How much were you drinking and what problems was it causing?
When I reached out to Sandra, I was drinking a bottle of red wine on a daily basis and had been for a couple of months. During this period of time, I gained about a stone in weight as my daily drinking habit triggered bad food choices and I would often consume a bar of chocolate and a bag of popcorn along with the wine. It was like I just didn’t care how many calories I consumed but I always regretted it the next day. I would wake up, often way past the alarm, after a broken night’s sleep feeling sluggish and full of regret. I’d spend the day full of guilt only to repeat the same habits over and over again.
What was the key reason you wanted to change- what motivated you?
I soon realised that I had lost control with alcohol over a very short period of time and I was well aware of the vicious cycle I was in. I had stopped drinking before for 14 months and I knew that I couldn’t do this on my own and that time, I needed to do it properly and get this poison out of my life for life.
How did you discover me?
I came across Sandra on Facebook. She popped up on my newsfeed one day and I was intrigued by what she had to say about Annie Grace and The Naked Mind. These were materials that I have used before on my previous alcohol free journey but I knew this time, I couldn’t do it alone and I needed some expert support and a group of likeminded women who were in the same situation as me.
Were you sceptical this method would work?
I never really felt sceptical that this method would work but I was unsure as to whether I would be successful or not. I wasn’t sure at first if I was in the right mindset and this lasted for the first few weeks but by sticking with it, working through the materials, engaging with both Sandra and the group, my mindset changed and it became easier as I went along.
You have been alcohol free before, what feels different this time?
Being Alcohol Free (AF) now compared to when I was before feels similar but different at the same time. The benefits are the same including increased clarity, less inflamation (particularly puffiness in the face, weight-loss, improved efficiencies and effectiveness and reduced anxiety and depression. The difference is that when I previously was AF, I spent my whole time questioning whether it would be final or not and wondering if I wanted it to be final so much so that eventually, I started to drink small accounts which very quickly crept up to a daily habit in a matter of weeks. Another difference is that I have gone into this sobriety more prepared by using the materials provided in this challenge so that when I came to the 30 day experiment, I was more than ready for it. It feels final this time and if I do decide to consider drinking again, I have some strategies that I can use before I rush into any decisions.
What amazing results did you get?
Since joining the challenge, I have lost almost a stone in weight and alot of people have commented on my weight loss but particularly the weight loss in my face. I feel in control again – I don’t think about alcohol every day like I did before. I have enjoyed recent social events being AF, the company I am in and when I tire of it (usually as the level of drunkenness increases and people start to change for the worse) I can choose to leave, get myself home safely and enjoy waking up with a clear head the next day.
What impact has it made to your relationship with your family?
My relationship with both my husband and my children have improved since starting the programme. I am more available to them in the evenings after work rather than just zoning out in front of the TV with a bottle. I am more tolerant of my children and am enjoying spending time with them. I find that I am making more of an effort with my friends as I enjoy going out and socialising whilst being AF whereas before, I tended to like drinking wine on my own at home.
What would you say to someone thinking of signing up to work with me?
If you are thinking about signing up with Sandra, don’t have reservations about it, just do it. It doesn’t matter what part of the programme you’re on, she is always there to support you every step of the way. If you’re struggling then she’s got a strategy that you can put in place to help you work through it. She really listens to everything you say in both the group calls and individual calls and reflects on your progress from one stage to the next. She provides thought-provoking questions that make you ‘dig deep’ into your reasons for the choices you make, providing you with a level of challenge but in a supportive and constructive way. The relationships formed within the group are really positive and supportive. All the women in the group are at different stages of their individual journey so there is always someone further on in the programme than you and someone who is not as far as you. This means that you can alway draw on the support of others and also be a support to others. There is an opportunity to share funny moments of your pre-AF lifestyle and current AF journey. You also get ideas for AF drinks and reading materials, podcasts and a vast range of materials to support your journey. In fact, by the time you reach the end of the 30 day experiment, you feel really confident that you are ready to embrace a lifetime of enjoyable sobriety as opposed to just being relieved that the 30 days are over.
I couldn’t recommend this program enough and am so thankful to Sandra and the amazing work she does. Thank you Sandra!