Why I’m doing Dry January

Hello, happy new year to you all, and welcome to January- all 732 days of January. Yes, yes I know I exaggerate a bit but it’s a month that seems to go on forever. So why the heck am I doing Dry January??

Well firstly, those of you that know me really well, will concur that I’m fond of a drink or two… I mean let’s face it, if it looks and tastes like champagne or gin then I’ll happily sip away. I’m also very stubborn, and when it was mentioned to I ” would never in a million years be able to complete Dry January ” I had a literal hold my drink moment, al long with right I’ll show you lot. And how some friends have laughed at the mere suggestion but never the less it’s now day 4 and I’ve not faltered…. I will say today I could have caved…. but see further down ( I had a g&t substitute to help). Today I’ve felt groggy, my skin isn’t brilliant and I’ve not been firing on all cylinders…. I partially put this down to going back on the healthy eating plan after the Christmas binge as well but it’s still not helped.

Secondly not every week, but some weeks I do drink over the recommended 14 units. See more info from the NHS Here. With that in mind I figured it would do me some goo in stopping for a month, and then changing my drinking habits. I also see the reduction in calories from not drinking wine an added bonus. I started a weight loss charge last year, ( 3 stone lost so far in case you were wondering) and would like to continue with that.

Lastly I did think I might struggle sometimes during the next month so to help me not cave I signed up to cancer research’s Dryathlon. I’ve pledged to raise £150 by not drinking alcohol…. I’ve got sponsors… I will not be letting them down. I also think it’s for a good cause, I lost both my grandparents to cancer, my friend has recovered from breast cancer and my cousin is currently on chemotherapy…. it affects everyone in their lives in one way or another… I’m just trying to do my bit. The link to my fundraising page can be found Here

So how am I going to manage I hear you all ask? Well I’ve got some cunning plans to help me. There’s more and more options in the shops of alcohol free drinks ( and I’m not just talking squash and water).

My current favourite is this

It’s not sweet, and tastes like weak G&T, which if you have in a gin glass, with ice and imagination almost tastes like the real thing…. it’s great. M&S also have a version, which I’ll get and update the post when I’ve tested it.

The very exciting new kid on the block is Free Damm which is both gluten free ( yes you read that right) and alcohol free. I’ve not been much of a larger drinker….. but some fell in my trolley and I’m giving it a go. You can buy this from Sainsbury’s and Waitrose ( that I’ve seen them in so far anyway)

I’ve also tried this de-alcoholised red wine…. it’s by Torres Natureo, and I really liked it. Not as full-bodied as a Pinot Noir, or the like, but not a bad substitute if you’re struggling without that glass of vino in the evening.

I’ll be adding more finds to this post as the month goes on…… stay along for the ride, I’d love it if you did.

Let’s Talk About….. Endometriosis

Yesterday (7th October) endometriosis was trending on Twitter. Largely in part to This article. Now why would I possibly be bothered by this, or why would anyone be bothered by this? Well according to Endometriosis uk the current figures indicate 1 in 10 women have the condition….. and I’m one of them.

So slightly different post from me this time…. I’m going to talk to you about endometriosis. And guys, if any of you are reading this, before you roll your eyes and think ” oh it’s just girls moaning about that time of the month” let me tell you endometriosis is NOT just period pain, it is more than the odd stomach cramp.

Anyone who thinks endometriosis is just a period is sadly mistaken. I’m self employed, every month I take 3 days off to coincide with the start of my period…. but why? Surely just man up Gemma? ( incidentally let’s stop telling everyone to “man up” it’s not helpful) well because every single month, on day one I go from being ok, to being bent double from pain – I mean think having your stomach used as a punch bag type pain,, and you’re getting there. The nausea is awful, if you eat too you’re sick, the pain extends up to my ribs and somehow creeps through your legs down to your feet.

The ache is unremitting, it literally feels like all joy has been sucked out of you, and actually if I could remove my pain receptors for those days, that would be amazing.

I was about 15 when the pain started, the school nurse though I was trying to get sent home, the doctors suggested the pill, my mum took me seriously…. it took years ( about 9 ) to get a diagnosis.

That’s not the best of it…. you often get fertility problems and the ” don’t you want more children?” Questions… My reply” yes another would be lovely but my womb is that scarred that babies don’t like it”

Other joys are Miscarriages, scans, operations, ( I mentioned pain didn’t I?) and a deep frustration that only women in similar situations can empathise with. Why frustration though? Because no one believes you that it is, or can be, that bad. Even my GP said to me at 25 that I had nothing to worry about…. and a few painful periods were part of the course- apparently having a baby would help. I mean seriously those were her words….. you can imagine how that made me feel. I’m not alone either- scores of women all over the country will tell you of similar stories. This is both sad and disheartening.

This all needs to change, attitudes around this condition needs to change. More funding is needed and above all women need to be taken seriously. This is a horrible condition and I for one am pleased it’s had some recognition this week.

Ladies if you think you may have symptoms of endometriosis please do get it checked.

Seek help, if you are struggling I’d recommend Twitter…. the communities on there really are the best. You’ve got this girls…… you are not alone.