Lessons from my October challenge

It’s the end of October – a chance for my kids to dress up and eat tonnes of sweets for Halloween, but more importantly for me, it’s the last day of my Go Sober October challenge. Yup, a whole month without a tipple in support of Macmillan Cancer Support – a charity very close to my heart as they were an amazing help when my mother-in-law was diagnosed with terminal cancer many years ago.

I have (mostly) enjoyed the month and have learnt a few lessons along the way too:

  1. I don’t actually drink that much anyway – talk to my other half and you’d think I never stop drinking, but in reality my usual bottle of wine on the weekend is my only alcoholic treat.  Yes, I can drink more at a party, but the last one of those I went to (children’s type not included) was a good few years ago! So, I didn’t feel any sort of withdrawal symptoms and it actually taught me not to feel guilty about the little I do drink – it’s just more than he does.
  2. It hasn’t helped me lose any weight – I am usually really good during the week and eat little junk food or chocolate, saving my calories for my tipple on the weekend.  But this month I have craved sugar so much that I have actually put on weight from eating chocolate and junk every day – something had to give and my waistline was it this month.  Back to good food from tomorrow to lose those few pounds I gained.
  3. I still struggle to sleep some nights – booo!  I really thought this would help as some nights I get very little sleep as I toss and turn with a million things going through my head (and a snorer next to me).  Not very often actually, but it happened more this month than I can remember in a while. I have felt more tired during the day and as I don’t like to drink much caffeine it’s been hard to concentrate sometimes.
  4. Drinking is a habit that I don’t always need – on a more positive note, I have realised that I don’t need a glass of wine every weekend, although I do enjoy it.

So, I guess what I’ve gained from this is more of an understanding of myself.  I know that my willpower is really good – 31 days without so much as a sip of wine is a great achievement for me – but that I’m not an alcoholic in the first place so I won’t feel bad about cracking open a bottle tomorrow night to celebrate!

The real winner in all of this is Macmillan – I’ve raised almost £300 for them and am really proud of myself.  But please do feel free to hit me over the head with a bottle of wine if I suggest doing it again next year…


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