Long pauser talking

30 May 2022 / Topical / Background

Long pausers are people who have extended their alcohol break after Dry January until now. Because they liked the pausing or for some other reason that forces them to drink less or not. Cor (62) emailed that he also wanted to share his story with us. Well, please Cor.

“I started Dry January on January 1. With the approach: I'll see if I can keep it up. In retrospect, it was easier than I thought. Participating in IkPas certainly helps (me) because you link changing a habit to a 'reward system'. Because it went well with Dry January and I started to notice positive effects, I also did 'Short Dry', followed by '40 days without a drop', 'De Grote Schoonmaak', 'Extra Holiday Allowance' and now 'Fit for holiday' .

Perform and reward

The IkPas reward system - with its certificates and badges - was very pleasant, especially in the beginning. In the meantime, the effect is diminishing somewhat and I could now manage without it, but besides being useful it is also fun to participate in it. Not least because of the newsletters containing facts and information about alcohol. For example, thanks to those newsletters, I learned why I don't think I managed to get below 87-88 kg all these years. So apparently it goes like this:

I am someone who mainly drank at the weekend and that was accompanied by all kinds of snacks and especially French cheeses that were bought every Friday. The IkPas article 'Weight loss and alcohol' taught me that the liver - in a situation where it has to process both alcohol and calories - gives alcohol the priority to break down. And that the fats are stored instead of offering them to the body as fuel. At least that's how I understood it. Because I actually especially like those French cheeses with a glass of wine or a specialty beer, I haven't eaten those cheeses since I took part in IkPas. The results are very motivating.

Profits and benefits for Cor

Finally (permanently) got below the 87-88kg limit, which seemed an impenetrable barrier (for a very) long time, I lost 10kg in the first 2 months of 2022 and now weigh 77-78kg.

I feel a lot better physically and I also suffer less from my joints, et cetera. The result: fewer injuries.

Due to the weight loss, the need for me to sleep with an apnea device is no longer present, so it is now in the closet and the snoring is almost a thing of the past according to my wife.

I am diabetic (type 2) and will remain so, but my medication (metformin) has already been halved and the GP expects that if my weight remains consistently at this level, I may be able to go without medication altogether.

I sleep better and when I wake up, I am awake well. I simply function better (especially on Monday mornings).

My diet has become healthier, much more raw vegetables (candy tomatoes and peppers instead of fatty snacks) and with hot meals more vegetables and less potatoes.

I eat smaller amounts, which means that my stomach has become somewhat smaller and rather sends the 'full signal' to the brain (previously sometimes the tendency to want to create a 'bottom' for an evening with alcohol consumption)

I have learned to appreciate other flavors and am still experimenting with them.

Because I don't spend money on alcoholic drinks (and not on all those French cheeses 🙂 I save quite a lot of money (I can use that for buying those new clothes of 1 – 2 sizes smaller).

You feel 'In Control'. Previously I could very quickly find an 'excuse' to drink something ('difficult day at work', 'one must be possible', 'it's almost the weekend' – I tried to limit drinking to the weekend). Because I can now say no (to myself), it feels like having more self-control.

My memory also works better, I remember more, which in turn fits in with better functioning, I am more clear in discussions and activities.

 

Points of attention and disadvantages according to Cor

You look for a replacement for wine/beer/whiskey but with a strong taste, then you quickly end up with sweet drinks that are bad for another reason, even if they sometimes contain sugar substitutes. I'm still experimenting with it.

You have to change your clothes. I myself have decreased by 1 or 2 clothing sizes in terms of pants and shirts, so to remain a bit presentable you have to replace all your clothes, I am now doing that step by step.

If you spend a lot of time in groups in which alcohol consumption 'just belongs', you may get the feeling that you 'have to explain something'. It doesn't bother me that much myself, but if people insist on that beer or wine, I just list a few advantages of not doing it.

Even if you are not addicted to alcohol, even if you are just a habitual drinker, the craving never completely disappears (I quit smoking 37 years ago when my wife became pregnant with our first, but the 'craving for a cigarette' only became many, many years later less) so relapse into old habits is always close.

Some dishes on restaurant menus pair better with wine than other non-alcoholic drinks. I often left it up to the waiter/waiter/sommelier to choose which wine would go best with the dish, but they often don't know what to advise if it shouldn't be wine.

Although I do meet more and more people who have put their alcohol consumption on hold, temporarily or otherwise, you often continue to feel like an exception, you have to be able to handle that and if you can't handle it well, you have to "arm yourself up a bit". ” before going into such a company.

And now?

Am I never going to drink anything with alcohol again? I honestly don't know yet. I have already got rid of my crates of specialty beers, beer is in my opinion quite fattening anyway. I still leave my wine rack filled with what was in it at the end of 2021. It is also motivating to walk past it every now and then. The whiskey is in no rush, stays good for a long time. Even if I have another glass of wine later in 2022, it will be much more conscious than before. So even then, participating in IkPas offers benefits. My motto for the future is, just like when I started IkPas: 'we'll see'. But at least the awareness of alcohol use and its effects is a fact!”

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