Day 131 of 365 – The Little Book of BIG Change

I signed up to Audible not long after I started my journey here and man do I love it – when I travel to work alone the total commute time is near 2 hours and I use it to listen to some amazing books and this one is the latest one! I really love the analogies she shares about how the sky is always blue – but that storms come and go – like shit that happens in our lives. And the back seat driver analogy – yelling at us to blow that red light … just like those voices that used to egg me on to have a drink but not this time! I am in the driver’s seat and I am no longer going to give away my power!

As I near the end of this book I find myself thinking of how life is simply peaceful for me now. Yes there are still a lot of things going on around me and in my life – but inside … sober and clear of mind – I feel like I can handle anything!

When I think of all the wasted moments spent reaching for a drink to get relief or some sense of relaxation and peace when all along it was always there … and it’s now that I have managed to continue on the journey that I see it clearer every day!

Simple things like hearing music play and feeling joy. Receiving gifts from people at work just because… and doing work that I love and am so passionate about! There’s no doubt I’m in a good space right now but it came with a lot of work and determination – to no longer stay stuck or as they say in the book – to no longer allow myself to get hijacked by those stupid voices telling me it’s ok to drink. The lizard brain is no longer holding a megaphone and those urges are barely audible these days.

I committed to one year AF – but as the days pass, I’m slowly starting to believe that this may never stop because it just feels too damned good! The things that are happening would not be happening if I was still caving in to those urges. Allowing so many great opportunities and precious time get by me.

It’s amazing how now – sober – I find I can’t get enough time to do all that I want to do (and only sleep about 6 hours a day lol). But I’m loving every moment of the journey and thrilled to share it with you. And of course with my amazing Lose ‘da Booze 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 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)

Ready to Lose ‘da Booze? September RELAUNCH!

September arrives tomorrow and with it the wave of new beginnings, re-starts and continuation of those who have already been losing ‘da booze beyond their 100 Days!

Some are starting on the 1st – some on the 3rd (that is my date) and others on the 5th. This group is now secret, but if you’d like an invite, you can always message me via my Facebook page and I’d be happy to share more.

Better is better and doing it with others is so much BETTER! I hope to have you follow along on this next level journey I am embarking on of going a FULL year without alcohol!

 

100 Day Challenge – Starting September 5th

I’m counting down … to my NEXT 100 Day Challenge starting September 5th and hoping to have others join me as I start my personal third 100 Day Challenge and beyond!!

After a TON of stuff happening, I can honestly say I’m craving this NEW beginning and re-launch into a space where I feel so much better… without ‘da booze in my life! Vacation, life stress, summer socials, weddings – I am so READY to get back to being FREE of alcohol again and considering making my 51st year of life mostly AF!

I celebrate my last ‘Windup’ Weekend including birthday celebrations September 1 to the 3rd… and when I return home on the 4th it’s BACK to LDB (Lose ‘da Booze) school! It’s time to get back to clarity, freedom, health, weight loss, feeling good, productive and PROUD me! It’s amazing what allowing alcohol back in leads to and as we age, how our body is not so quick to bounce back!

For those who are wondering why I’m not starting before then – well it’s an allowance I’m giving myself. Prep time if you will. I have continued to be mindful of my intake and accountable in my group and inspired to JUMP back in with others who have gone beyond their 100 days and continue to reap so many amazing health and life benefits!

If you are ready to change your life… to allow more GOOD into it… to have more time to do great things… then JOIN US!! We have an ongoing group of members who have taken the 100 Day challenge. You can start at any time – so long as you commit to doing at least 100 consecutive days without ‘da booze.

Some members have joined and haven’t been able to make it just yet – but are gaining strength and inspiration from the group. This is a safe place – a closed group, where we can share our stories and where we find that we are not alone in this quest to make this change in our lives. Sober is the new COOL movement and it’s one worth investing your time in! For some – saying forever is intimidating… but say for 100 days… give it a try… see how you feel after those 100 days and decide then what you want to do.

Personally – I know that I need a longer break this time so I’m going to stretch my 100 days through the Christmas holidays into 2018 and aiming to have ONE YEAR without ‘da booze. I’m stepping up my game and goals and determined to achieve this! I never thought I could do the 100 and now I know – with the support of the group… I CAN DO THIS!! And so can you!! I hope to see you there!!

Here are the results from my 2nd 100 Day Challenge – Face to Face Results!

Day 215 of 2017 – August RESET Month

Yes to going with the FLOW this month… I seriously am in need of a reset and allowing a bit of give on the goals/expectations I have set for myself relative to losing ‘da booze for the month of August. This is not to say I’m going all out drinking daily – but simply by not having this hard fast rule – I think I can live in the moment a bit more as I mentally prepare for the BIG emotional stuff coming up – for my girls, and for me…

I managed 8 days of consecutive AF days in July and finished the ‘last’ day DRY. My stats for July were 15 days AF and 16 days of moderate drinking – and for me that means no getting drunk, passing out/blacking out or doing anything stupid while drinking. It was simply fun social drinks with no regrets! It was also some ‘vacation’ time.

What I do recognize is that allowing this does not line up with my health goals of feeling ‘good’ in my skin. In 3 months I’ve regained just over 30lbs!! How insane is THAT?! I know some of it has to do with the HUGE stress related to my daughter’s newest diagnosis (anorexia nervosa). It was like I was feeding myself the food she wasn’t eating. I was using it for comfort – as I do with booze. So the handle I need to get now is how to manage this emotional eating/drinking to live a healthier and happier life.

For this month though – taking it one day at a time and today will be my first AF day … I managed a short 10mins workout (first one in over a week) and hope to get another workout in and stop eating by 6 or 7pm tonight. I am finishing my FIRST week back at work (4 days) in over a month since the stress leave/vacation/recharge time. That in of itself is a feat for me.

Sometimes we set too many expectations – overwhelm ourselves and in my case, I rebel and say ‘fuck it all’ – I’m done! I am very much an all or nothing kind of person at times and if I push too hard in too many directions – it’s not good. I need to get some balance back and taking a breather with some of the goals I had set out.

What I will say though is that as my 51st birthday approaches – September is MY New Year! I am committing to my 3rd 100 Days starting September 5th (or before) and considering a full ONE year period without ‘da booze … or at least as long as it takes to reach my health goals and maintain it for a bit.

In April I hit the 45lbs weight loss milestone – only to slip back and regain and that SUCKS! I need to change my lifestyle – not for the time it takes to reach my goals but for good! I need to figure out what works to keep me on track and on point! Yes we all have highs and lows – and I certainly observe the cycles I go through (reviewing some memories from last year with my move and my now fiance getting hurt – it was another tough time). Recognizing patterns. Getting to know what works or doesn’t for you. Acknowledging better is better… knowing what tools do and don’t work for me… ALL contribute to my success. So this month is about that – acknowledging what I know to be true for me. Accepting what is. Knowing what I can and can’t change and moving forward by doing the best that I can.

But for today… keeping these thoughts…

Day 206 of 2017 – Success Breeds Success!

Today another member “Graduates” having completed 100 Days and I’m thrilled to hear that she’s decided to keep going into another 100 days!

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately – just 6 days into another streak for me and still undecided about how the rest of my summer or year will play out. I have been having very vivid dreams – many of which are about alcohol or how alcohol messes up my life and situations. The most recent one being about my upcoming step-daughter’s wedding and I found myself having drinks breaking my Finish July Dry commitment and feeling like crap about it!

I decided to book the rest of this week off work – to mainly focus on getting back to a healthy place in my head. And I think this can only be done by Losing ‘da Booze … for sure for the rest of this month and beyond so I can be strong and clear headed come August 19th when the day of the wedding arrives.

Our group and my intentions for it had never been about complete sobriety but rather getting a hold of how the habit had a hold on me and turning it around so that I was in control (not the other way around).

For the newcomers to our group … know this … when you decide to jump in … at first you may doubt yourself. The first 7 to 10 days are probably the hardest but then when you’re over that hump – things start to shift and you start to see things in a different light. This is where I want to be again as I’ve been in a slump and slightly depressed with the issues I’ve been dealing with on my home front as my daughter works through her illness (recently diagnosed with an eating disorder). This shit is HARD. During my first 100 days – my focus was solely on ME and I pretty much was able to ignore everything else but that’s not the case now – so I have to find balance – to be there for her and support her, while continuing my own self-care so I can be strong for her.

So if you’re reading this and wondering if YOU can do this… I say YES you can… and perhaps at first you have to e ‘quiet about doing it’… until you get some traction and then lean in for support through your ‘tribe’… My tribe is this amazing group I created on Facebook… If you want to join in … just send in a request and answer some of the questions … We are happy to grow this sober ‘hip’ movement!