Dry January and BEYOND!

I woke up this morning to find that perhaps… I am inspiring people and so honored to be ‘featured’ this week as Woman of the Week! I am honestly MOST proud of our Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Challenge group and all the goodness that is coming from it!!

Today marks Day 31 for those who started on January 1st! For some it’s been successful – for others, there have been resets or a change in their goals… but I think I can safely say for ALL it’s been beneficial!

The group is setup to be for those who are committed to 100 days or more AF (alcohol free) – and to those who are not ready for that level yet, I recommend they follow HAMS or that they join the team I lead through SparkPeople Cutting Down the Booze (Calories).  Better is better… so long as you work to improve.

I know it took me years to get to where I am and I have had to work through some tough stuff before I was able to finally accomplish the 100 days. So if you’re not there yet, don’t beat yourself up! Seek help and support. I would love to connect with you (you can always email me or personal message me on my Facebook page).

For me – after finally working through all the ‘other stuff’ I am now working on the physical component! BeFitSpirited … the name of my website because being healthy is all about doing so – mind, body and spirit (as you can’t have overall wellness without a balance of all of these factors).

I am truly feeling that VIBE of Success and boy does it feel good! As we turn the page to the new month ahead – if you feel you’ve kind of lost the momentum that comes with the new year’s resolutions or goals – I am here for you! Reach out!! Check out this amazing deal too – which ends at the end of February!! It’s what I now credit my physical transformation to!! All Access to all the workouts I want from the comfort of my own home… no driving to a gym – no wasting time cleaning off the car (it’s a cold winter where I live) – I just press PLAY and can do it even when I am traveling. I’d love to help get you started! You can visit my website for more info All Access Pass

Here’s to kicking off the NEW month with POWER!! I can’t wait to see what we accomplish in February!!

Wanting to do it ALL – Day 29 of 100

I’m just sitting down for a bit of a break… Last weekend I spent most of it helping my daughter move. This weekend – we had dinner with friends on Friday night and spent the day visiting my partner’s family. Today I woke up and did a double workout (to make up for one I missed this week) then showered and we headed into town to run errands and get groceries. I made a nice soup for lunch and then he went off to an event I encouraged him to attend (I was kind of looking forward to some alone time).

I then continued some food prep – made some chicken fried rice, a batch of chili and a snack with my Shakeology (for when those chocolate cravings hit… as I plan on cutting on this daily habit I picked up of eating chocolates since I quit ‘da booze again).

I have so many projects I want to do and it feels like there’s never enough time. Odd since I used to waste so much time with my drinking habit. Now I have to really be careful about how I schedule things to stay balanced and not over extend myself.

I’m grateful for the energy and clarity that I have. I am grateful for the commitment that now seems so easy to stick to – like a new way of life.

And I have been keeping up with posts on our amazing Facebook Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Challenge group! I’m going to ring in and share that this time round – the weight is not falling off as it did in my first 100 days. I am now at this set point I was at before 3 years ago for what seemed like forever and I watch as my weight bounces between 3 lbs up and down … but I’m going to continue tweaking my plan and journal what I eat to see where I can improve.

I googled a few articles too and I do believe in my case the peri-menopause and hormones are also playing a role. But no matter what that number reads on the scale – I feel so much healthier now than I have in ages! I pushed really hard with my weights this morning and it felt so empowering! Tomorrow I start week 5 of 12 with the Body Beast Program and I know I will follow it through to the end. I will do my monthly check on February 1st with my weight and measurements.

I was telling my partner that I’m where I was when I finished my first 100 and that is why historically I could never lose because I’d quickly regain as soon as I allowed myself drinks which would be for days in a row.

So I’m going to just keep doing what I’m doing. Pacing myself. Writing things down on my to do list and crossing them off with satisfaction. I just finished cleaning the house (something I neglected so badly too when I drank). Laundry is done, dusting, floors are washed, bathrooms cleaned.

And the rest of the night will be spent relaxing a bit and enjoying the last of my weekend ‘night’. Looking forward to hitting it again tomorrow morning with my Monday feeling amazing and on track!

Let’s Talk… Day 25 of 100 (round 2)

16265855_10153967242947563_5536163841391382683_nToday was a day to open up and talk about mental health issues. So I thought I’d share that I myself have been through depression, I have experienced major anxiety and I also have been a parent to three (including my step-daughter) girls who have suffered from the same. Both of my own girls were subjected to horrific experiences in their lives which brought on a lot of hurt. Both have used self-harm as a means of releasing some of their pain.

I’m happy to say that at least the self-harm days are behind us but the scars will remain forever.

Many times I used to use alcohol to try and cope and make myself feel better – when in fact it most often perpetuated or worsened some problems. Now that I have 25 days in and a 100 day abstinence period behind me – my perspective on dealing with stress, anxiety and depression is so different.

I am finding healthier ways to cope such as starting a group on Facebook where we have some day to day accountability and support and it’s extending beyond just being AF to sharing on other topics to bring us more health.

I have a new addiction these days and that is to my workout programs. I look forward to them every day and when I miss them I feel the difference. I make time for them – schedule it in my calendar. I use my FitBit to stay motivated and try to reach my 10,000 steps a day.

Today my outdoor walk at lunch was necessary to try and deal with some stress relative to my daughter having a few bad days. And during this walk my phone fell and broke .. replacing it cost me $226 – and this would have just been the thing that would have made me snap and want to say ‘fuck it all – I may as well drink’… but that did not, nor will it happen.

Instead – I came back home and I am alone until bedtime (my partner is out for training with work). I am here blogging and checking in. And I am looking forward to my night time pampering routine – the epsom salts bubble bath by candelight.. and getting to bed early enough to wake up at 3:45 and get my routine and new day started!

Not once did I crave a drink – and there’s tons in the house … and even alone when I could sneak it and ‘not tell you’ about it – I won’t because when I commit to something – especially outside of just this personal secret commitment but when I put it out there – it means so much more.

So on this day where we are to try and be more open – I share again how I am bit by bit sharing more publicly about this issue – the alcohol issue… because I think it’s another one that many don’t discuss but experience. So let’s open up bit by bit – share as you feel comfortable. You may be surprised by how positively people react.

I am trusting all of you … and sharing in the hopes that perhaps my story can help others.88908c1bb2b8510e0215ac869f94d186

Knowing When to Call it a Night

bitmoji-802778330When we are on this journey to staying sober – sometimes we go into overdrive because we find this new energy and we GO (and go and go)…

But today – after we finished moving my daughter in – the energy left me. I felt the drain and perhaps it’s because this has been so emotional leading up to the move.

It didn’t come easy (her applications for the first two apartments were refusedand just waiting to hear about this one and FINALLY getting her out of that bad living situation she was in into something brither and healthier). There were many stressful moments. BUT – I dealt with all of it 100% SOBER because I’m on day 22 of my 100 day challenge and can’t even think of messing it up.

There were many opportunities presented with/surrounding alcohol and perhaps the only time I had a bit of a twinge was at the end of the very long day yesterday – we went to a busy restaurant and my partner’s tall cold glass of beer looked good … but I ordered my Club Soda with Lemon and felt great for doing so.

So as we launch into the fourth week of this 100 Day Challenge – my goals are being tweaked a bit… YES to continued concentration on self-care and getting enough rest/sleep (so as soon as I post this I’m going for my bath – may body is ACHING from all the physical work over the past two days).

For February 1st – I’m going to start a challenge for myself to cut out chocolate and chips for the month and I am sure it will be hard given it’s Valentine’s month and there’s plenty of treats but I want to reach 150Ville and I am only 4lbs away – and that will mark my 40 lbs lost milestone! I made time this weekend to cook some healthy stuff (really getting back into the groove of cooking – something I dreaded or avoided when I was into the daily drinking).

I know the scale is not the only measure of success – but it’s been steadily moving – my stats… be it my measurements, my skin’s glow, my energy and my weight… all going in the right direction thanks to this challenge of losing the booze (which at this point feels like a no brainer thanks to that book The Naked Mind – that I’m reading about a chapter a day).

So here’s to a fresh new week starting tomorrow! Here’s to a restful and peaceful sleep tonight knowing I have setup my daughters as best I can. Here’s to a guilt free conscience because I am sticking to my goals!!

Have a great night everyone!!

Day 21 – 2nd 100 Day Challenge

Another sleepless night for me … but despite this I have NO DOUBT that I will complete day 21 without cravings or issues.
Seriously – all this awake time allows for a lot of thinking/reflecting. I was reading more of The Naked Mind and even as I read the words I feel a change has already occurred inside for me. The SHIFT has finally happened – one I truly was after for so many years, where I control the alcohol and not the other way around.
In the past, days like today would have been a trigger for drinking – when I was tired, I’d want to just chill and have drinks. But now, I feel so energized! Honestly – even with this little amount of sleep, I’m excited today because I’m FINALLY helping my daughter move into her own place! My honey is working overtime until noon and once he gets back home around 1 we’ll start loading up the truck and trailer and head over to get her settled in.
This has been a HUGE stressor for me (and honestly BIG kudos to my daughter as I don’t know how she survived this long in the living conditions she was in). I hope that after today – I can walk away feeling good about where she is and hopeful for her to finally have her really good ‘first’ start at being on her own. She moved out a couple of years ago but had shitty living situations … until this move!
Being sober through all of this has kept me really strong and focused. Having the group of fellow 100 Day Challenge Lose ‘da Booze participants has given me even more OUMFF if you will to make this 2nd round even better than the first! Seeing the support and just how well everyone is feeling is incredibly inspiring. To a point where I really question even during this next ‘break’ before my 3rd 100 Days (or more) challenge will be different too.
When I completed my first 100 days on Dec 16th – I had my first drink on Dec 17th later in the day and to my surprise it didn’t even really taste that great or give me much pleasure. Yet I kept having some. And every day – I had drinks from that date until 11:55pm on Dec 31st before I started this 2nd round.
To be honest, I had some fears and doubts that I’d be able to get back on board the AF train as that used to be an issue for me… but once I got past those first few days (days 1 to 3 are usually the hardest)… it has been a breeze! I’m no longer really obsessively checking my Sober Time app as I did the first time (yet I still find it incredibly motivating to see the money I’m saving – and now spending on some fun pampering stuff… like getting my nails redone)…

Honestly – my Fridays have never been better! From a truly productive day at work (with a photo shoot to update a pic for use for our annual report and some of my other stuff), to after work pampering for ME – then picking up my daughter to get her glasses and do some shopping and visiting a friend.

Freedom reigns as I am sober and can drive myself anywhere … and I’m so grateful to have the financial freedom to be able to do stuff (after years of struggling and biting the bit and barely getting by).

This week I hit a SUPER goal with my coaching business that I have been aiming for it’s been almost 2 years… I’ll post when it’s official!

I’m part of an amazing group with our local coaches and I help put on our local events!! So thrilled about all I’m able to do (and have the CONFIDENCE to do now).

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To be honest – I would have never pictured myself among these other lovely ladies… but here I am. Pushing past the comfort zone on so many levels! Seriously NOT allowing ‘da booze to hold me back anymore. So many times in the past I would opt out or back out last minute and if I am honest about it – the alcohol played a HUGE part in my not advancing in many areas of my life (even though I was a high functioning drinker – I still saw opportunities missed).

Life like that is behind me! When I finish this second round – I’ll be boarding a plane to go on my dream trip to Hawaii for 13 days! Another dream of mine that I am sure would have not been possible had I not made the changes in my life! Of course my partner is a HUGE reason why this is happening too… but it’s all in the cards and how I’m playing the deck now!

Seriously – 2017 is going to be my most amazing year!! And it’s all because I finally LET GO of that booze voice inside my head to replace it with my passion for Fitness and my passion for helping others live THEIR best lives too!

Connecting with Others

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Today was about connecting for me… through our group on Facebook, at work and at home. I believe that having this new found clarity in my ‘headspace’ has something to do with it. I’m no longer thinking about drinking on a daily basis. Heck I’m not even checking my Sober Time app as much – I am however drawn to our closed support and accountability group and driven by it! The positive energy from there is contagious.

Then at work – I’m just so motivated to do more in every way – with my volunteer involvement, and our committees. With my Beachbody coaching … exciting stuff as my niece has decided to sign up as a discount coach with me and by tomorrow I will FINALLY have achieved the first rank of Emerald. It’s never been about a race to get there – I always wanted to make it happen by truly helping people and not pushing anything salesly in any way. Simply by sharing my journey and my own success… people are really starting to take notice.

And today at work – just as I was busy selling tickets for our Paint Night event… I made a connection with someone that happened to have so much in common with me … we are from the same area/home town… we both have children who have had issues with mental health and we both want to make a change when it comes to quitting ‘da booze but without the preachy AA cult like stuff. Because no matter what anyone says – I am in control and I am NOT powerless!

Now I’m winding down and getting ready for my new night time routine – I even picked up some sample facial masks and may use one while I give myself a soak in the tub and hit the hay to hit my sleep goal of 6 to 7 hours of sleep.

I really hope to read a bit more of the Naked Mind too…

And so ends another beautiful SOBER day and I don’t feel like I’m missing out at all in any way … as a matter of fact … my life is truly much richer today and for that I’m very grateful!

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Feeling Peace and Strength

I feel strong – stronger than I have since I can remember. Despite last night’s tough moment with my daughter – I chose to go to bed and rested peacefully for 7.5 hours and woke up with renewed energy. We talked today and it was all ‘good’ and we’re now planning for her move and it’s something that really brings me so much relief as a parent who has been worrying about this for so long.

The peace I feel also comes from my practices of being sober (as you see from my pre-starred calendar above and notes of all I have done so far this month). I KNOW this year is going to be like no other.

For years I talked about it… making those resolutions to change things but never really following through. Well this time – it’s completely different! I can’t tell you how amazing going a 2nd time round with this 100 day challenge with just a two week break in between feels amazing. My mind is thinking of all the things  that have changed and are changing.

All the problems I have been having with my daughters for the past few years seem to be fading away. Is it because I am just no longer living the drama or drinking to mask it (and perhaps at times perpetuating issues because of it)…

All I know is I am happier now than I have been in decades! My fitness journey, my passion for helping others and leading by example is allowing me to do great things!

I honestly wish I had done this a long time ago … but every thing happens for a reason and the lessons I learned along the way are what brought me here.

I am still not intending on being completely without alcohol forever at this point (I do however plan on having recurring 100+ days without for this entire year and next year – we’ll see where things stand).

When I started this blog back in 2013 – and in the description of this blog I speak about letting go of that booze ‘voice’ in my head and I can happily say it no longer has the hold it had on me before. I am in control and damn – it feels amazing!

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Putting Words In My Mouth…

Having a conversation on the phone with my daughter tonight … and what was supposed to be a positive call (she finally found a place) turned into the ‘twisting of words’ and her saying I was yelling and swearing… when I KNOW I wasn’t.

You see the issue has been historically – that I probably did behave that way (or at least I would always second guess myself) but being SOBER and being present in the words I speak – I am very aware of what I’m saying yet my daughter I think still views me in a way that we used to communicate when we would get into arguments when I used to be drinking.

It’s sad really and frustrating – but I guess it’s my reality. The fact that it’s a touchy subject too that has to do with having to deal with my ex (she wanted me to talk to him and I avoid it at all costs now and deal with him through the legal system only). We are at a crossroad… but once we cross this bridge or path – I hope that things will settle down.

Having both my daughters in a good living space and having a good relationship with them is important to me. Being SOBER while dealing with this stage of transition and my ‘early and unexpected’ empty nesting… as my youngest just turns 16 next month is something I have to really allow to sink in… That and just moving in with a partner after being on my own for 14 years… Let’s just stay I’m glad I went to see my therapist to talk about all of it.

She re-assured me that I was doing very well and I do believe I’m on the right path… but tonight – I’m feeling drained … and I ate some of my emotions (had chips and cheesecake) but I did NOT drink. I did a workout and now going to log off and head up to take a bath and perhaps read more of the Naked Mind book.

Tomorrow is a new day and I need to let go of that which I can’t really control…

Day 15 – Going Strong!

15937163_1132349873529376_4907345628794705583_oDay 15 and I am down 5.5lbs! I haven’t measured as I usually do that once a month so that will happen Feb 1st.

The clarity I’m experiencing this round (2nd 100 Days) is even better than the first! The ‘high’ I’m feeling is so amazing. It just goes to show you that you really have to be READY to make the changes and for me – that happened once I hit my 50th Birthday!

I knew I couldn’t keep living as I had been if I wanted to stay healthy. As a Beachbody coach – I had to set an example and walk the talk – and as I started really focusing on the fitness, the alcohol and the priority it used to take in my life started to fade.

My new obsession is to be at my FITTEST … with my mantra Fit@50&Beyond! So I’m arming myself in ways to ensure that it happens!

We’re only 15 days in and I know I may not always feel super perky as I am now – but I also know I have a safe space to share and vent… and THAT has been key to my success – and I hope it does the same for others.

So here’s to wrapping up week two… and wishing everyone a great week ahead!

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Day 12 – I Believe…

15895328_10153928868087563_6091805489196409821_nThis SECOND 100 Day Challenge is even better than my first one… why you say? Well the first one I did on my own – and blogged and posted in another group (HAMS and Cutting Down the Booze (Calories) on SparkPeople) … but created a specific group geared to others who may wish to join me in doing 100 days without ‘da booze… has been the BEST experience ever so far!

I am on a natural high from all that I’m seeing!! We are sharing our experiences and feelings in a safe space. I share some stuff on my blog but generalize a lot of it because it is public. The group on Facebook is closed so it’s safe to share more details that I perhaps don’t want my family or workplace to read. The expectation from all is respect for privacy and anyone who breaks that would be banned from the group – but I’ve seen nothing but love and support so far and GROWTH.. and great pictures showing progress and only on day 12!!

If you were to go back in my archives from this blog, you would see how much I struggled with this from being gung ho to doing this all the way to making excuses why it was ok to not complete the goal. That’s not even a negotiable for me now – committing to this group. Creating it and leading it – I don’t want to let anyone down… and I want to share how I felt as I went through my first 100 days.

How it wasn’t always easy, but how I worked through it and made it to VICTORY! I know many of our challengers will do the same! If but ONE life is improved by this group I’ll be happy… but I know there are already so many positives taking place and it’s so rewarding… it fills my heart with pride and JOY!

Alcohol doesn’t seem to have the hold it had on me before – yes we’re approching another weekend but so what?! That means I get more time to do my stuff… and BOY do I have lots I want to do!

Being without alcohol allows me to deal with issues arising in my relationship in a positive constructive way – instead of allowing ‘da booze to speak nasty about how crappy it is to have your partner act like a child who is pouting.

My kids are finally turning a corner (again – reading back on some of my older blogs – man I lived through lots with them)… but it’s finally getting better!

2017 promises to be the best year ever… and that’s my expectation, intention and what I will make ‘so’.

Bring it on with more strength (oh and my coaching stuff, my workouts, my passion – my life… so KEY to how I feel right now – you can read more about me on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/CoachHeleneLarocque/ where I post daily!

Bring on the weekend I say! And more FREEDOM and productivity!!

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PS – Would you like to be part of this amazing group? Well the only condition is that you are committed to being AF (alcohol free) or ABS (abstain) for 100 days. Many started January 1st, but the challenge is open to start at anytime – so long as you commit to the 100 days! Here’s the link to join the Lose ‘Da Booze 100 Day Challenge