Mark, 52, from Surrey is a petrol tanker driver, working a mix of day and night shifts driving across the South of England. He lives with his girlfriend and manages to fit a busy social life around his shift work, going out most weekends with friends.
“The thought of my first skiing holiday in more than ten years was what motivated me to try the “Have a little less, feel a lot better” challenge. Though I feel pretty healthy, I want to lose weight and get fitter so I can really enjoy being up in the mountains. I knew cutting down on my drinking in the week was one way to lose a few pounds.
“Right from the start this experience has made me think more honestly about what I drink at home. I drive a petrol tanker all over the South of England, so my hours are irregular and what I drink depends on the next day’s shift. If I was on a day shift I was aware I’d drink two or three ciders in the evening, but when I stopped to think about it I realised when I got in from a late shift at midnight I’d have a short then too. It was my way of winding down after a long day. An argument with my girlfriend would give me another excuse to open an extra bottle.”
“I’ve not found it as hard as I thought to cut down and break some of those habits where I’d usually reach for a drink. Now I don’t always have a cider with my dinner and I’ve cut out the late night gins when I get in from work. I’ve also gone a few days without drinking any alcohol and haven’t really missed it.”
“It’s great that I’ve lost twelve pounds – nearly a stone, but I suppose I expected that. What’s surprised me is how much better I am sleeping. As a driver it’s important to feel refreshed and alert when I get up for work. Now I’m waking up less in the night and I’m not as tired when I wake up in the morning. Working different shifts mean my body clock is all over the place – when I’m on days I have to get up at 4am – so getting a good night’s sleep has made a big difference to me.”
“I won’t give up alcohol completely as drinking is a big part of my social life. But fewer drinks at home means my tolerance has gone down, so I drink less when I’m out. I tend to drink more over the summer – when the sun’s out I get a real taste for alcohol – but the last BBQ I went to I was nursing rather than necking my drinks! Making a few small changes to my drinking habits at home has definitely been good for me.”
If you want to know how you can moderate your drinking visit drinkaware.co.uk/little-less