My name is Leo Frincu. I am a former world wrestling champion from Romania. Currently, I am a transformational coach and the owner of Results Personal Fitness in Los Angeles. I am the father of two beautiful daughters. I exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and, like most people, enjoy a glass of wine daily. Until recently, I thought I felt pretty good for a guy my age – which is forty-four years old. Being a business owner, a personal trainer, and the father of young children, my schedule requires me to wake up very early every day. Therefore, I couldn’t afford to drink more than one glass of wine during the week, even if I wanted to. On the weekend, however, I often enjoyed a few extra cocktails or beers. Weekends usually left me feeling the effects of overindulging the alcohol. Even though I enjoyed my cocktails on weekends, I hated how I felt the days that followed.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that I have less tolerance for alcohol than I used to have. As much as I loved the social component that came with an extra glass of wine, I started dreading the weekends that would leave me feeling sick and exhausted. Even so, I told myself that I felt pretty good most of the time – or that’s what I thought. I woke up super early for work, exercised regularly, got all my chores done, and kept up with my responsibilities. Therefore, I believed there was no reason to be concerned or to change my habits – that is, until one Sunday morning when I woke up after another social evening with friends and having enjoyed a little too much wine. It was the same story. I didn’t feel good. I was hungover and exhausted due to poor sleep. This time I’d had enough and decided I could not take it anymore. I dragged my butt into the cold shower and held myself hostage, gasping for air until I made a promise to myself that I would quit drinking. I couldn’t understand why I would do something that doesn’t make me feel good and could, perhaps, have long-term consequences. If I could tolerate drinking and how it made me feel, I wondered what else I might be tolerating in my life that affected me like alcohol did.

Today I am thirty days without alcohol or any mood-altering substances, and I must admit, I feel GREAT. I thought I knew what great felt like. I was wrong. My sleep is better, my thinking is more precise, and my moods are more stable. No drinking, or rarely drinking, is something I haven’t done in years and I am super excited to share with you the things I’ve learned from my experience:

1. Be Brave. One of the most important things to overcome is FEAR. I was afraid of not being able to say NO to a glass of wine. I was literally scared of the weekends and seeing friends. I thought I would be miserable without drinking socially. I TRULLY believed that I needed to drink to help me cope with my divorce. I believed I required wine to be happy, and even told myself that drinking was part of my culture. My relationship with wine was a lie that I have been telling myself for years. However, I wasn’t able to recognize that it wasn’t a healthy relationship until I actually stopped drinking. I’m telling you now what I told myself: you can do this. Stop telling yourself that you need to drink to put up with stress, or that you need alcohol to be happy, or that wine is your best friend. It isn’t, and you don’t need it to be happy or to put up with stress. The reality is just the opposite. You can do it on your own, and you can do it even better than you think you can. Trust me on this.

2. Chose Greatness. I thought I felt great. Since I could get all my chores done, work, exercise, socialize, set and achieve my goals and meet deadlines, I thought drinking didn’t interfere with my life, personally or professionally. I was wrong again. As soon as I stopped drinking, after only one week, I started to feel GREAT. It took only one week of not drinking to notice the difference. My sleep improved – now it’s a different kind of sleep. I can’t even put it into words. I wake up every morning and feel great. I can be tired; however, it is not as bad as tired mixed with the effects of alcohol, even a glass of wine. With no alcohol, I can be tired, but I can still feel great. It gets even better. I’ve also started losing some body fat due to the lack of calorie intake. That is a bonus, and certainly a motivation for someone who is trying to lose weight. Regardless of how small the amount you drink, alcohol can and will affect your performance and how you feel. I choose to feel great.

3. Believe in Yourself. You can do it. I didn’t believe I could for a very long time. I was making excuses for why drinking wasn’t a problem or why I needed to drink. That was my lack of self-belief in disguise. I was finding any reason to drink, not because I needed to or because I liked it, but because I didn’t believe that I could stop. Lack of self-belief comes in different shapes and forms. Rationalizing drinking and accepting it as a limitation are symptoms of low self-belief. Whether we tell ourselves that we can stop but choose not to…whether we tell ourselves that we like it too much or that we don’t do it often enough for it to be a concern…this is not us talking. It is the alcohol talking. And you can stop the pattern, regardless of how long you’ve been drinking. I’ve enjoyed my daily glass of wine for over ten years. Not anymore. You can do it, too. All you need is a plan. Replace the time you spend drinking with a different activity. Start exercising. Keep yourself busy. Ask for help. These are simple, but very efficient steps that will help you stay on track.

Whether you drink a glass or more of wine a day, and whether you think you need to stop or not, it is always smart to give your body and mind a break. I guarantee you that you will feel better than ever before – even if you think you are doing well now. Last, but not least, believe you can do it because that is the truth. We all need a change sometimes. I am ready to see what this change has to offer. Let’s do this together. Start with one day, then one week of no drinking. Then, get back to me. I would love to hear your feedback. You can do it.

Thank you. God Bless.

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Leo Frincu is a world wrestling champion, author, speaker and performance coach for business leaders and athletes worldwide. To learn more about his training philosophy, check out his latest book, “WELCOME HOME, 3 Simple Steps On How To Reach Your Highest Potential,” available on Amazon and iBooks.