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Stacey Duguid On Giving Up Alcohol

Friday, April 17th, 2009 Stacey Duguid On Giving Up Alcohol

Stacey Duguid is a fashion editor, whose glitzy lifestyle has consisted of Champagne parties, is set to give up on alcohol and prove that it can have a dramatic impact according to the Mail (06 04 09).

The pace of everyday working lives has its pressures for all to bear. Stacey Duguid opens her account by picturing a scene whereby everything needs doing and nothing is getting done fast. By the end of the day, there is only exhaustion. When you finally get home, all we want to do is kick off our shoes. ‘cooker on, dog fed - but not before the cork is off that well-earned bottle of Rioja.’

She goes on to explain that not all her days are that hectic. However, for a lot of women, who also work full-time and have busy schedules, a glass of wine at the end of the day has ‘long been the light at the end of the Tube tunnel.’

It could be argued that the stresses of the day can disappear after three sips. Duguid says, ‘ you can’t beat that warm, fuzzy glow. It signals the start of ‘me’ time.

I wouldn’t go as far as saying that anyone who craves a glass or two of wine at the end of the day is an alcoholic or a big drinker.’

However, drinking has become a way of life to many women. Furthermore as indicated by Duguid, ‘ None of us wants to think about the impact this might be having on our health. It’s a treat. It can’t be that bad.

But maybe a recent report published by Cancer Research UK will make us sit up and take notice.

Over one million women were studied and the findings suggested that those who consume one or two alcoholic drinks a day have a notably higher chance of developing cancers compared to women who don’t drink regularly.

She goes on to say that, turning 35 causes a chemical change to occur in a woman’s body. I don’t know if that is true, but I do know that there is an emotional change happening within me.

I refuse to turn into the crazy aunt who won’t eat wheat but loves a whisky on the rocks.

My heart is also telling me to banish the post-drinking blues for, as well as possible health issues, the days I’ve spent hungover have been some of the most horrific of my life.

The author goes on to question why she has allowed her drinking habits to escalate so much, in addition she asks how did this very British habit got so out of control - and so widespread?

We can blame our excessive alcohol consumption on stress, the credit crunch or anything you want to really, but I think peer pressure is often to blame.

An American friend, who came to live in London two years ago, works for a London advertising agency and was shocked to find that, on this side of the pond, we spend Friday afternoon in the pub.

‘In New York, I spent my free time with my girlfriends running errands, going to the grocery store, checking out the clothing stores - we never spent the afternoon in a bar - we would think we had a problem if we did,’ she says.

With reference to NHS guidelines, women should not be drinking in excess of two to three units of alcohol per day. That equates to a 175ml glass of wine or three shots of vodka.

A bottle of wine is about nine units of alcohol, so if you drink half a bottle a night, seven nights a week, that equals 31.5 units.

Add a dash more for the weekend and you’ve got yourself a health-risk cocktail.

In addition, it has been suggested that inexcesss of 34% of females exceed their daily limit at least one day a week. And it’s not just young women who are in the high-risk category. More than a million older women drink at unsafe levels, says Alcohol Concern, a figure that has risen by 75 per cent in the past decade.

Duguid discovers Marisa Peer through a friend at work. She lost 20lb by giving up her chocolate and carb addiction with Marisa’s help.

Supposedly the key to her weight loss success was getting to the root of what was causing her to overeat and unlocking bad behavioural patterns that had accumulated over the years by using hypnotherapy.

In one 90-minute session, Marisa Peer managed to turn my colleague off eating sweets, cakes, bread, pasta and dairy products. Three months later, she is super-slim and healthy and hasn’t been tempted go back to her old eating habits.

But could she help me? As I lay on Marisa’s couch, I could feel my fingers and toes curl up; I was fighting ‘going under’.

Duguid argues, ‘I didn’t think for one second it would work on me; I’m no emotional pushover. But sure enough, within ten seconds I was under, and within 30 was acutely aware of my right arm floating towards the ceiling as I held on to an imaginary balloon.

I felt powerless as Marisa convinced me the balloon was lifting my arm behind me, whereas in my left, I was holding a non-existent bucket filled with concrete as my arm sank to the floor.

Weird. A minute later, tears streamed down my face as Marisa took me back to scenes from my childhood. I have never got to know my real father well; those feelings of hurt and upset are apparently the playground within which my mind runs wild.

But was this really related to liking wine? It made more sense in the second half of the session, which is recorded so I can listen to the CD each night for the next three weeks, as that’s how long it takes for the neural pathways in the brain to change, erasing old behavioural patterns permanently.

As I listened to Marisa softly croon: ‘You love not drinking’, I lay there and thought: ‘No, I bloody well don’t.’

She continued: ‘You chose health over alcohol, you love the new you, you love not drinking.’

every alcohol-fuelled gag?

‘I drove home miserable. But the following day, Paris was a triumph. It’s six weeks since the Mulberry party and my last drink.’

‘Coincidently, this is the time it takes for the liver to regenerate. I have started going to the gym; I am eating the healthiest food I have ever eaten; I’ve lost a stone in weight without trying.’

Colleagues are amazed at the calmer, more balanced me, although friends keep asking when I’m going to join them for a drink again. I will have a drink, but only when I fancy one and when the occasion feels appropriate.’

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