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 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!

Two Weeks Completed

Onward and forward… Observations for the past two weeks. The first 3 days are the toughest usually but this time round the cravings were null and no real withdrawals – just the wicked HANGOVER on Day 1 (my birthday). The first weekend – Friday was fine as it was a work day and was in bed early with little to no cravings… BUT Saturday on weekend one and this weekend, cravings hit as the summer weather was there and as I watched my fiance down his nice cold beer, I thought I could like a nice cold one – but stuck to my ice cold mineral water with fresh squeezed lemon and some diet pepsi with lime.

I have been using my workouts to manage my angst at times and staying focused on the September Health Bet to keep my activity up (a challenge I am running through my workplace).

I’ve been reading other sober Facebook pages – but my main one is still ours as I enjoy the closeness and ‘family’ type environment we have created with positive support. I love seeing how members reach out to each other to check in. Today I’ll hold another Zoom call – Sober Sunday is the name… even though I have plans to also enjoy this last weekend of summer by the pool, with a bbq and maybe having some company over.

The thing I’m really struggling with is the weight that I regained while allowing drinks again – how quickly it came back on and how it’s not so easy to get it off. I’m really trying to be gentle with myself but it’s hard. I saw pictures of myself that my daughter took – and I see the thickness and bloat and I FEEL it and don’t like it. I’m going to use these feelings as a reminder of where I never want to go back to again.

So as the sugar cravings are still pretty strong – I’m going to use my supplements and distractions to work on having a cleaner eating week ahead. I always tell my challengers to not be too hard on themselves in the first 30 days but this isn’t my first round and I have no excuses. Yes I have stress in my life at times – but I know there are better and healthier ways to cope. I also know that by not turning to food for emotional reasons and losing some of my bloat – I will feel so much better.

So here’s to wrapping up week TWO! Here’s to making it to day 21 – as I form my new habit of not drinking and work on leaning it all out! If you don’t already follow me – visit me at www.befitspirited.ca and hit LIKE

Day 1 of 365 – Happy Birthday to ME!

Today is the day I begin my ONE year journey of losing ‘da booze in my life. A full cycle/year of events and experiences without alcohol. As many of you know if you’ve been following me – I finally achieved the goal of doing 100 consecutive days AF (alcohol free) but then returned to try moderating. After each 100 (I completed two) – I slid back to old patterns. This time I decided I needed to take more time off – to really give myself a clear view of what life without alcohol can be like and perhaps once the year is up – I may opt to never drink again (but I always fear/hesitate saying ‘never’).

I’m thrilled to have my group for support – on Facebook and through SparkPeople. Knowing I’m not alone in the journey and can vent and share my trials or triumphs makes a HUGE difference!

I had my last drink abound 9pm last night – passed out on the couch – that’s how many I had I guess … woke up at 11:25pm to go to bed and saw the full drink next to me and just dumped it down the sink.

Woke up this morning feeling a bit shaky and ill from the mixing of booze I had – as I wanted to get my fill and be DONE with it!

I did my weigh in and measurements and I will take some photos too in order to document my journey as it relates to my health and well being as well. I will use this blog to journal out how I’m feeling.

Today’s plan is simply to go to town and get groceries. We are going to my favorite restaurant for dinner. And I plan on getting a workout done at some point today. I know during my previous AF stretches – the working out was my saving grace as it helped to alleviate some stress and anxiety and released some ‘good feeling’ endorphins.

So here’s to DAY 1 of 365 – a birthday gift of health that I am giving myself.

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!

Vacation Time

Today is Day 1 of my vacation … following a 2 week stress leave (I worked for one day yesterday and now off until July 18th). My view of this vacation time has shifted. I was supposed to travel to my Beachbody Coach Summit in New Orleans – today would have been the day I fly out, but instead I’m here at home this morning. I woke up with my fiancé’s alarm at 4:30am and went down to my spot and read my affirmations, posted in my groups and on my Facebook Page and then worked out. Today was Upper Fix with the 21 Day Fix Program and today is Day 132 AF of my 300 Day goal for 2017.

Yesterday was an ‘ok’ day. I went to work and got caught up with all my emails and when I got home, well my eating wasn’t great but I stopped eating by 5pm about. Whenever I go back to being AF – the challenge becomes not letting my eating go to crap too. When I hopped on the scale yesterday I was pissed at seeing the number back up at 180.5lbs (and it shows in my belly bulge here in the photo lol)… but with just one day of no booze, I’m down 1.5lbs.

My focus for today is to experiment with the IF (intermittent fasting) which is basically only eating within an 8 hour window – so I’m aiming for 10am to 6pm. Like with ‘da booze – when I set firm boundaries, it becomes easier – like my saying I won’t drink for the rest of this month. I thought about having drinks with my sister when she visits Sunday, but in all honesty, I can enjoy her visit without having a drink with them. I would much rather enjoy feeling less bloated, which should be achieved in the first 3 to 5 days of no booze again.

I’m really struggling with the whole eating thing as I watch my daughter struggle with her eating disorder – yesterday was a binge day for her and then there was my fiancé too – both of them were having a munch fest so I went to take a bath and then retrieved into the bedroom and was in bed by 10pm.

Today’s plan is to get a bit of work done in my garden (I haven’t even been out there yet with all the rain we’ve been having and how crap I was feeling with my daughter’s crises). I’m using this vacation time to try to get my shit back together and my motivation back up!

What I find helps with the AF days is to shift my focus not on ‘how I can’t have drinks’ but rather back to my health journey and how I need to eat/drink clean and workout. My step-daughter’s wedding is in 39 Days and I want to be looking and feeling great! It’s an event that has me a bit stressed due to the whole jumbled family mix that will be there – including my ex and his wife and my ex MIL. I want to be strong and confident going in there and feeling great about myself in every way. I call this my ‘revenge’ showing… even though the focus and day is about my step-daughter… I need to keep my shit together and not let him urk me in any way (I can’t give him or his wife that satisfaction).

So here’s to making the most of this ‘health’ vacation! NO drinks …and shifting back to a healthier mindset following a tough month of June.

Feeling Peace and Strength

I feel strong – stronger than I have since I can remember. Despite last night’s tough moment with my daughter – I chose to go to bed and rested peacefully for 7.5 hours and woke up with renewed energy. We talked today and it was all ‘good’ and we’re now planning for her move and it’s something that really brings me so much relief as a parent who has been worrying about this for so long.

The peace I feel also comes from my practices of being sober (as you see from my pre-starred calendar above and notes of all I have done so far this month). I KNOW this year is going to be like no other.

For years I talked about it… making those resolutions to change things but never really following through. Well this time – it’s completely different! I can’t tell you how amazing going a 2nd time round with this 100 day challenge with just a two week break in between feels amazing. My mind is thinking of all the things  that have changed and are changing.

All the problems I have been having with my daughters for the past few years seem to be fading away. Is it because I am just no longer living the drama or drinking to mask it (and perhaps at times perpetuating issues because of it)…

All I know is I am happier now than I have been in decades! My fitness journey, my passion for helping others and leading by example is allowing me to do great things!

I honestly wish I had done this a long time ago … but every thing happens for a reason and the lessons I learned along the way are what brought me here.

I am still not intending on being completely without alcohol forever at this point (I do however plan on having recurring 100+ days without for this entire year and next year – we’ll see where things stand).

When I started this blog back in 2013 – and in the description of this blog I speak about letting go of that booze ‘voice’ in my head and I can happily say it no longer has the hold it had on me before. I am in control and damn – it feels amazing!

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