Weekend #8 – 2nd 100 Day Challenge

bitmoji37853757Feeling pretty awesome today – as we enter into our 8th weekend on this 100 Day Challenge. Not even a tingling or incling of any cravings on this Friday – but rather the anticipation of having more time to do healthy things!

It’s amazing how your outlook on things change when you take a break from ‘da booze. And it’s also amazing how you still find there’s not enough time to do all you’re inspired to do (well that’s at least the case for me).

I can’t believe the amount of time I wasted – drinking while sitting on the couch and often cancelling out on plans so I could keep drinking and just plain avoiding LIFE. WHY?! It was a vicious cycle – I would drink and then I’d want to withdraw more. I was using alcohol to cope but it was bringing about other issues for me… including problems in my relationships, missed work, missed opportunities, weight gain, high blood pressure, anxiety… and I could go on.

Looking ahead to this weekend – I’m excited about getting home to get another workout in. I’m excited about being able to drive at any time – spontaneously and without a care as I will not be drinking. Tomorrow we go pick up my daugther’s new pet rabbit. That will be awesome for her and for me (to see her happy again as she lost her first one on Jan 4th).

My partner is going away to camp so I have alone time – YASSSS – I do love it because I can do what I want without guilt or fear that he may feel neglected. It means I can do some food prep and more organizing.

So what are your plans this weekend? I’d love to hear… Will you be making Healthy Choices?! Yes or No?

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New Challenge Group – May 1st!

designFollowing this current 100 Day Challenge (well for me 102 days)… I am planning on launching a second separate group for those who wish to have 300 or more days AF in a one year period!

To join this group – you must FIRST complete the 100 Day challenge (as I believe that’s the game changer to re-setting your mindset around alcohol). The 100 Day Challenge group will continue indefinitely and I will be there to support everyone who decides to join and cheer you along the way!

This new group is for those who have completed their 100 days, and still want to maintain mostly AF days, but allow for some special occasions and dates where you allow yourself ‘da drink. BUT never going back to old patterns… (if you sense you’re slipping back then I recommend going back to the 100 Day Challenge group).

Everyone has their own take/opinion on this – and when I set out to Lose ‘da Booze – my intention was truly to lose the HOLD that alcohol had on me. While I know for some it’s just easier to say NO for good… that’s not how I wish for this to play out.

I want a balanced life. I want to be able to have drinks when I want and have the take it or leave it attitude. That being said, I of course intend to NEVER go back to the patterns I was in before of the daily drinking or having one day turn into many days!

I’ve been feeling so great and I have tons of health goals I want to achieve and having ‘da booze on a regular basis just won’t allow that to happen – so I’m making a conscious choice… to continue on this positive path… complete my 2nd 100 Day Challenge… enjoy my trip to Hawaii (and including some AF days there too)… and come back refreshed and ready to tackle more goals!

The other point I’d like to mention is that my work will be reduced to 4 days per week… and I’m honestly looking to build upon what I hope will be a community and be a resource to those who need guidance. I also want to disclaim – I am NOT a professional coach and if someone has a serious issue with alcohol addiction – you may need to seek professional help… but I do want to make myself available for more one on one coaching through those tough moments some may experience. Now my business coach said I needed to start ‘charging’ for my services because I need to value what I do and the hours I spend out of my personal time to keep these groups going. While I concur – I also don’t want this to be viewed as you must pay to get the help and guidance either… so what I am setting up for now is the option of a gratitude tip.

I mention it on my website under my services (Lose ‘Da Booze Support) … and if you feel inspired and want to express your gratitude… you can click on the Gratitude Jar. There is NO obligation for this nor is there any expectation on my part… I LOVE what I’m doing and for me the payment lies in hearing the positive feedback about how lives are improving and changing. To me – that’s the ultimate and priceless pay off!

First and foremost – I will always be about being of service to others… and I can’t wait to continue on this journey!! The NEW group will be launched upon my return from Hawaii… so stay tuned for details! In the meantime – if you are ready to take the 100 Day challenge – just click on the link above and join us!

Day 50 – 2nd 100 Day Challenge

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Waking up today feeling totally incredible!! I was reviewing my first 50 Day Video and noting how much things have continued to improve as I started 2017 with another 100 Day Challenge! I also reviewed my blog from when I hit that Milestone for the first time in October 2016.

I love being able to add to the BENEFITS I’ve since experienced… and list a few here:

  • I another 11.5lbs since starting THIS 2nd 100 Day Challenge – and now at my 40lbs lost milestone
  • I am still on course with my daily actions towards my fitness goals and taking it a step further as I registered myself to become a CIZE instructor!!
  • This time round, I’m not doing it on my own but with an incredible group of likeminded people who just decided it was time to Lose ‘da Booze for 100 days (or more) – anyone can join at any time so long as they intend to go 100 days or more without ‘da booze (being AF – alcohol free)…
  • I am coping and managing stress head on and my anxiety and quality of life is so much better (as I’m no longer using alcohol to temporarily mask the issues, but rather dealing with them)
  • I am now 53 days away from my dream trip to Hawaii (50)… as I mentioned in the VIDEO this is all about the BIG number 50 – as I turned 50 this year, in honor of my sister who passed at 50 in 2008 due to her issues with alcohol

So here’s to NAILING it and doing a repeat of this 50 days to reach our 100 Day Challenge goal!! For me this time round it will be 103 days!! My goal for 2017 is to repeat the 100 day challenge 3 times over!! Starting back up following my vacation/trip to Hawaii.

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Getting Through Tough Days

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It’s been a couple of tough days for me and as a result the cravings for filling that void or making the uncomfortable feeling go away leads to cravings for ‘da booze… but instead I turned to ‘da food. I know it’s not better, but in my view it’s better than having given in to my commitment on 100+ days AF.

My daughter continues to have issues and now is out of school again so she can focus on her mental health issues. It means we won’t see each other as much and that has left me feeling a void – the empty nest stuff I guess. We’ll see what happens next week when she sees her psychiatrist. My hope is that they can find a medication that can help with her ADD so that she can focus and be able to get to some school work.

So while the month was to focus on cleaner eating, it was also a month about self-care and sometimes we just need to give ourselves a break! The break I used to give myself was allowing myself a pass in the sense that I would talk myself into “It’s ok if I have a drink” – but because I’m committed to the full 100+ days – and because of our group I knew I had to work through this to get past the urges.

So it’s now 7:30pm and I can safely confirm day 45 AF of  my SECOND 100 days is in the books!

I also got some bad news over the past few days that remind me that my woes are nothing in comparison … one of my friend’s lost her son (he was in his early 20’s)… I can’t imagine losing a child (at any age). And then tonight I received a call about a girlfriend who would have been 56 years young in April – she’s likely not going to make the night … the BIG C is taking her away (she was in so much pain they had to put her in a coma to make her comfortable). So my niece and her brother and her children are by her side…

When I look at the BIG picture like this – my problems seem like nothing. I have my health. I have my resolve and I WILL stay on course to be healthier tomorrow than I was today! So no matter what life throws your way… stay the course, stay sober and…

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Hello Day 40! Face to Face Comparison

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So here I am at Day 40 during my 2nd 100 (+) day Lose ‘da Booze Challenge and I will say that this time the weight is not coming off as fast .. namely because that’s what happens when you start to get closer to your goals.

I have lost 8.5 lbs but what I find more impressive is how I feel and look!

I have a healthier glow about me. Above is the face to face from Day 1 to this week! Can you see the difference!?!

I have more energy. I am definitely getting more toned thanks to my consistent workouts because I’m not drinking. I’m loving my guns… and hooked on working to make them even more defined (and say goodbye to the jiggles).So I guess it’s true when you give up one addiction you often replace it with another… but in my case it’s FINALLY being replaced with something I’m passionate about – my health and helping others achieve this kind of success with their own fitness/health as I continue to lead by example through my own journey (as it’s NOT OVER yet).

So I’m not reverting to a negative habit as that sometimes happens (although I still sneak in the odd treats / sweets and yes pizza lol). I’m finding balance – I’m practicing self-care, I’m more aware, I’m more ALIVE!! And I’m truly thriving!

The Facebook group “Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Challenge” that I created and that I’ve grown so fond of are like a ‘family’ to me now. There are great things happening and we’re not even at the halfway mark yet! I can’t wait to see what the next 60 days will bring!

Here’s to letting go of ‘da booze, slowly letting go of the wrong kind of bulges (in ‘da belly) and building the RIGHT kind of strength!! As Sagi Kalev would say “Stand in YOUR Power” #Whatever it takes!!

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Testimonials from our 100 Day Challenge group: One month in

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Today’s blog is dedicated to our wonderful Lose ‘Da Booze 100 Day Challenge Group members who have been open to sharing and posting. Through the first month, we have developed what I believe is an incredible community – almost like our own little family of support and positivity as we strive to improve our lives with this 100 days (or more) AF (alcohol free) challenge…

I am posting this anonymously … because the description for our group is that what is said in our group stays there (to allow for open sharing of some more difficult challenges that will remain confidential within the confines of our group) – but these positives, well with permission I am sharing them so that YOU can see what just ONE month in has done for the lives of those in our group and the people in their lives too!

  • This is my longest time sober in my adult life. Positives are not being hungover so often, feeling good (except for the cold I caught), regular exercise, and sleep!!!!!!!
  • I have learned that my past does not define me, but my current and future life is what I need to look forward to and shape as positively as I can. Some of the things I did in the past that weren’t so attractive was not me – sober Joyce – it was drunk Joyce – so I am learning not to feel guilty about those incidences. I feel terrific in mind body and spirit. I have so much more energy, my mind is sharper and I get so much accomplished. I find I am not as angry and more patient (even though patience has never been a strong attribute). I sooo look forward to communicating with this group. I like the fact that I can provide help and receive helpful comments.
  • I feel so much better. No bloating and down 7 lbs. Happy to wake up pain free , no joint pain
  • My positives are that when I am caregiver for my mother-in-law and she falls, I am able to be present and help her get to a place where she is comfortable to get up. I also have lost a few more pounds, although that is more than likely from my being sick last week than any walking I have done. I have put another $100 in my fund for the pen show, which is an annual thing I attend, I have been putting all my money that Sober Time shows me I have saved into it.
  • I am finally being a “normal ” person by not upon awakening, scurrying into the convenience store picking up my daily 12-pack of beer then drinking until I go to sleep! That’s NO life! I am actively associating with people now, I m keeping myself and my house up, not hurting my liver, and I m not spending money on USELESS AND NASTY beer!😁
  • So much time saved!!! I’m looking forward to my fit February! Lose ‘da Booze complemented by Lose ‘da Bulge! Yay!!!
  • I’ve lost weight, I feel great and I know I can enjoy going out without having to drink.
  • Been told “wow. You’ve lost weight!” I’m starting to feel it! I’m much more regularly moisturizing at night, have saved a ton of money. Lowered anxiety. Lowered depression. Not sitting alone in bars after work to “decompress” very engaged in activism again, less reactive to people (or at least quicker to de-escalate) feeling the change in habits.
  • Longest I have been sober in my adult life. Decreased anxiety, sleeping well. Very productive cleaning up my house and tackling organizing projects. Skin is smooth and soft, not dehydrated. Making healthier food choices. Feels like I have control overlife instead of life controlling me. The challenge: dealing with all these genuine emotions that I used to suppress or make worse with alcohol. Finding self-love again.
  • Things I haven’t heard from my wife since January 1st: you look drunk, why are you drinking, are you drinking later, do you want me to buy beer, don’t drink and drive, you spent all your money on beer, don’t drink my wine, are you drinking my wine, are you hung over, you look hung over, you were a mess last night, ……….Things I haven’t heard from my wife since January 1s:  you look good, am proud of you, how are you feeling, do you want me to buy beer. It goes to show that living with a daily drinker and your ex drinking partner things don’t change in a month. I’m not concerning myself with that now. If I waited for her I would still be where I was last year, drunk. I am doing this for me, no one else. I’m feeling super good and proud of myself. As others have said this is the longest time of my life being sober. I’m getting so much done and feeling good. When I put my hand on my stomach I can feel the flatness and the scale showed 197 this morning 🙂 I’ve said it before but thank you Helene for being you 
  • During these 31 days being AF was my only focus. I tried to start a diet and a workout routine, however, I found that I didn’t have enough willpower to do that. Overall, I feel great and proud of myself. The most challenging thing for me has been accepting the discomfort of dealing with myself: my emotions, my tendency to overanalyze everything, my bossy controlling nature, and my high expectations. For a month I didn’t escape my reality and I felt amazing, irritated, happy, free and downright uncomfortable. However for 31 days AF, I have grown in self-acceptance, self-tolerance, self-awareness, and self-love. Personal Growth has been my biggest reward this month which for the past 10 years I wasn’t able to enjoy because I was stuck in a cycle of shame, guilt, and escape. I welcome February along with its ups and downs. It is great to just be me again.
  • It’s only been 17 days for me but have lost 4 pounds and I am starting to see a light at the end of all the darkness I have felt for so long. Cravings are few and far between and I don’t obsess about my next one. Oh, and the anxiety of the craving is definitely gone, along with the crabby bitch that came with it!
  • So my husband and I are celebrating with iced tea and popcorn tonight! 31 days for both of us and a star filled calendar…. thank you for being such an incredibly supportive and caring family of positive people. Hugs to each and everyone of you and I say congratulations to all of you for all that you have accomplished. We Are One proud group.
  • I was so excited to finally reach this goal!! Today’s message says I get to choose whether I view this AF time as an obstacle or a chance to grow…I choose to grow! Thanks to everyone in this group for the encouragement and support!

Do you want to be part of this community? Are you ready to make a change in YOUR life? Here are the basic rules/principles for the group:

**FIRST and foremost – this group is meant to be a safe space to share a sometimes very private and personal journey related to your desire to let go of alcohol in your life for 100 days (or more). This group is closed to allow for us to be able to share in this group and not open to the open Facebook community you may have on your own page, so please respect this and do not share anything that is said in this group outside of this group. If anyone encounters any issues around this, let me know. I am approving requests for people to join – but do NOT know if there will be some of you that know each other. If you are here together… then it means you both need this.**

I created this group for anyone wanting to do a FULL 100 Day challenge – being AF (alcohol free), ABS (abstaining) – 100%! There’s no failing in here – if your goal is only certain days without then this group ISN’T for you! HAMS is a great support group for moderation support with some periods of abstinence www.facebook.com/groups/harmreduction/. You can also become a part of another team I lead – through SparkPeople – called Cutting Down the Booze – which has a month to month accountability thread and daily chit chat (which I have led for near 10 years). http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_individual.asp?gid=2546

I do not believe in the AA model and if it’s something you believe in then perhaps this group is NOT for you (as I do not believe we are powerless in any way).

When I turned 50 – I made a decision to change my lifestyle – in honor of my sister who passed away in 2008 at the age of 50 because of her issues with alcohol (she drank herself to death). It took me years to get to this point – to be able to finally let go and reach my goals and I think it’s because I adopted the motto Fit@50&Beyond! and simply out to prove that YES this can be done! I know YOU can do it too… if you really ‘REALLY’ want this!

The First Challenge began January 1st, 2017 – but you can join anytime – so long as you commit to a FULL 100 Days Alcohol FREE!

DISCLAIMER ** This  group is for support and encouragement but can NOT replace professional medical counsel. If you have a serious dependence on alcohol or have been a heavy drinker- please consult your doctor or professional counselor before attempting to quit completely for this 100 day Challenge.  You may have to practice tapering first.  **

If this speaks to you then message me at helene@befitspirited.com or send a request to join the group at: Lose ‘Da Booze 100 Day Challenge

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