Day 98 of 365 – Reflecting on the 100 Day Milestone & Beyond!

Oh how far I have come from that first photo on the left – taken in May 2016 before I started my FIRST 100 Day Challenge in September 2017. Today I stand in awe of how doing these challenges have changed my life and have truly shifted my desires… Gone are the feelings of missing out on something and here is the energy and inspiration to go after my dreams!

For the first TWO 100 days I did – as I neared the end I was already making plans on when I would have my first drink – promising myself I’d be moderate. My first break wasn’t a long one – from Dec 16th to Dec 31st – but I drank every day over the holiday period. Then on January 1st, along with the newly launched Facebook Group I was joined by many others who wanted to Lose ‘da Booze in their lives!

The second break was April 11 to September 2nd, 2017 – it started with my dream trip to Hawaii – my 50th birthday milestone gift and where I got engaged too! When I got back from this trip – after having had drinks while on vacation the stress factors shot through the roof with my daughter and I reverted to daily drinking as a means of coping … and also ate as I watched my daughter struggle with her eating disorder – it was like I was eating for her. As a result I regained 33lbs of the 45lbs I had lost since January 2016 (when I launched myself 100% into my Beachbody workouts and programs).

This morning I’m at day 98 AF – and I’m down 11.5lbs of the 33 I regained. And I am TIRED of having to lose the same weight again and again! Thus my goal to go a full year without alcohol (and perhaps beyond). What I’ve learned over many years is that I am an emotional eater/drinker. I used both as coping tools and realize that in order to succeed I had to change my habits.

So every day now – I wake up with determination and go to bed with satisfaction – SOBER! No thoughts or crying about not being able to drink over the holidays. Just excitement to really enjoy them fully – being present and able to remember every moment!

2018 is going to be an incredible year!! While my one year experiment will ‘end’ on September 2nd (the day before my 52nd birthday) – I may just decide or change enough to say I’m done for good. Until then – it’s one day at a time and I’m enjoying every moment!!

Day 92 of 365 – Eight days away from my 3rd 100 Days!

What an incredible week and weekend! Lots going on with social activities as I was one of the planning committee members for our Winter Gala again and with my daughter and many issues arising for her.

Today was another really tough and emotional day – there are times and moments when she is in crisis and I just feel like I’m DONE and feel like I’m going to have my own meltdown… but thankfully I’m sober and I am handling it much better (although it’s definitely still not easy). She escalated and screamed and cursed at me and told me she couldn’t wait to get away from me (move out). Then she stubbed her toe and it was bleeding badly and she started hyperventilating… This all happened minutes before we had to go to her scheduled therapy session. She was going to cancel again – but I told her she HAD to go or I would cancel the reservations for our trip in March/April (a reward I promised her if she did well in school and overall).

She managed to calm down enough for me to bandage her. We went to her session and I sat with her through it this time (it’s only the third time I do). We worked through how she would handle the school situation. Then we talked about her eating disorder issues which are the source of so much of her angst and self-hate and self-harming. I really need to buckle down and read the book for help around this (Life without ED – How One Woman Declared her Independence from her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too, by Jenni Schaefer).

So now I sit alone for a bit to write this. Yesterday was my Gala and that went well as I was AF and didn’t miss it at all. I felt good about my decision and happily left just after 10pm to come home to bed lol.

I didn’t get to as many things as I had hoped to today but alas – I’ve learned to be flexible and most of all I’m learning about patience and how to keep my peace.

I finished listening to the audible book The Power of Habit and can happily say that I’ve broken ‘da booze habit in my life this time – for longer than the 100 Day Challenge and confident I will achieve my one year goal as I do this as my own experiment.

I’m curious to see all that I will accomplish while not drinking throughout the year. What will come after doesn’t matter just now – what matters now is that my NEW habits are much healthier.

And with this I close off – as I have been called to ‘mom’ taxi yet again… Another advantage of always being sober – I can pick up and go anytime!!

Here’s to beating my next record on December 12th!!

 

Day 88 of 365 – December Sober Sleigh Ride

The new month is fast approaching and it’s one where many social activities and events usually revolve around alcohol. But not for ME this year!! I’m continuing towards my goal of meeting my last highest number of 100 consecutive days AF (alcohol free) to completing a FULL year (which I will reach the day before my 52nd birthday on September 3rd).

I just received my custom made 2018 Lose ‘da Booze calendars and even inspired to go through to making the entire calendar year AF!!

I feel like I’m on a roll and seriously enjoying all of the benefits of this sober ride! To name a few:

  • I’ve lost weight – 11.5lbs so far since Sept
  • My thinking and memory are improved
  • My energy is up
  • My motivation is sky high
  • I workout more consistently
  • I’m more mindful of my eating
  • I’m super productive and organized

The list could go on and on with moments of clarity that I feel and how the natural high that I feel every now and again with just being clear, present and SOBER! It’s simply amazing!

So I’m launching the invite – do YOU want to feel the benefits of being AF?! Why not join in for the Sober Sleigh (I figured it was more seasonal than wagon) Ride in December. You can join our Facebook Secret Group and become a part of an incredible community of non judgmental support! You may think you have something to lose – by not drinking through the holidays – but I challenge you to look at all you’ll gain!! I hope to hear from you soon!! What better way to kick out this year and ring in the New One!!

Day 84 of 365 – Living Life by Design

Waking up on weekends is no different than weekdays for me. I was up just after 4am – and continue my daily practice of reading affirmations and checking in with my Lose ‘da Booze group – which I’m so proud of!! The group has grown into this amazing community and ‘family’ or team of incredible people – all striving to live their lives sober!

I am feeling really strong on my journey and sure I’ll beat my 100 day record without issue! Last night was a social outing with neighbors for dinner and then back home for some card/board games. They drank and I did not – and don’t feel as though I’ve missed out in any way.

I actually look forward to getting my good night’s rest and having a productive ‘next’ day compared to waking with the groggy feeling or hangover that alcohol used to give me.

Today I am starting a 3 Day Refresh to kick start my nutrition piece and give myself a bit of a boost as I am getting ready for the next (and first) official holiday outing with our workplace Winter Gala (kind of like a wedding – dinner and dance social). I’ve done one sober before and I know I can do it again. My only issue is trying to stay up later – but I do believe I’ll be part of that crowd that I used to watch leave earlier as others stay and drink the night away (well ok – some dance it too).

As I look at these milestone badges (from the EasyQuit drinking app on android) – I’m feeling proud of where I am and recognize how alcohol really impedes our mental health. So many of us reach for alcohol in the hopes to quiet our minds or rid ourselves of anxiety and stress, when in fact it ends up creating or contributing to it. I can’t believe that I have saved over $1300 so far by not drinking!! As a result I feel NO GUILT when I spend on items such as a new workout outfit and some self-pampering (as I had my color and trim done yesterday). Today may be I’ll get he manicure done!

Living this life by design means reaching for things I used to just think or dream about. I’m posting here for accountability but my goal is to complete my Health and Wellness Coach Certification by December 1st. My passion and dream is to become a health coach and to help others live their healthiest lives. I could not do this when I allowed alcohol into my daily routine. I must walk the talk and lead by example. And so – today starts with a great workout (one designed by the program I signed up for through a weight loss grant I applied for) and I’m reaching for more goals!!

Sure the hell beats the old lifestyle of nursing a hangover and sitting my ass on the couch binge watching Netflix! Life is good when you Lose ‘da Booze!

Day 78 of 365 Days AF – Remembering my WHY

Today marks 9 years since my sister passed away due to her issues with alcohol. This picture of her with my mother reminds me of WHY I’m on this journey to change my habits around alcohol.

You see my mother also had a period in her life when she struggled with alcohol. I recall one morning when I woke up and saw my mother walking down the hall with a bandage wrapped around her head and a spot of blood on the back (I was young – maybe 10 or 11). You see the night before she had been drinking with the neighbor upstairs and while trying to come down the stairs – she stumbled as she had had too much to drink and fell and split her head open. My father had to hold her tongue so she wouldn’t choke until the ambulance arrived – I slept through all of this… The next day – my mother quit drinking. She went from drinking about 40oz of rye / whiskey a day to nothing with this incident shaking her up. She could have died…

My sister also struggled with her alcohol issues. She managed to quit for 18 months after one close call of being in the hospital and started back up again and that time never made it back.

I also have many childhood memories of family, my father, aunts, uncles – fights and me and my cousins or me alone – hiding and wishing it would all be over and that my parents would be back to normal – sober again.

I don’t want to be that way. I don’t want to repeat the cycle or wait for some tragic event to happen before making a change in my lifestyle so I’m doing it pro-actively to live my BEST life at 50 and beyond!

Our lives are precious and I plan on making time for wellness so I can avoid the illness that alcohol eventually brings about… So here’s to day 78 and remembering my sister… In honor of her – I continue my Sober Journey!

Day 70 – Clearing the Clutter

Today my fiance left to go hunting for the week and my plan was to make the most of this ‘alone’ day as my daughter was in town. I decided to tackle this area/room that had been literally weighing me down and making me crazy. If you talk to my daughter, she’ll tell you I’m a clean freak but I believe that’s only the case when I’m AF…

When I was drinking – I would let things slide. The dust and piles would keep accumulating and it literally adding to the anxiety in my life. It’s like I knew it needed to be done but I was too busy sitting my ass on the couch binge watching TV and having drinks instead. What a waste of time!

So this morning I started to tackle this and within 2 hours had half of it done. I also took a car load to drop off for donations and now sitting here resting my back before I finish up for the day.

In the process of de-cluttering, I have to be careful not to overwhelm myself and balance it all out with other ‘fun’ activities (so I’m not all work and no play or down time either). It’s important to take it one area at a time and there’s more left to do – but it will happen another day. The great thing is that I know I will have the time, energy and motivation to do so because when I am clutter free and organized, I just feel so much better.

Even this article from Mind Body Green 10 Reasons To Stop What You’re Doing & Start Clearing Your Clutter attests to the fact that it may help me lose weight – and I kind of am since I’m moving non stop all day and carrying boxes, going up and down the stairs… and I’m losing the weight of things that no longer serve me … Just as I’m Losing ‘da Booze.

It’s Day 70 of 365 AF and I’m only 30 days away from reaching my THIRD 100 Days… but this time I’m doing it three times over and then some! It’s my one year experiment and I can’t wait to see all I’ve accomplished when I reach my 52nd Birthday.

I have to thank Mel Robbins and her 5 Second Rule on this one… this area has been like this for almost a YEAR!! And in about 5 hours – it looks transformed! Now we can proceed with finishing up the area as we want to make a craft area and finish another nice washroom downstairs too.

And all this accomplished by 6pm!! So now it’s time to go hang out with my rabbit and clean up and re-organize her cage too! I’m on a roll and it feels amazing to live this SOBER life! Alone at home – alcohol in the house and I could sneak it in but the only person I’d be cheating is myself! Here’s to wrapping up another beautiful day!

2 Months of 12 months (or more) AF

Going into month 3 of this journey – not necessarily counting the days as much as my first few 100 day challenges as this one is a full year challenge. I guess until I surpass the 100 day mark – this is a replay of my first two challenges, but as with those, I’m of course feeling so much better and lighter too! As of yesterday was down 8lbs and 8.25inches.

The weight doesn’t just fall off as easily now … it’s hard work and I always tell people the first month is one where you must JUST focus on cutting out alcohol and the sugar cravings may happen… let them!! Don’t try to do too much all at once or you’ll end up giving up on everything. This was my bad in the past and by allowing myself the treats/cheats and staying AF – I still managed to reach a 45lbs weight loss mark on April 10th.

Re-introducing the alcohol caused me to regain 33lbs in FIVE months! That’s insane! This booze shit is just not good for me! I want my health more than I want any drink in my body and the high I get from achieving my health goals is worth so much more!

This time round I’ve added an additional piece as I signed up with a program through the Dalewood Health Clinic – along with the support of a weight loss grant where I can get up 80% of my money back – so there’s some motivation!! With the money I’ve saved on not drinking (near $900 so far) – investing $480 in my health is a no brainer!

My priorities in life are different than those that existed in the days where my end goal was ‘when can I have that drink’ … and when I think about it – how lame is it to look forward to that glass of wine or drink on a Friday or holiday! Seriously – I’m looking forward to experiencing every occasion and holiday SOBER!

My face to face pic doesn’t show huge changes yet – but the inside work that is going on is incredible. I’m claiming my power back and living a life of true purpose and it feels great!! Doing so along with my wonderful Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Challenge group is just incredible!! Hearing other stories of success and transformation is what keeps driving me. Losing ‘da booze is my main goal/purpose and it is my hope that it can help others who struggled as I did with daily drinking to transform their lives!!

Here’s to a November to Remember as some are joining us for a 30 day challenge. If you’re interested in joining – message me at http://www.befitspirited.ca

Lose ‘da Booze Secret Facebook Group

There are a lot of groups out there for those wishing to change their relationship with alcohol. I first joined HAMS – as I simply wanted to perhaps learn to moderate my drinking but soon found that the group grew large and the focus was more on drinking than not in many posts. I had a few members who wanted to do an AF (alcohol free) challenge and I had a team I had been doing this with via another platform (SparkPeople – Cutting Down the Booze) and I decided I would try doing one through Facebook.

Back in 2013 I tried to join Belle’s 100 Day Challenge (Tired of Thinking about Drinking) – but it didn’t click for me and I found it turned into more and more of a sales pitch.

My goal was simply to get to that 100 days and I finally achieved it on my own last December 10th, 2016 and then in January of 2017 – I decided to launch it as a closed group. I later changed it to a secret group to ensure more privacy as closed groups sometimes come up as suggested groups on pages and members didn’t want that to happen. I had about 140 members join in and when I completed my 2nd 100 Day Challenge  on April 10, 2017 – I was joined by many others. It felt amazing to be able to share in the experience and the testimonials have been amazing. The group has grown to be the most supportive, positive and non judgmental group I’ve ever been a part of and I’m so proud of the fact that it has grown as I always envisioned this type of group would.

So bit by bit – I sometimes introduce it to others – but you have to be invited or added by an existing member as you can’t find it in a search … so if you’re interested – feel free to visit me at www.befitspirited.ca and send me a message and I can explain how to add you.

Before you do – have a read of our group’s description and if you still think you want in – then I look forward to hearing from you!! We are launching the next month’s challenge if you want to give it a go for 30 days!! Join us!!

The goal of this group is for you to reach 100 Days (or more) consecutive days Alcohol FREE (AF)! It’s about Surviving and Thriving without ‘da booze! For those starting out – this may be an intro as you take on a one month challenge as a trial to work your way up to the 100 Days or more goal.

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 CONSECUTIVE days (or more). This group is SECRET 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 or another admin know.

** This group will not tolerate negative posts or is not intended for posts relative to opinions about religion, politics, debates relative to other groups, etc. These posts will be removed. We will not tolerate TROLLS either. NO-PROMOS ALLOWED IN COMMENTS OR POSTS If someone requests your email or website, message them privately.**

This group is committed to focusing on being AF (alcohol free), ABS (abstaining)! We understand that some may not be ready to jump in right away and perhaps gaining inspiration to get to a point of doing a longer period of abstinence. There’s no failing in here – we believe that better is better but if you are doing too many restarts perhaps you’re not quite ready for this challenge and you perhaps need to check the other resources: HAMS is a great support group for moderation support with some periods of abstinence www.facebook.com/groups/harmreduction/.

I created the group because the AA model did not fit what my intentions were when I think about ‘Losing ‘da Booze’ and my journey (as I do not believe I am powerless in any way). I wanted to create a group of support that did not follow the 12 steps but that simply was a gathering of like minded individuals who were simply trying to better their lives – without any negative labels. While I do recognize AA has helped many – this is not the place or space for discussion/debate.

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. **

Day 52 of 365 – November to Remember

There’s ONE week left in R’October Sober and I’m already planning to keep this sober train going! I’m going to make November one to Remember – with clarity and hangover free days as I continue my AF ride! I’ve invited others in the group to join in as well!

I’ve been listening to the audible version of Claim Your Power the past couple of days and it’s been like a review for me because I feel that I’ve reclaimed my power ever since I started letting go of ‘da booze in my life for these challenges. The work he has you do about figuring out your ‘original incident’ or reasons why you keep going to SP’s (survival patterns) is something I’ve done over the years through therapy, counseling and my own personal development with readings and workshops, as well as the monumental Soul Re-Structuring session I did last September that was the ‘flip of the switch’ for me! My next session is booked for November 3rd (you can only do this once a year) and I hope it gives me a nudge to propel me even further ahead.

You see listening to the audible and having it make me think about WHY I turned to booze – well it’s kind of sad… when he named reasons or examples – it was like I could identify with many of them – including abuse (as early as I can remember when I was a child and a neighbor propositioned me), some physical, emotional and psychological stuff. Having witnessed many negative scenarios relative to my parents and aunts and uncles drinking way too much and how  as kids would hide in fear … as we didn’t understand it.

I picked up drinking at the age of 12 – to be cool (or to appear to be that)… I’d sneak it from my mom’s bottle and pour some in a pop can and go out with friends and it made me feel like I fit in somehow. In my early years I did anything but fit in. I was teased about my glasses, my buck teeth and taunted and even got into a fight with a guy in my class. Having to recall my past gives me a knot in my stomach and yet – it provides some understanding as to how I ended up where I did and how I seemed to keep attracting the wrong kind of people and relationships into my life… until a few years ago.

Where I stand today is very different from where I was then. I am now stronger, healthier and feel much more in control of my life. The alcohol does not have the appeal anymore because I’d rather live an authentic life and feel all the feels… good and bad. And there are still some challenging ones in there with my daughters’ stuff.

But here I sit today – feeling proud of my achievement in completing a couple of challenges and recognizing there’s more work to do in this area and that perhaps this may turn out to be more than a one year break… but for now soaking it all in as my own experiment.

Every morning I get up and look forward to sharing inspiration in my group on Facebook – our Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Challenge group… and knowing it helps others brings joy to my heart! I got to the part in the book where it speaks to finding your purpose … and the group – my mission to share my own experience about how alcohol really isn’t ‘all that’ is what I want more than anything.

I’m feeling strong and committed to seeing this through to my 52nd birthday (Sept 3, 2018) and then we’ll see what path lies ahead… for now it’s just one day at a time… working towards my dreams!!

 

Day 48 of 365 – Just Say No!

Today is day 48 AF for me and I’ve passed over 500 drinks!!! That’s incredible. When setting this app, it was hard to judge how many drinks I would have in a given day… and actually scary! I feel so much better being SOBER and feel a freedom knowing that I don’t even have to have that debate – will I or won’t I have drinks today. It’s just so much easier to say NO! #LoseDaBooze
 
PS – this app is called EasyQuit Drinking and I downloaded it on my android. I love the badges it gives – it’s motivational for me! They also have great health indicators showing how your health improves the longer you are sober!
Looking ahead to the weekend – we have a paint night social tonight which for many means an association to drinks but I’ll be sticking with my AF drinks. I have a full day conference tomorrow to soak in some learning. Then Sunday alone with my daughter as my fiance is away for the week (gone hunting). I’m going to make the most of our alone mother/daughter time!
Life really is just so much better when you are SOBER… in every way!!
It really is just easier to say No or I don’t drink then it is to have that nagging debate take up real estate in your head … so I hope YOU will join me and say NO to drinks this weekend!