There is no doubt that women have trebled their drinking capacity in the last forty years. It is one of the main reasons there is such an obesity epidemic in women….!
In the 1940′s and 1950′s women and drink were rare companions. Quite simply, first and foremost, women found it difficult to get their hands on it even if they fancied a tipple. Drinking tea, was most womens drink of the day in the U.K.
It was the men who did the drinking and this was done in the pub on the way home from work and on Sundays. Women might get a glass of alcohol as a guest at a wedding and at Christmas a small sweet sherry or port and lemon was acceptable.
In the 60′s the tipple of choice was then expanded to include a cherry B ( lovely! ) or a babysham being the hight of sophistication.
Women going to the pub without a man was not allowed and you would definitely have been seen as a loose woman of dubious character or worse a gin drinking alcoholic. No respectable woman would be seen going to the pub. Later in the 50′s a special room called the ‘snug’ meant that women could sit together in a small enclosed space away from the men’s domain of the bar, to gossip and maybe have a half of shandy, port and lemon or glass of stout which was thought to be a ‘tonic’ and therefore respectable…!
Eventually…the ‘outdoor’ came into being, which consisted of a small hidden side door with a small hatch where kids could buy pop and women, now starting to get a taste for the relaxing affects of of alcohol could slip in surreptitiously to purchase some ‘barrel’ port or sherry in a bottle you recycled each time you went. The wine was cheap, and many working class mums took to buying it. Children were allowed to recycle pop bottles for threepence and would often use the money to buy sweets.
Then supermarkets opened up in every town and city and a license to sell liquor was given to the shops to sell alcohol of all varieties and that changed everything. It wasn’t too long before we could match the men drink for drink.
Like most big events in history, it is several small catalistic events that happen around the same time period which brings a major change in behavior.
Most women were working in the late 1960′s and therefor had there own money. Emancipation of women was slowly coming to a head and equality was the new buzz word. Germain Greer was speaking out for equality for women in her books, and of course the swinging 60′s was the era of sexual liberation. Songs, films and books were showing women as independent strong people in their own right. Equal pay for women was being discussed. Films and advertisements on T.V were now promoting smoking and drinking not just to men but to women as well. If you smoked the ‘right cigarette and drank the ‘right’ kind of alcohol you were seen as sophisticated, like the stars of the day.
Life was still physically very hard for women at this time and it wasn’t really until the advent of the home brew of beer and wine which almost every householder took to doing in the 70′s that drinking at home became acceptable. We were all turning our peas and parsnips into wine and buying off the peg beer making kits to make home brew. The mini explosions that happened all over the country from demi-jons erupting was very much the norm..
The supermarkets grew bigger and like everything else they wanted this very lucrative market for themselves. Knowing the nation had a taste for cheap wine and beer they cut out the middle man..ourselves..and gave us what we wanted which was cheap plonk and beer. We could now buy this with the bread and soap powder and no one batted an eye lid. Cheap as chips booze. That was the nations and particularly women’s undoing….
In my previous post I spoke about the calories in a bottle of wine equal to several slices of cake. Now we were eating our cake and drinking it as well…..! No wonder we have huge weight problem particularly in the U.K. No-one these days says ..why don’t you pop over for a cup of tea..? It is… why don’t you pop over for a wine or three…?
We have labour saving devices these days and our lives are not as physically demanding, but there is no denying we are all a lot more stressed than we were then. Stress makes you fat. Not moving enough makes you fat. Processed foods with all the chemicals and preservatives make you fat. We are trapped in our present day life style and it isn’t easy for anyone of us these days to free themselves. Modern day lifestyles are killing us. We are brainwashed into making the wrong choices daily. We use alcohol to have fun sometimes, but I would stick my neck out and say that most women to- day, drink too much alcohol to numb themselves from depression and stress.
Dealing with our stress is vital and developing coping strategies is also important. Gaining more and more weight due to wrong food choices and drinking too much alcohol makes us ill and depressed. We feel and look awful..we don’t like how we feel about ourselves and we want rid of these horrid feelings. And so the cycle re-starts..
Personally I have had to come up with strategies which I mentioned in a previous post, and I will share some of my other devious ways to stay the drinking and of course the eating as well.. As I think of more, and I am all ways looking for ways to reduce my calorie intake with out feeling deprived, I will add them to this list to help you.
Here are my latest five strategies…..
(1) I have found a very small glass. It is pretty and holds no more than 2 ozs of wine. I pour myself a glass of wine in this tiny glass. The rest of the bottle is put away.
(2) I do not drink until my dinner is ready. When I am just about to dish up, I pour my wine. Eating can very often dissolve the need for a drink. Advice out there is that one should drink a glass of water when you feel hungry as it is probably really thirst you need to address. I think sometimes we need to eat when we feel the desire for alcohol. I rarely want to drink alcohol after I have eaten.
(3) Never ever pour a drink until after 6.p.m in the evening…later if you do not eat until 7.pm.
(4) Buy one very good quality bottle of wine. Don’t buy cheap rubbish as you will drink more of it and not treat it as the… well….treat it should be.
(5) Have at least two, preferable three, alcohol free days a week. In my last post I explained that I was cutting out all alcohol in the week but then drinking a weeks quota in a two day spree. That’s not good either…a binge drinker…tish!
I have now changed to drinking one, 2 ozs of good quality wine most days….not every day, but it is my little treat when I arrive home late each night from teaching. I sip it slowly and enjoy it. It can be done.
By making these little changes I feel I am getting my health back slowly but surely. I feel more in control of my eating. By controlling my alcohol intake I have found that I have full power over my eating as well. My over drinking at the weekend would always make me weak with food choices. I would want salty crisps and lots of cheese or chocolate. This way I am in control. It’s a good feeling….
Until next time