Work hard, play hard has always been the way forward for me. Rugby season being in full flow, beers after games, after gym sessions, after a hard day at work – all leading to week in and week out going by in a blur. The joke being going to gym to maintain status quo with the booze, I was certainly kidding myself as I was losing the battle of the bulge.

I wasn't really present at weekends when I saw my kids, and I was quite happy for them to do their own thing. If they had settled in front of the TV for the evening I would happily pop out to the pub…(kids 12 and 16). If I look back, I don’t think I have had more than a 7 day stretch of not drinking since I was 14. I was happily drinking at least 4 pints a night, some wine and God know how much on the weekends.

I needed a change

My partner and I went away for our first trip together without the boys and it was almost ruined as we narrowly avoided missing the flight because we got wasted the night before. Waking up after a session in December, both of us disorientated and a mess. More and more I just couldn’t remember the night before. Safe to say enough was enough.

Facebook had been sending hints to try OYNB. So the plan was simple. On January 1st, on the wagon I go. My partner decided she would join me. Because I had seen so many manage Dry Jan, I felt I would need to go for the longer 90 day challenge. I signed up and my partner bought the book. Brace yourself for the bright new world – let's see what the fuss about giving up alcohol is…

My OYNB experience

I spent the first couple of weeks reading the various bits of recommended literature, reading and writing the odd comment in the OYNB Challengers FB Group. OYNB outlined the journey in the daily emails and gave me the insight to each step of the process would help me change my habits. I was given a plan for other productive activities I could focus on other than the booze. The biggest and quickest change was the clarity that alcohol-free brought to the party, the clear head in the morning although I did find I would feel dog tired from rubbish sleep at the beginning of my challenge. I wanted to spend time with the boys and appreciate them, it is heart wrenching the amount of time I have wasted with booze.

Since joining OYNB, I have lost 10kg in weight, my jeans used to be 32” but they are now down to 29”. Energy levels are through the roof! This year I have already done just shy of 800km, running a half marathon in 1:36:29 and a full marathon in 3:45:10. My output at work is awesome and I am much more engaged with the team. I love the OYNB Challengers Facebook group and all the support people give each other, I read comments daily although I don't post too much about my achievements.

What's my plan?

I set out to reset my relationship with the booze rather than to cut it out completely. Will I drink again? Never say never, but I am sure I have the ability to take it or leave it. Saying that, why would I want to dull the experience of life with alcohol? Out and about with the rugby crowd, a beer would be grand to take the edge off, but after a while “WTF am I still out for, as much as I love these idiots, I am now good to go home”.

Going home is awesome!!!


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