Yep you read right. The. No. Alcohol. Diet. Its a thing - well I've decided it is anyway. Ever since I can remember, I have been curious about my body - how it feels, how it works, how it looks and how far I can push it to its limits. Thats everything from my limbs and joints, my face and my skin, my eyes, hair and fingernails. You can't deny the fact that what we put into our body has an affect on our external just as much as our internal. There are specialists out there that can just look at your eyeball and determine how healthy you are, your skin will break out after bingeing on too much chocolate or junk food, if we don't get enough sleep - we develop bags under our eyes and if we don't move our bodies enough and get enough sunlight - our muscles and joints will stiffen up and our bodies will be depleted of necessary energy.
Being curious and thirsty for information as human beings, there's been A LOT of fads, diets, exercise regimes and conflicting information around our health and well being. Theres so much information out there - it's almost too overwhelming to decide what healthy even is.
I grew being taught to look after myself from both parents, even considered pretty well compared to our modern age of 'healthy standards' being almost unrealistic at times with all the anti sugar, anti gluten and anti dairy diets - mum was definitely cautious of too much maccas, lollies or red cordial. My dad was always running, riding his bike and making sure his body was in good working order. So I developed a healthy standard from a pretty young age around my lifestyle choices and what I was putting into my body and making sure I was moving it and challenging it enough.
My husband and I are both health conscious and we have always shared with each other how important it is to make good choices around food and exercise and I guess its something that we had in common as soon as we met, so naturally was something that attracted us both to each other. Over the years we've both given almost anything a go from footy, netball, running, swimming, Crossfit, weight lifting, mixed martial arts, Les Mills classes, gym memberships, walking, jui jitsu, baseball, bootcamp, paleo diets, low carb diets, high fat diets, vegetarianism as well as veganism, celery juicing (for one day haha) intermittent fasting, anti inflammatory diets, the list goes on and on. We aren't overweight people, we are both blessed with thin body types, our motivation for health comes from really just wanting to feel and look our best - like a lot of others out there.
Something though, hasn't felt right these past 16 years in our relationship and as individuals, there's been times where we have felt our best and definitely optimal but still something was not quite right, a certain haze, brain fog or even just self doubt and a blah feeling if you will. When we moved from our home on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland over to Perth in WA, we had new challenges we were faced with - we all of a sudden were thousands of kilometres away from our support system - our family and friends. Our interests kind of started to take a back seat as we were just focused on raising our two kids. We were lacking babysitters to watch them that were so easy to come by at home - all of a sudden that wasn't an option anymore. Especially having a FIFO husband, that didn't really make it easy to duck out and play netball of a nighttime or get up and go to 6am bootcamp.
What did increase was our consumption of alcohol. We were desperate to meet new people and make new friends in a new place - usually this means that you meet up for drinks at a brewery or a BBQ. I used to have a rule that I didn't drink on a weeknight but that started to dwindle away especially on those lonely nights when he was away at work. We found ourselves with an opportunity to move from Perth to the Margaret River region where we would be closer to the beach, nature and hopefully meet some like minded people. That we did and we feel so blessed to call this world heritage listed place home. Along with that is the exposure to some of the best wineries in the world, wow I was in my element being a big wine lover! This is great I thought. We started meeting lots of friendly laid back people like ourselves and of course over a few drinks. Tuesday night, Wednesdays after school - if you went to a friends for a catch up, there's almost 100% chance that you'll be offered some wine. My weekday rule of no alcohol was well and truly out the window.
We embarked on our journey to build our first home, this came with its challenges and extra pressure and stress, the alcohol consumption increased as our first loan application was denied and we lost our block of land. This was such a let down - we had both worked so hard and sacrificed so much to just be told no - you just feel like a number, not a living human being with feelings. But we ended up buying back our block of land and getting the loan for the house a few months later! More challenges arose like Matt being out of work for a few months and the wine and beer just tasted too good.
What we didn't realise at the time is that we were just making the obstacles we face in life bigger and more stressful by masking it with alcohol, something that we thought was 'taking the edge off' or 'helping us relax' and connect and chill out was the thing that was actually sabotaging our relationships, finances and the way we cope and manage our stress. Matt came to me and asked if I wanted to have a month off drinking with him to show moral support - I kept saying oh not this month - I have a party or a commitment or not that month either. I ended up agreeing that there's always a social event that will come up and I just needed to bite the bullet.
A month goes by and we both chatted on the phone about how much more clarity we were both feeling after such a high stress period in our lives - you know, buying houses, being over worked and under paid, parenting young children and trying to do it well, living away from family and so on. We both expressed to each other that we hadn't felt this relaxed or good for quite some time so we decided to continue on our alcohol celibacy.
6 months on and we now don't have a date in mind when we will have another drink, the positives we are experiencing without it are way too good to compromise. Our relationship is better with ourselves, each other and our kids. I've lost weight and noticed improved skin texture and also much clearer eyes and less aches and pains. We prioritise our health and well being more and find more time and money for yoga, meditation, warm relaxing magnesium baths, float tanks and organic food and products. Our career goals, our limitless potential and possibilities has come to the forefront of our minds and our attitude to aiming high for what we want to manifest into our lives has never been more clear.
What we have come to is that - Alcohol is not for everyone. Asides from the fact that drinking it to excess puts an enormous amount of pressure on your organs, brain function and mental health it can also be also scarily high in sugar and carbs and other nasty preservatives and additives. We've spent the majority of our lives trying to make good choices about our health through food and exercise and different fads that come and go - when the whole time right under our nose we were doing something regularly that was stopping us from reaching our full potential mentally, physically and emotionally.
To you lucky ones out there that drink one or two drinks in a blue moon or those people that drink a bottle of wine over a month - kudos to you and I would suggest to keep doing that as in very small doses its actually not that bad for you. However having alcoholism rampant through both of our families and both of us having addictive tendencies - we have come to the conclusion that alcohol is just not for us right now and even in the near future. What we were masking with alcohol all these years have been the result of unnecessary obstacles and stresses in our lives. We feel so much more empowered today and we feel we make much better decisions and choices for our own lives as well as our kids lives.
Its just too easy to turn to alcohol for stress relief, human connection and to curb our boredom. I really hope that there's a shift coming. Theres more influence coming from the eastern cultures and there are so many healthier alternatives for relaxation and connection. I would suggest replacing a glass of wine for a warm bath, date night at a boozy bar with a night away in a romantic air bnb, being hungover with a nature walk with your kids or a boozy Friday night with a full moon meditation circle instead.
This is just my personal take on this and I am well aware how different everyone is, I know that this will at least inspire one person onto a healthier lifestyle and knowing that makes me smile. We all have something to offer this world, the answers are within you always - not externally or with someone else. You know what's best for you, don't be afraid to listen. This may feel scary at first and it could change your work life, social circles or relationships but your soul will be so happy when you find your authenticity - the world will be your oyster and your potential limitless.