How to Walk Away from Drinking with Nigel Jones

Episode 92 December 21, 2022 00:50:21
How to Walk Away from Drinking with Nigel Jones
Alcohol Tipping Point
How to Walk Away from Drinking with Nigel Jones

Dec 21 2022 | 00:50:21


Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

On the show is Nigel Jones author, accredited Positive Psychology & Sober Coach, and founder of 9KM by 9AM. His book Walking Back To Happiness tells the story of how a 50-something-year-old, who had been locked into the habit of drinking alcohol for over 35 years, finally woke up and said, "I want a different life.”  

He gave up drinking, started walking 9 KM before 9 AM every day, lost 30 % of his body weight and found his purpose. Nigel has been alcohol free since December 2020 and is on a mission to share his journey to motivate, educate and inspire as many people as possible to take a break from alcohol and to LIVE THEIR BEST LIFE.  

Nigel has so many good nuggets and analogies to share you will want to tune in to this episode. 

We chat about: 

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Free resources from Alcohol Tipping Point:      

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Episode Transcript

Pod 92 Nigel Jones Deb: Welcome back to the Alcohol Tipping Point Podcast. I am your host Deb Masner. I'm a registered nurse, health coach and Alcohol Free Badass. That's our new abbreviation, and today on the show I have Nigel Jones all the way from across the pond. Nigel is an author. He's an accredited positive psychology and sober coach, and he's the founder of nine kilometers by 9:00 AM. His book, Walking Back to Happiness, has been out since August, and it tells the story of how a 50 something year old who'd been locked into the habit of drinking for over 35 years, finally woke up and said, I want a different life. And so Nigel gave up drinking. He started walking nine kilometers before 9:00 AM every day. He lost 30% of his body weight and he found purpose. So welcome Nigel. I'm so glad to have you on the show and share about your journey and living alcohol Nigel: free. Oh, it's great to be here, Deb. And thanks for having me on. Deb: Well go ahead and introduce yourself for those who are new to you, and just share who you are and what you do and where you're calling from. Nigel: Yeah, sure. My name's Nigel, Nigel Jones and I, I'm, I live in the uk. I'm originally from Cardiff which is the capital of Wales, which is part of the uk. And I now live in, in England, near London. And at the age of 54, which is approximately two years ago, so I'm coming up to two years alcohol free. On December the eighth, I stopped drinking forever. And. Honestly, hand on heart, never looked back. And in that time, my whole life has just changed and gone from better, to better to better. And I've written a book. I've qualified as a positive psychology coach, and I've learned the piano. I'm learning a language I'm in. It's like endless all the stuff I'm doing because quitting the booze just gave me new meaning in my life. Deb: Yeah. Well, congratulations. I think this will come out around your two year anniversary, so that's fantastic. Thank you. Well, what was your experience with drinking? Nigel: Yeah. So if I, if I give you sort of a brief my story, my alcohol story which is, which is all in the book called Walking Back to Happiness, the Secret to Alcohol Free Living and Wellbeing. Was I, I'd probably Tried to stop drinking thousands and thousands of times over the 36 years that I drank alcohol. So I started drinking alcohol at the age of 17, 18 and went to university and it just slowly ingrained itself and wove its way. Cleverly and slowly into my life and you know, I never thought I had a problem because I just thought that's the way life was. My job was basically in the marketing and pr and advertising world. So I would be at and I worked pretty much in sports marketing, so I would work at the, with the Olympics and the World Cup and really big brands like Adidas and Motorola and Proctor and Gamble. What we did was we entertained clients, we took them out and had lots of drinks and it just became a normal thing. And, you know, if you wanted to progress in one of these advertising agencies, you had to go out drinking, not just with your clients, but with your colleagues as well. And so it just was one of those things that happened. And Before I knew it, I was probably in my thirties and forties drinking the equivalent of about a bottle of wine a a night or a day. And so, you know, it was really a couple of glasses after work that became the bottle and I. To be perfectly honest, when you get to like, you know, your, your forties your body really can't cope with that stuff anymore. I mean, in your twenties you can get away with it and probably a little bit in your thirties you can as well. But for me, I knew I had a problem probably from about the early forties onwards. But I just stayed with it for some reason. And I got very, very good at failing to stop drinking. And that's because I was just using the wrong method. I was using the willpower method, and that just does not work. And I, and I can explain more about that later, you know, when we chat later, later in the, in the, in the conversation. So, so I think, you know, looking at me and alcohol literally the, the turning point for me was, was getting close to the age of 54. A couple years before I'd had a couple of what I would call scares where I, I. Thought I was having heart attacks, but they were really panic attacks and I was ending up at sort of the equivalent of accident and emergency we call it in the UK or a and e, where you go to the hospital saying, you know, oh my God, there's something really bad wrong with me. But the reality was, you know, I had the tests there. They said, there's nothing wrong with you, it's just all in your head. And I was literally just stressing myself out. And what was doing this was, was basically alcohol. It was, it was. Getting right inside my mental health as well as my physical health as well, and just making me what I would call pretty much a, a, a bit of a mess on the inside. But it's on the outside. I still ran a, a successful business. I, I had a family with three now grown up children. I've got a beautiful wife who I've been married to for 26 years. You know, I, everything was on the, it was going well for me, but really, Booze was making my life sort of hell and I really had to do something about it. And I, and I did that in December, 2020. Well, you said Deb: you had tried to quit, tried to take a break thousands of times. Yeah. What, what made it stick this time? Nigel: Yeah, so what I'd been doing before was really coming at it from a, a, a mindset that I was a drinker, trying to become a non-drinker. And what I discovered the really the way to do this is to change your belief system because if, if you, if you change your beliefs, You basically can change, you change your story and, and when you change your story, you change your life. And and for me, I, I read, I was reading a lot of philosophy and I was reading quite a bit of Asian philosophy, and there's this great, there's this great saying in, in Asian philosophy, which is that everything we do, Basically comes from our intentions. So if we intend to do something, we, we will do it. And so the, the saying is the, the intention leads to the deed. The deed, if you do them enough, becomes a habit. The habit, if you carry on. Becomes your character and that character eventually becomes your destiny. So, so from a very simple intention of picking up a glass of wine, you can see where it can take you, it can take you to that destiny. Whereas if the intention had been something completely different, which might have been to go for a walk or. To read a book or do something else, then my destiny, I would be following a completely different trajectory and a path. So I was trying, I was playing with this and sort of thinking to myself, well, it is that simple, really. You know, if I don't drink, I will go on a different destiny. So how do I do that? How do I convince myself that I'm not a drink? And I started to unpack this, you know, this equation really, which was intentions. Intentions were causing all this. So what were intentions, and if you really look at intentions, they're made up of your values, your beliefs, and what you think is your purpose in life. Really you only intend to do something if you truly believe it's good for you or, or, or, or you think, you know, there is some sort of upside. And so therefore if you start unpacking alcohol and looking it really. There's a massive, massive ambivalence around it. And by that I mean you can, you can go either way on it. People can say, oh look, it's fun. I have a great time. I couldn't do my job without it. And then the other flip side of it is, well actually it accounts for like depression, anxiety, sort of sleepless nights, wait, you know, being overweight car crashes. You know, anger fights, it's an absolute nightmare. So there's this huge ambivalence, and that's all down to what you believe. And so we are taught and we're indoctrinated by society that that alcohol is actually fun and social and great, and it's absolute. Bullshit. And, but you've gotta really start looking at it and unpacking it and starting to believe that. And so that's what I did. I literally said to myself, look, I'm gonna have a scout mindset about this. I'm not gonna live my life just believing what everybody else tells me. I'm gonna really look at it, yet I'm gonna become. You know, if, if I was in the Army, I'm not gonna be the guy at the front just shooting everyone cuz the generals told me to do it. I'm gonna actually be the scout and I'm gonna go and have a look over the hill to see what's happening, what's going on. And really that, that scout mindset that I'm sober. Curious, I'm, I wanna find out what really is going on you cuz you know the stakes of my life. I'm playing with my life here and I just found out. I really knew it anyway, but I really, really found out and, and stamped it, you know, put a stamp in my mind that this stuff is poison and it kills you. And day one I went at it with, Not, I'm a drinker trying to become a non-drinker, but I actually told myself, and I, I had to really believe it and I probably really didn't on the first day, but I, I, I wanted to, I kept pushing and pushing and pushing it, and I told myself, I am actually a non-drinker who is stopping drinking. And that is so much different to being a drinker who's stopping drinking. And honestly, that is core in the DNA of the secret. The reality is, if I make a picture of this, if you think of yourself that you're gonna climb a mountain. If you, if, if the objective or the target is on the top, then you've got like a massive, massive hill to climb. Whereas if you are already there, so I, I'm already on the top, I've done it, I am now a non-drinker. It's a much better start point than being at the bottom of the mountain where, You're a, a drinker trying to get to the non-drinker. So just get there immediately and start your day, one journey at the top of the mountain because it's your choice where you are, the bottom or the top. So I put myself at the top. And the great thing about being at the top is if you fall a little bit, You don't have too far to go back up to get to the top again, which is non-drinking world. But if you are at the bottom, it's always, always a hard climb. And so, so the, the summary of all this is have the mindset that you understand that. You are now a non-drinker. Be sober, curious, you know, question the ambivalence of alcohol. Look at it, what it really is, and you know, realize that whatever you intend to do will lead to your destiny. And you know, after, after a few days, , you start to, you know, believe that you really are a non-drinker. And after 30 days it becomes, wow, I've done 30 days. I, I don't wanna go back. And then all of a sudden you're on 60 days, then you're on 90. And before you know it, you really are a 100% non-drinker and you've shut the door on it. And the only way to do. Really successfully is to change your beliefs about it. And, and do you know what? There was there was a great American philosopher called Thoreau who lived in the 19th century and he wrote a book called Walden which is a place, I think it's in New York state. And get, get this, I read this book and, you know, it was like bizarre book to read, but it was like, it was recommended to me by a lady called Tara Brock who's a great, great meditation person psychologist, meditation expert. And, and she basically, Recommend this, this book. And I saw, I, I read it and and there's this great line in it and basically Thoreau says, and, and, and you gotta put this in context cuz this guy wrote this in 1848, so like 180 years ago he decided to move out of New York cuz he thought it was too busy and, and actually, In a, a cabin in the woods and just live off the land. You know, he was, he wanted to escape, like someone wanting to escape the digital world today. And he wrote this line, which was basically one footstep on the earth does not make a path, but many, many footsteps. Through the forest and the wood, the path will appear and, and then it follows up. And this is the killer. You said one thought in your mind will not make a new way of thinking, but many, many thoughts over and over again will create the new pathway. And this guy is basically writing what a, what is now called neuroplasticity. And he was writing it in 1848. And you know that just, it still today makes. I don't know, like I sort of shake it, like my hair's got out on my arms with that. It's just a beautiful, beautiful piece of writing and it, and it just shows me that, you know, in my head that all I did was that I literally told myself the one thought, the two thoughts, the three thoughts. By the time I told it my, myself, like five, 600 times. I had a new way of thinking and that pathway had appeared in my mind and I can tell you right, it's not going away. I, I. Deb: Oh, that's great. I'm, I'm gonna have to look up that quote that it's so interesting, you know, when you are studying more about philosophers and, and people throughout the years, there's these common themes. So like you said, even back in the 18 hundreds that there was still this Just wise person there who kinda is helping just, you know, figure out how we think and how we can be better thinkers and accomplish things one step at a time. So you, you took this kinda literally with your, your nine kilometers by 9:00 AM tell me, tell us about. Nigel: Yeah. So what happens when, for me, when I stop drinking and I think it, everyone I talk to when I'm coaching people, the same thing happens. You know, you stop drinking and even on day two, the, the first day you wake up with no hangover, you just feel like a different person you feel, you know, full of energy and. I just wanted to do something and I, I, I really hadn't done that much exercise before and cuz I was in my fifties, I really couldn't get out there and ru, you know, go running. I was gonna, I probably put myself in hospital, so, so I started walking and I was in one of these like, vir, have you heard of these virtual apps you can get where you can like, walk against someone else? So, so, so I, for example, have walked from Chicago to LA virtually on my iPhone. So every step I take, Goes on that journey. I, I'll come onto that a sec. But the first one I did was walking across the uk and I was in a sort of race against my sister and she probably didn't know we were racing, but I wanted to win and, and I worked out if I, for me to get from Land's End to John o Gros, which is from the bottom of the country to the top I would have to walk approximately 15,000 steps a. To, to beat her on in this virtual race and 15,000 steps. For me with my leg spann is about nine kilometers which is in, in old money or is six miles. And so uh, So I was doing this before nine o'clock in the morning. Cause I, I had to go to work later in my own, I'd run my own company. And so on the, about day three or four, it sort of dawned on me that I was doing nine K by 9:00 AM or nine km by 9:00 AM And, and that became the brand and then, I just got, it became my new habit. I literally fell in love with walking. And so I lit, I literally started walking nine k by 9:00 AM every day. And, and I've done it. Now I started this about sort of five months in, into, into the alcohol free journey. So I've done it for about 18 months every day. I haven't missed one day. Deb: Wow. That's impress. What do you do on rainy days or snowy day? Like, how are, how are you getting this done every day? Nigel: Yeah, well, I put it so, so, so basically the secret is consistency and, and consistency comes from the fact that, that you, you don't, I I don't wanna go back to my old life or where I was before and, and what, what really drove me to stop drinking were my whys. And my wises at the end of the day were my family, my children and, and my health. And the fact that I wanted to live to like 60 , I didn't, I didn't, I didn't wanna, I didn't wanna die cuz boot, you know, drink kills you. I mean, there's no, there's no getting away from it. There's no, you know, you just gotta wake up and smell the coffee and say, look. This is bad stuff. It's really, really, you know, it's doing you in. And so my whys were literally better health for myself, better relationships for me and my family, and just what evolved was becoming someone who wanted to give back. I, I found I became, I would say, more spiritual after I stopped drinking. I became more in touch with who I am and who other people were. And, and it was a really beautiful thing. And so, so the walking. Was was great because it was so beautiful just being out in nature and watching sunrises, which I'd never done before. Cause I had hangovers. I used to sleep, you know, I used to get up at eight o'clock and like, have a shower and go into the office thinking, oh my God, I feel terrible today. And then have another drink at sort of six in the evening to sort of like, you know, feel better again. But now I was wide awake. I was five o'clock. I was. Ping, I'm up. I'm sort of like full of energy and I wanted to burn that. And the best way for me, I, I just fell in love with it was going for these walks in nature. Cause I live in the countryside, so it was easy just to get outside and just go, go for these walks. And, and you know, my, my, my goals really evolved from. From these walks, I and I only really have ever had three goals, and I, and I call them daily goals and they basically put me on the trajectory to go where I want to go. So you know, I've lost, I've lost like four and a half stone and weight. My, my biological age is probably 10 years younger than when I would've been, if I'd carry on, carried on drinking my heart. Perfect. Now for my age, my cholesterol is all, everything is good. And, but if I, if I'd set myself a goal, which was nge, you've gotta lose four stone. I just wouldn't have done it. But, but my goal was get up at five o'clock and go for a walk. Right? That was easy cuz I was waking up anyway cause I didn't drink anymore. So that was the first goal and I, and I just carried on doing it. The second goal, which I got more and more into as I progressed through being alcohol three, was. Meditating and being more mindful and present living in the present moment. And you can really do that on a country walk or just being out alone, five, six o'clock in the morning, walking down a country lane. It's you and nature. And that made all the difference. And, and the third goal. Very simply was, don't drink alcohol today. So, so pretty much that's the only goals I've ever set myself and everything. Writing a book, you know, requal, you know, qualifying as a coach and all doing all the stuff, the weight loss has just come from those three goals because they, those three goals put me on a trajectory or they aimed me at the moon and, and they, they took me, I, I didn't, I didn't wanna go to the moon. I just ended up there because I was aimed at it. And, and those goals are actually doing it and it was so much easier basically. And is Deb: that, I had kind of read where you, you call something the domino effect. Is that part of the domino Nigel: effect? So the domino effect basically is if, if you take a, you know, a small domino, like maybe, I dunno, a tall there about five centimeters or two inches in, in American terms. If you, if you push, if you push a, a domino over. It'll knock another domino over, which is 50% its size. It's called the geometric force in physics. So it, it'll knock something bigger than itself over. So if you start with a, a tiny domino, which is only say, you know, a centimeter big, by the time you get to the 17th domino, it'll knock over a domino the size of the Eiffel Tower. And by the 23rd one, it'll knock over one the size. Everest and by the whatever it is, the 57th, you know, it'll, the domino is the size of the moon. And, and what, what this shows you is like a small action will actually lead to a bigger action. So it's true. If you stop drinking, you start thinking about your health more. So you, I started walking. So Domino one was stopped drinking domino. I started walking Domino three, I slept better. Domino four, I decided to write a book. Domino five. I qualified as a coach. So, do you see what I mean? It's like, it, it's this tiny, tiny thing is just pushing it all over and making it happen. And I'm not looking a going to the moon. You just go to the moon because you're actually on, on that, that, that trajectory. And, and that's the important thing about this is, is. Don't set yourself up to fail. It's very easy, and that's what I failed before to say, right, I'm gonna give up drinking. I'm gonna lose two stone, or I'm gonna drop six inches off my waist. That's. You know, rubbish. It ain't gonna happen. And, and I know it's not gonna happen deep down, but if I do it the other way around by saying, look, I've stopped drinking and I'm going on this journey now I feel better. My values have changed. I'm all about health. What does a healthy person do? They don't drink. They value their, their their life. They, they go for a walk. You know, they do things that healthy people do. And in the early. It's hard to get into that groove because you, you're carving it out for yourself. You're like, you know, you're sort of grinding it down in your mind, like the, like I was talking about, the thorough steps in the forest, but keep at it and eventually you'll create that groove in your mind and it'll get deeper and deeper and deeper. And then you, it's there and, and it, and it, and it's, it's a beautiful place to be. And honestly, anyone can do this. Anyone can. The, the only thing that stops people from doing this is their own limiting beliefs. Nothing else. I learned this great thing, right? Which was if you go to the circus the, the, the circus trainers I don't think they have elephants at the circus anymore, but years ago they used to have elephants at circuses. You know, you have a circus in the us I guess you do. Yeah. There are circuses. Yeah. Yeah. So, so the trainer, the trainer would, would literally to control a baby elephant. So to make sure it didn't run off. You, you tie it, its back leg with a, with a piece of string and, and, and a stick. And the stick is only like, you know, maybe a couple of feet or maybe a foot or two feet high and just pushed into the ground. So it's tiny. But for the baby elephant, which is at the time, you know, is only like three or four feet tall, if it pulls away, it literally hurt. Its. But if you go to the, if you see the other elephants of the circus, which are like five, six ton massive beings, the circus trainers also tie them with tiny sticks and pieces of string because that massive elephant, even now, it's now 20 years old, and like, you know, the size of a building believes. If it pulls itself away, it's gonna hurt its leg. Well, actually it could just walk away and there wouldn't be any problems at all. And, and this is true. So, so I always think, I think if you have a limiting belief, think about the elephant in the room and think about that, that that what's happening there, this huge, huge being is holding itself back by one tiny piece of string. And, and really, we, we. Whole lives holding ourselves back by misbeliefs or misinformation about alcohol that we think it's good for us. We think we can't stop drinking because we won't get that promotion at work. Our friends won't like us. What will I do? Everybody drinks, you know, there's, there's loads and loads and loads. These limiting beliefs we just make up every day. And do you know what? I just had enough of it and, and it's the best thing I ever did. Deb: Yeah. I, I, that is a perfect analogy. It's kind of sad too with the animals and with us, like, and just, you know, it's, it's that whole, like why, why are you still in a cage when the door's wide open? You know why, but, but we do, we get kind of stuck. So you talk a lot about, you know, the domino effect and small day to day goals. So how could someone set them? Because it sounds easy in theory, right? Just don't drink, you're go, you're a, now you're a non-drinker, but. What are some of your other suggestions for people that they're just starting this journey? What can they do day to day? What are some small things they can Nigel: do? Yeah, sure. I, I mean, the, the first thing you can do really is, is look at. Look at what your alcohol intake is. So in, in the book, I've designed this thing called the Alcohol Oter, which, which measures how much neat or pure alcohol people drink. And, and this really did it for me because, you know, you have a glass of wine and there's something on the side of the bottle that says 12 and a half percent, or you have a beer and it says four and a half, 5%, or whatever it is. Whiskey gin is 40%. 80%, whatever, there's a percentage. But if you start, if analyzing what that means in each of those drinks, there is there is a percentage of. And in a, in a glass of wine, 12.5% of it is neat alcohol. So I worked out there's this table in the book where you actually work. You, you put in how much you drink, like, you know two glasses of wine a night, or three glasses or a couple of whiskeys or whatever it is you drink. And it'll tell you how much neat alcohol you are drinking each year. And so if you drank a bottle of wine a night, you are drinking the equivalent of over 70 pints of. Alcohol a year. Now, if you think about that, that look, one, two mouthfuls of knee alcohol or three mouthfuls would probably make you blind, but, but I was drinking the equivalent of about a hundred pint of knee alcohol each year. Which is basically what a bottle of wine plus a, you know, maybe a bit more on the weekend adds up to. Now if you put that in front of someone you know, 70 pints of alcohol, need alcohol, you'd be absolutely crazy to drink that. Well, you just couldn't do it. It would just, you'd be dead by the first pint. But, but, but the point is just being on a bottle of wine a. Is leading you to over 50 pints of alcohol a year. Having, having a single night cap or you know, a, a say a couple of large night caps to go to bed, that's like another 35 pints of knee alcohol a year. So when you look at it in those terms, you know, you can fill a bath up with this stuff, what, why the hell do you do that? I mean, and, and that, that that's really, you know, you'd never drink bleach. And really at the end of the. You're drinking 70 pints of bleach. I mean, the stuff kills you, it'll kill you. And so, you know, those are the sort of things I started to think about. You know, so when I saw I had a craving, maybe, oh, someone's called me up, they wanna go out for a drink. I just thought about the 70 pints of, you know, knee alcohol was sitting in front of me. That what? That, what that leads to, that one drink could lead to 70 pint of meat alcohol. And so what I would say to people, you know, who are starting out is have a scout mindset. Look at, look at your current drinking habits and what you're doing, and ask yourself a very simple question, is this good for my health? You know, what will it, does it, does it make me a better person? And how does it affect my relationships? Not just me, the people around you And start asking yourself stuff like that. And then, and then say to yourself, what kind of person will I be if I stop drinking in one year's time? What will I look. You know, who would I be with? What, what would be my hobbies? What will I have achieved? And I could assure you, you'd achieved a hell of a lot more than you would've if you'd ca if you carry on. It's just so obvious. And so the first, the first bit of advice would be look at what you're doing already and, and put a number on it. You know, there's an alcohol in the book, so you could measure exactly how much neat alcohol you're drinking. Think about the consequences that has for not just you, but for the people around you. You know, since I've stopped drinking, I've. So much more time. And it's allowed me to get to know my elderly mother more. I mean, I, I've, I care for her. I just wouldn't be able to do that if I was drinking. I've, I've talked to her, I've, I've started to write our family history my God, that, you know, these are just moments which you just cannot get back. And, and, and so, By not drinking, there'll be a whole load of benefits that come up that, that you'll see. Well, wow, that's given me more time to actually spend with people I love who might not be here next year. So there's loads and loads of things like that. So that's the first thing. The second thing is to set yourself some goals to, to say to yourself, well, you know, where do I wanna be in like 10 years time? Where do I wanna, and, and if I, let's say I, yeah, I wanna be there in 10 years time. What do I have to do today to put me on? That path to get there. And it's just simple things like that. And again, it, it's difficult, you know, to explain this in like, you know, in two seconds, but in, in the book I go into, you know, defining what, what your goals are and how to set realistic goals how to identify what your values are, what your beliefs are, how to identify limiting beliefs and how to deal with them. And then how to find out what your purpose in life is. What is your mission in. And a lot of people, they go through their lives and they, they never, ever ask themselves these very, very simple questions. What are my values? What do I stand for? What do I believe in and, and what's my mission? What do I care about most? And, and those are the things when you start answering those questions, they start, you know, you start to look really under the microscope at your life, and you see. In a different way. You put on a new pair of glasses and it looks different. It looks a lot different. Deb: Yeah, and I'm glad that you brought up like just the amount of, you refer to it as neat alcohol, like just because you know, the alcohol we drink is diluted, like you said, because we don't drink straight up Ethel Alcohol. It's a drug and a chemical and it would kill you to drink it straight up. And like you said, I mean, it's used in cleaning products. It's put in. You know, it's in our gas. It's actually a special elite gas you can get or you can get ethanol free gas for your car. Which is just funny. It's like, You can all realize that's the same alcohol you're drinking. Like are you gonna treat your car better than you're treating your body? But yeah, I mean, alcohol is a drug, it's a carcinogen. It is definitely a poison. It's shit for your health . But then, you know, getting on top of, of your bigger beliefs, like you said, to get over the willpower cuz it's. You know, like you said, like people get stuck in and where I see a lot of people kind of stuck and I would say suffering and struggling is when they know that they are done with drinking. Like they know I'm, cuz some people are just taking a break, right? But some people know like, I, I wanna be done. I'm tired of this, I'm tired of drinking. I know it's not good for my health. I know it doesn't align with my values. But still I'm finding myself going back to it again and again. Like what, what advice do you have for that person who might be listening? Nigel: Yeah, look, look, at the end of the day, these people in that bracket have not closed the door. 100% shut on alcohol. They've left it on the hinge, you know, and for some reason they're leaving it open because they, somewhere in their mind, they still believe that alcohol is. It's good for them. I mean, that's the only reason you would do that there, there is still an ambivalence. There is still a thought that, ah, it's actually a bit of fun. I can't relax without it. You just gotta keep Rev revisiting your whys and why you did it in the first place. And, and, and look, look at your whys and say to yourself, you know, well, you know, Keep questioning what, what alcohol is and, and what it's doing to you. Look, look at the facts, and that's the only way you really get around it. And I, I, I, I used to use this analogy or in my head, which was that there were like two wolves fighting in my head. That the first wolf was like the new me sort of saying, You know, alcohol is bad. It's like a horrible thing. You know, we've, we've, we we're feeling so much better. We're losing weight, we're sort of feeling great about life. We're doing new things. And then occasionally the other wolf pops up, you know, with its, its ugly head. And that normally is in the form of some form of craving. And those cravings can get, you know, they come really from triggers and from what is called Lucy, called the habit loop. Again, that's a whole, whole nother thing I could go into. But let's say for example that, you know, for me, triggers were like things like it's six o'clock, I've just finished working. I've walked into the kitchen. And first thing you'd do is you'd reach, open the fridge, pour a glass of wine, or I'm with a client, I'm out of business. We've walked into a restaurant. Ah, and you, the raider comes around and you go, oh, bottle of red. And, and, and so these are the triggers that actually take you back into drinking world. So, so what you have to do, and this is this other wolf basically that's taking you there is, is you have to deal with that wolf and. The other wolf, you know, the new wolf is basically fighting it. And so what what I did very simply was it was about probably day 10 or 11 of my when I stopped drinking, I think back December the 20th. So in, in the uk. Obviously it's Christmas time and in the supermarkets you've got like huge displays of like alcohol everywhere, like shrines to alcohol, and I, all of a sudden I was in a supermarket and I turned around and I was literally at the altar of booze. You know, there was this, there was this literally sort of display of. Port, which is like a great, you know, Christmas drink over here. And so, and, and it was like, you know, buy two bottles of port for like 20 pounds and enjoy Christmas or something like that. And and you know, I was standing there, which I felt like it was an eternity. It was probably more like sort of, Five to 10 seconds. But the wolf, you know, the angry wolf that the drinking wolf, the, it had come up in my mind and it was telling me to buy a bottle of this stuff and go home and sit in front of the fire and enjoy a nice glass of, you know, port at Christmas time. And, and basically I literally, The other wolf managed to ba basically convince me that, no, this was wrong. And I, I literally left the shop with a non-alcoholic free bottle of wine. And for me, the fact that I'd won that argument was, was, was a turning point because I knew that the new wolf. It actually beaten away probably at the worst time ever. The old wolf, you know, it was like the biggest fight ever, and I'd won it. new wolf had won it, so therefore I knew if the old wolf came back at all, any time, it would never be as strong as it was. And I'd won, I'd won the whole thing. I'd beaten it. And, and really what you gotta say to yourself is the wolf that wins in your head. And this is so true, is the one that you. So don't feed the nasty wolf. It's very, very simple and, and, and, and I, and that's the only way I looked at it. I looked at it very simply in pictorial terms, like two wolves fighting. I want the good wolf to win and I want to kill the old wolf. And, and, and that's what I did. You know, I, I, that, that's how I literally got over this. But it, it is tough. But you've gotta keep feeding the good wolf and eventually the old wolf will die cuz it's, you've, you've starved it and it's gone away. But it's, it's back to Thoreau. You've gotta keep walking in the woods. You gotta keep putting the footsteps down and the more footsteps you put down, the deeper the path becomes and it won't go away. And it, and it, and it, and it's really, really that. Deb: Hmm. Yeah, that was a good analogy. You do, you hear the wolf come up a lot too, and like Bell Robertson who wrote Tired of thinking about drinking, talks about the wolfy, the wolfy voice. Yeah. Just being that, that kind of little alcohol voice that's like, come on, just one drink. It won't hurt you. We'll go sit by the fire. But yeah, just being like, fuck you. Wolfy . Nigel: Yeah. So we, we have this, we have this saying in the UK that if you're not drinking, you're, you're on the wagon. Do you have that in the state? Yeah. Yeah. So, so, so basically I, in, in, in my book, I write about like, what happens if you fall off the wagon. And really there are only four ways you can fall off the wagon. You can either jump off. Yourself. That is, that is right. I'm gonna have a drink. Let's jump off. You've decided you can get pushed off. And that means, you know, some, someone actually on the wagon with you, and it might be a partner who you stop drinking with, decides that, you know, they, they fancier drink tonight and they're gonna push you off to go with them. You know, that, that, that's, that's the second way you can, you can basically, The third way is you can you can just fall off accidentally. And, and that's probably happens the most. And the reason for that is they're probably sitting too. Too close to the edge because you only can fall off the wagon if you are sitting near the edge of it. If you're in the middle of it, then it's not gonna happen. And, and so I always say that, you know, there's this great saying, which is you know, if you hang around the barbershop long enough, you're gonna get a haircut. So, so if you actually start thinking, you know drinking is good, or you start romanticizing. Then eventually you'll go back. So, so you gotta stop that, you know that, that, that wolf, that, that nasty wolf who basically tries to romanticize romanticize booze. But really, really the only way that you fall off the wagon, which you take them all into account, is the fact that it's your choice. You decide to do it. You, you do that de you. To do that deed. And it comes back to what I said right in the beginning, like, it's all down to your intentions. And your intentions are driven by your values, your beliefs, and your purpose. And, and that's what you gotta tap into to actually beat, beat the whole thing and, and not need willpower. That that's how it works. Deb: Mm-hmm. . You're, I love your visuals. They're really helpful. Oh yeah. What, what would you say, while I'm picking your brain now, I feel like I'm just picking your brain , what would you say to someone that is has a partner that still drinks and is, is not getting support at home, or, you know, that's just their additional challenge for Nigel: them. I mean, obviously everyone is different, so it's difficult to answer that without knowing, you know, what the relationship is and who they are and what they're drinking. So it's a difficult one to answer. But you know, what I would say is, you know, you've gotta speak to your partner and tell 'em what you're going through and just be really honest and just have an open chat and say, look. I'm, I'm gonna stop drinking for 28 days. I need your help here. You know I don't want you to stop. It's up to well love you to stop, but it's up to you what you do. It's your life. But please respect me on, on, you know, on my 28 day challenge or whatever it is you're doing. And, you know, I think you, you learn a lot about your partner as well in doing this. When, when you actually you know, you say to them, look, please respect me. I'm, I'm doing this. If they're not gonna respect you, then you know, maybe you need to ask yourself, you know, what's going on? Do I wanna be in this relationship? And if someone is not, not gonna respect my views you know, I, again, it's really, really hard to answer this without a specific you know, people in front of you sort of telling you, you know, who they are and what they're drink, how much they're drinking, and what they, you know, where they live and you know, how intertwined their relationship is, et cetera. But I would say, Be really open and discuss it with your partner, what you're doing. Tell them what you're up to, and, and see if they wanna come on board and do a challenge with you. And if they don't respect that as well, and if they wanna carry on drinking, that's entirely up to them. That's their choice. Deb: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. It becomes a, a difficult one. And so also just, you know, focus on your, your own journey. Keep your eye on your own page. Nigel: Yes. Deb: Yeah. Well, what other advice do you have to share to our listeners? Nigel: What would, in terms of what? Stopping drinking completely? Deb: Yeah. Or just changing their drinking. Yeah. We'll focus on Nigel: that. Yeah. I think I, I think for me you know, when I, when I started. I, I knew I wanted to go to the moon in the back of my mind. You know, I wanted to live the rest of my life as a non-drinker. But, you know, if I'm truly honest, I was really aiming for just getting to day five when I first started. And then when I got to day five, I was due a week. You know, I, for 35 years, the longest I went without a drink was six days. And you know, and then when I got six days, I think I did six days twice. I rewarded myself with a drink, , which is, no, it's bizarre. You know, you forget. I mean, the longer you go, like in the early days when you get like five, six days, you start to think, oh God, I feel great. I'll have a drink to reward myself. And you forget about all the bad things about it or why are you there in the first place? And so, so I'd say sort of take it, take it slowly, you know, I mean, you know, how have the, a daily. Go for five days, go for seven days. Then once you get a seven, go for 14 days, then go for a month. And then, and honestly, I would say to you like if you can get to a month which is not hard, if you use the Belief Values Method it's a lot easier than using the willpower method. I can tell you. You, you'll start having a different outlook because that groove in your mind will starting to be dug. And, and, and, you know, you, you've had a sniff of what the nice side of the island is like, you know, and, you know, I, I, I wanna live on the fun side of the island, basically. I've, I had enough of the bad side of the island, and the bad side of the island is not a nice place. It's, it's purgatory. It's like you. If you can live in heaven, why don't you live in heaven? What do you wanna live in hell for? I mean, I mean, that's the way I look at it. I mean, there's this great, again, sort another, another quote from I think it's Einstein that said it. He says The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or a hostile universe. And, and that really at the end of the day is, is, you know, your belief puts you in purry or it puts you in paradise. You, whatever you believe is where you'll be. So, so if you believe you're on the fun side of the islands, You're on the fun side of the island, you know, that's, that's what it is. You believe it, you're there. And, and, and so, so, you know, this is an interesting tip. I think that, that, I always had a very optimistic view on this. And I always like tried to big myself about it, that what I was doing was really the right course to be on. And, you know, I'd use like, you know, Post it notes, I'd stick them everywhere. You know, if I, if I, if I read a good quote, I wrote it down and I stuck it in front of me, I'll put it on the mirror, you know, in, in, in the bathroom as I, cause I knew I'd see that every morning or on my fridge door. I had, I have, and I still have it today, two years in, I have a chart, which I cross every day off. I, I, it doesn't really mean anything to me anymore. But, you know, that chart is loaded with my journey, you know, it was, That's how I did it. You know, it, it, it reminds you of, you know, particularly like the first few days what you go through. But it, it, it also supports you, it, it gives you like that sort of, that bo it's basically tells you, you know, how far you've come. There's a great book by Joseph Campbell called The Hero the Hero's Journey. And. I really recommend getting that. Most, most Hollywood movies or most of the greatest stories ever told are the, they follow, they follow the Hero's Journey. And the Hero's Journey goes something like there's this person and they've had enough of their, their life that there's a challenge they've. So they, they leave their, their, their comfortable home and they cross the bridge and they go into the wild lands where they fight their dragons and they take their challenges, they face their fears, and eventually they win and they come back home, a new person, and they then they basically share that bo that that advice or what they've learned with others and they improved their lives as well. And you know, this is a classic story that you see going through time and really that is, Becoming an call free warrior is all about you basically, or as you call it Deb, and I'll call free Badass. I absolutely love. I absolutely love it. And you know, I mean that is a hero. If that isn't a hero's journey, I dunno what is, right? So, so basically the alcohol free badass says, right, I've had enough, I'm getting outta here, I'm gonna go to alcohol free land, right? And in alcohol free land, I'm gonna have, I'm gonna fight my demons. I'm gonna go into that cave by fear to enter, because inside it is the treasure that I want. And then I'm gonna go in, I'm gonna get it, and then I'm gonna loo, I'm gonna love that treasure and I'm gonna bring it back across the bridge to where, where. Friends are and show them all this wealth that I've like literally just found. And that's really, that's really what we're doing here. And, and you know what, what, you know, came to me and or my realization was as I was walking down those country lanes, like on day 30 or day 40, I just thought to myself, by God, I've gotta tell people about this. I spent 35, 36 years of my life. Not knowing this secret, not knowing how good it is to be alcohol free and, and, you know, it is absolutely brilliant. And, and, and, and so that's what I did. I wrote the book and I've, I've told the story and, and now I've trained as a coach and I help people and, and it's just so lovely putting back or giving back and helping others, you know, on their journey. Deb: Oh, that's beautiful. I'm so inspiring. I'm just like clapping for you, for us, for all us. F Buzz out there, . Well, how can people find you and find your book? Nigel: Right. Well, I'm, I'm on nine km by 9:00 AM which is my website, so that's nine km by nine And that's got all the information on my book, my challenges, the Walking Challenges, and, and my coaching. The book is on Amazon and it's called Walking Back to Happiness. That's all you need to put in. And it's the secret to alcohol free living and wellbeing. And it's Nigel Jones is the author. That's me. And if you put nine K by 9:00 AM into Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, those are the main LinkedIn, then, then my, the, my ugly face comes up and, and, and then basically you can, you can join our Facebook group, which is cool. We've, we've got maybe. 15, 20 members in the United States of people who are going out walking every morning and posting their walks. We've got a lady from Alabama, we've got a lady from California, we've got a guy in New York. You know, it's, it's, it's, it's cool actually. And it's, this is a global thing, you know, this is, this is a new tribe. And, and you know what I say in the book is you, I was sick of being in the alcohol drinkers tribe. I did enough for that tribe and, and I left it and I joined a new tribe called the Alcohol Free Tribe, or the, or the Abers as well. You know, the alcohol free bad asses are in that tribe as well. So, you know, it's it's, that's basically, so if you wanna come with me and get into the tribe yeah. Go to nine K by 9:00 AM and I'm Nigel Jones. Deb: Oh, that's perfect. Well thank you. Thank you so much for sharing. This was just great. I think it's gonna help a lot of people and inspires me like I need to do some more walking too . So I'll have to check out your, your Facebook group and look into that. Nigel: I just don't have to do nine cam. I mean a lot of people just do one or two kilometers. You know, the thing about it is, is just challenge. . You know, if you could only walk 50 meters, just go and do 50 meters, you'll feel better if you see a sunrise. Honestly, it is so spiritual. It is. You know, that's what we did. We, you know, we didn't live in houses 2000 years ago. We lived in the woods. Deb: Well, I like this tribe. I like this APA tribe. I've fully support it. And then , come join us. Come find Nigel if you're listening. And thank you. Thank you so much for coming on the. Nigel: Thank you for having me. It's been wonderful. It's been fantastic to meet you. Deb: You too. So we will be in touch. I will email you when this comes out and wonderful. Loved it. Okay. Nigel: Thanks Deb. Thank you. Deb: And have a great holiday. We'll, we'll talk soon. Okay. Nigel: Nama day. Take Deb: care. Okay. Bye.

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