A few glasses of wine during the week after work to relax. Some beer on the weekends with friends. A few drinks when celebrating birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and watching football games.
On March 10, 2010, I went for a ‘hangover breakfast’ at the International House of Pancakes (IHOP), after a fun night at the South by Southwest festival.
I felt rock bottom so made the instant decision to go 30 days alcohol-free: a personal bet to test my self-discipline.
The first two weeks were hard. When I went out with friends and ordered water, they gave me a hard time. “You’re un-Australian!” they’d say.
After 30 days, I’d lost an incredible 13lbs (5.9kg) of fat around my stomach. Just from stopping drinking.
I had more money in the bank. My skin looked considerably better, and I enjoyed getting out of bed for early morning exercise.
“Bugger it. I feel great," I said to myself. "Just keep going and see how far you can go.” Little did I know just how far I would go.
After 60 days, I craved a cold beer. Or a red wine. Or a Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic with a dash of lime.
When it was hot outside, I started dreaming, “I could smash a cold beer right now!” But I breathed deeply, downed some water, and the feeling passed.
After three months, I felt terrific. I’d dropped a few more pounds of fat and started to put on lean muscle in the gym. People complimented me on how good I looked.
Despite not drinking, I still managed to have wildly entertaining nights out – even with my drunken friends slurring their words around me.
I could still burn the midnight oil until 5 am but didn’t want…
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