Thursday, June 30, 2011

30 Day Alcohol-Free Challenge

I tried to give up alcohol for thirty days. 


The week leading up to my Vienna trip was a booze-fuelled funfest. In Vienna, I consumed Schneider Weisse like it was candyfloss. Post-holiday, high on life, I partied like it was 1989. After about three weeks of constant glugging, my skin had died and I was seeing the world as if through opaque glass.

What did I hope to achieve with the project?
Feel better, lose weight, save money. Complete an arbitrary challenge. See what happened.

Day One:
Easy. Willpower 100%. Victory in challenge certain.

Day Two:
An early test. Had booze-loving German girl round to watch The Apprentice. Tradition is to get wasted while watching the candidates's comic ineptitude. German girl drank prosecco and beer. I had camomile tea.

Day Three:
Still easy. German girl left loads of booze in my fridge, though. Stupid Germans.

Day Four:
Major crisis! After football I met up with guys from work. Was already pretty thirsty, but with willpower still maxed out I was rock-steady and resolute. Suddenly, one of my friends plonked a cold, refreshing Schneider Weisse down in front of me.

Look at that condensation! How sexy is that? Is this how the snake tempted Jesus in the desert? I touched the glass. It felt nice. I pushed it away. People kept pushing it back. I didn't drink it.

Day Eight:
All going swimmingly. I'm amazing at completing challenges. I went for a curry with Cecile. She hesitated about ordering a beer while I had water. "No, that's fine," I said. "It won't affect me at all." The cold beer sat there on the table, mocking me, the whole time. Stupid French women!

Day Eleven:
Friday night again. My order of 'diet coke' led to moderate ribbing from football guys after the match. They don't realise that weight is literally evaporating from my body and therefore nothing can deter me. Also, the jokes came from the losing team, whose opinions don't matter.

Day Sixteen:
Wednesday. Huh. I got tickets to see a preview of Larry Crowne, a romantic comedy with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. The trailer looked terrible. I invited Anna, to punish her for being German, and asked her to bring mini bottles of wine and something for me to eat. Why did I do that? Because it's what I always do when I go to the cinema - drink little bottles of wine. I forgot about the stupid challenge, okay? I also forgot that you get free drinks at the previews. I turned up and Anna plonked a free glass of prosecco into my hand, and I took a swig. Shocked by the fizzy loveliness, I realised what I had done. Bah! What to do? Down the prosecco and drink the wine, obviously. It made the movie better.

So, challenge FAILED. Not because of willpower, but bad planning and carelessness.

Maybe I'll try the challenge again some other time. Or maybe I'll just cut down on my drinking. A bit.


  1. Anonymous8:19 PM

    That's not a failure. That's more like temporary suspension of challenge validity: Devout Muslims start doing shots when forced to watch Julia Roberts give that face eating grin and say things like "would you like to kiss me?".

    Any man will drink a beer after three days in a barren desert. If you're going to test, test fair.

  2. Anonymous, I like your style. Sounds like you had to sit through the movie yourself!

    It was fairly astonishing when she did the 'do you want to kiss me?' line. Having booze on hand was helpful.

    But I can't really blame Julia Roberts.


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