6 Months SobrieTy

The day has arrived – I’ve hit my 6 month AF milestone and feeling so proud of this achievement. I have not had this long of a stretch without booze since my legal drinking age stage … decades ago! What my 6 Months Alcohol Free video on YouTube and subscribe as I plan on posting more!

What I want to share is how my journey was one of progression. In 2013, I recognized that I had to change my drinking and joined the sober blogging world and started following others’ stories of success but never quite achieved the goals I set out for myself. As I go back and read my blogs – I see how I wavered back and forth between wanting to drink and then wanting to cut it out. I was ambivalent. I guess as they say you really need to be READY to make this shift to be successful – like any other goal you set for yourself.

I became more serious about reaching my first 100 days AF after I turned 50 in 2016 – as it was a reminder of how booze took my sister’s life when she was that age. I reached the goal of 100 days and then in January 2017 – I launched/created the Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Challenge (now called Success Group as I like to focus on the positives rather than looking at this as a challenge – I embrace it as a welcome gift) and had others join me as I completed a 2nd 100 Days AF. The group is ongoing and has now grown to over 300 members who are all striving to change their drinking habits in various ways.

For years I tried to do this moderation gig. I am not an alcoholic and hate the labels of alcoholism and recovery (except if you’re talking fitness talk then I’m ok with it). I just knew that booze was holding me back on so many levels. I was tired of the cycles of doing well when AF and then turning back to drinks… I wanted OFF the hamster wheel once and for all! So on August 12th – I was finally READY to retire and let go of this habit that no longer served me.

Many ask – what clicked – what was the turning point? For everyone this is different and comes at various stages. For me – it was just that I wanted more in life than what booze could ever give me!

Here’s are a few of my Tranformation Highlights:

  1. I feel like ME again! I’m no longer filled with thoughts of low self-esteem, self-doubt and lack of self-confidence. The alcohol stripped me of who I was. While so many think booze will take away the anxiety and worry or help you deal with stress – it does just the opposite! Becoming AF has allowed me to heal on so many levels. Once you #LoseDaBooze – you can start doing the INNER work that led to your unhealthy drinking patterns to begin with. You’re no longer avoiding things but dealing with things and it feels amazing! I continue to have great challenges presenting themselves in my life – but I’m strong and sober and I can handle anything that comes my way.
  2. I am losing weight for good – and learning to make this a new lifestyle. It’s not a 100 day program or 21 day or one month – it’s not a fad … it’s for GOOD! The weight loss doesn’t happen overnight (nor did you gain it overnight). As I’m over 50 – the challenges of losing are even greater, but it is do-able with regular exercise including strength training and cardio – and healthy eating of course (which means healthy drinking too). I’m down 18.5lbs and 24 inches since I started this journey and while it’s a work in progress – I’m confident I will reach my goals!
  3. With the money I am not spending (and saving) by not drinking – I’m investing in myself. I enrolled in a course to become a Certified Wellness Coach and graduated December 29th, 2018. This has been a dream of mine for years. Gone are the days of sitting on the couch with a drink – watching life pass me by… while I watched others achieve goals I wanted to go for! I’m going for it!! I am now able to help others to live their best lives! Check out my website for more info: Healthy4LifewithHelene
  4. I’m learning about how this habit was one of coping and how it’s important to put into place mechanisms that won’t have me shifting this habit to another (like the sweet treats and cravings that come early on when you cut out alcohol). My fitness is my number ONE sober tool! My morning routine/ritual is what keeps me grounded and on course. I still have ‘off’ days – but I bounce back so much faster and keep moving forward.
  5. Life is not boring when you get sober – but your perspective on what is fun shifts. At first, it may feel awkward to not drink doing regular social activities – but in time it becomes easier and the longer you go without, the more you view the entire habit through real lenses and how it truly brings no benefits. I am mindful though as I do know complete sobriety is not for everyone. I know there are some who still view this habit as a positive one in their lives so I don’t preach or judge. This is a decision I’ve made for MY life… and I truly believe to live my BEST life – it meant letting go of the darkness that booze brought into my life. I have a huge history relative to alcohol dating back to my childhood and none of it was positive… so as I let go, I make space for better things to happen.

So many have this fear of missing out (FOMO) when they choose to Lose ‘da Booze but I’m here to tell you that this is an illusion. What you gain from not drinking by far outweighs anything alcohol could every give me!

Other benefits include being hangover free, more productive, loving my early mornings, clarity, peace, health, abundance and pure JOY!

If you ever feel you are ready to make this shift and are tired of the cycle of drinking and feeling awful – I’m here to help! Check out my Facebook page and message me if you’d like more info on how we can help YOU get started.
I’m retired …. from ‘da booze and life has never been so good!

28 Days to Lose ‘da Booze

We are about mid-point into January and I’d like to launch an invitation to my NEXT paid group on Facebook “28 Days to Lose ‘da Booze”…

If you want/need daily support and motivation to let go of alcohol for 28 days… this is for you!

Are you ready to try DRY February? Join me as I share some of my own personal insights and tools to help you achieve success as you cut out alcohol for ONE short month!

This will be a separate and SMALL group (registration will be limited to 20) – where you will get the following:
daily support from me via live video and some emails with bonus reference info
you will receive the bonus PDF with 28 days of Inspiration Guide
you have access to ONE wellness call (one on one with me for 30 to 35 minutes)
access to me via chat/messaging as needed

If you struggle with motivation or staying the course when you decided to go AF (alcohol free) then join me!! The group will begin February 1st so deadline to sign up is January 31st!!

Message me personally if you want in! This will be a closed/secret group and the cost will be $35 CAD.

** For those who are in my ongoing existing FREE groups – this is a step up in that it’s more intensive support from me.
#LoseDaBooze #Health4LifewithHelene

FREE – 100 Days of Success with #LoseDaBooze

January 1, 2019 will be the TWO year anniversary since I launched this incredible FREE group to help others achieve the 100 Day Milestone that is a game changer.

I am excited about launching a NEW one starting January 1, 2019 with a new cohort of those wanting to do this – whether they are continuing the journey, or still trying to reach that 100 days … the number is longer than Dry January (although our group encourages ALL goals and supports all AF lengths of time). The reason for 100 days is that it takes that long to truly feel the changes in your life without booze.

This group is supportive, non-judgmental and not AA pro (as I don’t believe in labels of alcoholism or alcoholics or for that matter – being powerless in any way). It’s a NEW approach where we focus on ‘better is better’.

I’m a living example of how it sometimes takes MANY day 1’s to get to a point where you can finally let go of the habit for good. It took me FIVE years to finally get to the day (August 12, 2018) where I could say I was done for good! After 40 years of booze in my life – I was done! And now I’m excited to help others get there!

I will soon be a graduate of the International Association of Wellness Professionals (IAWP) as a Certified Wellness Coach and my niche will be helping others to #LoseDaBooze … letting go of the habit that no longer serves them to live a life of peace, clarity and FREEDOM!

If you’d like to join our FREE secret group – add me as a friend (send me a request) and a note to say why you’d like to join! We start on January 1st but it can start TODAY or any day!! Let’s DO this!

PS – If you’re not quite ready to do 100 Days – the group also accepts members who wish to do 30 or 31 days as well – so if you want to jump in for Dry January – the same applies as above (just friend me on Facebook – send me a note and I’ll add you to the group).

Day 129 AF – Getting Ready to HELP others Launch into the next 100 Day Challenge

My days with booze are behind me – but I know others still need the motivation and support to make it over to the AF side of things! I know how shitty it can feel when you’re stuck in a repeating pattern or loop of drinking and not moving ahead. I know how it feels when your energy is low, your finances are strained, you are not producing or showing as you could potentially be.

And so with our Secret Group – I’m launching another START to hopefully help some jump back in to try for the 100 days of sobriety. Why 100 days? Well I can tell you from my own experience that this length of time is what will truly show you what life is like without booze. Many will try for Dry January – but I say keep going… you need a good solid 3 months to 100 Days to really feel the difference!! Joining the secret group is FREE and ongoing!!

I am also offering a 30 day January Jump Start for those who need extra support – this group will be smaller in size and I’ll be offering a load more including:

 Daily coaching/check in via live video – including daily accountability and messages posted in the limited secret group
 Access to me through the 30 days via email/messaging one on one
 Bonus PDF (The Energy Checklist 7 Steps to Naturally Boost Your Energy, 10 day Add In Challenge and the 360 Wellness Wheel)
 Opportunity to book a one on one discovery session with me (45 minutes call) to help you ascertain what you need to focus on and what steps will get you closer to your goal(s)
 COMBINED focus on cutting out alcohol and ramping up your healthy lifestyle (if alcohol is not an issue for you then we can focus more on the healthy habits you need to instill)

As I am nearing the end of my Wellness Coach Certification – this is a price you won’t see again once I launch my business. I am offering ALL of the above for an incredibly LOW price of $30 CAD (that’s $1 a day). If you use the PayPal option please add $2 for processing fee (so total $32) and if you live in Canada and can do an etransfer – send it to my email at healthy4life360@yahoo.com with the password JanuaryJumpStart

So what are you waiting for?! Sign up NOW!! Here is the PayPal linkhttps://www.paypal.me/HeleneSinclair

This is the time to make the leap and make 2019 your healthiest year ever!!

123 Days AF – SHI(f)T Happened!

Shift finally happened and being just over 4 months AF is easy as 1-2-3 with the proper mindset! Seriously though – despite HUGE stressors with my daughter – booze doesn’t even come up as a thought or consideration.

I attribute this change to the work I’ve been doing through the past 5 years – so yes it took a while for it to CLICK for good for me – which is why I want to say don’t give up if you’re struggling. For January – I’m offering a 30 day Jump Start to combine my own lessons learned through this process and also include some of the amazing material I am learning as I near the completion of my Certification to become a Wellness Coach. I want to share this break through and hopefully help those who join me for the 30 days find their own with my help and guidance.

2019 is going to be AMAZING!! If you want more info – always visit my Facebook page for more up to date info as I post there daily.

Until then – we’re continuing with the Sober Sleigh Ride and coming up on the TWO year milestone with our secret Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Success Group!

Why don’t you join us! It’s great over here in Sober-Land!

Lose ‘da Booze for December

I’m going strong in my sobriety (I will reach my four month milestone on December 10th) but looking forward to motivating others to try a month AF (alcohol free). So through groups on Facebook and SparkPeople – I launch challenges – to perhaps get someone started and experiment with what it feels like to cut out alcohol for just one month.

It’s daunting for some to think of doing this at a time of year that is filled with events, gatherings as we near the holiday season. But there will always be something going on! I am actually looking forward to each event being the most memorable ever as I’ll be ever present and 100% THERE! No more missed or forgotten moments!

When I drank and with age – I found that my memories became harder to recall and I even experienced blackouts at time. I don’t know about you but life is too short and I don’t want to miss a thing! I want to savor every moment I can and live in the here and now – being completely present!

Here’s to losing the booze in order to gain so much more! Stop thinking you’ll be missing out on anything … and start seeing the gift you can give yourself by going AF! Afraid of going it alone? Join us – contact me via my Facebook Page and I can add you to the secret Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Success group (named fondly as it was created January 1st, 2017 when others joined ME in doing 100 Days AF). Want to know more about it? Check out this post: Lose ‘da Booze Secret Group

100 Days and FINALLY retired from drinking for good!

I haven’t been blogging here much because I’ve been so busy with my groups on Facebook and today I posted a LIVE video about my 100 Days and where I’m at.

My blogs date back to 2013 … that’s how long I’ve been trying to finally get to where I am today! FIVE years of trying to do long stretches… trying to moderate… only to find myself back in the vicious cycle of feeling regret, guilt and at times shame. This year marked 40 years of this drinking career and I was able to finally let it go by shifting the wording to something positive and instead of saying “I’ll never drink again”… I simply stated “I am retired from the drinking life” and it clicked! It made it something positive. It made room for better things to come into my life!

So while 100 days is not my longest stretch (the one to beat next is 174 days which I broke in February of this year)… but this 100th day will be my last as there will be no more day ONE’s for me. I’m in this for life and loving it! #LoseDaBooze all the way!!

If you’d like to know more about our group – here’s a link to a bit more about it! We’d love to have you join in perhaps for the NEW Year (or sooner) … as you try out maybe 30 days or 100 days or decide that perhaps you’re done for good too! Whatever goals you may have we will support it in a non-judgmental way. 100 Days Lose ‘Da Booze group

Month 2 – Going Strong in Sobriety

I really do feel like I have wings these days! The natural high that I’m experiencing more often is simply amazing! I don’t know if it’s different this time because of my many tries before finally retiring the habit for good … I think the freedom of never having to debate the issue of ‘to drink or not to drink’ again allows for so much peace and serenity to come into my headspace.

No more questioning or debating about moderation – it’s just no longer an option. So long as I keep going and never have that first drink I’m doing great!

I’m down 12lbs since starting back up in August. I’m consistently working out daily. I’m so productive and really pushing myself beyond the comfort zone and it feels amazing!

Just yesterday – I felt a bit ‘off’ and it was like that hangover feeling when you’re tired, headachy and feel like crap and can’t do anything. I didn’t drink but man – I never want to feel that again. I slept it off (likely a cold coming on and I think I nipped it in the butt with lots of rest and self-care). I like the clarity that sobriety brings me. I no longer crave this buzz or desire to numb out any part of my life.

I’m still experiencing great stress with my 17 year old but managing so much better without booze. There’s no solution in a bottle – only more pain and misery.

So here’s to this continued journey as I keep counting months… not days… leading up to my FIRST year anniversary! Until then enjoying each beautiful and sober day for the gift that it is! #LoseDaBooze and live life to the fullest!

Time to R’October Sober… Again!

We’re winding down #SoberSeptember and I love to keep new and fresh challenges going for people who may want to hop on what I call this most amazing Sober Train! I’m on this train for good now but want to really show you how good you can feel with just one month of cutting out alcohol in your life!

When you #LoseDaBooze – you open the door to so many great things. It’s like that saying, you must clear out clutter to make room for the new. That’s what alcohol was for me. I used it as a coping mechanism to mask or numb many of life’s challenges. I used it for every excuse – to celebrate, or because I was tired or because I deserved it… but do you know what I deserve more of? The peace, the clarity and the FREEDOM that comes with sobriety!

I danced with the idea of moderation over 5 years… I went for long stretches of alcohol free (AF) stints – 30 days, then 100 days a few times over, and my last longest 174 days (just shy of 6 months). Each time I re-introduced ‘da booze… I slipped back to old ways and patterns and I noticed just how unhappy I felt.

When I compare or list all the reasons why I drink and how it makes me feel versus when I don’t drink and how amazingly positive my life is – it’s like a no brainer… SERIOUSLY!

Gone are the cravings from my mind … this longing for a substance that was clouding my life in so many ways. The alcohol was preventing me from reaching my health goals, my dreams and it was stopping me from pursing my passions! I’m now able to freely say I’ve retired that habit that no longer serves me or my purpose in life. I have BIG dreams and I’m going for them with a renewed energy and focus!

Don’t you want a taste of how this feels? I encourage you to jump in… Join our Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Secret Success Group… (you need to friend me on Facebook if you want me to add you). Secret means it’s beyond a closed group – so people can’t even find our group so it won’t show up on your news feeds in any way. While I’m more public about my journey now because I want to help others achieve this … I understand that it is something many still wish to keep private.

So what do you say?! Are you ready to join in for R’October Sober with us?! It’s time for YOU to #LoseDaBooze and discover the gifts of being AF!!

Strategies to ensure you don’t break your AF Streak

I went live in our Secret Lose ‘da Booze Group yesterday to share strategies to keep you on track with your commitment to Losing ‘da Booze in your life. Whether you are committing to 30 days, a few days a week, or like me – now in this for LIFE as I’ve retired my drinking career. These tips may help you stay the course.

Strategy 1 – Utilizing others

Surrounding yourself with a good support system is KEY to success! That’s why after my first 100 Days AF I created the group and now coming up on almost 2 years strong. There are also other ways to gather support through your own community and of course your family. Finding sober friends will help you stay the course. Spending time with them will reinforce your commitment. Finding allies and confidantes who support your AF lifestyle will help you stay strong and that’s what posting to our group has done for me. I’ve also joined other groups (This Naked Mind and The Alcohol Experiment) – the more you can arm yourself with a community of people who ‘get’ what you’re trying to do the greater your chances of success will be. Use them if you feel like you’re going to cave in to cravings and reach out by personally messaging or posting on the boards where you’ll be welcomed and supported through moments of weakness. Go to in person meetings if there are some available in your community. Don’t be afraid to share your goals to be AF with others. Be proud of it. Informing others will strengthen your commitment. If you’re going on holidays – re-clarify your goals and consider meeting up with sober communities or linking to sober activities during your travels. Help and educate others as it will reinforce what you already know from your own experiences. And most importantly – don’t isolate yourself. If you are down and alone – those are the times that are riskiest to breaking your AF streak – so REACH OUT!

Strategy 2 – Knowing and avoiding triggers

Reduce the amount of time spent with past boozing friends. Recognize the people who are unhealthy or triggering. This doesn’t mean they are bad people – it just means you are taking care of yourself. Identify high risk situations and people. These are the situations or people who may will make staying sober a struggle. Try to develop strategies to handle such influences without resolving to alcohol to cope. Be able to successfully anticipate high-risk situations and be ready with a plan to cope with them. Know and learn your triggers and avoid them or find ways to manage them. Give up hobbies that are associated with booze. This could include going to pubs, watching certain TV programs, etc. Visualize and mentally rehears what you can do to get out of tempting situations. It’s like muscle memory – it’s easier if you’ve developed the muscle first. Plan ahead of what you will do. Replace negative behaviours with positive ones. Rehearse answering awkward questions from relatives or friends – especially at parties or other social situations when alcohol is freely available. Have a standard response ready. Have an escape plan if you’re attending a party or event. Be sure to have your own vehicle or plan for public transportation to leave. Don’t feel obligated to stay if you are in a situation you don’t want to be in that could trigger a slip. Attend events with sober friends and family. Be the designated driver. If you are experiencing a strong urge to drink – distract yourself for at least 15 minutes and know that the craving will subside. Know you are more powerful than your craving – this is something you CAN beat! Know that a slip starts with thoughts that maybe you don’t have an issue or you miss drinking … be mindful of these thoughts and go back to WHY you decided to Lose ‘da Booze (make a list that you can refer to of all the negatives you experience when you drink). Stay away from old ‘haunts’ where you associate drinking with. Cravings are part of your overall journey – know what to do when you get them: places to go, what can calm you down, sources of distractions (like the files we have in our group), people to call, etc. Learn about Terence Gorski’s concepts: 1 – euhporic recall (where a person thinks positively about their alcohol use), 2 – negative abstinence (where a person associates negative feelings with sobriety) – by the way this is so NOT how I’m feeling now as I only see all the GOOD about being sober, 3 – exaggerated thinking (where a person believes all the bad things happening to them would go away if alcohol was reintroduced).

Strategy 3 – Develop coping mechanisms & psychological strength

Have a safety plan with at least five easy things you can do whenever your feelings are likely to overwhelm you and carry the safety plan with you because under stress, we don’t think very well. Plan for harm reduction if a slip does occur. Do not feel ashamed if you break your streak. Seek out support immediately through our group or whatever supports you have setup for yourself. Don’t allow a slip to turn into a full blown spiral backwards to boozing it up. Give yourself grace for setbacks. They don’t mean everything you’ve worked for is nothing. Above all if you slip don’t give up giving up!! Understand your prior progress wasn’t for nothing. Progress not perfection – it took me FIVE years of trying to moderate before I was able to accept that I just was done for good and now retired from a 40 year drinking career. Kill complacency. After a while you may assume you’re ok but being sober is a full time job. Don’t let your guard down. Keep a daily journal that’s only for you or do like me and create a blog if you’re ready for that. Allow yourself to ponder all that you’ve lost over the years – but don’t stay stuck in the past either. Build on the positives that sobriety brings to your life and create new and meaningful experiences. Don’t have the ‘first’ drink – one drink can undo so much!! Keep stress levels low – look at what may be causing you stress and make adjustments as needed. Regulate your physical and emotional needs – this is all about balance and minding your health – mind, body and spirit. You can always join my Healthy 4Life group for support in this area. Don’t feel guilty about having ME time!! Self-care is KEY to success … this could include reading a book or just resting in bed all day! Sometimes empty time is just what the doctor ordered. Work your assertiveness skills and learn to say NO (and no is a complete sentence). Don’t expect all your problems to magically go away – know that your efforts are a work in progress. Avoid being overconfident – always be mindful that your sobriety is something you must work at. Avoid self-pity – this is not a punishment but a reward … your life will be blessed with so many gifts in sobriety if you give it a real chance. Sobriety will not always equal happiness – it’s sometimes a roller coaster of emotions but enjoy the ride! Use DEADS: Each letter stands for an approach to avoid a slip. D-elay – this is based on the notion that cravings and urges disappear when you shift your attention elsewhere (do this for 10 to 15 minutes). E-scape – remove yourself from the urge provoking situation – this could be a pub or supermarket where alcohol is readily available. It’s KEY to focus your attention elsewhere. A-ccept – cravings and urges are a natural part of living sober. Accept these emotions for what they are without judging them negatively. Don’t punish yourself for having these urges/cravigns. D-ispute – Identify past addictive situations and develop tactics for disputing them when they occur again… in my case – there is no longer that mental battle going on as I’ve taken the option of drinking completely off the table and it feels so freeing! S-ubstitute – requires you to substitute urges with fun or productive activities. This could mean going for a run or a walk, or reading a book or listening to music. Make a list of activities you could go to when urges/cravings arise. Again check our distractions file in the Lose ‘da Booze group.

Strategy 4 – Goal setting

Make realistic goals. Success happens in baby steps – not leaps and bounds. Keep a list for what your grateful for – GRATITUDE should be part of your daily menu. Reward yourself for your progress – map out milestones and reward yourself for each of them with the money you save by NOT drinking! This is so important!! This is hard work and the first while (1 to 2 years for those who are choosing to quit for good) is how long it takes… but the end result is well worth it. You will feel more alive and better than you have in a long time!

Strategy 5 – Lifestyle

Know that a busy schedule full of work, activities, fitness, addiction work (education, researching and helping others) and relationships will mean you are less occupied and less likely to return to booze. Find healthy outlets for stress (meditation and journaling). Eat well – give your body exactly what it needs. Exercise -THIS is really the BEST medicine you can give yourself as it not only builds a stronger body but can help boost your mood and relieve stress, anxiety, etc. Get plenty of sleep (whatever amount of time is good for you) – this will help you have a clear mind for decision making. Engage in new adventures or activities – fun activities like hiking, sky diving, skiing, etc). Now that you are clean you’ll find lots of time to invest in a healthier hobby. Occupy your time wisely so you don’t get bored. Consider taking up a sport or perhaps sign up for a local night class. Allow yourself to practice or lean some form of expressive activity – drawing, writing, painting, singing, playing music, acting, etc. – that you can do regularly but especially when you are upset, scared or angry. Regularly practice some meditation activity – learn formal meditation, yoga, prayer or whatever works for you. Spend time in nature. Keep yourself busy by cleaning up your home, garden or garage. An uncluttered living and working space make for a healthy and clear mind where you can make rational and sound decisions. There’s nothing more satisfying than a job well done!

I posted a live video in our group about this – but want to blog it to reach more people. If you feel this is something that can help someone else, please share and if you wish to join our ‘secret’ group, follow the link above to find out how! #LoseDaBooze and Gain YOUR life back!! You can do this!!