Women and wine Part 2 – Willy-nilly wine drinking
One of the things I pride myself on is being really mindful in life. I’m mindful of my time, my children, what I think about, how I feel, my food and also my wine.
The opposite of being mindful is what I call having a willy-nilly approach. It’s often a child-like habit that means you aren’t mindful of what you are doing, that often results in wasting commodities you can’t get back and ultimately a sense of dissatisfaction. Not to mention a larger waist line and unhealthy body!
The five most common causes/reasons women act with a willy-nilly attitude are:
1) Because it’s there
2) Because you’ve always done it
3) Because you aren’t really thinking about whether it’s something you really want, like or need at that moment
4) Because it’s free
5) Because somebody else is doing it
A couple of years ago, I was at a corporate workshop and at the back of the room were a load of sugary cereal bars that the organisers had brought in as ‘healthy’ snacks as I delivered a key note speech on improving your lifestyle. In the break, a group of people went up to the table and grabbed some bars and starting eating them I said ‘STOP! All of you stop!’ They turned around and I said to them ‘Why are you doing that? Do you really want that or are you just having it because it’s there and it’s free?” They all laughed and said it was for the latter reason. We then extended the break a few minutes longer so I could illustrate what I think is the biggest cause of over eating (and drinking in many cases). Not being in control of what you put in your body and the thoughts you put in your head. Being willy-nilly often means you are in denial, and being in denial is one of the most common causes of over-eating or verging towards being an alcoholic.
I love my food and I love my wine, but as you’ll all know I manage it so that I can enjoy what I call controlled indulgences. I can balance out any indulgences that I do decide to have and I am also in control and choose what I eat and drink at all times – not in an obsessed way, but in a focused way. I work with my strengths and my weaknesses, I’m one of the healthiest people I know and I never feel guilty as a result.
I never waste calories or toxins on things I don’t enjoy and although I’m guilty of a working mum glass-of-wine habit at the end of a busy day and week, I’m always mindful of whether I really want it/need it at that time, so it’s not an out of control habit that occurs daily, nor something that I MUST have. When I do drink it, I thoroughly enjoy it rather than feel bad about it.
If any of you are reading this thinking ‘Well, what if I’m mindful of the fact that I want to enjoy more wine than I should all the time?’, then you need to do my Wine Management Made Easy course! Because if you’re drinking more than you need to, are aware that you are doing it, but still doing it, that also falls under the willy-nilly category I’m afraid.
I can’t tell you how many clients waste time, money, calories and toxins on nights out that they really didn’t want to go to. Many women drink alcohol to get through boring situations. That’s willy-nilly drinking and that’s nuts.
Many of my new mum clients, start drinking at 5pm as they cope with being up for 12 hours (often after a broken night’s sleep) and are faced with another three hours of bath and bedtime. I don’t actually think it’s a problem if you have one glass at tea-time; it’s certainly taken the edge of my long day in the past. The issue is when that one glass turns into two or three or even the whole bottle. And I promise you, the second, third and fourth glass typically comes from being willy-nilly and not giving genuine thought to your choices.
Social functions at work are another big issue, ‘I have to drink at these’ is what women often say to me. No you don’t. Because if you say you ‘ have’ to do something, you’re not in control again, and guess what, that’s a classic willy-nilly wine drinker!
‘It was there and free and I couldn’t say no’ is another phrase I hear a lot. Temptation of course is an issue, especially as wine is everywhere and not to mention that women love the stuff! But if we can be mindful of limits, enforce some will power and focus on what we really want rather than what is just on the table, that will avoid more willy-nilly wastage.
If you drink your wine fast, like food, you won’t savour it. One thing I realized was that if I was hydrated and drank water before a glass of wine, I could sip the wine and make it last. When I rushed it, a) I didn’t enjoy it as much and b) I drank more.
In part three of my wine management blog series, I’ll share my top 10 wine-reducing tips that have been tried and tested on busy wine-loving women that have worked and helped them become more mindful of their drinking.
Don’t forget the Wine Management survey I’ve created – I’d love it if you could spend a few minutes filling it out, so I can help women reduce their wine intake without losing the fun in their life!