12 Days After my 100 Days AF

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So I’m just back home and this morning sitting down (very happily) back in my routine of checking in and starting my day with some habits that kept me going in the 100 days I completed before.

I peaked at the scale and since re-introducing alcohol, and since being ‘off’ my health routine (as I was traveling and visiting since Dec 23) – I’m up 5.5lbs. Other observations – my energy is not as positive as it was, my anxiety and mood shifts were coming back, my system is not as regular and overall I just don’t feel as good as when I did when I wasn’t drinking. I have had drinks every day since the 17th but now – I’m prepping to start my next 100 days and perhaps looking to make a more permanent lifestyle change around alcohol as it does seem to have lost some appeal since my FIRST 100 days.

So I thought I’d share with those who are venturing to start with me on January 1st for their FIRST 100 days… things that may help you prepare or be armed to deal with tougher days!

  1. Focus on JUST ONE THING!! So in this case – the number ONE thing you are doing is quitting alcohol for 100 days! With it being a New Year, you may be tempted to change a BUNCH of things all at once but overwhelm may kick in and then you may feel like quitting all of it. In my case, during the first 100 days – I allowed myself ‘cheats’ in other ways – so I gave in to my sugar cravings and pampered myself in other ways but I never broke my commitment to the 100 Days without alcohol.
  2. BEFORE the 100 days – arm yourself with some tools to keep track of how you’ll do this. I am very visual – so my calendar and putting ‘stars’ for each day I did AF was motivating.20161228_045857Sober time was a KEY success tool in my first 100 days so I highly recommend downloading it (it’s an app that I got with my android phone). I loved the quotes that came up randomly – the stats of how much I was saving and the progressive steps. 1610270440421screenshot_2016-09-08-07-45-20
  3. Start your day with positive affirmations! I use these two books but there are others online you can subscribe to – The Daily Motivator is a good one. Find the ones that speak to you! Or follow/like my coach page as I try to post some motivational stuff daily too. 20161228_045913
  4. Buy yourself a journal, start a sober blog, or keep posting to our group on Facebook DAILY or whenever you need to (multiple times a day if you must). Write out/record how you are feeling through it all – it’s great to be able to look back on and keep as a record too. Working through this is really eye opening as you become more aware of things – because you are no longer numbing your way through life!
  5. Decide on the things you are going to add to your life to replace the times you used up when you used to drink – for me that was diving into my health and fitness goals. I became a Beachbody coach and being a product of the product every single day!! My go to workouts are done right from my own home – but do what works for you!! If you are interested in what I do or want more info, message me on Facebook. I plan on making 2017 my healthiest year EVER!!fb_img_1482867183805-1
  6. Pick out alternative drinks that you like and stock up! For me – it was important to have drinks on hand because when you give up alcohol – you still need to hydrate. Number one choice is water but that can get boring so flavor it up with fruits. I love my hot lemon water to start my day. I drink fruit flavored green teas. I love mineral water with lemon or club soda with lemon and sometimes a sprinkle of cranberry juice. I drink some of my bubbly drinks in fancy glasses so I don’t feel deprived. And I still haven’t cut out the diet-pepsi habit (one thing I may have to let go of later – but for now alcohol is number one). When I have my diet-pepsi with lime – it’s like my replacement ‘alcohol’ drink – so I try to limit it to ONE per day MAX – but on tougher days I have more. Some even try non-alcoholic drinks to replace booze – but for me that was never a go to option.
  7. Let people know about your intentions of being AF for the challenge – some may give you a hard time, but most will be very supportive! If someone offers you a drink, say no thanks – and if you feel you have to give an explanation – prepare some ahead of time, but honestly these days, people seem to be more understanding. Those who aren’t perhaps shouldn’t be in your circle of friends as you do this challenge (and you may notice this happening as some may feel uncomfortable as YOU make this healthy change for yourself).
  8. BEFORE DAY 1 – take a photo of yourself – your face, take your full body pics with workout gear or tight clothing, weigh yourself, measure yourself. For some – this break from alcohol will lead to other benefits such as weight loss BUT in order for this to happen, it means adopting habits like daily regular exercise (even if it’s just making sure you make your 10,000 steps a day). For me a distraction from the cravings was to do some exercises. Once I focused on the workouts – the cravings would subside. Once you complete the 100 days do the same and share your stats! These were my first 100 Days Results!15541913_1108379195926444_2989509071391420090_n
  9. Because we are starting this journey on January 1st this time – it would be a good idea for you to review your year and mark down the ‘negatives’ of your drinking habits and list WHY you want to do this! I’d love if you shared your ‘why’ with us in the group on Facebook.
  10. And last but not least – create the VISION you have for the year ahead (I’ll be doing one in the next day or so and I will be sharing via video how to do one too – stay tuned). Dream big and make plans about what you want to achieve!! This 100 Days is ONE of those things, but as you focus on healthier things – what other dreams do you want to achieve? I started this list by saying you need to focus on ONE thing – but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your eye on what’s next. YES – the ‘one day at a time’ is super important here… and remember… 1

If you have any questions or feel you want to reach out – I’m always here… so never hesitate to message me personally or post in the group. Whatever you are most comfortable with. I’m not claiming to be an expert by any means… and I have had the guidance and help from various sources including some wonderful groups HAMS and leading the team on SparkPeople Cutting Down The Booze (Calories) and some resources including Annie Grace’s This Naked Mind and the 30 Day Sobriety Solution. We have an album of photos of the books we have come to go to as resources in our group.

This particular challenge is for those who want to be 100% AF for 100 Days… but always remember – better is better… so follow the path you need to and never consider making a positive step (however many days you do) a failure… but keep this quote below in mind…

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Day 5 – After 100 Days AF

20161221_0752451I am in a festive mood today – it’s actually my favorite day of the year at work when I get to play a workplace ‘Santa’s Elf’ and deliver goodies to bring smiles to our employees and students’ faces.

I promised I’d share how things were going following the completion of my 100 days so I thought I’d start to relay some information so far.

The first day that I allowed myself to have a drink was the Saturday and I joked saying I could start in the morning with a Baileys and Milk… but I didn’t. I worked in the house and it wasn’t until sometime that afternoon that I had my FIRST drink in 100 days – my usual Vodka Lemon (sometimes Lime) wtih diet pepsi. Ironically the first drink didn’t taste that good. I really thought I’d savor it and feel like I missed it so much – but that wasn’t the case. Nonetheless I kept drinking it. I had a few spread out over the day. And then over the next few days continued with the daily ‘few drinks’ at the end of the day.

What I did notice was that nagging thinking and debating in my head about when should I have one, how much, how will I feel. I also noticed how my energy took a nosedive and I just didn’t feel like doing much and started to skip things that for the 100 days I was so consistent with. I guess the fact that I got a cold at the same time had something to do with it.

So while I’m allowing this break – I can see that it would still be easy even after 100 days of falling back into the unhealthy routine of having drinks regularly without even thinking about how it was deterring me from reaching my goals. I am thinking forward – to the New Year and my next 100 Day challenge and wonder about whether or not I may go even longer …

In all honesty, just getting back to an AF day – I start my day saying ‘ok today I’ll stay AF and won’t drink until the weekend’ and then come quitting time at work my internal dialogue changes again so that’s a CUE that even after 100 days, my mind is still thinking in old ways. AND the big YUCK is I regained 3lbs in 3 days with drinking and they are hanging on (which is why I have struggled for so long with my health/weight goals). When I drink – I crave junk foods and carbs. And then of course, I don’t feel like working out.

Perhaps 2017 will be a year when I don’t drink at all – or very little… because 5 days in after my first successful 100 days AF and well – YES I am looking forward to the vacation, visiting and socializing – but it’s just that. My focus is on the people and activities – I’m craving those things over the drinks (even though I’m going through the motions and having them until I re-start my next 100 days).

So when you consider doing the 100 Days with me starting January 1st – think in terms of ‘what matters most’ and for me that’s the PEOPLE, the good memories (that I will and can actually remember when I don’t drink or don’t drink too much). My vacation in Hawaii in April is my BIG motivator – and who knows, that trip may end up being without alcohol too … but we’ll see.

My advice is to focus on the things you are gaining when you don’t drink and not on what you perceive you are missing out on because in all honesty – enjoying life without alcohol doesn’t mean that you are missing out at all – in fact you are absorbing and appreciating life that much more!! I leave you with one of my favorite quotes about LIVING for TODAY and being present! The motto one day at a time is one you must observe when you join in the challenge January 2017.

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Day 1 – After the 100 Days

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This is what I woke up to!! I can’t tell you what this means!! Seriously POSITIVE side effect of being alcohol free is being able to stay on point with my health/fitness goals.

I didn’t sleep much last night – maybe 3 hours. My mind is buzzing with excitement and I have so much I want to do and share. I’m thrilled to have people signing up to join me on January 1st for my next 100 Days because I know when I put myself in a challenge group – when I am leading one – I feel a sense of responsibility to be walking the talk and setting an example for others.

I have not always been where I am today in terms of the state of mind. I have had some rough years – with anxiety, depression and a lot of loss! But I managed to turn things around bit by bit using various tools, seeking out help and of course, blogging.

I am now venturing one step further and I think I’ll share some videos too – on my YouTube Channel and from time to time on Facebook Live. The next video I will do – perhaps later today will be to share with you a bit of my history – the struggles I have had and the WINS I have had.

No matter where you are or how you are feeling – chances are – NO, I mean I know for SURE – you are not alone! The amazing thing about this is being able to share with people who can relate. If someone doesn’t have an issue with alcohol – they don’t ‘get’ how hard it can be to abstain. Believe you me – I TOTALLY GET IT!! And my hope is that the group will be supportive and non-judgmental as my team is on SparkPeople – however the 100 Day Challenge is just that – for those who want to be 100% NO BOOZE for 100 days! I posted about alternatives if you simply want to cut back – Cutting Down the Booze Team on SparkPeople and HAMS.

So if you want to have a peak at my YouTube Channel (I re-watched my first video at 50 days and was surprised by how similar it was to the 100 days) – you will see 3 posts for now, but I’ll be adding to it.

Today’s plan – with my workout done … I’m enjoying some quiet time until my guy wakes up. We have a winter storm watch. My partner and I did our errands yesterday so we are home and just going to enjoy the day together, maybe get a bit of work done, and YES – I am planning on having drinks today… so we’ll see how that goes.

Here’s to making it a great day!!

100th Day – Success!

15541913_1108379195926444_2989509071391420090_nAfter my 50th Birthday in September, I publicly shared that I was going to do 50 days without alcohol – but then I decided to double it to 100 days to honor of my sister who passed at the age of 50 due to her issues with alcohol.

The 100 Day Challenge was something I had tried to do when I first started my blog “Lose ‘da Booze” back in May 2013 (losedabooze.wordpress.com/…/…/day-2-of-my-100-day-challenge/). As part of my ‘renewed’ fitness journey in January of 2016 (as I’ve been battling with my weight for decades) – I decided it was TIME to go for it! I posted a live video on Facebook but this blog/text accompanies it.

Before doing this 100 days – sometimes going a couple of days without alcohol was a challenge – this has been a real struggle with me at times  … But I will say that 2016 is the year things started to change in so many ways. I did do a 30 day stretch of AF days in May – but over the summer slipped into habits that involved too much food and drink – resulting in me feeling horrible about myself – my weight was up – I was so bloated especially in the mid-section. My energy was down. I just had this guilt and a feeling that I was a failure because I couldn’t be moderate when it came to drinks.

I have been doing a LOT of work on myself this year including getting some of my own coaching – but what really seemed to FLIP THE SWITCH for me was the Soul Re-structuring Session I had with Julie Richer of Richer Transformations. The initial assessment and our discussion and a couple of words just hit a chord with me… She was asking about my history and what was going on and I found myself revolving and speaking about how my struggle with alcohol was really the BARRIER and cause of so much heartache in my life and it was preventing me from moving forward. Then she said to me “is this something you REALLY REALLY want”… and the answer was YES.

She also said something to me that made me even more determined to push through this – as she examined all areas of my life and things that I was doing or taking on, she suggested that perhaps I needed to let go of the Beachbody Coaching because I had so many other things happening (including a full time job, part-time teaching, virtual assistant work and being a single mom). That hit a nerve – I could feel in the PIT of my stomach (that gutt feeling) that this was the LAST thing I wanted to let go of and that ‘Da Booze had to go! For 100 days at least – in order to give me a fresh perspective on where I needed to go from there…

I work with a team that is all about Healthy Active Living. I am so passionate about this that I launched a Fit Club at work. I have always had a passion for helping others and my dream was to motivate and inspire others to reach THEIR health goals! But FIRST I had to be the example and so this journey began!

It started with me going in 100% with my workouts! Without the booze there was space for me to do so much more. I couldn’t sleep last night because I was thinking about all that brought me to this day so I got up and started writing…

Some of the benefits observed were day to day and then of course the results I’ve had with 22.5lbs lost and 21 inches GONE!

I was experiencing hot flashes with my peri-menopause and those are gone for the most part.

The MONEY saved! I started using this amazing APP called Sober Time – which by the way is what I believe to be another KEY factor to keeping me going – checking in to see where I was at… and seeing those goals getting checked off just kept me going. I didn’t want to have to reset it! The app says I’ve saved about $1000 based on what I estimated I was spending on alcohol!

I was better able to deal with stress… and more confident in my decisions

I was no longer trying to hide from myself, my emotions or my problems – instead I was working to find solutions.

Instead of numbing myself – I was giving myself permission to recognize what I was feeling and looking at what I needed to do to get through it (and this is where my workouts and community was so amazing… as I blog on SparkPeople too – and have the team that I lead there called Cutting Down ‘da Booze (Calories)…

I am so much more productive now – I barely sit to watch TV now and I am no longer dancing around tasks I used to procrastinate about – and dealing with it … clearing out the clutter, making space for the NEW stuff to come in … more joy and more peace.

I have so much more PRIDE and less guilt – I would always cave in before which made me feel like crap (and came really close after passing my 90th day thinking – well that’s good enough – it’s been 3 months but I pushed through)…

I have more clarity about everything – there’s no brain fog, no hangovers or wasted days.

I have more time to FOCUS on things that really matter – like really launching myself in my fitness programs and getting results!! And helping others! If you want more info on this – just email me at helene@befitspirited.com because – working out with my Beachbody programs has been an incredible GAME changer for me!

Instead of being a couch potato watching other people’s stories or drama on TV – I am investing my time in much healthier activities and even re-visiting things I used to love to do (crafts, painting, reading).

I have FREEDOM!! I could spontaneously pick up and drive off anywhere – when you are having drinks you can’t and your life plans seem to revolve around ok well – if I do this then I can’t do that… blah blah blah…

I’m finally WALKING THE TALK – after YEARS of thinking about, wishing, intending… I’m DOING things that are really making a difference and it’s working.

Having the accountability – becoming more involved with Beachbody as I joined the Ottawa Market Council has me so excited – meeting super trainers and people I’ve admired through DVD’s and infomercials .. I am not meeting in PERSON (like recently Mindy and Lee Lawhorne and this January 8th – I will get to meet The Beast, The Hammer – Sagi Kalev!!… None of this would have been possible without my commitment to health first! I honestly can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring…

So many have asked – what are you going to do for the next 2 weeks – well I’m going to allow myself drinks – but I’m going to be mindful and practice balance (80/20 rule) –I certainly don’t want to undo all of the amazing results I have achieved and I WON’T … because I have my challenge groups and I don’t want to let anyone down!

I’m going to take the time to observe how I am feeling and I will be posting and sharing regularly if you want to check in.

I will be planning my days where there will be socializing and I will ensure it is balanced with my workouts and healthy eating.

Then comes January 1st!! And I launch into another 100 days to lead me to my Dream Trip to Hawaii – I call Hawaii 5-0 on April 13th … my sister’s birthdate.

I’m thrilled to see so many asked to join in and the group is open for anyone who wishes to be 100% AF for 100 days! Here’s the link again: Jan 1, 2017 – 100 Day Challenge “Lose ‘Da Booze”

I will say that I am not following any specific program and my beliefs lie more with harm reduction than that of an AA philosophy because I do NOT believe I am powerless …

There is another group that I’m part of which is great if you simply want to monitor your drinking and perhaps not yet ready for the 100 day challenge … and the link will bring you to their page – I’m a member there too (the group’s name is called HAMS – Harm Reduction for Alcohol, Abstinence and Moderation Support www.facebook.com/groups/harmreduction/)

I think this is a perfect time of year to consider doing this and I’d love to have YOU join me for the next 100 days to see what kinds of results YOU can get…

99 Days Alcohol Free!!

2016-12-14-05-29-36This is what HEALTHY looks like! Seriously 99 days today and I hit my 100 day goal tomorrow! I am feeling absolutely amazing and my skin and spirit is GLOWING!!

I can’t wait to share with you all the benefits I’ve reaped from this on my first LIVE Facebook 100 Days AF – Lessons and Benefits video tomorrow between 8 and 9pm EST. You can visit my page if it’s something that may be of interest to you! The video will be posted / saved there for those who can’t join in live and I’ll be responding to any questions or comments after the broadcast too!

Seriously singing in my head (99 bottles of beer on the wall – except I’ve had ZILCH for 99 days!!)…

90 Days AF!!!

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WooHoo to 90 days! Seriously though – I have NOT had this length of an Alcohol Free (AF) in about 16 years (when I was pregnant with my youngest)!

The BENEFITS have been amazing. As of yesterday – since I started this stretch of AF time – I have lost 20.5lbs. Overall this year (since January) 33lbs – so you see the bulk of the weight has come off when I cut out the booze as I’m more consistent with my workouts.

I have 10 more days before I hit my 100 Day Goal! Last week was tough and I had MANY thoughts of caving in as I wasn’t feeling well (had a flu with migraines) and just wanted to drink to numb the pain. I pushed through it though and I’m so glad I did.

My plan remains – a ‘wet’ holiday (where I’ll allow myself drinks from Dec 17 to the 31st) and then I’m launching another 100 Day Challenge if you want to join – just click the link!

The next 100 Day Challenge will ensure I start the NEW year in the mode where I’m more mindful of my health goals and on track to keep working to toning up while losing weight before my BIG trip to Hawaii!

Happy 90 Days to me!! Feeling so proud – seriously never thought I’d make it!!