When was the last time you were sober for a month? Completely alcohol-free? Maybe when you were really young – 14? 15? Boozing is so imprinted in our society that by the time we are teenagers, we’re using this drug regularly, and we’ll likely keep using alcohol for the rest of our lives. Never sober. So we will never know how much wellness and energy booze steals from us because we’re never ‘off it’ for any period of time.
In 2015, Professor Kevin Moore of the Royal Free Hospital in London, co-authored one of the largest ever sober studies, looking into the effects of a four-week break from alcohol. Those who took part were ‘normal drinkers’ by average standards. Not bingers. Not exceeding the recommended levels very often. They were taking part in the Dry January sober campaign and the results of their four-week break from alcohol were mind-blowing. Who knew mild drinkers would see such change.
Imagine the impact on a big boozer?
SOBER FOR FOUR WEEKS – STAGGERING RESULTS
By the end, all had:
Lost an average of 40% of their liver fat
Lost 3kg in weight
Had significantly reduced their cholesterol and glucose levels
Experienced improved energy, sleep and a general sense of mood and well-being
SOBER IS THE NEW ‘WONDER DRUG'
If there was a pill that could produce all that in a month, it would be hailed a ‘wonder drug' and a billion-pound industry would grow around it!
It’s crazy really – we create these lifestyles of bad diet and alcohol, lack of sleep and exercise – feel wrecked – then take lots of meds to feel better.
We had some good times in our drinking days, and we’re certainly not here to judge. But eventually, we got sick of feeling crap. Of hangovers. Of the low mood and anxiety that came with the hangovers. Of time wasted feeling like hell lying on the sofa at the weekend. Of spouses and kids fed up with us.
So we tried a bit of time off the booze and fell in love with being sober, and fell in love with life again!
GO SOBER FOR OCTOBER
The perfect opportunity is around the corner – GO SOBER FOR OCTOBER. You could benefit MacMillan Cancer research with a bit of fundraising and bring untold benefits to your own life in the process.
If you suspect alcohol is holding you back somehow, then take a 28-day alcohol-free challenge with OYNB. Go on an adventure with life, and discover how bloody good you can feel sober. Put alcohol in it’s place and take control of your body and life.
WHAT YOU'LL GAIN BY GOING SOBER
Renewed motivation for exercise and healthy eating
Improved moods and sleep
Improved sex drive
Money in your pocket
A sense of hope and happiness that you didn’t know was missing until it arrived!
And so much more…
HOW TO DO ‘SOBER'
* There will be easy days & harder days – accept that
* Keep yourself ‘full’. If you are craving food you may think you are craving alcohol. A bite to eat and soft drink will curb most cravings too
* Cravings don’t last. They peak at about 20 minutes then fade. Just try to get through the hour and distract yourself
* Distraction can be anything – a walk, exercise class, an overdue phone call to your mum, going through your wardrobe and organising, cooking a meal, reading a book, mindful colouring, painting a room, a bath or shower. Whatever gets you through will do
* Practise deep breathing exercises – you used to numb out with alcohol, so you'll want to discover other ways to achieve calm
* Download some apps to try meditation, breathing and counting sober day
* Work out your weekly booze spend, then how much going sober saves you £££ – got to be £200-£400. Imagine that x12 over a year!
* Take up a physical challenge – get on a couch-to-5k program, or join a gym, triathlon club – something to push and reward yourself with
* Drink plenty of water or squash each day
* Chew gum – mint often kills cravings
* Keep busy or go to bed early – whichever works. Experiment
* Take some gentle exercise every day – try tai chi, yoga, Pilates, stretching, swimming or walking. It will improve mood and help you relax (where you used alcohol before). Of course, exercise keeps your serotonin levels up for some time afterwards (unlike alcohol that is a depressant) – so better all round
Go on – do it. You won’t regret it
An entrepreneur and former senior oil broker, Ruari gave up drinking after excessive consumption almost cost him his marriage, and worse, his life. Going alcohol-free improved his relationships, career and energy levels, leading to him founding OYNB to provide a support network for others.