I expected to feel better, but I had no idea HOW much better I would feel almost immediately.

Life before OYNB had been a gradual increase of drinking over the course of many years. I had been conditioned to believe that alcohol equalled FUN. And without alcohol, I couldn’t have fun and wouldn’t be fun. It was my sister who first found OYNB and she began to share with me all the benefits she learned about going AF. But I still wasn’t ready.

The pandemic struck, I completely let it all go. I had no limits, no boundaries for when or how much was ok to drink. I had a close call drinking and driving, I also engaged in some other risky behaviours. And as a mother to two small children, deep down I knew I couldn’t continue living that way.


I was a yoga teacher. I was teaching people about mindfulness and wellness, and I wasn’t even practicing respect for my body. I felt fraudulent. Finally, the last night before I began my challenge, I drank maybe 2 bottles of wine, blacked out, got sick and woke up the next day a mess. My spouse asked me why I felt I needed to drink that way. I had no answer.

So, I dove in

I began with just the 28-day challenge. The timing couldn’t have been better, because I was about to find out that he and I had fallen pregnant a few weeks before!

I needed this challenge to work for so many reasons. I expected to feel better, but I had no idea HOW much better I would feel almost immediately. I was hoping to achieve a more authentic life. One where I wasn’t just talking about mindfulness and wellness, but where I was living it too.

My experience going alcohol-free

I had the expected difficulties. I felt triggered when cooking, I felt triggered when bored. I felt triggered when parenting was frustrating. But I rode those moments out and stayed true to myself. I even went on a long weekend away with my husband and stayed strong. I had the added motivation of my pregnancy, but this time, sobriety was about MORE than just my growing baby. It was about ME. It was about MY health. That was a big surprise.

I think the biggest lesson is that once you give up alcohol, you realise how very useless it is. It solves nothing. It only creates anxiety and problems. Granted, my drinking had gotten seriously out of hand. But still, the truth remains that alcohol is terrible for your health.

My alcohol-free gains

After stopping drinking, my energy is significantly better, and I have more patience when parenting. My skin has definitely improved, and most of all, my mental health is so much better. Now that I am living this way, in a way that is authentic and healthy, I find my anxiety is much reduced. I feel more peaceful. I feel stronger too, knowing I have achieved something so challenging that most people don’t consider or don’t try.

The OYNB challenge

The daily emails were amazing, and still are. But particularly at the beginning of the challenge. When I started to deal with my anxiety a few years back, I started journaling. OYNB encourages a lot of self-reflection and journaling, and that was wonderful for me. The videos reminding me of all the benefits to what I was working toward kept me on the path.

And of course, most of all, the Facebook community. To know how many people were like me, to know how many people were struggling made me feel much more supported and much less alone. Everyone treated me kindly and gave me their support. And they still do! I never felt ashamed in the group. And that was huge as well. Because shame could send me right back to that wine bottle. But instead, I let the group lift me up and I lift them up in return.

What next?

I am day 93 of 365 and I certainly feel a behavioural change. I don’t have the cravings nearly as often. I know better than ever the benefits of this lifestyle. I will have my baby in early August and will then still have 2 months left to being officially one year without beer. I hope to continue my challenge and get to the year milestone. Then I guess I will see how I choose to proceed. Perhaps moderation, perhaps not. But I don’t have to decide that now. I am mostly wanting to be my BEST self for my children. I want to remember bedtimes and story times. I want to show them how good it is to be healthy and inspire them.

I would absolutely 100% recommend OYNB

I cannot recommend it enough. And for ANYONE at any stage of drinking. That’s what is so neat about this group and this challenge. Some folks are occasional drinkers who simply wish to take a break. Others are more long term drinkers. But EVERYONE who chooses this challenge does so with the goal to improve their lives and to be healthier. It’s simply the best thing I could have done for myself and I cannot recommend it enough.


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