Thursday, 28 April 2016

The Little Things

There are lots of major advantages that come with quitting booze, but there are also a number of little things. Things that crop up from time to time and give you a welcome boost, reminding you that you're doing the right thing.

I had two such lovely moments in the last week.

The first one came courtesy of the ice cream man.

There's an ice cream van which, much to the chagrin of all the mothers, parks right outside the children's school, arriving with the first signs of spring, and staying through to middle of Autumn.

I run the gamut of the van, dragging protesting children, every day of the week, except for Friday, which has been renamed ice cream Friday.

Now it's the summer term, the ice cream man is back (even though it still seems to be snowing from time to time).

So, last Friday I ordered two Ninety-nines (one with additional strawberry sauce), and the ice cream man did a comedy double take.

"Hope you don't mind me asking," he says, "but have you lost, like, loads of weight?"

"Err, yes, I have actually," I replied.

"How did you do that?" he asks, by which point everyone in the queue is listening.

"I quit booze," I said.

"Just that?" he asks, somewhat incredulously. "No diet or anything?"

"Nope. Just the alcohol. Goes to show how much Chablis I was drinking. Ha! Ha!"

"Ha! Ha! Ha!" goes everyone else in the queue. If only they knew....

(For more on alcohol and weight loss, see my post: Reasons to Quit Drinking, #1: Weight Loss)

Then, last night, I was at a dinner, sitting next to a friend's charming new boyfriend, who I'd never met. Somehow we ended up talking about our University days.

He mentioned his student loan, to which I replied "We didn't have student loans in my day."

(In fact, I vividly remember going on the anti-loan march - Maggie, Maggie, Maggie! Out, Out, Out! -  a whirlwind of idealism in a mini skirt, duffel coat and leg warmers, swathed in cigarette smoke.)

"That can't be right", he said. "You're way younger than me."

"I think not," I replied. "How old are you?"

"Forty two." he says.

"Well, I'm forty seven."

Now, admittedly, he may be a great actor. He was, obviously, a charmer. But he did look genuinely shocked.

And, I promise you, a year ago he would not have been at all surprised to discover my age. (And, actually, he probably wouldn't have bothered with the charm offensive).

I apologise that this all sounds rather superficial, but - let's face it - quitting alcohol is hard when the whole world is awash with the damn stuff, so we deserve a few perks from time to time, don't you think?

Love to you all,

SM x

27 comments:

  1. Not superficial in my world, SM. And how delightful! Feeling good about ourselves is a wonderful thing and shouldn't be taken lightly ;-) Last time I stopped drinking I got told by my two female work colleagues that I "really shouldn't lose any more weight". Ha! Gold dust to my fragile, newly sober ego! It's a tough road, we've got to take the benefits where we find 'em. Red xx

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  2. Too right red. It's a tough road we are walking and I need all the help I can get to stay on it. 102 days today. Thanks sober mummy and thanks to everyone who has commented on this blog. You all have helped me stay determined to not drink alcohol. God bless you all. I'm going to keep going.

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    1. Huge congrats on making it past the big one oh oh, Hilary! You're on the home stretch now - whoop whoop!

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  3. Those are two "feel great" moments! Hold onto them and Believe them!!! You deserve them! I am on Day81 and only 2 lbs down!! Wah!!! I don't think the weight loss is going to happen. Maybe because I'm post menopausal? That is the excuse I am using!!! hahaha! oh well...my skin and eyes look so much better!

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    1. Last year I did 130 days and lost very little weight. I think it takes longer. That's what I'm hoping anyway.

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    2. When I stopped for a year at 47, the weight fell off. Now at (nearly) 55 it is a very different story! Part of the reason why I ditched the wine was because I developed menopausal migraines and other symptoms. These are vastly improved so I'm thrilled about that. Day 48 for me and going strong! Thrilled for you SM - it's always lovely to get genuine compliments like that. Go girl!

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    3. S@53: Is this two pounds recent? 'Cause you have written of how stubborn the weght loss has been.....and two pounds is a start!! Good for you!!

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    4. I guess some bodies just don't like to loose weight. I am in my late 30s, around 220 days, started exercising about 2 weeks ago, and still the weight doesn't budge. I gained a few pounds when I quit, then lost them, and am at exactly the same weight as 7 months ago. I ate quality food before quitting, still eat the same, but smaller quantities now. The weight is very stubborn. My consolation is that at least my body is healthier. I think eventually it will start dropping, it just takes longer ;-)

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    5. Don't worry if the weight doesn't shift for a while. I lost virtually nothing for the first 100 days, but then it shifted, slowly but surely, half a pound a week on average. And the good thing about that really SLOW weight loss is that it doesn't yo yo back on again! Just try to keep a lid on the sugar cravings (eat fruit if you need sugar), and - as much as possible - only eat food your granny would recognise! Xxx

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  4. Brilliant and good for you! As a nation we spend a fortune on face creams and gym memberships.. You are living proof there is another way!!

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  5. This is so great! Not superficial. Being noticed is very reassuring.

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  6. Thanks for sharing a wonderful feel-good post. Im only on day 28 and eating my way through early sobriety. Weight loss will have to come later for me.

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    1. One thing at a time MrsMac! Cake and chocolate are hugely powerful tools in the early days :-)

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  7. Those are fab commments and make it all so worthwhile and rewarding. I get comments quite often how nice my skin is when I don;t drink for extended periods. its defo true you look better without a poison going thru your body : ) x

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  8. What?? Wait!! Ok, these are exceptionally nice incidents, I grant you...and YAAAY for you!

    But. Are you, SM, not the person who had considerable concern about the how and what of letting folks know you have stopped.....and now, we're announcing it at the ice cream truck!!?? What a fun, hearty laugh youve started my morning with!!

    Seriously tho....congrats to you! When our egos stop enjoying a little boost....well, I don't ever want to be breathing and get there.

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    1. Well spotted NorthWoman! More and more people now know I don't drink, but I try not to shove it down people's throats, so to speak ;-)

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  9. Oh....and by the way, I've been seriously bummed that NOT ONE person has commented on my weight loss, a pound or so which could have come from right under my eyes! Oh well. I'm not doing this for 'them'...and I'm immnsely cheereed all by my self.....

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  10. I seem to have swapped wine for jelly babies !! so no weight loss here just yet !!

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  11. Don't worry about the weight thing, its a nice to have, the main thing is being sober. At 54 (me), the bodies metabolism has changed. I think all of the wine calories were slowly and insidiously putting weight on and that has stopped and may start to decline. Listening to some learned professor the other day he said that exercise and eating and are like Robin and Batman (the order is important). Robin has a role to play but Batman does all the work - a bit cryptic but I know I've got to kick the sugar/alcohol substitute thing - less white chocolate!! I think SM has covered this, so sorry to plagiarise.

    Justonemore

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    1. No, please tell us more about Robin and Batman! I'm your age plus one year, the more knowledge we menopausals have, the better.

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  12. Hi SM - day 117 for me - whoop whoop. Feeling pretty good, although still have the odd craving from time to time and the odd ' is this really for ever' moment. Totally get your post from a few days ago about the get out of jail free card thing. But you've been there and done that slicing lemons left right and centre - when you got your cancer diagnosis - and with ongoing treatments and check ups - you're still doing it. (total respect for you and your strength). I've led this ridiculously sheltered life where I feel nothing horrendous has ever really happened to me (although I've worked damn hard for everything I've got), and I fear that if a horrible event did come about I'd find it very hard not to use my get out of jail card. Thanks to you I see how much easier it is to cope with the lemons when you are sober , so please God I'll have some of your strength if (when) the time comes. Meanwhile go you and your weight loss and youthful sober looks. Totally happy for you and those comments. I had a joyous little moment recently (which I almost let go unnoticed to myself because sober is so the new normal), where I had to drive hubby (and kids) back into town to pick up a car ( as one was getting a service - but had forgotten that I needed to drive later that eve). Now it was a Friday eve and we'd just eaten some lovely chinese food - I would normally be down a few glasses before he got home followed by several more with dinner so would either we unable to oblige (and feel horribly guilty and ashamed with myself ) or have to forgo the dinner wine (having delayed driving as long as poss so that I was under the limit) and be antsy and desperate to return from town so I could catch up with normal Friday night levels!! Instead I'd enjoyed a lovely AF beer with the meal and didn't have any of those horrible internal struggles. Sober joys - love love love it. Happy sober Friday to you and all your lovely readers. Love SFM x

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  13. Day 117 for me too! Last night I felt brave enough to join a group for 'drinks' - in a pub - which I haven't done since January. I sat with my glass of fizzy water, realising that I wasn't wishing I had wine instead, with an old friend (who knows I've quit drinking) when she said 'You look absolutely beautiful, so healthy and slim. You must be so proud of yourself'. And I came home and thought, yes, I AM. And it might be a little thing to get a compliment like that, but it really made me realise how my life has changed in such a big way and all for the good. And thank you, SM, for your part in that. Patti x

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  14. I totally agree, it is tough so make the most of these moments. I have had lots of comments about my hair and how healthy it looks - I laugh as I have not had it coloured for 3 months and I wash it often in the 'soapy gunk' they have at the gym that smells like Fairy dish washing detergent!

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  15. Isn't it amazing when the stars align and the universe sends you a compliment? I was in the work canteen having lunch and a colleague said to me that I was 'glowing' and 'looked happy'. Now, having been miserable and rather grey looking for years swilling down Pinot Grigio every night this made me feel uplifted. I felt I was walking on air for the rest of the afternoon. Day 423 AF and loving it :) xx

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  16. Someone in my AA group today noticed I had lost weight, and I've been soaring ever since!

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  17. Compliments are great, they can really make your day. I lost 9kilos in the first 10 months just because I wasn't eating the stooge to soak up the booze & still now getting compliments when I wear something to work that I haven't worn for years because it fits. I now say its because I don't drink to quite a few & im proud when I say it

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