I’m a very busy, committed, passionate, determined business owner. The rollercoaster of life has been enormous. I used white wine to celebrate with, commiserate with, socialise with and deal with the intricacies of life and business. I just loved a chilled glass or bottle of Prosecco or white wine. I know when I had a glass, I was relaxed and would not touch a work email or work issue. It was my off switch. I would get up insanely early every day in the working week and work hard.
I was due to go out with friends on a Friday evening and I cancelled and told them I was too tired and had too hard a week. I had a bath and drank a bottle of Prosecco. It took the edge off and was my relax time. The next morning I woke up and didn’t go for my run. Instead, I lay in bed, had a few cups of tea and was a bit fuzzy. I watched BBC breakfast and Ruari and Andy were sat on the sofa chatting. I was really moved by it all and wanted to see if I could complete the challenge.
The only reason I didn’t continue with it on my first attempt was because I had met my new partner and he wanted me to join him at the pub (which was next door to my cottage). I started to drink intermittently and guess what? Moderating led me to drinking again in all situations. I was out for dinner with my mum (who had done the 28 day challenge with me but she continued on for over a year) and she told me she couldn’t image ever drinking again and actually hated the smell of alcohol now.
I wondered if that could happen for me.
I decided that I would be my last drink. I was going to go AF permanently, because; 1) I love my sleep, and needed it more than ever to get even more stuff done. 2) I wanted to be the healthiest version of me and attending weight watchers, I wanted to continue losing weight and being active, which was all being sabotaged by wine. 3) I wanted to be present at all times, in all situations, not affected by alcohol. 4) I wanted to test myself and get rid of the alcohol that society accepted as a norm.
Of course the first few days were hard.
But they were incredible. It was strange to experience so many stages of alcohol leaving the human body. I loved achieving the goal, and my second attempt was motivated by the knowledge of how great I would feel. I knew I could do it and I was happy to achieve this new AF life. That was the difference – I knew I was going to be AF forever not just for the challenge. I had read in the groups that the magic happens between 60 and 90 days. And it did! Something happens and all of a sudden it’s no longer an important aspect of your life.
Alcohol is no longer important.
After that, any temptation or passing thought just needs to be countered with why you started this in the first place. It’s amazing, no more hangovers, ever! No more wasted time, you feel great, quality sleep, unbelievable focus and energy. This time has been easy. I’m happy.
I have learned what I loved about alcohol – it wasn’t the feeling alcohol gave me, it was the signal that it was the end of the day. It was a cold, crystal glass filled with chilled tasty substances I loved. I have found alcohol-free Prosecco that gives me the same feeling. The alcohol isn’t important. I have lost a further stone in weight and run so much better. My total weight loss is now 3 stone. My skin is amazing, my stomach is never bloated and I have tonnes of energy.
The OYNB Facebook group absolutely kept me going and provided me with many snippets of outstanding advice. I really feel like I am living my best life now. I hope my journey inspires just one other person.
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.
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