Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Practically Teetotal

Is what I am. The hubster says you can't be practically - you're either teetotal or you are not. You drink or you don't drink. Well yes technically he is right but I like to have my little sayings and this is my current one.  I am practically teetotal albeit I have a small glass of red (and I mean small its in a wine glass we purchased in France - proper European measure) on a Saturday night with my meal.  Now don't get me wrong I like a good drink and enjoy red wine but I have spent the majority of my 30's pregnant and then dieting afterwards to shift the baby/indulge whilst pregnant weight. Alcohol is empty calories, full of sugar, ages you quite rapidly and in large quantities is basically shit for any diet irrespective of whether or not you want to lose weight. 

When I drink I forget about the fact that I'm fat and that my wardrobe is very limited, that I'm far happier when I know I'm doing something about my weight and the exercise that I would have invariably done during the week.  Yes that all goes by the by and I think I'm Kate Moss or something. I don't have a care in the world and start to indulge in nibbles. The next day I'm hung over and this becomes more and more unappealing when you have 3 children to take care of.

I spent a good portion of my late teens and twenties in a drunken state.  It is the norm in this country. Get rat arsed, pissed, off your face what ever you call it. It is the done thing.  The newspapers often do a yearly piece on the state of the pissed youth of this country but being drunk is nothing new for this country. We have a long history of it going way back when.

Take the Gin houses in London back in the 1600's and the devastating affect of our consumption of Gin which was encouraged as imports of French wine and spirits were banned to encourage the industry at home http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_Street_and_Gin_Lane.

The affects of Gin at that time were wonderfully illustrated by William Hogarth's (we went to see an exhibition in London a few years back) famous work of art "Beer Street and Gin Lane".  You can see in the picture that the mother is so pissed she's forgotten about her poor baby and it has fallen out of her arms and is tumbling to its untimely death. 

So there is nothing new about people of all ages using drink in a less than sensible way. There is a lot of inverted snobbery about the subject. "Oh why can't people just a have a couple of glasses"? Usually said by people who also drank to get pissed when they were younger and now don't. "Why can't we be like our European neighbours they just have a glass of wine with their dinner".  They are sensible.  Are they? Wine at dinner time with every meal is that the acceptable face of being dependent on alcohol?  Are they able to have their meal without alcohol? Do they not get pissed because their bodies have become so used to it on a daily basis?  I'm sure there are lots of Europeans with drink problems. It is a drug to a lot of people. I know people who cannot get through a week without having a alcohol.  There are people that drink a bottle of wine a night.  The young binge drinker (which we've all been) is an easier target than the 'sensible' middle aged bottle a night drinker. They are "sensible" by all accounts.

I do like a drink. I like the taste of wine. I like the warm fuzzy glow I get and maybe when I'm slim and the kids are older I will be a bottle a night person, a sensible European wine with every meal or a bottle a week kind of lady but for now I am practically teetotal!

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