I spent years trying to drink and eat myself numb. The numbness almost killed me

Who, at my age, truly starts over? But I did. I gave up booze, took up running and found the strength and stamina to fight for a better future

At 42, I believed that my food and alcohol dependencies defined me. In my mirror, I would always be as I saw myself then: fat and drunk. I was over the hill and past the point of any meaningful change. Who, at my age, truly starts over? I had clearly missed the opportunity to be one of those healthy, mindful people I mocked on Instagram. I was who I was: destined to remain in those cycles of dependency and to be unhappy, discontent and stuck. Then disaster struck.

The pandemic began as a drunken month of worsening depression, but I have since quit booze, taken up running and lost 7st (44kg). I am in the best mental shape of my life. It turns out booze – and a million social and work engagements – was covering up how unhappy I had become with myself and my life. I was hiding from spending time alone or thinking about who I had become: someone who regularly drank two bottles of wine a day, was medically obese and had done no exercise in four years.

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