Day 122 of 365 – Four Months AF

I can hardly believe it – I’m no longer counting days so much as months on this journey. I am finally starting to see life back the way I used to as a child – as someone described in a post like ‘technicolor’ again! Things are bright and beautiful and special! I don’t need ‘da booze to get that buzz and much prefer this sober way of seeing things!

The challenge I now have is dealing with my loved ones – my fiance and my daughter – as I have so many goals and dreams I want to go for and they need me too – so finding the balance in this is going to be KEY for me to stay sane. I hope they both understand what it means to me to be doing this. I did share my goals for the year with my fiance so he knew where my head was at. My daughter – she struggles still with her issues – but she sees what I am doing with my workouts and the courses I’m taking and how I’m trying to help people. I hope that sub-consciously this will sink in for her and help her too.

Life is good – and while there are always going to be challenges, knowing I can handle it SOBER is a gift! One definite next challenge to tackle is to get rid of the sugar/junk food habit I allowed myself to indulge in as I was getting over the alcohol cravings. Four months in and it’s TIME! I always tell people not to do too much when they first decide to go AF but after a while – as part of the journey to greater health, this too needs to be addressed. There was the empty calories from ‘da booze and now I have to clean up the rest of my plate so to speak. I can’t out-exercise a bad diet so with my course certificate under my belt (Lifestyle Weight Management Specialist) – and my own journey with the Dalewood Health Clinic – I hope that I can walk the talk and help others to reach their goals!

2018 is going to be an incredible year in so many ways – but mostly because I made the choice to finally let go of the control alcohol had over me and took control back over my life and my true passions! Excited to be sharing the journey with our now over 200 group members with Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Challenge!

So CHEERS with an AF drink to all the good that life has to offer us! I leave you with this inspirational photo created with words from our group!

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 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!

Double Digits Tomorrow

Tomorrow is double digits day for me … and I have to say for the record, since Saturday it hasn’t been as easy as it was the first 5 days. I know that once I get over the 2 week period – things will shift again as they have in the past. There’s this window between 6 and 14 days that is ‘iffy’ in that your emotions are all over the place.

I am finding that I’m feeling so overwhelmed with all the thoughts I’m thinking of in terms of what I want to do or accomplish and there just never seems to be enough time even though I am doing TONS. Thankfully I’m able to calm these down with meditation and reading – about practicing just being more in the NOW.

The cravings have turned to food and I’m giving in for the most part but still trying to balance that with enough activity and also cutting off when I eat by a couple of hours before bed. It’s not easy that’s for sure – and I feel bloated still but going to push through this as I know the light is just on the other side.

Lots done today and I’m thrilled to have a mini FIRST Zoom call with some members of our LDB group – something I hope to hold on a weekly rotation in a set designated day/time slot for the added ‘live’ support to help those who are striving to Lose ‘da Booze in their lives.

On my fitness front – I continue to post to my Facebook page and my Healthy 4Life group and Fit@50&Beyond group. Have a peak at their descriptions if you wish and follow or request to join if you think it fits your needs. I know that the more I focus on my health – the less I want ‘da booze so going to keep at it!

Gratitude List for today:

  1. I am grateful for the lunch hour I have to walk with colleagues so that I can get my activity in (as I slept in this morning)
  2. I am grateful for my flexible schedule and the day off tomorrow to attend my daughter’s school meeting and see her off to her first day of school
  3. I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with members of my group in a more ‘live’ way via Zoom call
  4. I am grateful for my FitBit and the friends who challenge me on there. My stats have greatly improved over last week’s and super proud of that

Day 5 and 100 Hours

These apps are the cat’s meow! The one showing 100 Hours is EasyQuit Drinking (which I downloaded on my android phone) and the other is Sober Time. They are #sobertools that keep me motivated!

Today has been an incredible day! I was on this natural HIGH – so excited about life without booze and all the possibilities ahead of me. My mind has been racing and I’m coming up with tons of ideas of things I want to do!

The Universe seems to be delivering things to me that are timed so right. I read an article on Mind Body Green about someones account of the 10 things she learned by going AF for 100 Days. I did a similar account in my blog 2nd 100 Days Completed and with my current journey and this blog and the group, I plan on created an even bigger list – of all the benefits of NOT drinking.

It’s so freeing when my mind is no longer even contemplating the decision – it’s like I have this wide open space and I’m filling it with so many great positive possibilities of goals and dreams I want to fulfill.

When I compare this to how I was feeling just one week ago – barely motivated to get up. Hitting the snooze button and wasting my life away sitting on a couch watching TV. I’ve missed out on too much time – NO MORE!

So my groups – on Facebook and SparkPeople – I have been connected with some of the members for some time and we’ve grown this bond/connection and one of those dreams is to meet in person so I’m working on that as I plan on traveling for my daughter so she can visit someone she connected with that has been helping her in her eating disorder recovery. I’m excited – just as excited as if this was one of my yearly sunny destination getaways (which I’m not doing this year). I’m going to make my own sunshine with these amazing souls I’ve connected with on this journey and I can’t wait to finalize details.

The opposite of addiction is connection and honestly that’s what I feel was a HUGE missing link. A group of people who really understand this issue – one that is now becoming more public but still needs work. It’s also an issue that many don’t like to talk about or deny… but I’m no longer hiding it and that in of itself is also freeing!

And so I wind down another incredible day – worked out this morning and this evening and MAN am I feeling great! Working out is really my cure and ‘medicine’.

And so again … ending this day in Gratitude:

  1. For my loving Fiance who is supportive of all of my dreams and goals
  2. For my daughter who is doing better on her journey to healing her eating disorder
  3. For my friends, colleagues and LDB and SP family!
  4. And this bonus one again … this affirmation about how spending our life our OWN way is the ONE Success I am living and LOVING!! In peace, joy and love!

Once You Make the Decision…

I came across a great article today Willpower Doesn’t Work: Here’s How to Actually Change Your Life and it re-affirmed something that I already kind of figured out. When I first completed my FIRST 100 consecutive days AF – something I had tried to do for years before – the difference was that I was 100% committed and knew it was something I really REALLY wanted. I went public about it and shared on social media – openly with friends (even though I feared some might heckle me). In the end – when we want to achieve a goal it’s for US that we are doing it – no one else.

Once the decision was made, while there were difficult moments and cravings, I stuck to my guns and got through it. Just as I KNOW I will do the same this time as I have openly advertised through my facebook page/ad that I’m going to go a FULL year without ‘da booze!

By setting this up – and having the amazing accountability and support through the group that I created, my energy is driven to succeed – no if’s and’s or but’s! This is a non-negotiable and my WHY is a long list that basically boils down to wanting to live a healthy life – mind, body and soul!

Too many times alcohol has robbed me of moments or put me at risk or damaged relationships. As a child I also witnessed how the adults in my life behaved badly under the influence and I simply don’t want to live that way. My dream is to help others who are struggling with this issue that so many don’t like to talk about.

It’s amazing how I now often bring it up in conversation without any fear as I openly explain why I’m doing this and how I had issues with it. My decision to just commit to one year at this point is simply my next step experience and after I complete it – I will then decide what’s next.

I know from previous experiences that going back to alcohol does not bring me the joy, pride and satisfaction that I have when I am committed to my health goals. The simple short lived buzz just isn’t worth all the ‘after effects’ that come with it. I am super thrilled that my last hangover was September 2nd – before I celebrated my 51st Birthday and I look forward to how the days will go… simply one day at a time.

Today was good. I am now completing Day 3 so overall feeling pretty good. The only tough part is my sleep is still not great so I am feeling tired tonight. Still have the night sweats. I managed to get my butt out of bed at 4am to get back to my routine of reading positive affirmations and sharing on Facebook with my groups and on my like page. I got a 20mins workout in and started my day. Ate relatively healthy – I do allow myself some ‘give’ while cutting out the alcohol at first as sugar cravings usually kick in but today kept it to one single snack size serving of a Brookside and had a few chips. Other than that – pretty proud of my eating (feeling more in control of that already again). I also got a walk in at lunch and connected with a colleague that joined the Health Bet I organized. It was my first time meeting her and we chatted and found we had so much in common (as her daughter aged 15 had very similar mental health issues as my daughter had) – it was great to be able to exchange our experiences. Then when I got home – my daughter wanted to come back to town so my fiance drove her. I stayed back and made a nice soup for our lunches and made his dinner. Took care of the rabbit (took her out on the leash outside for a hop around) and here I am now winding down… aiming to get logged off technology by 9 or 9:15pm to read my next Chapter of The Power of Now (as I’ve set a goal to read the numerous great books I have purchased through the years and never read).

So I close off the day with my Gratitude List…

  1. I’m grateful for my sobriety and my Lose ‘da Booze Group (or family as we’ve come to call ourselves)
  2. I’m grateful for my workplace and my passion for healthy active living with Day 1 of the September Health Bet I organized and how it’s helping to motivate others to move more
  3. I’m grateful for my health and being able to workout (even though I’m a bit sore – it’s the hurt so good kind of thing)

My BIGGEST Reason WHY

This right here is my BIGGEST reason why I am choosing to Lose ‘da Booze for an entire year! The picture to the left was after my 2nd 100 Day Challenge and I was down 45lbs from my starting heaviest weight in January 2016. The picture on the right is me today – having regained 33 of those 45lbs and standing at 102 days of drinking in 2017. That happened in just 5 short months!!

I initially hoped to reach 300 days AF but when that didn’t happen – I made a commitment to ensure I at least did better than last year. In 2016 I had 209 days AF and by ending this year and going into next year AF – I will beat that number.

My health suffers on so many levels when I choose to drink. My mental health has deteriorated along with some outside stressors beyond my control. I was struggling daily with low self-esteem and low self-confidence and it was spiraling… I’d drink, then choose to do nothing about it and just zoned out and avoided life in general – raising my anxieties even further. My relationships also suffer as I withdraw and don’t feel like doing much. I miss out on so many activities and it can’t continue this way. I need to be a role model for my daugthers who also suffer from mental health issues.

At the beginning it’s tough to stay sober and face the feelings in a raw state but I know it’s very much what I need to do to get back to a place where I am going to be happier. The weight gain just makes me feel so yuck on so many levels. My clothes are fitting tight again. I’m not comfortable in my own skin and my energy levels feel it big time too.

It’s time to shift the tide back to where I was happy and AF at day 100 – going beyond this time to really allow my body to get physically healthy. I have yo-yo’d with my weigh because of emotional eating and drinking and now I need to learn to cope in other ways. With the sober tools that I’ve been gathering, including our Lose ‘da Booze family – I know I can achieve this.

My WHY is to simply live my best life and I’ve learned in the first 50 years of my life that ‘da booze was preventing that from happening. So here’s to getting back to the habits that will make me smile more and be feeling good in my skin again! www.befitspirited.ca