Day 141 of 365 – How Accountability Works

I posted about this in our group this morning… you see I had created a list in the group to show all who had committed or intended to do the 100 Day challenge with us at the beginning of this year. And like many resolutions – some have fallen off the list or broken their resolutions (as is the statistics with most January resolutions). However – what I did share with the group is that this journey is very person to each individual. The accountability lies with YOU – period!!

And so I deleted the list because it’s up to each person to decide what they want from this journey to Lose ‘da Booze in their lives and I’m a perfect example of how these goals can shift. Dating back to 2013 when I struggled to try and do my own 100 days and barely could make 30 days without dying to have that drink again after day 30. It’s definitely a process and is it greatly influenced by whatever may be going on in your life.

I talked with a colleague this week who is going through a very difficult divorce and she shared how she caved in to wine to relieve herself of some of the stress. I re-assured her that this was very normal and that I too went through much of what she’s experiencing. You have to be gentle with yourself – which means that you can’t take on the world and change everything all at once! When going through some really difficult things – taking on this goal to be alcohol free may be too much – although I also know that it’s KEY to moving forward in so many ways but YOU have to be ready to take this step. No one can make you do it!

Another member in our group is influenced by his partner who chooses to continue drinking and at times even taunt him with it as he tries to stay AF and so far she has won… and he’s still struggling with freeing himself from the negative clutches of alcohol as he reports feeling like crap for giving in when comparing how good he felt when he managed to get so many days AF.

Right now alcohol is the furthest thing from my mind and my biggest issue has to do with food … and how I now need to deal with how I can cope without reverting to emotional eating (since I’m no longer emotionally drinking). These things are ALL related. And what it boils down to is finding better healthier ways to cope.

Things I’ve done to work towards improving this are the following:

  • start my day by reading positive affirmations
  • check in with my group – post to share / journal and support others in the group
  • exercise regularly
  • food prep and plan
  • meditate
  • read or listen to books, podcasts, blogs… whatever I feel the need to lift me up or help me through a moment
  • reach out to one on one support through counseling
  • get enough sleep (for me that is 6 hours)

It’s about finding what works for you and even with all this laid out – you may still have moments or relapses. Like yesterday for instance – I caved into eats… had chocolate and half a big bag of my favorite chips and then had dinner and felt so bloated and yuck. Kind of like I felt the day after drinking too much – the same feelings come about – guilt, shame, regret… and then I wake to a new day and all I can do is start fresh and do MY best again.

This is definitely a journey and for now the focus is not on alcohol (although I am still bouncing back and forth with the idea of sticking to my one year, doing the full year 2018 or for good)… that doesn’t matter now. All that matters is TODAY and for today I plan on making it a healthier day than yesterday!

Take this journey in small steps my friends. Learn from your slips and mistakes and DON’T beat yourself up! Instead – pick yourself up and keep moving forward! #LoseDaBooze www.befitspirited.ca

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 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!

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

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.

T-Minus 7 Days to ONE Year of Losing ‘Da Booze!

I’m going to use this week to really journal the hell out of what is going on in my head. I’m still enjoying drinks in moderation (well my version of moderation) and observing all the effects and how I’m feeling. I’m kind of wanting to say goodbye and letting go slowly as I gear up for my ONE year no booze!

It’s daunting for some to say forever – or even to say for 100 days – but it all begins with ONE step. And making the decision day by day to keep it going. I know that the support group I have created on Facebook and the other tools I’m gathering will help me through this. I’m letting my family and friends know of my intentions and preparing a schedule so I am armed to succeed!

I am going to use my positive affirmations and continue my personal development to build upon my strength to do this. I’ve created a template for others to follow and journal on a day to day basis as they go through the challenge or FREEDOM of Losing ‘da Booze – so as to focus on the positives it will bring into their lives.

So here’s to NEW beginnings! And letting the magic flow!

“And suddenly you just know it’s time to start something new and trust the MAGIC of beginnings”

 

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!

What’s my WHY

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My why … here… is to simply get healthier. Yes I joined here and was blogging and thinking and reading all about getting sober. But in the end, it was honestly making me crazier … Where I want to be tomorrow is a person who is focused on health – eating well, exercising and living a balanced life.

When I think about my motivation for doing this – ‘NOT drinking alcohol’ is simply a side effect of reaching for the goal of becoming healthier. I know some have deeper issues and I debated that in my own head for ages but again – it took away from the things I really needed to focus on – and as with many other aspects of my life – I’ve learned that you attract what you focus on and I choose HEALTH – I choose getting my next fix through a good workout, or planning a new outing, trip, or activity. I plan on LIVING!!

I got sucked into this world and was hungrily reading every blog post I could, and don’t get me wrong, I have great respect for the sober blogging world… for me though – I just needed to step back in order to focus my attention on other things that were more in line with where I want my life to go.

Alcohol is very much a part of our culture and will always be around – like many other ‘bad habits’ that surround us (cigarettes, gambling, etc)… they are addictions… and I admittedly have an addictive personality and so I’m shifting it now to all things health – coaching/training, strength training, dancing, meditation, self-help books, relationship books, body image… Alcohol was a side effect of me not being happy with my SELF and so that’s the area I’m working on. I drank out of loneliness and boredom and so now I’ve gone out and thrown myself back into the dating world… I’m taking new classes and trying new things… I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and the high I am getting from it all – well you can’t get that by just sitting around thinking about drinking all the time.

So my friends… I’ll keep popping in here every now and again… but see me anytime over at SparkPeople as I blog daily there… check out today’s blog about What is YOUR Motivation?

Shift Happens…

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Sometimes in order to regain control over something, you need to shift your attention to something else. This is what I believe to be key for me in my journey to continual growth and self-improvement. My focus has shifted from alcohol to simply wanting more out of life. 

There are some great resources here in the sober blogging world, and some who also provide extras that you can buy into… but that’s not for me. For me – it’s about the gift of giving freely without any expectations to get something back. A prime example of this is a team I have been co-leading for a number of years through SparkPeople – called Cutting Down the Booze (Calories!!). The team started out small enough and today stands with almost 800 members. The team thrives on everyone giving their advice, sharing their experiences, challenges and victories. 

It’s ever changing and all accepting. There are no conditions to make it 100 days AF without a drop. YOU decide what YOU want to achieve and we’ll be there to support you. Many of us did wander over here and some have successfully completed the 100 Day Challenge but it left many with feelings of failure (me included). I did not make it – but yet, here I am today and doing better than ever.

The measure of our success is unique to all. Some have to quit completely and can not or choose not to have booze as part of their lives. Me – well I know I will never be 100% AF – but I do know that my focus has changed. 

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I am making 2014 the year where I am no longer controlled by a substance – but shifting to matters of substance, like dancing, healthy eating and exercising and cleansing. There’s no room in my head for ‘da booze thinking. I’m too busy LIVING life!!

So follow your gutt. Trust your instincts and DO what is right for you – however that may look! Have a fabulous Sunday!