I've decided to stop drinking. For 3 months at least, I intend to not touch a drop of alcohol, whilst training as much as possible and eating semi healthily, to see what happens to my body, health and general well being. My assumption is that I will notice a positive effect on all three. But you never know, I may go mad first! This blog post is also a bit late - I stopped drinking on the 1st Jan and intend not to start again until the 31st March.
Most people will be doing some form of dry January at this time of year in an attempt to regain some semblance of normality after a mad Christmas season of excess. Whether that's a full month dry, or just cutting back for a while, the beginning of a new year is a popular time to evaluate your booze intake.
I have tried Dry January before and failed miserably. 2016 lasted a spectacular two days, 2017 lasted one and half weeks and I didn't even bother with 2018. Whilst I started these years with good intentions, my rationale for quitting quitting drinking was that it was only month, I'm pretty healthy and what difference would not drinking make anyway. Nothing to do with a lack of will power or peer pressure at all.
Being a good British boy who grew up in the countryside, I of course started drinking at about 15 years old, and have never really stopped for any length of time. I certainly don't have a problem (I don't think) and don't drink that much anymore, but this year seemed like a good time to have a break from the booze. In truth I'm a bit bored of drinking and genuinely interested to see what the effects are on my body, mind and most importantly, cycling performance!
To the delight of resident club scientist Jen, I will be keeping track of my weight, body fat percentage and FTP over the next few months to hopefully have some data to support my findings (or not, as the case may be). I'll report back at the end of each month with some stats, but also attempt to try and explain how this abstinence is effecting my mental health.
January 2nd 2019 Stats:
Weight - 76.1kg
Body fat % - 17.1
FTP - 295
Watts per kilo - 3.87
The Science Bit!
With the help of club scientist Jen I'm trying to change as few variables as possible (her words, not mine). In regards to training, I won't be changing that much. I'll still be riding 200-300km per week and racing as much as possible. I'm not following a plan per se, so my training will be much the same as summer last year.
Whilst I try to eat healthily, I don't follow any kind of plan, often eating what's on offer - Dynamo pizza, Look Mum No Hands burgers etc. If I want to eat 5 Tesco cookies in one go I will, and my carb intake is probably off the scale. None of this will change much in the next few months.
In keeping my diet and training regime the same we'll hopefully be able to see the difference that just no booze will have (or not have).
If you've got any questions about giving up booze or anything to do with my challenge then please feel free to message us on social media or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wish me luck...