it’s the weekend like a glass of prosecco.

How does this dilemma remain unsolved for many women? Quite easy in my case, when this is how an average week tends to look…

Monday: That’s it. No more crap, I’m going to loose half a stone. Gym, clean eating, early to bed, no booze.

Tuesday: Feeling pretty impressed with myself for being good all day and going to Body Attack, so surely one small glass of wine with dinner won’t hurt.

Wednesday: Start the day with a run, eat salad for lunch. Dinner with a couple of the girls tonight but I’m going to be good. Meet the girls, ooooh and aaaagghhh over the menu, try to be healthy then cave and order a sodding cheese board to share. Before we know it a bottle of wine has gone and a second ordered. Oh dear.

Thursday: Ouch. Bacon sandwich anyone? Will put this right and go to gym after work. Early night after eating half a family size Cadbury Dairy Milk bar – FFS.

Friday: Wake up fresh, go for a run, eat healthy all day but then wait a minute. It’s FRIYAY and that means wine after work. And nothing beats that first Friday night drink.

Saturday: Saturday’s are usually my most productive day. And by productive I mean I live my life purpose on Saturdays. Instead of working I do all the stuff I genuinely care about, enjoy or stuff that makes me feel good. Park run, seeing the family, catching up with friends, kid’s birthday parties, long walks, bike riding, cleaning the house, cooking. And the best reward for feeling oh so productive –  finishing the day off with nice food and a couple of bottles of vino. It doesn’t matter if I go out or stay in, it usually ends the same. Someone suggesting lets have one more…


The drink aware website helpfully tells us… https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/

Sunday: Oh dear god. Sleep in, then eat a huge breakfast, maybe go for a walk with the dog. Eat a Sunday roast. Then lie on the sofa all afternoon, eating a family size bag of Doritos, hating myself for wasting the day indoors feeling rubbish, promising myself I’ll cut down next week.

Monday: Repeat.

The cycle is relentless and yet the maths is blindingly obvious. It’s not uncommon for me to drink 28 units a week in the form of 3 bottles of wine. That’s double the recommended amount or in the language that I understand better than English, nearly 2,000 calories.


More realistically yet soul destroying to read….

Luckily I do run and go to the gym. But as the BBC recently reported most of us Britons under report our calorie intake. Hmmmm OK OK, if I’m truly honest, some weeks I dare say I drink four bottles of wine. Which is nearer 40 units and a whooping 2,700 calories. The government drink aware website informs us this is the equivalent of eating 9.2 burgers – a thought that makes my stomach turn, leaves me in fear of one day being the size of a house and vowing never to use that website again, although like picking a spot I return to it two minutes later hoping it has shrunk significantly – which we all know never ever happens.

What next?

Wine in Castleton

But look how pretty wine is…

As I approach my mid 30’s and the weight fails to shift. I can only conclude something has got to change. The answer is easy – stop drinking. But I don’t want to. I love wine. To quote Bridget Jones my most long standing relationship is probably with a bottle of wine.

So instead I’m determined to do two things (or at least try really hard) :

  1. First see if the government is right in saying 14 is the magic number by limiting my booze intake to just 14 units for the next couple of weeks.
  2. Leading up to giving up booze completely for a little while. I considered giving up the booze for a whole month, September and October are great times to do this if you have more will power than me. Cancer Research UK host Dryathlon and Macmillian do ‘Go sober for October. Only thing is I have a wedding in September and a holiday in October and I’m not going to be that twat. Luckily I stumbled across the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s h20 it’s only 10 days. In a way it’s easier because you only give up the booze for 10 days but it’s also harder because you have to give up coffee, tea and soft drinks. I’m willing to give it a try. Who’s in?

So there you have it. I almost felt too embarrassed to post this blog for fear of being branded an alcoholic but then I thought  if I feel like this perhaps others do to? And I will definitely need some support when partaking in the 10 day H20 challenge, so if you’d like to do it with me please get in touch.

As always thoughts, opinions welcome. BDx.

Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s H20

Apparently my Nanny used to love this charity so to make things more interesting given my current alcohol intake I thought I’d put some money on giving it up. I’m hoping this will keep me accountable, so please sponsor me if you can on this link. It might sound ridiculous to give up booze for charity but it’s for a great cause and will probably be harder for me than running a marathon which I have done several times. And if I fail at this challenge I’ll donate double the amount I raise. Can’t say fairer than that.




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