1. Cutting alcohol out of your life helps build your self-esteem; never doing or saying things that you will later regret is a brilliant way of feeling back in control of your life, thus boosting your self-confidence.
2. When you drink every night, you lose vast swathes of time – if you have your first glass at 7 pm and continue to sip away all night until 11 pm, then over a week you’ll have waved goodbye to almost 30 hours of spare time which could have been put to good use.
3. Alcohol is no friend to your looks – within days of quitting drinking you’ll have brighter eyes, healthier looking skin and will notice a reduction in facial puffiness.
4. One bottle of wine contains between 600 and 700 calories; that’s equivalent to three Cornetto ice creams, or an extra evening meal on top of the dinner you’ve already scoffed! Maintaining weight is much easier for those who don’t drink alcohol.
5. I stopped drinking three and a half years ago, and in that time I estimate that I’ve saved approximately £15,000 (the sum total of money I would have wasted on wine, fags, and taxis – the price of a car). Instead, I have been able to buy lots of lovely stuff that I can actually remember and appreciate for days, months or years after making the purchase!
6. Since I was a child I always wanted to be a writer but never managed to get more than a couple of chapters down in my drinking days. Just a couple of years after becoming teetotal I had three books published (The Sober Revolution and Your 6 Week Plan, co-written with Sarah Turner, and Glass Half Full), and my fourth is due out this autumn. I can now demonstrate dedication and commitment – qualities that perennially escaped me as a boozer.
7. Categorically I am a MUCH better parent as a non-drinker – end of story.
8. Depression, anxiety and panic attacks are all a (horrible) distant memory – since eradicating booze from my life I generally feel optimistic and happy, and the mood swings have disappeared for good.
9. Drinking regularly and heavily prevented me from seeing how big the world is, and how much there is to explore within it – as a non-drinker I get to feel the magic of life untainted by booze, and my horizons have stretched massively.
10. Embarking on an alcohol-free life has opened up the door to self-discovery; I have found out more about the person I am in the three and a half years since I quit drinking than I did in any of the previous thirty five years of my life.