What I learned not drinking for two years
Andy Boyle

Great stuff, well done, an inspirational story and one that definitely needs to be out there, particularly in front of ‘kids’. I was nothing like the drinker you were, mostly weekends, parties etc — no more, certainly not at the moment. I was putting on weight, eating too much, not exercising enough (light cycling), enjoying my wine and whiskey, in a negative frame of mind bla bla bla. Decided to run, which was anathema to me! Went from barely being able to run to running now 4 x per week, about 5 miles each run. Food — I’ve cut out the ‘crap’, the basic carbs, the white bread is brown, the pasta is whole grain, no cakes, biscuits etc, lost about 35lbs, dropped from 36" waist to 32"….

Why did I drop the alcohol? I guess part of the cleaning up, eat better, exercise, no alcohol, get into a positive frame of mind, just do what I can to feel better about myself, to get a grip. I like to be in control of what I do and what I say….I wasn’t one for getting rat-arsed but a few drinks and I started to talk nonsense and, later, the “Oh, no, why did I say that?” recriminations…The bottom line is that I prefer this ‘me’. I might go back to allowing myself the odd drink, a single glass of wine with a meal, one whiskey at a party, I don’t know but, for now, I like where I’m at.

Eating too much, not exercising, drinking, it all conspires to move you from a positive to a negative mental state, it distances you from your core. My guess is that a lot of the people who get at you for not drinking are, perhaps even subconsciously, envious of you, it throws a spotlight on their own weaknesses and deficiencies and if the guy I am at parties, the non-drinker, is a little less animated, not quite as much ‘fun’ (in the eyes of others), not quite as uninhibited, well so-be-it — this is me, the other guy wasn’t me and if people don’t like me the way I really am, ‘bye bye’.

It’s about getting a grip, getting yourself into good physical but, just as importantly, good mental shape so that you can genuinely live life to the max.

Well done. Respect!