Before joining OYNB I wasn't really aware of how frequent my drinking had become. It felt pretty standard to me. Drinking wine and cider every Friday and Saturday (and Sunday if it called for a lazy pint or two) and sometimes enjoying bottles of wine in the week with friends or just enjoying a few glasses at home. If I had a stressy day, drink. If I had a good day, drink. If I was catching up with friends, drink. Home alone and bored, drink. You get the idea. Any occasion was an occasion to drink.
After completing the initial 28 day challenge for the yearly ‘I-drank-too-much-over-christmas-so-I-need-a-break' stint, I immediately went back to binge drinking again. Despite what I had learnt, I put nothing into practice and went back to old habits. 28 days of not drinking clearly wasn't long enough to keep me away from booze! After 3 weeks of really over doing it I had an overwhelming need to re-evaluate my drinking and see if I really could change my habits and my lifestyle around booze.
I signed up for the 90-Day Challenge with a strong feeling that this was going to be a life changing decision. Don't get me wrong, I was terrified! 90 days NO booze?? Who was I kidding? I was the friend that got sent memes and gifs about wine and wine drinkers, usually photographed with a cider in my hand or chewing on a straw in a cocktail, the friend that wouldn't need to be asked if I wanted a small or a large glass of wine because of course, that's a stupid question right!
But, here I am
90 days later. 3 months, no blips, alcohol-free. It was without doubt one of the best things I have ever done for my mental and physical well being. I suffer badly with anxiety usually, I get tetchy and irritable super easily, but the last three months have been an eye opener and I've felt the calmest I have ever been since before I started drinking. I've learnt that I can manage my bouts of anxiety without having to reach for a drink by through talking things through, exercising, treating myself well, and above all giving things time to calm down from boiling point. Lo and behold, I didn't spontaneously combust from not having a drink!
My alcohol-free achievements
I've managed to complete three 5k park runs which I never would have thought I could do and I've signed up for the Great South Run. My relationship with my husband is better than it has ever been and our communication has become fantastic. I've lost 2 inches off my bust, 2.5 inches off my hips and 2.5 inches off my waist! I feel better than I can ever remember feeling. And I owe my strength and stamina to complete the challenge to my friends, my family, my husband and of course OYNB for giving me the platform and community I needed to get me through to the end.
I would recommend the 90 days challenge to anyone who might be thinking of changing their habits with their drinking but isn't sure where to start. Start now! Start today. There is nothing you will regret about taking on this challenge. You have everything to gain and so much more. It's the best decision I ever made for myself, and I am so grateful to have learnt so much alongside a community and a system that gives back so much love and encouragement to those who really want to change.