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Happy, healthy you?

Updated: Jan 13

Exercising man listening to music

The phrase "Happy, Healthy You" is a common one, especially in January or the summer months, when we all make new resolutions, or decide to lose weight, take up running, eat more healthily, or go to the gym more often.

When I was drinking I had a lot of these fresh starts. I would start on a new eating plan, and stick to it for absolutely ages. I would create gorgeous new recipes packed full of healthy ingredients and display the results proudly on my Instagram channel. I discovered delicious new foods, choosing new favourites, many of which I still adore today. Every time I started a new plan I discovered new ways of eating that would be beneficial for my health and happiness.

Next I would insert an exercise plan, whether it was racing around on a spinning bike, attending the gym more often, or even just walking around the farms and forests nearby, enjoying nature at its best and breathing in the cool sea air. Again, these little habits would sometimes stick, and I still walk regularly and enjoy the greenery and beaches nearby. It settles my mind and has always helped with any anxiety I was experiencing.

I would start using organic products on myself, from shampoo bars to fresh smelling paragon free deodorants, and shower gels and soaps to awake the sense and cleanse the skin without harmful chemicals. I would bathe in salts and luxuriate in the scents of an expensive, organic hand cream by a top brand or three.

Next I would meditate on my VR headset, or to Youtube courses, practice Tai Chi, or Yoga, and work on mindfulness. The stresses of the day would melt away and I would feel settled and relaxed, and ready for the next day at a stressful job.

Fluffed, preened, feeling great, I would then pour myself a huge glass of wine and settle in front of my favourite Sci-Fi show of choice.

And then the following morning, every morning, I would wake up wired after an interrupted night, full of anxiety and promising myself I would do better "next time."

"All of the health and mindful practices do not work!" I would wail to my work colleagues, "and the scales are stuck. And I had another fight with my husband last night." They would sympathise, and some would agree and tell me it was exactly the same for them, too. "It's all utter rubbish anyway." They would reply. "Are you up for drinks on Friday? Should be a fun night..."

Looking back on this I can laugh, and sympathise with old me. Because this is completely and utterly normal, and human. Especially when one is addicted to alcohol, or any substance for that matter. You literally cannot see the woods for the trees.

All of the above practices work. Of course they do. But night after night I would drink glass after glass of poison and all of my good intentions would fly out the window. It got to the point that I was only eating the most healthy of foods, and still gaining weight, and the doubts about alcohol had started creeping into my mind.

"Could it be the wine?" I wondered...

"Don't be silly", my addicted brain would say, "there are barely any calories in red wine. And the Mediterranean diet allows it. So it's okay. It is probably menopause."

"Errr, no it isn't! It's BAD for you! And it is hugely calorific, especially when you are drinking a bottle or more every night!" shrieked my morning brain.

But still, every night, my addicted brain would win out and I would pour another glass. This constant cognitive dissonance was anxiety creating enough, even without the hangovers and fuzzy head, but still I kept going.

Who knew the anxiety, weight gain, lack of motivation to exercise, lank hair, dull skin, saggy jawline and dark circles were because of alcohol? Not I, not back then.

Let me ask you a question...

If I was to tell you there was a magic pill, one which would clear up your skin, brighten your eyes, knock years off you, give your hair lots of bounce, make your eye lashes longer, get rid of spots and dry patches, give you brighter teeth, longer fingernails, smaller ankles, less puffiness around the jawline, and make you less hungry all the time, would you take it?

It can also get rid of most of your anxiety, many of the symptoms of peri-menopause such as hot flushes and night sweats and sleeplessness, broken nights, depression, fewer headaches and migraines, more focus at work or university, fewer arguments with friends and family, greater sense of happiness and more appreciation for life in general. How much would that be worth to you?

Now if I told you it was not only free, but you would also enjoy greater financial security, and money would even sit in your account for longer, how much do you want this pill?

You know what this pill is, don't you. It is, of course, giving alcohol a break. I am telling you the absolute, honest truth. This, and more can be yours. Have you ever looked at pictures of people who have taken a month off alcohol? Google it. The Daily Mail did a great article. You will not believe the difference in a persons appearance with just one, tiny month off the booze! It's incredible.

Now, what if I told you that you can do this with no regrets, no willpower and without having to attend meetings or tell people there is something wrong with you? (Spoiler alert: This is NOT your fault!)

Just give it a try. And then come back and tell me I am wrong. Head over to the fabulous This Naked Mind app, and try a month off alcohol, for free. Or buy the book, What harm can a month do?

This short "Happy, Healthy You" journey will do a lot more for you than all of the above habits put together.

Good luck, my friend! Let me know how you get on.

Amanda x

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