Octsober 2014 – Personal Challenge #1



I’m going tea-total for the whole of October 2014.  Yes, 31 days without a drop of alcohol touching my lips.



“Why?”, I hear you cry, “You love drinking and Real Ale.. You said so in your original post.. Why would you do such a drastic thing?!”

Well, every now and then I take a good long look at my life, where I’m at and what I could do with changing or tweaking. It’s a healthy exercise for someone like me who gets so engrossed in things that interest me I sometimes lose track of it.

I am a complicated person, and the only way I have found to get myself “sorted out” when I notice these is to set myself a monthly challenge.  Dedicate a whole month of the year to either actually doing something, or not.  It’s obviously a formula that works for a lot of people as you seem to have at least one “Official Challenge” every month of the year these days.

Over the last months, for various reasons, I’ve noticed my relationship with alcohol go a bit “bonkers”, get a little too serious and basically downright unhealthy. A bottle of wine most nights of the week, sometimes two, plus drinking ales when not drinking wine.  I’ve become addicted rather than enjoying it.  The clock hits the time to finish whatever I’m working on and unwind before bed and, no matter how late at night that is, I open a bottle of something (worryingly, wine is usually the first thing to hand and an opened bottle never keeps till the next day).

The kind of crazy part is, when I’ve been working with alcohol, whether at the Beer Festivals, Music Festival or in the pub, my relationship with alcohol is very much one of mutual respect, I drink very little and am mindful of what it is and what affect it can have.  It’s when I am not involved with it on a professional level it becomes this crutch, part of my routine an addiction.

My cousin, a fairly moderate drinker, has recently given up drinking altogether (well may the odd special occasion every few months, I’m not sure) and smoking and is doing so incredibly well I’m almost ashamed of my inabilities on this front.

I need to put this right, my whole existence, my hobbies and my interests, for pretty much 20 odd years has involved being around alcohol and, more often than not, indulging a tad too much.    My “beer belly” is more of a “beer keg”, my eyes are a tad bloodshot, partly through lack of sleep and working too hard but also from bad choices with alcohol to relax.  I’m spending ridiculous amounts of money on wines and ales and not keeping fit in the slightest because of it.


I always set myself some goals when doing these challenges, and they usually involve either losing weight or saving money.  This time, it’s actually both and generally improving myself!

  • My gut is a tad on the large side, I want to lose some of the flab that is hiding my inner six-pack.
  • My head is cloudy, I’m not concentrating or focusing at optimal performance.
  • My wallet is in pain!  A bit of budgetary housekeeping can never hurt!
  • I want to try and raise a bit of cash for a worthy cause, whether it’s the official charity or another charity, it doesn’t matter.

So that’s it, almost.. I’m also undertaking a second challenge, crazy right?  Yup, but that’s me.. I am also going to go Vegetarian for the whole month as well, but that’s for another post.

Wish me luck!  I’m definitely going to need it!!