Kate's Blog

Are You A Health-Conscious Heavy Drinker?

I’ve always been pretty health-conscious.

Before I got sober, I’d try my best not to think about the health risks of being a heavy drinker.
I ignored reports about the dangers of alcohol. 
And I liked to think my wine was just mashed up grapes…
By day, I was a health conscious runner who drank green smoothies and shunned processed foods.
By night, I was a boozer who pretended my wine habit was no big deal.
This week’s video is all about our health, our values… and hand sanitiser!

Key points:

Hand sanitiser

Is it just me that finds it weird, to think of gin distilleries making hand sanitiser? It’s pretty crazy that we have normalised drinking alcohol – something we also rely on for killing bacteria and viruses. 

Our blindspot around booze

Perhaps you run, workout and watch your weight. You religiously check food labels, shun processed foods and buy organic. Why are so many of us health conscious, and yet we know so little about alcohol?

No justification for drinking for health reasons

The UK government guidance on this is here. The old myth about drinking for heart health has been busted. If you care about your heart, there are plenty of other ways to look after it.

Bring your values into alignment

Rather than viewing sobriety as giving something up, why not see it as upgrading your lifestyle – bringing your values and priorities into alignment? You’re taking care of yourself and sometimes that means making hard choices.
For help and support to quit drinking, click here for details of my online course.

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 


75 Responses

  1. I was a personal trainer and taught 6 Spinning classes weekly while drinking about a bottle of wine nightly. Now, I will be alcohol free for two years on 9/29/20.

    1. Congratulations on your sobriety Beth! I’ve worked with a lot of personal trainers, yoga teachers and dieticians over the years… which just goes to show that anyone can struggle with alcohol.

      1. I just wrote a journal entry about this today! I quit smoking nearly 13 years ago because I knew how terrible it was for my health. I have recently been doing yoga on a regular basis (3-6 times a week) and added some meditation, try to get regular cardio exercise, limit my junk food intake, drink lots of water…all in the name of good health. It really clicked for me this week that if I continue to drink a bottle of wine (or more) each day then I have basically been canceling out all of that other good stuff I have been doing for my physical and mental health. My last drink was Tuesday, September 22, 2020. Thanks Kate for this information! I have really been enjoying your blog and your videos!

    2. Today is the first day I haven’t drank for such a long time. I’ve tried and failed in the past to stop. I’m really finding you site very helpful and hope I can message tomorrow night about my 2nd day AF. Thank you x

      1. OMG this is totally me. I work out A LOT! Like 15 hours a week. Follow a Paleo diet of no processed foods yet drink every night. Wake up feeling awful and the cycle starts again. I just want to stop but can’t seem to find the strength. I just googled for help to stop and found you. Hoping this time it will work for me.

      2. This is totally me. I have finally admitted to my friends and family that I have a problem and have committed to a 6 week break. Just scrolling back through your posts which always ring true. I love real ale, good wine, craft gin and can not imagine not wanting those…but I do want control. I think that I think it would be nice not to want them. Day 3.

        1. You can make that happen Sheena. So much will change when you take a proper break from booze and allow yourself to experience that 🙂

    3. This really hit home with me. I workout constantly, read food labels, drink my water and even watch what I put on my skin. Yet, I drink a bottle or more of wine every night. I signed up for your January course. Counting down the days. I am ready to start living a life without alcohol in it and to become truly healthy!

  2. I am nearly 6 months sober after drinking between 2 to 3 bottles of wine a day for many many years
    I feel better, my bank balance is better and so is the relationship with my hubby
    Thanks for talking and not lecturing

      1. I eat healthy most weeks and run daily,but come a friday I’m drinking almost 2 bottles and sat night too.I need to stop because I dont feel good about myself come the sunday.Last weekend is the first I’ve not had a drink in over 6 months and want to try and keep it that way ..

          1. Wow!
            You could be talking about me!
            For the last 11 years, since my son was killed I have drunk every night.
            Slowly more and more.
            I am a diabetic, have survived breast cancer. My weight is creeping up, but still pay to belong to a weight loss group.
            Walking 10 miles a day for my health.
            Practice yoga and meditation 4 times a week.
            Not to forget my Pilates 3 times a week.
            Very conscious of eating healthy too!
            But…….. the amount I drink is slowly drowning me.

          2. I’m sorry to hear about the tough times you’ve been through Julia. But it’s great that you’re here, realising that alcohol isn’t changing your circumstances – or helping you.

    1. Touche, Kate! I’m a breast cancer survivor which lead to many other serious medical issues, almost bled to death getting my ovaries removed, etc..
      Therefore I turn into this health nut eating exercising yoga doing everything supposedly to keep myself alive except for alcohol… Absolutely unbelievably stupid…
      I absolutely loved this talk… It hit home and made perfect sense to say alcohol does not fit into my value system…at all…I’m ready to upgrade.
      Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
      Two days AF!!!!! Thanks to finding you!!!!

      1. I’m glad this resonated with you Diane. It’s clear that you value your health, especially after everything you’ve been through. Well done on your 2 days – keep going!

    2. Hi Amanda – did you stop cold turkey or taper? I’m finding tapering doesn’t work at all for me – I’ve stopped cold turkey before but this is the longest I’ve gone without a break… I’m going to blame Covid, not my weak will!

  3. Totally right about burying your head in the sand completely resonates with me!!!
    What a shocking and eye opening experience, cleaning and hand sanitiser products are near enough the same as what’s in my usual glass!
    Alcohol has been my evil friend for 20yrs… I am that ‘functional alcoholic’.
    I can admit it to myself now after two decades of consistent heavy drinking only stopping when I was pregnant or having a ‘detox’ which would only last of Up to 3 weeks very rarely Or 2 days if it was particularly bad.
    I have lost many relationships with people throughout my life, ruined a lot of situations and have huge regret .
    I am highly embarrassed of my alcohol intake and would be mortified if anybody knew the extent.
    I keep falling off the wagon which gives me huge disappointment in myself.
    I want to live my life without alcohol. I detest the substances BUT always ‘need’ the buzz of the drug. I can never have 1 or 2, more of an ‘all or nothing’ girl. Only drinking to get drunk.
    Well, I’m done with it.
    I’m determined ( like last time I quit , but more so)
    I follow you religiously (when I’m sober) and am pondering your course in Oct.
    Thanks for being there!

    1. You’re still here – and you’re still working on your sobriety. That’s huge and something to be really proud of. I hope you will join the course in October if you’re still in need of support by that point. Keep going Nikki 🙂

      1. Nikki, your story sounds just like mine. Having just finished the July Getting Unstuck course may I encourage you to go for it? It’s the best investment I’ve ever made and for the first time I feel quite confident that my alcohol free journey that began on July 6 is not going to end. Your frustration rings such a bell with me. That’s why I think maybe you would benefit like I did from Kate’s course.

    2. Nikki, I am right there with you. Every day I promise myself that I won’t drink, and then somehow by the latter part of the day, I convince myself that I need that drink (or better yet drinks) to get through the evening. I have a love/hate relationship with wine as I love it while I am drinking and then hate it in the morning with the after effects. I am also a healthy eater and exercise daily (after the hangover subsides), but I know I am destroying my body with wine. I am going to take Kate’s class in October and hope to see you there. I so wish it were sooner as I need the direction and support now, but I’m going to keep following Kate’s blogs and responses from others in hopes it can keep me going until October.

  4. Totally me. I really put a lot of time learning about nutrition, thinking about what I put into my body and I love cooking healthy food. And then I wash it down with 5 or 6 drinks every night. I want to quit. But I love to drink. I know I would feel better, sleep better, etc. But it doesnt seem to be enough to push me to become alcohol free. I did quit for 3 months a couple years ago and literally taking it day by day worked. Not this time. Every morning I think “I am not going to have a drink today.” But when I get home from work all my will power is gone. I don’t know how to do this!

    1. Hi Kris, it sounds as if you could do with some support? I get the impression that you might be relying on willpower alone – but that will only ever last so long. And it’s hard work. If you’d like to learn about a different approach, here are some details for my online coaching programme: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
      The next class starts in early October 🙂

    2. Kris, I could have written exactly what you wrote. I am taking the class in October and hope to see you there. I have listened to the reviews posted here about the course and am so hopeful it will lead me to an AF life. I hate myself every morning when I realize how much I drank the night before, and I am so tired of this vicious circle. There has to be a better way!

  5. Wow-great information. After learning about what alcohol really is why would you want to drink it?! Amazing how addictive something so poisonous can be. I really enjoy your clips Kate they are a wealth of information. Thank you. Have a great day!

  6. This is my Day 1 again. A day wasted as tired, fed up with feeling poorly during the day. Have changed our meal times as i started drinking while cooking evening meal! Last night was one and half bottles! Dont know how I functioned.

  7. I am glad I found you. Thank you for what you do. I, too, have been a health nut/heavy drinker for most of my life. Every year I go to the doctor to hear how my lab reports and blood pressure are “perfect.” I used to take this as a green light to continue my terrible habit (which was about 5 shots of vodka nearly every night). I would use alcohol as a reward for my healthy accomplishments during the day. “I did a 5K.” “I went 45 minutes on the elliptical.” How crazy is that? Sanity made its way to the surface in June 2019 when I decided to put down the poison. I knew that eventually my luck would run out and I was tired of being controlled by alcohol. I was 55 and quitting was easier that I thought it would be. However, this past January, I thought a “glass” of wine couldn’t hurt anything. Though I am not drinking anywhere near the amount I used to, I have definitely awakened those old demons. Your post today was just what I needed to hear.

    1. Moderation is definitely a slippery slope – and I think true freedom lies in realising that you can have a happy and fulfilling life without any alcohol at all. Keep going Deana. You will get there!

  8. Today I am 10 weeks AF, and feeling so much better. I, too, had to have a breast biopsy last year. Thankfully, everything turned out fine, but always in the back of my mind, I worried about my wine and how it was affecting my health. Also, a couple of months ago, I also had other health “scares”, likely related to my wine consumption. I’m so thankful to be AF now, and don’t plan to re-start any time soon, if at all. Looking back, it is really amazing how I put the poison into my body on a nightly basis. I am a nurse, so I try to help people take care of themselves, but I wasn’t listening to my own advice. This blog has helped my resolve, and I also love Kate for not being punitive at all.

    1. Congratulations on your 10 weeks Kay – what a brilliant thing to do for your mind and body. As you say, our health is so important 🙂

  9. Yes, I can really relate to this. I am a personal trainer and was much more active until I got laid up with injuries. I was drinking a bottle of wine a night when I was active and fit and being injured led me to drink even more. Covid, which has led to further reduced activity, has not helped. I am too sad to write any further.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that Gretchen, I know times are tough right now. I can tell from your post – and that fact that you’re here, engaging with this – that you know drinking isn’t helping or changing your situation. Well done for continuing to work on this.

  10. I can totally relate to this video. I’ve spent the last 8 years as a vegetarian, working out several times a week, and only using clean products for me and my family. At the same time, there’s always been this little part of me thinking that I’m such a hypocrite for being so healthy in these other areas, but thinking it is OK to drink five nights a week. I rationalized it with myself by buying organic vodka and wine. I have really become unhealthy during this pandemic and finally realized I needed to do something. Then I found your blog. It has been so helpful and I have been sober for 23 days. It feels different quitting this time and I’m really hopeful that it is going to stick!

    1. That’s brilliant – congratulations on your 23 days Susan! Wishing you many more alcohol free days ahead 🙂

  11. Great points Tamara, thank you. I agree – we need much more publicity around the cancer risks and the problem with alcohol and anxiety. When you’re drinking, it can be hard to spot that alcohol is actually making the anxiety worse in the long term.

    1. I was wondering if you had any advice for someone like myself who stops drinking then starts to panic convinced I’ve probably done irreversible damage to my body convinced because of that I am going to die young and then I drink just to get those thoughts to stop.

        1. Thank you for this and all the good information on how alcohol is destroying us. Most people have no idea! 75 days AF.

  12. I am exactly how you were.
    I workout during the week and watch what I eat and then Thursday comes and I’m already thinking to buy my booze for the weekend.
    It’s come to a point where I blackouts and can’t remember much the next day and a bad hangover.
    I don’t want to do this anymore because I recently had a bad brunch Experience and my husband and my daughters were upset with me.
    This is not what i want to continue doing so that’s why I’m here!

  13. 100% me! Workout 6 days a week, grow my own veggies, careful about macros and trying to get lean. The only thing holding me back? Wine. Go figure. I’m only 48 hours sober today. But I LOVE your message: think of it as an upgrade to your life.
    Definitely upgrading my life!! Thank you from PNW, USA

  14. Yep, that’s me in a nutshell Kate!!Also a personal trainer & help people with their fitness every day. I eat healthy and exercise but then damage my health with my wine consumption most nights. I am very aware of the risks associated with heavy drinking & it is what keeps me trying to cut down. Still need to come to terms with thought of giving up. Thank you for your wonderful videos!

  15. Kate Bee, 100% me. Protein drinks, 30 minutes working out, vegan diet. During the week I drink 5-6 beers per night, and on the weekends I will drink a 12 + pk of beer. I need to get my life straight.

  16. Yes this is me! Vegan, yoga, exercise, the whole thing. But I was drinking white wine every single night, and with covid I started opening that bottle earlier in the day. (A glass of wine with lunch? Why not?)
    Two months ago I recognized that the slope was getting more slippery, so I stopped. I feel so much better now that all my values are aligned. I’ve had some stressors recently (just broke my foot and am laid up for a few months) but I am so grateful not to be drinking my way through this tough period.
    Thank you so much for what you do, Kate. Your videos are always just what I need to hear.

    1. Well done for stopping Ann! I’m sorry to hear about your foot – but I know that life will be easier for you right now without alcohol and hangovers to deal with on top of everything else. Being alcohol free is always a great decision, no matter what else is going on 🙂

  17. Hi Kate:
    Yes, you have me thinking. This was the first video I’ve actually watched. I am 55 and look much younger than that for my age. My entire life I ran, worked out and quite honestly was underweight. I’ve always drank wine, it has been part of my lifestyle since my 20’s. I’ve worked successfully for 35 years, but most recently with the pandemic I am home most days, working for my fiance’s company when needed. He will come home and immediately pour wine for both of us. I have told him numerous times I would like to cut back, or quit altogether for our health. He has autoimmune. I am at my heaviest weight in my life, yet I eat very healthy and describe myself as you did in your video. I am torn and get very frustrated because once I pour that first glass, it doesn’t stop until I go to bed. I really am counting on being more diligent and feel blessed I found you when I did. I am at the beginning of my journey, and look forward to watching many more videos and reading your daily blog. Thank you.

    1. Well done for taking action Lori. I know it’s hard to quit drinking when you’re on your own with this and have a partner who drinks too. If you’d like some help to quit, and a chance to be part of an amazing community of women (who are working on the same goal at the same time) then definitely get on the waitlist for my October course. That’s the best way for us to work together. Here’s some more information about it: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  18. Thank you for this! I totally agree, it is bad for you, you aren’t doing any favors for your health and at the same time, it’s such a hard pill to swallow! I’m a nurse and have seen firsthand the effects that drinking can have on a person, it can be very eye-opening. I have had periods of sobriety and not. I am trying to increase those periods as much as I can (longest has been just over 6 years). A work in progress.

    1. Keep going Devon. Alcohol free living is amazing – it will be such a lifestyle upgrade for you, when it all clicks and comes together 🙂

  19. I run 3 times a week ..& drink a bottle of wine a night … I promised this week not to open wine indoors .. so we went out for dinner… not a great start ! I’m not drinking tonight!

  20. This definitely describes me!! I’ve been fooling myself for a long time that my wine consumption wasn’t so bad because after all I try to make healthy decisions!! Thank you so much for being real and pointing out to me that I need to upgrade my thinking of the true effects alcohol is having on my physical and emotional health!

  21. Thank you for this, your talk has made me think more seriously about knocking booze on the head, completely seems a little scary but at least my thinking is positive and in the right direction

  22. I almost laughed at the concept of trying to live a healthy life (except for drinking of course). I worked in medicine and ICU. I know all the dangers of alcohol, I just tried not to think about them. I watch saturated fats, eat no processed foods, very little sugar, lots of vegetables, lots of fresh fish, I walk 5 miles a day, swim laps, and I take an aerobic swimming class 3 times weekly. I just don’t think about the bottle of wine nightly. I just can’t quite wrap my head around what I will do without a glass in my hand. But otherwise, I work so hard at being healthy, but with all the alcohol, I’m not healthy. Thanks for giving me a different thought to think about.

    1. Thanks for your comment Kate. A good place to start would be thinking about *why* you need that glass in your hand so much – what are you really looking for at the bottom of it? Start with that first.

  23. I like the idea of upgrading my life style by giving up alcohol. I am two years breast cancer free and live a healthy lifestyle except for drinking lots of wine. I’m inspired to give up now and look at it as a life style upgrade.

  24. I’ve been doing this for years! Really strict diet, running, weightlifting, but would always have my wine and a few too many on the weekends. I’m happy to say I’m 2 weeks sober and feel amazing and now I’ll be able to maximize my potential and really see all my efforts.

  25. It is reassuring to know that I am not alone! I see it as a complete waste of my life! I life a healthy life, eat well, swim and run daily and also attend yoga and body pump. How can an educated person like me who takes good care of how she looks on the inside totally ignore what is going on inside! I really wish I had never started as I will never get back to the healthy state of non- drinkers. I know it’s on the school curriculum but it is in so many other places…see how many “Chick-Lit” books have alcohol in them….and very rarely do the characters suffer remorse, hangovers or say they want a soft drink instead. Although it’s good so see I am not alone….it is also very sad…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most recent

dangers main-min
The Dangers Of Alcohol (And Why We Ignore Them)
Have you ever wondered why you’re super health conscious in some areas of life… and yet when it comes to the dangers of drinking alcohol, you tend to gloss over the risks? Back in my drinking days, I’d carefully read the back of food packets and avoid...
Read More
Anxiety main-min
How Does Alcohol Affect Anxiety?
If you’ve ever struggled with anxiety, you’ll know the feeling of relief that comes from opening a bottle at the end of the day. As you sit there, glass in hand, it can really seem as if alcohol helps you unwind. It seems as if booze is melting that...
Read More
social media main-min
Is Social Media Sabotaging Your Sobriety?
Have you ever noticed that whenever you’re trying to be good and not drink, social media suddenly seems full of boozy pictures? 🙄 Your best friend is posting pretty pictures of cocktails… 🍸 Someone else is sharing wine o’clock memes…...
Read More

Enter your name and email below to download your free Wine O’Clock Survival Guide

As well as the guide, we’ll also send you helpful and inspiring weekly emails with free resources, tips & advice, plus details of our awesome products and services. We’ll take care of your data in accordance with our privacy policy and you can unsubscribe at any time.