Day 272 of 365 – The Day After

I wanted to write about the ‘day after’… when you choose to get past the cravings versus ‘giving in’ to the cravings and the feelings associated with both.

When the cravings to drink come calling and we cave in – this is what happens in my head… I start telling myself it’s ok if I have some, I’ve been doing so well. I deserve it. I can stop again tomorrow. And then I start having drinks and just go through the motions of the habit I’ve been working so hard to stop. Later that evening – I start having thoughts about how I will feel tomorrow. If I drank enough, I may not remember details of how the evening ended. Even if I didn’t drink that much – there’s a guilt for not having followed through on my goal/plan. Then there’s the morning after… waking up feeling kind of groggy and headachy. Likely a rotten night’s sleep. I wake up feeling like I’m a failure and can’t meet my goals and then start thinking I may as well give up and keep going and maybe have another drink to make myself feel better…

Then there’s the night where the cravings come calling and I DON’T cave in. Waking up in the morning and feeling so PROUD that I didn’t cave in and that I’m still on track with my goals. There’s a positive determination to make the day another great day. There’s the scale that is down rather than up in weight. There’s a clear head and energy to get a great workout in early in the morning or get outside to take a nice walk and soak in some sunshine (rather than hide from it). There’s a feeling of strength and the more days I have like this the stronger I feel. It’s like building up my AF muscles. I have no shame and don’t feel like I have to hide. I want to eat healthy (versus wanting to eat junk to soak in the booze). I want to actually do activities (rather than stay in bed and hide from the world). I don’t cancel plans – instead I make more!

When I think of how great I feel when I push through those cravings I wish I could bottle that and open it up when that nasty booze voice comes calling again saying ‘it’s ok to have a drink’… because the way I feel NOW versus the way I would have felt had I caved in – well it’s priceless and worth hanging onto.

So here’s to day 203 AF out of my 272 days so far and consecutive day 6 of my new 100 Day Success stretch!! Here’s to another wonderful beautiful sober day in my life!

Day 269 of 365 – 200 AF Days Today!

It is now post-vacation time and I have re-started my AF consecutive days to finish off my one year experiment. I have 69 days that I’ve had drinks out of 269. I feel pretty great about that! While I did slip back to more drinking than intended – I am back to basics using the #SoberTools that I know work for me. I’ve restarted the Sober Time counter. I’m back to blogging and posting more. I’m back to my workouts and eating healthier. Surprisingly this time (so far) the cravings aren’t too bad and my cravings for sugar haven’t been as out of control (although I am only on day 3 of this re-start).

I’m still dealing with a lot of stress relative to my daughter and her mental health issues – but feel stronger and more renewed after taking that week off ‘vacation’. I’m also working on setting healthy boundaries so that I can stay balanced and maintain my own sanity as we continue to navigate this difficult stuff.

I’m winding down after a successful 3rd day and with the first weekend coming up – I’m confident I will stay on track as I am having gum surgery on Friday so I’ll be on mostly a liquid diet – but it WON’T include any booze! I’m here to get back to taking care of my body and letting go of this booze habit that has been robbing me of joy! I’m excited to have others in the group restarting with me (Secret Facebook Group – Losedabooze 100 Day Success Group – send me a message if you want to join in).

The new month is just ahead and I’m excited about a clean month ahead!! Today is day 150 into the year… and here’s the daily guidance from Doreen Virtue’s book…

Day 250 of 365 – Mentally Preparing for Success

I’m preparing for another long stint of AF days with others in our group. What I’ve found helpful as I gear up for these is to mindfully and mentally prepare for it… Lining up my sober tools and rallying a support group to ensure success.

Focusing on success is KEY! Focusing on what you want and CAN have instead of focusing on what you can’t have is what we must keep in mind at all times! As of this morning – I have 55 days with drinks on this one year journey (today is day 250). I am practicing mindfulness relative to the days I have been allowing myself drinks. I’ve been observing how I feel during and after these moments. I am not overdoing it or waking with hangovers, but my energy is definitely affected. I don’t feel as motivated or positive.

It’s a process and a journey for me. I just started listening to the audible of Girl Wash Your Face and I find the personal development time I put into myself with these books or podcasts or videos are great to help me re-align my thoughts to more positive thinking. I’m honestly feeling some peace as I am letting go of the constant fear and worry and I know with a good chunk of AF time behind me this will only keep getting better.

I will honestly say I do have some apprehensions about committing to this stretch with the summer months and activities but life is life and there will always be something going on. The question is what do I want more?! Right now I feel fluffy and bloated. I feel my legs rubbing together more. My bra is tight and uncomfortable. When I think about how much better I felt when I was leaner and lighter – it’s a no brainer that I want to feel THAT more! Is passing on drinks worth it?! YES – it may be or feel like it’s hard – but the satisfaction that comes with sticking to your goals and health plan gives you such a great feeling of accomplishment and pride! Better this than feelings of failure and guilt.

I asked my group to share some of the positives they noticed when they chose to be AF and ALL of them were great!! Here are a few …

I have been AF for 130 days now and my life has definitely improved. After 2 months of sobriety I read the book you mentioned one day, ‘Always Hungry’ by Dr. D. Ludwig and quit sugar and grains, and have lost 5 kgs. I have more energy, more time now that my evenings are not lost in some black hole of wine. I finally started going to a local yoga studio, something I have been contemplating for years, but never quite got around to. I do volunteer work and I am always finding new things to try. I have more hours in each day. All of this I believe has evolved from my original promise to myself, to join your Lose ‘da Booze group on January 1, 2018. Thank you!  D130

When I did the 100 days last year and whenever I am AF, I notice my attitude and patience on the job, with family, driving or tolerating any frustrations is much better.I certainly have a clearer head, think clearer, and have more confidence. My happy hours used to be filled daily with pilates, weight bearing exercises and walking. Gotta get this routine back. Last year (including oral surgery), I lost 22lbs. I did put a few needed pounds back on as I was a bit under weight. I’ve managed to keep the weight at a good level. However, I know the pounds will come back if I don’t behave myself. I have saved so much more money being AF. I wake up feeling fantastic when AF – not worrying about remembering the night before or fearful of saying something to someone I might regret. When I am NOT AF, I find fighting the demon booze voices are much louder than if I abstain. I manage the voices better when I am AF and in control. I really want to go back to those beautiful AF days and I have to get a grip on this.

It’s been quite a journey to get to this point but I know that I can say my life is better without alcohol in it. I sleep better. My skin is healthier. I don’t ever have to try and remember what I said or did the night before. I don’t have to think about if there is booze, how much can I have without drawing attention to myself, or how can I hide it. I can be present for my children and others in times of need. I find that I am not missing out on any “fun” because I don’t drink. I can socialize and go places but I usually leave before the “party” is over. I am proud of the fact that I could recognize that alcohol was taking AWAY from my life and it’s not anymore.

 I havent been around much but I am 130 days, minus 10 days moderating on spring break, sober. I feel like a different person. I work out regularly, cook & eat healthy foods, and have lost 18 lbs. I sleep better, am present at home and at work, Im more relaxed, breath better (no congestion), my digestion is so much better, what I thought were perimenopause symptoms were just alcohol symptoms. I could go on and on. I dont ever want to go back. I dont miss it anymore and have so much more fun without it.’

I just feel and do better in every way when I’m AF. I sleep better, look better, take much better care of myself. I have confidence and determination and feel good about my life no matter what’s going on. Booze just drains the life force out of me and steals my well being. I actually enjoy myself so much more socially when I’m AF too. Once I get past any initial weirdness when around others who are drinking, I like being fully present and knowing I won’t cause myself any regret later.

Positives: More energy was BY FAR the biggest advantage! I have lupus & Sjogren’s, so my energy levels are never where I’d like them to be, though I am “ON” when I’m at work or in social situations, regardless of how I’m feeling. It just takes me longer to recover my energy when I’m drinking and I am also suffering from lower energy levels again since I’ve been moderating, although they are not nearly as low as when I first joined the challenge last year due to the heavier than normal drinking I was engaged in at the time. I did lose weight, and I never had to worry about a sudden call to work or anything else life might throw at me the next day because I KNEW I wouldn’t have a hangover! I have more patience without da booze and I make smarter decisions. I am more engaged with family and friends and I can stick to projects for longer periods of time.

Reading this helps me to remember WHY I am choosing to do this again and also re-reading my own testimonial following my own FIRST 100 Day Challenge and how I felt… It all comes down to what do you really REALLY want? And I really want to have THAT feeling again! Counting down to the next success!! If you want to join in, message me via Facebook.

Day 242 of 365 – Transitions

I have 192 Days AF – alcohol free (193 if I make it through tonight) since starting my one year journey … and I felt compelled to blog today because I have a LOT of thoughts and uncomfortable feelings going on. My daughter left home unexpectedly / suddenly just about 2 weeks ago and I feel like I’m in a state of worry and fear – about how she will make out and what will happen. Because I don’t know if this will be ‘for real’ permanent I am finding myself feeling kind of like suspended in life – not knowing how to deal with it.

On some nights I toss and turn and play out all kinds of scenarios and worry how this will all turn out. On other days I try to just be in the moment and try to practice mindfulness and stay at ‘peace’ but it’s easier said than done. I have been AF since Monday but really struggling with the cravings – and I attribute it to the fact that I feel so lost in all that is happening. I know booze won’t give me answers – but it will calm my ‘nerves’ down for a bit at least.

I’ve been listening to This Naked Mind audible (I’ve read the book before and recommend it to my group all the time). While listening to it – I can feel myself cringe inside because I’m not of the mind that it’s black or white – or I guess that my mind is not yet naked and I’m not yet ready to give up alcohol.

What I am ready to give up is this constant worry and uncertainty in my life – over which I really don’t have any control with respect to what happens with my daughter (although I’m still invovled – as I write this I am still the one getting reminders for her appointments and trying to get her to them). It’s like she is dipping a toe on both sides wanting to be independent but not able to get to her appointments. I haven’t been messaging her as much this week. We did have a conversation one night where she told me she is so depressed that she hasn’t gotten out of bed for 2 days and had not eating for that long either. ENTER more worry and fear – but what can I do?! I urge her to get help and go to her appointments. I offer to make another one… but she doesn’t show up. As her therapist told me – you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make her drink.

All of this has me re-evaluating my entire life – how it will be if she stays moved out this time. How things will be and what will my daily routine be like now with my fiance. Again – not being in the moment here and thinking too much…

At work – I have a hard time focusing and staying on course. I am getting by with a few ‘slips’ with some minor things – but I worry about that too – will someone notice how I’m really not here?!

I’m struggling and yet trying to go through the motions of getting myself back on course with reading my affirmations, eating better, being AF, posting in my groups… and for a while that works. I hurt my back last Friday and have been unable to do workouts which is really bumming me out too – not being able to even get my 10,000 steps a day urks me!

I do have things to look forward to – including a trip to Cancun May 18 to 25 where I hope to be able to spend time reconnecting with my fiance (who just had hernia surgery yesterday). I will be spending time with my older daughter on Friday (she is doing better – and she too went through a phase similar to what my youngest is now going through). I guess I just have to keep the faith. Keep plugging away moment by moment.

Journaling helps – and so maybe I need to do more of that again. This blog was started about my wanting to lose ‘da booze voice in my head – well I can say that besides some of the physical cravings – my head is now mostly occupied with worry about my daughter…

Life is one big BOOK! I can’t wait to be past this chapter… hopefully onto a brighter one! But I am blessed and grateful for the good in my life – my loving fiance, my health, my work, my friends and more financial stability than I’ve had in years. I just have to keep focusing on the GOOD and let go of worry!

Day 225 of 365 – April is Alcohol Awareness Month

I took a pause and stopped blogging and then realized it’s time to speak out and up about this. I slipped back into some daily drinking habits and with this month being about alcohol awareness – I am yet again having to acknowledge that I have issues with too much booze.

I have 188 days AF and 37 drinking days in this one year experiment so far and what I will share with you are my raw and honest observations about this slip and how it’s made me feel … if for nothing else to be a wake up call for me.

  • I’ve regained weight and feel bloated and terrible
  • I am back to living life on the couch and lack motivation to move
  • I am making lame excuses or jokes about my drinking – like it’s ‘ok’ to drink again (but it’s really NOT)
  • I have anxiety, depression and worry filled sleepless nights (tossing and turning and thinking about how this is NOT working again)
  • I am pissed off at myself for slipping backwards yet again…

So what does this all mean? Well – it means it’s time to be HONEST with myself again and just do what I came to do this year… Live the year sober and clean and get back to AF living!

Let got of guilt and let more clarity back in!

Today I’m back to day one with my eye on 200 days AF as my next ‘goal’ … and beyond!!

I’m grateful for each moment … for our group (Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Challenge) and for the ability to get back to a place of peace and sobriety.

Day 175 of 365 – A break in the One Year Experiment

As I write this today is day 178 on my 365 … now renamed my “One Year Lose ‘da Booze Experiment”. Following the last post and all the #sobertools I reached for and successfully didn’t cave into drinks… along came day 175.

Much of the thoughts and feelings were still there and I found myself having the entire day and overnight ALONE and I ended up giving myself permission to drink. This time I did not reach out. I quietly and calmly opened my bottle of vodka and poured my first drink. The taste was a bit bitter (not great tasting) and after just a couple of drinks felt the slight buzz. Nothing WOW or anything – just different. Different from the buzz I used to seek so often during my daily drinking as I used this outlet to cope with many of the life stressors.

When I knew I’d be alone overnight – it was like YES – FINALLY some alone time and just an opportunity to unplug and take off all these restrictions in my head that of late have been leading to me becoming more of a binge emotional eater. The day before when I didn’t cave – I binged on junk food and woke up with the same YUCK feelings as one would with a booze hangover. The guilt, the shame from ‘failing’ on the set intentions I had professed I’d follow through on.

By allowing myself this break and allowing myself drinks – it took some pressure off. It reminded me that I’m human and indeed getting better on this journey. I’ve often shared that my goal is not to be AF for good, but I simply decided to go longer than the 100 days to further shift my mindset away from that ‘go to’ daily habit of drinking. And I can attest it’s working. My longest streak is now 174 days versus 100 days!

I postponed sharing about this (and have not yet told my family or friends in the general public) because I wanted to make sure I was back on track with my goals to shift my lifestyle to healthier living (so not falling back to the trap of the daily drinking). I won’t lie in that on Sunday – I woke up feeling ‘off’ – tired and had thoughts about having drinks to make me feel better but did not go there.

While having drinks – I honestly enjoyed the  release … I binged watched TV, ordered some pizza and stayed off the computer … I just needed a FULL out break! I know that I could have had a break without the booze, but it was there this time as I had actually gone out to buy some. But I didn’t over do it. The coolers and wine were untouched. I stuck with my vodka and had one beer.

The day after – I debated about posting/sharing but really wanted to get my grounding again to really evaluate how this experience affected me. Well for one thing – it took away the craving/thoughts of wanting a drink . I had it – it wasn’t that amazing as we sometimes romanticize it to be and I’m back on track with my eating too!

You see I’ve always been kind of a rebel in my head – when someone tells me I can’t have something or do something – it’s like I want it more. It’s been that way for me in all areas of my life – even the ‘bad boys’ I liked to date when I would always be warned not to.

For me the group and the challenge about Losing ‘da Booze is creating a better life – however that may look. For me – Better IS Better and I definitely am nowhere near where I used to be with ‘da booze in my life! I view it very differently – especially when I’m sober and observe others over doing it. It’s not appealing or attractive to me in any way.

For me it’s about finding more JOY in my life and it’s not something you’ll find in a bottle of booze – but more so in personal development and self-discovery and GROWTH!! It’s about moving outside of the routines and comfort zones – getting OFF YOUR ASS and taking action!! I posted a video and then watched an inspirational video and it really resonated with how I’m feeling and simply going to talk less about the things I do and just DO them!

We need to stop living inside our heads so much and start living REAL life! Get out there and breathe the air, smell the smells, feel the feels, enjoy the views, laugh more, play more – just LIVE more!!

You can’t do that if you drink daily! To be present and mindful was one of my goals on my 2018 vision board and I feel this little blip on day 174 just reinforced my personal mission in life!! I had been half dogging my workouts and program and now even more committed to make results happen!

There are many lessons to learn in life – and they shouldn’t just revolve around whether or not you drink – there is so much more out there to think about! Remember – what you focus on or think about is what you bring about so start shifting your focus off ‘da booze to your dreams and go BIG!! Let go of fear and take a step forward to make the most of every single moment…

PS – as I write this – my boss just emailed me to say he wouldn’t be in today and not sure what the rest of his week would look like as his wife’s youngest brother who just turned 50 died in a skiing accident last night and they are devastated … it just reminds you of how precious life is and how we cannot take for granted the moments we have. So BE present and appreciate life by living it FULLY!

Day 174 of 365 – A VERY Close Call!!

Five days since my last post and another VERY close call. This time I even went into the liquor store and picked up my favorite drinks (a bottle of vodka, a bottle of wine and some coolers)… (PS – the picture above is me having an AF sparkling apple/peach ZERO alcohol drink in my fancy wine glass)

But before I went out to get this here’s what I did… First – I posted a real video about the struggle and internal dialogue I was having and how I was feeling frustrated… I was frustrated because the weekend I was supposed to have alone while my fiance went ice fishing didn’t happen because of the weather. I was feeling frustrated playing taxi to my daughter and having to basically have my schedule twarthed at the mercy of her activities. I felt resentful. I wanted a break – something to do for ME!! I also felt like the pink cloud effect of losing ‘da booze was gone and frustrated with my daily excessive eating of junk foods and felt that perhaps if I could shake things up – I could shock myself back on track or something. I reached out to a girlfriend and called her to say how I was feeling. I posted the video in my Facebook group (Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Challenge) and I also even called my fiance to tell him how I was feeling. So as I stalled the caving in (because I did have booze in the house I could have had a quick drink with) – I went through this process.

The next thing that happened was all the thoughts in my head… how I’d have to reset my counter on my app and how just last week my article was featured stating publicly my one year commitment to no alcohol… and how bad it would feel to have to go back on my word. You see – when you put yourself out there publicly – it’s not easy but it’s the best accountability you can do for yourself! Not only do I NOT want to disappoint myself – but I don’t want to let others down as I lead the team on SparkPeople (Cutting Down the Booze) and in my group on Facebook.

I drove into town… stopped at Walmart first and picked up junk food eats (because I always tell people early in the game it’s ok to give in to eats and treats to help you stick to you AF goal as a first priority). Then stopped at the liquor store… and here’s what I came home with.

The booze got put away and I opened the bag of chips and started cleaning the kitchen. Then I got called away to play taxi again (another reason I have to stay sober). I ended the night SOBER… but did cave into the treats you see here.

Waking up this morning I feel good about not caving in (even though my mind tried to convince me I did great and beat my 100 day goal with 174 days and allowing myself one or two days ‘off’ then getting back to it would be ok… I’m glad my friends commented with support saying otherwise as I would have been mad at myself and feel even more regret if I’d have to start back at Day 1 today without successfully completing my ONE year goal of no booze!

I am however feeling like I have a FOOD hangover from all the junk eats I did cave into and now need to step up my challenge to deal with this emotional eating which is basically just another coping mechanism. I’ve started to arm myself to do this as I did when I committed to going AF – I joined a few groups and will now post a challenge to the NO S diet … No snacks, no sweets and no seconds!! I’m going to work on planning my meals for the week with just 3 meals a day – no snacking in between (as that is what gets me because once I start I can’t seem to stop).

So it’s not Day 1 for being AF again – but today is my DAY ONE of No S’s!! Next Saturday is my 6 month milestone of being AF and time to kick the junk food habit!!

Day 170 of 365 – The day that almost didn’t happen

Yesterday was the toughest day I’ve had with respect to urges to cave into drinks. It’s been a hellish week for me. My energy has been off. I have felt out of sorts most of the week with lingering headaches and even feeling dizzy. My blood pressure was up a bit – so stress and weight are definitely a factor. But yesterday was the worse in that I really felt like saying FUCK IT – and have drinks with my company… but I didn’t do it… and very happy about that otherwise I’d have the guilt and remorse to deal with above everything else I’ve been feeling.

I don’t blog daily here but do come to log in and journal when I really feel the need to record a bit of what’s going on. February is a tough month – always has been for me for various reasons (many past memories in this month that bring up feelings, the winter blahs and blues and now MENOPAUSE crap too). There’s also the ongoing struggles as we deal with my daughter’s eating disorder and it is just taking it’s toll on me. I can’t imagine how it must be making her feel as she is the one living with it!!

Thankfully today’s a day off and I finally have my morning to myself (the mornings are my quiet time and I haven’t even had that lately as my daughter was waking up and chatting with me – which is great as she wants to chat but I selfishly miss my peace and quiet time – where’s it’s just about ME).

We don’t have set plans for today – other than the usual, cleaning, laundry and meal prep. I’d say I’d go out to do something but the weather is crap with rain in the forecast so not a good day for outdoor activities. I will get my workouts in (stretching and some cardio) and hope to read/listen to more of my books. Maybe I’ll try to get some de-cluttering done to feel some sense of accomplishment with some house projects since it’s so crappy outside.

I’m also really frustrated with my own issues with food … and struggling with letting go of sugar now. I know it’s not good for my health and a vicious cycle as was the booze so I have to work just as hard on this now as I did with losing ‘da booze! I have been talking about it and not following through – kind of like when I first tried to cut out alcohol back in 2013 and professed I’d do this 100 day challenge that I only just managed to do in 2016. I do hope it won’t take me as long to get this eating stuff under control – but it’s definitely the biggest challenge I face now (especially with my daughter’s eating disorder in the forefront).

So today’s the new day – Monday … a new week and I’m 12 days away from 6 months of sobriety! It’s time to shift away the focus about losing ‘da booze to now losing this sugar addiction that has taken a hold of me.

I’ll be blogging more about this in my SparkPeople blog as it relates more to the health aspect that this website deals with. But I’ll be checking in here periodically to relay how I’m feeling as the months continue leading towards my one year goal of Losing ‘da Booze!

 

Day 161 of 365 – Breaking Bad Habits

At the beginning of the AF Journey – I always tell people to not worry too much about anything except the MAIN goal and that is to be without booze! Now that I’m over 5 months into this journey – I’ve learned that this shift is only good for so long. When we seek to break a bad habit – we need to replace it with a GOOD one. I am doing well with this relative to working out consistently but not so well when it came to the emotional eating.

So this week I’ve armed myself with more tools to deal with this. I’ve downloaded a couple of Audible books on emotional eating and sugar cravings and I’ll also get a book when my next credit comes up “Brain over Binge”. I watched a YouTube video and he recommended this book and Tony Robbins program “The Body You Deserve

One of the main reasons I wanted to quit booze was to reach my health goals and while I know it’s not all focused on the scale – it’s definitely one aspect of it. The website I’ve been a part of for over 11 years featured my story in one of their blogs yesterday affirming my desire to overcome this emotional eating barrier! www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=how_hlne_stopped_drinking_started_living_her_best_life 

I have committed to one year of sobriety but determined to stay the course as long as it takes to reach my goals. It’s only about 5 months in that I’m now able to address the eating issue as the booze cravings have mostly diminished (although I still have faint thoughts or moments of wanting – they pass pretty quickly when I see how others are early in the game and struggling so much to stay sober).

This experiment I’m putting myself through has been enlightening and amazing! Moments in life now are just so special as I view them from sober glasses! Drinking really is a buzz kill (as I stated in post in our group) and this sober life is my NEW high!!

Day 153 – 5 Month Badge

Cheers to one more badge earned!! Life is good these days even with the challenges that arise… I’m staying strong and no longer think about going to ‘da booze as a way to cope. Instead I think about my workouts, reading, taking a bath, meditating, going for a walk, checking in with our Losedabooze group or calling a friend.

These are the #sobertools that will help me reach my health goals!

Here’s to the next month ahead and hitting the half year mark! I haven’t gone this long since my last pregnancy … 17 years ago!!