Hearing the stories of people who have walked a similar path to the one that you’ve walked and arrived at a similar destination – or at the destination you want to arrive at – can be powerful. Today’s episode of the One Year No Beer podcast is with another One Year No Beer member, Gary Allen.
Gary says that his relationship with alcohol was a typical one. He was born in a rural background and had a happy childhood, but he was also born with Spina Bifida, which caused him to spend some weeks or months in the hospital while he was growing up. He enjoyed English in school and focused on computer programming in college. He says that he was a late bloomer when it came to drinking, in that he didn’t start until he was 18.
“I decided, no. I’ve had enough for a while. I’m going to take a break.”
Gary explains that he had always been a bit shy, and alcohol helped him feel more comfortable in social situations, so he continued drinking. He met his wife and got married in his late 20s, and it was his wife who first came across One Year No Beer. Gary didn’t think much about it at first, but eventually, he decided that he’d had enough drinking. He found that he’d lost interest in things that he previously enjoyed, like reading, personal development, and writing. He felt apathetic and decided that taking a break from alcohol might be the answer. He joined One Year No Beer about 18 months ago, on August 25th, 2017.
Gary’s alcohol-free journey wasn’t without obstacles. He had 42 days alcohol-free when he went on vacation, and his vacation was not alcohol-free. Once he returned from vacation, he had stretches of 10 or 15 days without returning to it. He decided to stop for good around New Year’s Day, but only after another vacation. So on January 29th, 2018, he began working on a 365-day challenge in earnest. He got involved in the Facebook group and also did a Mastermind.
Gary says that support from his wife was key to sticking with his challenge. He also says that it’s helped to find some non-alcoholic beers that he enjoys. Gary has seen some big changes since going alcohol-free. He’s lost weight, spends more time in the gym, and wakes up feeling more energized and motivated. He also says that it’s easier to get more done and that he feels more mental clarity. He also says that he’s planning to participate in a Spartan race next May.
Gary says that his experience with a Mastermind group was brilliant. He especially enjoyed the weekly coaching calls and the friends that he made in the group. He says that his Mastermind group is still ongoing and that he’s made lifelong friends in that group.
Gary is looking forward to the future. He’ll hit his 365 days in January and intends to keep the streak going. He says that he won’t say he’ll never have a drink again, but that there are no more hangovers in his future. He continues to enjoy his job in computer programming, his writing, and he’s also found a passion for coaching. Gary says that whatever his future holds, One Year No Beer will be a part of it.
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