Last April, my nan died suddenly, but she was more like my mum than my nan. She was the nicest person you could ever know. She was my biggest support (aside from my husband), when I had days that I felt like I was failing as a mum, (which I’m sure every mum has) she was there to always tell me I was doing a great job, that I’m a great mother… just the real support and encouragement one needs some days! If one of my kids was sick, I’d ring her and she had the best advice always!! She never said a bad word about anyone, and instead would always find the positive. So losing her was MASSIVE!

I turned to alcohol….lots and lots of alcohol, we’re talking almost a litre of vodka a day. This went on till the end of May….so almost two months. I was so, so depressed and wanted to pick up the phone and ring her…. only she wasn’t here, and this was the reason I was feeling like this!

I can’t even tell you why, but one morning (after wanting to call her) I said ‘what would nan say to me? What would she think about who I’ve become? Just like that I snapped out of it. I wanted to be the great mother, wife, sister and daughter that she knew I was! I couldn’t go on like this, my family and kids deserved more! I had put on 8kgs in those two months of endless drinking! She wouldn’t want me living like this.

I chose 28 because there were no excuses… it was at home, I didn’t need a baby sitter, I didn’t have to leave the house AND I could go at my own pace. I didn’t want to go and guess what to do at a gym!

I gave up alcohol, not for my body…but for my mental health! I was encouraged by other 28ers to ‘live a little’, ‘you don’t have to give it up completely’ which are all very fair points but they didn’t know the back story of alcohol and how much it had affected me!

I have shared this story with the group, and I’m always surprised at how many message me and say they are in the exact same situation and can’t get out of it! I just got a message yesterday actually and she’s just joined 28 after suffering a loss and drinking far too much. So it’s nice to have people that I can relate to, and that can relate to me.

I knew after 11 days of doing 28, that I was ‘home’!

I joined thinking, ‘just give it 28 days, it’s the cost of a bottle of vodka…but I know which is better for me’. At best I would lose some weight… at worst I’ve wasted $50! But I know it was all on me… no excuses, just hard work and commitment EVERY DAY!

For the first two weeks, I was doing it for my nan, I would talk myself through my workouts by saying ‘nan would be proud you’re taking control of your life’! End of round 1, I was 5kgs down, and my body and mind were completely different!!

Here we are 10 months later.

My goal was always ‘abs’, however crazy as that may seem after 4 kids. I wanted to lose 12kgs… I’ve now lost 20!!! AMAZING!

I’m so much stronger mentally! I don’t turn to alcohol to heal me, pick me up or to numb the pain! I have full control of my life and I’m that happy, healthy Mum my nan would want me to be!!!

I now have those abs I always thought were out of reach!!! But most importantly, I have my life back!

I’m here forever!! People always say ‘aren’t you done with the 28 thing now’ I always reply, just try it….it’s not a fad, it’s not a diet, it’s a way of life! You won’t get it until you do it!

With my Nan’s 1st anniversary coming up in 7 days, I know that I won’t use alcohol to numb the pain of getting through it! I’ll get up, do my workout, fuel my body properly, and make her proud!!! 28 has changed me in ways I didn’t even know needed changing!

Knowing I’m stronger and healthier, completely changes how I see myself in the mirror now…imperfections and all!! I can never thank you guys, Sam and the wonderful 28 family enough!!!

Hitting my goals, and having the best body of my life by far… is priceless! So thank you!

Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change to their lives. Sam Wood has over 20 years experience as a personal trainer and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators in the health & fitness industry. Sam is the founder and personal trainer of 28, Australia’s #1 home fitness and nutrition program, and he's also the proud owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed, based in Brighton, Melbourne.