We love hearing stories about how you quit booze and Lou's share is no different. We hope you enjoy the read and get inspired to live the life you want to live!
I joined the OYNB group on the 4th of January 2016.
My initial thought was to do ‘Dry January' after having a pretty boozy Christmas and New Year, but after reading a lot of the information given once I had registered with OYNB (and also after noting down one or two other New Year’s resolutions), I decided to push myself and go for a nice even 100 days booze free.
My willpower for anything is generally completely hopeless. I have been on countless diets, tried giving up alcohol and various other things before, but to no avail. I have always slipped back into my old habits and also managed to justify it to myself.
However, this year is proving to be a little different, as I am now at 90 days completely alcohol free. Not a drop has passed my lips and I am absolutely DELIGHTED that I have managed to come this far and really stuck with it!
My drinking habit before was a daily occurrence, rather than the binge drinking at weekends. I looked at it as an end of day treat after a long day at work and really looked forward to the large glass of wine in the evening. Although, I was beginning to find that one large glass was turning in to 2, then 3 and before I knew it I’d had the whole bottle. Really not good, as this was happening every other day. I don't even like to think of the amount of calories a week that would have been….!
The decision to start a journey like this is EASY
It's actually the doing part that is always so up and down. For me, the first few weeks were probably the hardest. I would have constant battles with myself not to go and nip to the shops to buy a bottle, and coming straight out of the festive season this was a difficult habit to break. I was always very guilty of using the phrase ‘I'll start again on Monday'!
But, I was looking and feeling rubbish. I felt lethargic, I had put on even more weight, I looked puffy, had low energy and there was a definite effect on my mood and mindset. I really needed this to change.
To help myself succumbing to these cravings, I just kept myself very busy to help take my mind off it. My flat has never been so clean. I would go for a drive, long walks, paint my nails, catch up with emails etc. etc. – anything to keep me busy for the first little while. Being organised with other things in the house to drink is also key. I have a lovely selection of herbal teas, bottles of water and other nice juices in the fridge, smoothies, tea and coffee! I also hired myself a treadmill, so have started running about 4 times a week, which also helps prevent me reaching for the cork screw. 🙂
As time went on, that's when I started to really notice the benefits of no longer having alcohol. To name a few: I'm sleeping better, I have so much more energy, I am up at the crack of dawn (which is now my favourite time of the day), I feel like I'm more productive with my time, I'm saving money, my skin is clearer and I feel like I have a much more positive attitude…I could go on!
I think the main benefit for me, though, has been the weight loss. I am almost 2 stone lighter than I was when I started and I know that OYNB has been the main reason for this. No wine has meant no crisps, dips and snacks, and no hangovers has meant no munchies and dialling out for the obligatory take away. So it looks as though I might be keeping most of my resolutions this year, and at 37 years old it's really about time!
Nights out and social situations can sometimes be a little tricky. I try and plan before hand what my non alcoholic drink of choice will be for the evening and stick to it. I have been pleasantly surprised at the reaction when telling people that I'm off the booze. I'm lucky that most of my friends have young families now, so heavy drinking has been off the cards for a wee while. At first, the reaction is surprise, or ‘I could never do that' – but then, once I explain the benefits and the whole concept of OYNB, and how it has had such a positive effect on me, I am met with interest, understanding and encouragement. I've had people saying they feel ‘inspired' by the fact that I have managed to do 90 days and how easy I have made it seem to them. So that's always lovely to hear!
I would 100% encourage anyone who is thinking of giving this a go to most definitely do it. Decide on a day to start and just go for it. It's been one of the most rewarding things I think I have ever done. The support that you receive from the team at OYNB is endless and to be able to login to your own personal profile and see all the other people worldwide who are taking part in the same experience, is amazing. Everyone has their own story and reason for doing it and it gives you the extra boost to keep going.
It has been an education for me. It has completely changed my relationship with alcohol and broken many a bad habit which I have never been able to do before. When you spend so long getting all the toxins out of your body, you’re in no hurry to put them back in again. I might be on 90 days, but I'm certainly not doing the countdown to when I can drink again – I don't want to ruin all of this hard work 🙂 And I'm feeling great!
I wish Ruari, Andy and the OYNB team all the very best with this venture! I've really enjoyed it and I still am … xxx
Loving life & not missing the booze one little bit. Woke up at 6am each morning this week to run & I’ve started a beginners meditation course. Something I’ve wanted to try since… Forever. I have an upcoming night out that I’m not even worrying about because I feel strong enough to not have a drink (I’ll be doubly prepared just in case). So glad to finally have made this positive change. Love reading everyone’s stories, the continuous support and daily ‘affirmations’. Thanks OYNB & troops! – Loren