I am delighted to say, that without me saying anything my non drinking example is spreading throughout the office. In the small team of five I work in only one person now drinks and he is thinking of cutting down dramatically. Being surrounded by people saying how great they feel, how alert, and the obvious improvement it has in the work they do really does make a difference. One of my colleague who was notorious for his rose wine consumption even managed five days at a very boozy conference in the South of France and stayed sober the whole time. Showing by example is so much softer than trying to nag people to stop drinking - and it works!
It is nearly seven years since I had a drink but the other night we were at a restaurant and my wife had a glass of Moet. She has not had a drink for seven years either but gave up just to keep me company. Of course I didn't mind her drinking and I enjoyed smelling the champagne and enjoying the sense of it. Was I tempted? It did cross my mind that I wasn't told to quit, I didn't need to quit for medical reasons and so there was nothing to stop me having a glass too. I even thought how nice it would be - for a second or two. But then I remembered how addicted I used to be, how much the habit could easily come back and I knew that one glass would be a glass every day, then a bottle, then wine as well, then cider and in no time I would be the same alcoholic I was all those years ago. This time however my body would be able to take it far less and I would definitely be signing an early death warrant as opposed to hopefully having another few decades to live.
yet another spurious piece of research attempting to prove the benefits of alcohol. I wonder of these are funded by governments keen to retain the tax income they receive from alcohol sales. I remember when I used to drink taking refuge in these sorts of articles, helping me to convince myself that I didn't need to quit drinking after all. If I had continue to listen to these arguments I would be long dead by now - thank goodness I stopped.
This little chap and his three siblings were playing in my garden today and came near enough for me to take this photo. I am so glad to be alive to enjoy moments like this.
I am not sure I have ever come across someone in the Lloyd's of London market stoned on Cocaine but there is no denying we are a market that likes to enjoy a glass of wine or two. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I quit alcohol nearly seven years ago and at the time I thought it would be a nightmare having to work in the London market and stay sober – it wasn’t.
Before that I was like many of my peers who joined the market in the 1980’s when drinking seemed to be the norm and was almost expected of you. Many of the colleagues I worked with are no longer with us including my elder brother who died from liver failure and I was well down the same path to oblivion before I decided the only escape was to quit forever.
I still work in the market, and I still have business lunches and drinks after work with colleagues, but all alcohol free. If anything, I have far more fun now than I ever did when I was drinking, and I remember everything. No more missed meetings or forgotten content. No more hangovers, illness or being late to the office. No more stress. No more finding scraps of someone’s chewed-up business card in my shirt top pocket after it has been washed and wondering who the hell I met and what we discussed. No more missed opportunities because of drink.
There is still a massive drinking culture in the market however, and a ban won't make that go away. It will just push people to work outside of the market. It will however be very very stressful for those addicted to alcohol who have to go into Lloyd's in the afternoon.
I have offered to do some free talks at Lloyd’s for those who might want to learn how I managed to quit. I also have two books which will and do help many thousands quit alcohol. If you know someone who might be interested here is my website www.Idontdrink.net but in case you think this is an advert all proceeds from my books go to the homeless. I just want to help others get out of the alcohol trap like I did. I have lost enough friends and family thank you.
This weekend was the annual swimathon and once again I managed to do 5000 metres (200 lengths) in a good time. Unfortunately I got cramp in the final ten lengths and this messed my time up as I was on for another record of breaking two hours. The cramp was mostly due to the fact the lane was crowded and there were some slow swimmers which meant it was impossible to maintain any rhythm which messes your muscles up. I also became dehydrated probably because of the stress of the number of people and the chaos and that can bring on cramp. It wasn't the pool organisers fault however, we had to allow another swimming pool join us as some bloody kid had pooed in the water at their pool and it had to be closed - bloody kids hah hah
This was my 24th swimathon and the 7th since I quit alcohol. There is no way I would still be able to cope with that distance had I still been drinking, even if I was still alive. When I started all those years ago I certainly never expected to still be doing the event into my sixties. Onwards until next year although I might do the open water swimathon in September if the green algae stays away this year.
PS, I wasn't happy having to wear that pink hat!
This calculator is from the new NHS related website https://alcoholchange.org.uk/alcohol-facts/unit-calculator I thought I would give it a go based on what I used to drink - sometimes I drank much more! It is a scary amount of units and calories when totaled up and no wonder I was such a physical wreck and so overweight. The NHS say I should eat 17500 calories a week to stay healthy - I was drinking nearly as much as this! What would yours look like if you are completely honest with yourself?
It was nice to have another go based on what I drink now.
I just discovered this free course on the OU website. It teaches about the effects of alcohol on the liver etc. and I am using it as some background for my new book on quitting alcohol. There are already some scaring facts in here such as ethanol converts to methanol which in turn produces formaldehyde inside your body! Ethanol is also used as a disinfectant as it destroys the cells it comes into contact with! Worth reading if just for the nightmare effect if you go to bed after a heavy session.
My latest free newsletter is now released to all subscribers. In this one I talk about my Christmas holiday in Costa Rica and coping with an all-inclusive hotel where the drink was literally in your face. If you are planning your own holidays this year, this is well worth a read. All the best, Julian