New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time. That’s my resolution.
This is not a new sentiment. I could never understand why we needed to wait a whole year to lose weight, quit smoking, give up or reduce drinking, eat better, be better, more patient, tolerant. The list of “new beginnings, new you” resolutions go on and on. Surely, we can make a commitment to ourselves at any time of the year, and certainly with more frequency than annually? Particularly given that we all know that very few people, less than 8% according to a study from the University of Scranton, will actually stick to these annual resolutions and then wait yet another year to start again.
As we get older, we have no time to waste in making a personal commitment to our health. If it is something big, like renouncing booze or quitting smoking, we must realise by now that New Year’s cold turkey approach is not for everyone. In fact, apart from putting massive pressure on ourselves, it can set us up to fail.
The entire western world is consuming excessively. In most things. There are the supersized wines at your local bar. Not to mention pimped out cocktails and even milk shakes, laden with cake and cream, that add a week of calories to a single milk shake. And of course, there’s the upsell at fast food chains which translates to larger meals with bigger burgers you can’t even wrap your mouth around, accompanied by a mammoth side of soft drink and don’t get me started on buffets! The culture of supersize consumption is frankly insane, and it is slowly killing us.
Alcohol consumption has surged since in the last few decades with the volume of alcohol consumed per year globally increasing by a staggering 70% between 1990 and 2017, and those figures are before the surge in alcohol consumption that has have been widely reported since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. I can count myself in those figures. I recall a time, when our neighbours, a couple, and us stocked up on Christmas wine in early December and the 12 cases we’d purchased between the four of us were gone before Christmas Eve. WTaF?
While I had slowed down my drinking before my Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis in 2020, it was the slap in the face I needed to make me take a long hard look at myself. Even after my diagnosis, instead of nixing the demon drink I spent my time thoroughly researching what booze I could drink, pushing the limits for a while. Eventually though, I could tell I was not doing myself any favours. So, I reduced again significantly. But for me there was no cold turkey, and it took a slow wind down to get to where I needed to be. There’s just no way I can just tell myself to ‘stop’ anything that I enjoy. That just messes with my head and results in me consuming more. Needless to say, I am an advocate of the reduce over time approach, instead of New Year’s abrupt withdrawal, which can play havoc with body and mind.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m still an excitable social human who enjoys a drop now and again, so when I open a bottle of champagne with friends, I have a tendency to guzzle as I’m chatting without a second thought. So, taking a break afforded me the space to reframe and to choose my times and become more mindful when drinking. While I suspect I won’t ever be a non-drinker, I believe I finally have my alcohol consumption to a sensible point. I just love a red wine or two when out for lunch or dinner or even a cocktail to start.
My point is, only you know if you need to make some changes in your life and I think it’s a big mistake placing so much emphasis on a time or place or the need to just go ‘cold turkey’. For some, this might be required. But the recommendation from the experts is that attempting to simply cut down to a ‘non-hazardous’ level is the best place to start. You know, from a daily bottle to a daily two glasses, then two glasses every second day and so on, as quitting drinking abruptly can throw the body out of balance that can lead to physical trauma. In saying that giving up alcohol is a good thing. It just needs to be done sensibly and in the case of heavy drinkers may even require medical assistance.
I’m happy to say that over the past few months, without the assistance of that arbitrary date in the calendar, I’ve reduced the booze significantly. But I’ve also discovered that you can only drink so much water, so I’ve spent the past 12 months reviewing and testing alcohol-free beverages and I’ve got to say there are some beauties now. I plan on sharing some recipes of the mocktails I’ve been creating with you over the coming months.
I am also proud to now offer Australia’s biggest and best range of alcohol-free beverages in our store. Check them out for yourself here.
And remember that every day is a good day to make positive changes.
Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2022.
Lindy x x