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Keep Calm Only 3 Days To GoAs I sit and write this there is approximately 75 hours left before my year without beer is complete. I last had an alcoholic drink on New Years Eve of last year and so the big question lots of people keep asking is what happens when Big Ben chimes and we enter 2013?

When I told my family I was planning my year without beer most of them laughed. Lots of people told me I wouldn’t last a month. Some were even surprised I got through the first week. Even my mum told me I couldn’t do it. I guess you could have described me as someone who ‘liked a drink’. Let’s face it, many of the British like a drink. Actually, let me correct that because when we talk about going for “a drink” it is never really about going for just one. I think what I should have said is that we British like to get drunk.

Drinking alcohol is embedded in British culture. We drink to celebrate good things. We drink to commiserate bad things. We “wet the baby’s head” when a new life starts and we raise a glass to absent friends as we remember those we have loved and lost. Put simply, we are a nation of drinkers.

This is despite the news reporting how deaths from liver disease have risen by 25% in less than a decade in England to reach record levels, heavy drinking is killing people ‘quicker than smoking’ and almost two million visits to A&E each year are due to alcohol-related illness and injury.

There have been many occasions during 2012 that would previously have included booze. This includes simple things like getting home from work on a Friday night and sitting down to unwind with my wife and a bottle of red wine to more specifically booze orientated events like going on a stag weekend. There have been good times, bad times, happy times and sad times. Frankly every possible excuse to throw in the towel and sink a nice cold pint or two has been presented to me. Have I been tempted to drink? Yes, there have been occasions, but truthfully it has been easier to be alcohol free than I ever would have expected.

Younger, Fitter, Healthier

I’ve used my year without beer as an opportunity to reboot my health. I started the year by taking part in the world’s biggest juice detox and then back in June I decided to start running. After my 12 booze free months I am obviously a year older than I was back in 2011, but I feel more than a year younger. I am loving my new fitness levels and can’t wait to take on more physical challenges. My trial separation from Madame Stella Artois (other premium lagers are available and were also regularly used as a substitute) has been fun. So much fun in fact, that I am wondering if I should divorce her?

It’s not too late to sponsor me!

If you want to show some love for my year without beer, then all sponsorship is greatly appreciated:

  • To donate to Cancer Research UK please click here to visit my just giving page or donate by text – send AYWB66 and the amount to 70070. For example, texting “AYWB66 £5″ will donate £5.
  • To donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust please click here to visit my just giving page or donate by text – send AYWB55 and the amount to 70070. For example, texting “AYWB55 £5″ will donate £5.