Associate Professor Chris Milross does Dry July for Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

I started Dry July a week early! That makes today Day 16…. and I definitely am counting days! “Going without” has been just as challenging as I had imagined that it might be.

As an Oncologist I love my job. Each day I am blessed to share deeply felt personal moments with my patients. It should not come as a surprise that many of these shared moments are positive powerful and uplifting.

Unfortunately however there are also moments of sadness that have an equally profound impact. And I will admit that some days when I get home I have “no words left” and frankly I need a drink.

One reason I started Dry July a week early because I am also participating in a seven week weight loss and fitness program, I knew from keeping a food diary that my biggest source of luxury calories came through my alcohol intake, and so I thought that by participating in Dry July I could “kill two birds with one stone” as it were.  My choice to participate however was also influenced by my realisation that it was possible that I was using alcohol as an emotional crutch. And so I was curious to see if the habit could be easily broken.

It turns out that it is not all that easy to break the habit. While I have definitely lost the weight, I can’t say that I have necessarily slept better or felt better. That being said I am developing an increasing sense of pride in my achievement so far and a level of comfort around the notion that I actually am in control of my alcohol intake. And I have lost some weight too!

For the rest of the month, to manage the struggle and to help me achieve my goal, I am going to concentrate on, and celebrate the wonderful successes of my patients.

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Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

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