One Year With a Drinkaware App
Posted on October 24, 2019
It is interesting stuff looking at my Drinkaware app a year after first fully utilising it. Well it has for me; you might find it as interesting as a night watching paint dry with Steve Davies. If that’s the case, click off now.
What I have to decide is whether it has been worth it?
So, here we go. In total, in the year up until the end of September 2019, I managed 167 drink free days out of 365. Depending on your habits, you will either think that is a good effort or a piss poor one. For me it is a decent effort as I used to drink virtually every day.
I have to be honest here. There is no other way of looking at it without conceding alcohol dependency. The positive is that it was not heavy drinking, more the odd pint or two or half a bottle of wine.
In my world, it was normal to have anything between a half to a whole bottle of red wine each night or a couple of pints of bitter. Whilst this may not be anything to feel dramatically concerned about, it was habitual enough to make me agitated if I had no booze to hand.
Initially, a bit like any kind of diet or fad, I took on the Drinkaware app with gusto. I was getting a thrill out of clicking on the ‘Drink Free Day’ icon. It wasn’t long before I was registering 15 drink free days a month. I lost a bit of weight but did start fantasizing about chocolate.
Remarkably, after 31 days without a drink in January, I had almost lost my appetite for booze. This was aided by it being easy to stay in on long dark winter nights. With no booze in the fridge, the desire for a tipple was almost non-existent.
However, as spring came along and with it the cricket season and dog walks that are near pubs, some of the old temptations re-emerged. A pint here, a glass of wine there, and the units soon began to rack up again.
From 15 drink free days in April, it dropped to seven in May, four in June, six in July, seven in August and eight in September. We are now on the 24th October, the cricket season has gone, and I have registered ten booze free days so far. Statistically, June and July, the longest days with good weather and in peak cricket season, are when I was at my weakest.
August was my worst month with regards to units, with 171 units consumed. This is roughly 74 pints of beer, or more likely around 40 pints and 34 glasses of wine. Quite a lot I guess, but I did have a week away on holiday at that time. A poor excuse maybe but if you can’t get tucked into a few on holiday, what is the point?
My cleanest month (apart from a dry January) was March, with just 77 units consumed. Overall, I have averaged 123 units a month since installing the app. That is more than double the recommended maximum dose of 14 units (7 pints or 7 wines) a week.
On the face of it, 123 units a month is nothing to get euphoric about. That said, I barely drink during the week now. Even in the summer when my drink free days reduced, it was only the odd pint during a dog walk or a maximum of two after Wednesday cricket training.
What blows the figures out of the water are the parties and get togethers. It is easy to polish off your weekly allowance on a night out with friends. Fortunately for me my ‘session’ tolerance is low, and my fear of hangovers overrides any desire to get bladdered.
Just over a year after installing the App, I feel more in control of my drinking habits. I have managed to eradicate the pointless drinking where I used to polish off what was in the fridge for the sake of it. I only have booze in the house now if I have guests coming over.
A bit like a bag of wine gums, if its not there I don’t crave it. By doing that I reckon I have reduced consumption by 50%. Whether I can get my average down to below 123 units a month, I don’t know? I’ll guess I will know next October. What I do know is that I feel healthier and think clearer.
We all have different drinking habits and I would never become an anti-booze evangelist; I’ll leave that to the GP’s. However, I found the first and hardest hurdle to clear when trying to reduce my alcohol intake, was the one when I had to be honest to myself.
Those units don’t take much to rack up and it’s easy to pretend you have had less drink than you have.
It’s also pointless.