I was due to run the London Marathon on 28th April 2019. It got to March and although my training was going fine, I just felt like my performance on race day could benefit from me quitting the booze for a month leading up to the race. I am a fitness instructor and so I’m a fit and healthy person but wine is my vice. I can easily get through a bottle to myself if I’m up late responding to emails, or if it’s the weekend and I’m not teaching classes the next morning, my hubby and I might have G&T’s when the kids are in bed.
Party Girl At Heart
As a mum of two I don’t get to go out partying very often but I’m a party girl at heart and so when I do go out I really go for it – and usually overdo it! I had a few occasions lined up in April leading up to the marathon – hen do’s, meals out, birthdays etc. I was really worried that too much drinking at social occasions would affect my final weeks of training, especially as the runs started to get longer and the miles increased. I definitely needed to NOT be hungover to deal with those.
My OYNB Journey
My willpower isn’t great if I’m only accountable to myself, so after seeing an OYNB ad on Facebook I thought to myself, ‘I know, I’ll pay for the 28 day challenge and announce I’m doing it on social media – that way I HAVE to stick to it’. So that’s what I did. Going without booze for 28 days was actually tougher than I thought it would be. Midweek I was fine but the minute it got to Friday evening I was ready for a glass of wine, and that was hard! I never thought of myself as someone who relied on booze, but going without on a Friday and Saturday night made me realise the habits I’ve formed over the years – it was a bit of a wake up call.
Finding AF Alternatives
I tried all the AF drinks I think I could find in Tesco – my new favourite is the alcohol free G&T’s and the 0% beers. Wine isn’t quite the same AF but I was happy to substitute with beer. I even surprised myself when my hubby and I went out for a meal with our friends and I DROVE to the pub! Not drinking at a meal out would have been unheard of before I took the OYNB challenge. I learned that is possible to go out and have a good time without drinking all the wine!
The biggest benefit I experienced was the improvement in my sleep patterns – I have a fitness tracker that tracks sleep and the stats show that I got a better night’s sleep during the challenge than I have in months. I found I had more energy for my runs and just in general felt more energised than I have for ages.
The best thing about OYNB is the OYNB Challengers Facebook group. There's all sorts of people on there with different stories and they all have their own reasons for being on a challenge, whether they’re doing it for their fitness like I was, or to combat a more serious dependency. I found the whole programme really interesting as rather than preaching, it simply sets out to help you change your relationship with alcohol, whether you want to quit for good or simply change your habits by doing a 28 day challenge then there’s something for everyone.
I am going to go on holiday at the end of the month and I want to put my newfound knowledge into practise. Usually on holiday I would drink every day but I don’t feel like I want to do that this time round as I’ve realised I don’t need to. I can see myself going for the 90-day challenge soon – I love a challenge!