July 1st is just around the corner and boy am I ready to make some changes. Since March – I’ve been struggling… and a big part of that struggle is having fallen back into a pattern of allowing drinks back into my life.
I’m still of the mindset that I’m not ready to say NO forever (for today – although I am beginning to believe it would be the easiest solution to just say “I don’t drink booze anymore)… I do know I need to get back to where I was … like this photo at 3months AF (alcohol free)…
With major stressors – I’ve turned to drinks as a coping mechanism to let go, to forget, to numb myself out… but I KNOW it’s not the healthy way to do things. So I’m gearing up to get back on the Sober Train and one day at a time – hope to finish this year completely sober!
I’m not in control of certain things going on around me – but this is a choice I can make and something I DO have control over….
Not everyone has an issue with alcohol and some can take it or leave it – or stop at 1 drink or two… I unfortunately don’t fall into that category and it’s taken me a long time to just accept that. Since 2013 I strived to reach 100 Days AF and finally succeeded in doing to in 2016 and then I started a group to have others join in. It’s a secret/private group because this issue is not something everyone is open to sharing … here on SP the Cutting Down the Booze team nears 1000 members… With the non-judgmental support of the community – I have greatly improved my AF stats and working to continue doing so! My last longest stretch of consecutive AF days was 174 days!
The other factor that alcohol hinders is my advancement to reaching my health goals. I have regained most of the weight that I had lost and my lowered motivation, lowered self-esteem, anxiety, depression has come back into play.
I need to shake myself off and jump back on the wagon to greater health! The stressors in my life will be better handled when I am strong again – healthy and SOBER. I will be stronger because I’ll be eating healthier, and exercising more regularly again. Exercise REALLY is the BEST Medicine!!
So it starts with a #DryJuly …
And I hope it will close the second half of 2018 – Sober & Clean… AND Lean … Health4Life – this is not a ‘diet’ but a lifestyle!!
It’s time!! It’s not too late to make 2018 the BEST year of your life!! Join me!!
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!!
Yesterday was October 1st and it’s the time I log in my stats and record where I’m at on my health journey. I have decided that this time round, I will record my face to face comparison from Day 1 to every month going forward. It’s a visual for me about the changes that are happening. Weight loss wise – I managed to lose 5lbs and 5 inches in the first 28 days. I’m pleased with that considering the first month I focus solely on being AF and give in to cravings for comfort foods.
Reaching Day 30 today has been relatively easy this time round. I barely had cravings and really simply focused on making my lifestyle a healthier one, and Losing ‘da Booze was the greatest barrier to me achieving this. I do recall years back – well even up until my first 100 days how just achieving 30 days seemed so hard. That’s why I opened up the group to allow those who were considering a break to try to do October Sober. Because this journey really does happen one day at a time.
I’ve been thinking about why it’s easier this time and I believe it’s simply because I have committed to the full year without so the concept of thinking of when I can have my next drink is out of my mind. Feeling as good as I do again makes me realize how cutting out ‘da booze is just a no brainer… Funny how our mind tries to trick us into thinking otherwise at times. I believe since I’ve become more public about this, it’s been something that is complimented as good thing and people share with me how proud they are of me and that makes me feel good. I also want to role model for my daughters about how living sober is so much better. I barely have any anxiety (I have moments still but those are just normal things). As someone mentioned in the group – many turn to alcohol to try and easy anxiety or depression – when in fact it just perpetuates the problem.
My focus has been shifted towards living healthy. I’m exercising regularly again – which boosts my mood naturally. I’m focused on furthering my training in this area I am so passionate about with a goal to complete my Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach certification this month. I’m dedicated to finding great information for my followers and sharing with them… This particular website is one that provides great information about overall positive wellness and information in a variety of areas that are relevant to my journey!
My love of sharing positive affirmations daily as I practice that in my morning routine is something I believe everyone should practice…
I haven’t been blogging daily here but my group is one of the main reasons I also believe why being AF is so much easier now. The power of community and support is incredible. I do post daily and proudly about the achievements on my Facebook Page so please visit me there and follow me! I can’t wait to keep sharing the benefits and FREEDOM that comes when you Lose ‘da Booze and super excited to have many new members joining us for R’October Sober.
Wishing you all a great and SOBER Monday! It’s now time to check in with my group and get my workout on!! As a Beachbody coach, I’m practicing being a product of the product!! Exercise is my NEW healthy habit and I’m loving it!! This morning it’s 21 Day Fix Total Body Cardio and tonight is the beginning of week 5 with Turbo Jam! If you need motivation, remember to follow me on Facebook for daily posts!
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
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:
For my loving Fiance who is supportive of all of my dreams and goals
For my daughter who is doing better on her journey to healing her eating disorder
For my friends, colleagues and LDB and SP family!
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!
This journey is very different than my previous ones (including stretches of 30 and 100 days sober). Some don’t understand why I am setting a time limit to my AF days – and I even received a very negative comment on a group (that I’m no longer a part of) saying “so what – you’re going to find out you’re an alcoholic after a year sober” or something negative like that. I’m so grateful for the group I created as one of the main premises I wanted to maintain was to keep it POSITIVE and never judge or label anyone. One of our members shared this article today Don’t Call Me an Addict or a Victim – and I loved it because I so hate the labels that some give to those struggling with certain substances or habits (be it alcohol, or drugs, or gambling). That particular habit does NOT make the person. I am so much more than someone who wishes to let go of alcohol for a year… My reasons for doing so vary – and one huge factor is the time I gain by NOT drinking.
Today was a perfect example. My focus was sharp. My productivity was up. On the home front – managed to get some of the household chores done so I’m not stuck doing them all in one day on the weekends. Mind you – I now am keen on doing so much more. That’s the danger when you first get sober – you want to keep busy you go go go and then one day you burn out and figure – hey I’ve been good, I deserve…. (and in this space I used to say a drink)… but NOT this time. What I will setup for myself will be some healthy rewards for the work I’m doing. One that I’m going to line up is getting a massage as my back has been aching terribly and the headaches are still lingering with the tension from it.
In all honesty – usually the first few days are usually tough and here I am completing day 4 without a twinge of a craving and perhaps it’s because there’s no near end to my journey as I’ve decided to do this for a full year. Instead I find myself contemplating all other great things I can accomplish in this year. The books I’ll read that I have had for years and never got to. Courses or classes I will take. The workout programs I will complete. How organized my home will be.
The person I was when I drank did not have this drive or energy. She was the person who would come home, grab a drink, sit on the couch and surf TV. Sober me barely watches TV and prefers listening to good tunes while doing some cleaning, organizing or blogging/posting in my groups and challenges. Sober me has more energy, thinks clearly, has very little anxiety or guilt, feels a great sense of pride and accomplishment, is driven and passionate about helping others achieve this same level of happiness in their own lives. I wake up every morning and look forward to checking in with my accountability groups. I have a few – relative to Losing ‘da Booze and also relative to overall Health (fitness, nutrition, general wellness – mind, body and spirit).
I’m sitting here trying to wind down but so excited about what an amazing year this will be! But I’m mindful of the time and trying to keep a routine of logging off electronics at least 30 mins before bed – still struggling with getting my 6 hours sleep simply running out of time. So once I finish my posts – I’ll be off to read more of The Power of Now.
And with this I end the day with my Gratitude List:
I’m grateful for the better night’s rest I had last night
I’m grateful for the opportunity to help a colleague who lost a job by sharing her resume in my network (I LOVE helping others – it gives me such great joy)
I’m grateful for my role at work in our social committee and all the wonderful opportunities it gives me to connect with other colleagues and provide morale boosting activities such as the Fit Club I created and the September Health Bet
And a bonus one tonight – I’m grateful for FUN workouts that include dance (another LOVE of mine) – did this workout tonight (Jazzercise Burlesque) – what a BLAST!! Because I can tell you TODAY Snaccidents did happen so I was grateful for the calorie burn (and this was my 2nd workout for today as I did 21 Day Fix Barre legs at 4:30am)
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
So here I am at Day 40 during my 2nd 100 (+) day Lose ‘da Booze Challenge and I will say that this time the weight is not coming off as fast .. namely because that’s what happens when you start to get closer to your goals.
I have lost 8.5 lbs but what I find more impressive is how I feel and look!
I have a healthier glow about me. Above is the face to face from Day 1 to this week! Can you see the difference!?!
I have more energy. I am definitely getting more toned thanks to my consistent workouts because I’m not drinking. I’m loving my guns… and hooked on working to make them even more defined (and say goodbye to the jiggles).So I guess it’s true when you give up one addiction you often replace it with another… but in my case it’s FINALLY being replaced with something I’m passionate about – my health and helping others achieve this kind of success with their own fitness/health as I continue to lead by example through my own journey (as it’s NOT OVER yet).
So I’m not reverting to a negative habit as that sometimes happens (although I still sneak in the odd treats / sweets and yes pizza lol). I’m finding balance – I’m practicing self-care, I’m more aware, I’m more ALIVE!! And I’m truly thriving!
The Facebook group “Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Challenge” that I created and that I’ve grown so fond of are like a ‘family’ to me now. There are great things happening and we’re not even at the halfway mark yet! I can’t wait to see what the next 60 days will bring!
Here’s to letting go of ‘da booze, slowly letting go of the wrong kind of bulges (in ‘da belly) and building the RIGHT kind of strength!! As Sagi Kalev would say “Stand in YOUR Power” #Whatever it takes!!
So I’m just back home and this morning sitting down (very happily) back in my routine of checking in and starting my day with some habits that kept me going in the 100 days I completed before.
I peaked at the scale and since re-introducing alcohol, and since being ‘off’ my health routine (as I was traveling and visiting since Dec 23) – I’m up 5.5lbs. Other observations – my energy is not as positive as it was, my anxiety and mood shifts were coming back, my system is not as regular and overall I just don’t feel as good as when I did when I wasn’t drinking. I have had drinks every day since the 17th but now – I’m prepping to start my next 100 days and perhaps looking to make a more permanent lifestyle change around alcohol as it does seem to have lost some appeal since my FIRST 100 days.
So I thought I’d share with those who are venturing to start with me on January 1st for their FIRST 100 days… things that may help you prepare or be armed to deal with tougher days!
Focus on JUST ONE THING!! So in this case – the number ONE thing you are doing is quitting alcohol for 100 days! With it being a New Year, you may be tempted to change a BUNCH of things all at once but overwhelm may kick in and then you may feel like quitting all of it. In my case, during the first 100 days – I allowed myself ‘cheats’ in other ways – so I gave in to my sugar cravings and pampered myself in other ways but I never broke my commitment to the 100 Days without alcohol.
BEFORE the 100 days – arm yourself with some tools to keep track of how you’ll do this. I am very visual – so my calendar and putting ‘stars’ for each day I did AF was motivating.Sober time was a KEY success tool in my first 100 days so I highly recommend downloading it (it’s an app that I got with my android phone). I loved the quotes that came up randomly – the stats of how much I was saving and the progressive steps.
Start your day with positive affirmations! I use these two books but there are others online you can subscribe to – The Daily Motivator is a good one. Find the ones that speak to you! Or follow/like my coach page as I try to post some motivational stuff daily too.
Buy yourself a journal, start a sober blog, or keep posting to our group on Facebook DAILY or whenever you need to (multiple times a day if you must) – ** this is now a SECRET group and to join you need to message me. Write out/record how you are feeling through it all – it’s great to be able to look back on and keep as a record too. Working through this is really eye opening as you become more aware of things – because you are no longer numbing your way through life!
Decide on the things you are going to add to your life to replace the times you used up when you used to drink – for me that was diving into my health and fitness goals. I became a Beachbody coach and being a product of the product every single day!! My go to workouts are done right from my own home – but do what works for you!! If you are interested in what I do or want more info, message me on Facebook. I plan on making 2017 my healthiest year EVER!!
Pick out alternative drinks that you like and stock up! For me – it was important to have drinks on hand because when you give up alcohol – you still need to hydrate. Number one choice is water but that can get boring so flavor it up with fruits. I love my hot lemon water to start my day. I drink fruit flavored green teas. I love mineral water with lemon or club soda with lemon and sometimes a sprinkle of cranberry juice. I drink some of my bubbly drinks in fancy glasses so I don’t feel deprived. And I still haven’t cut out the diet-pepsi habit (one thing I may have to let go of later – but for now alcohol is number one). When I have my diet-pepsi with lime – it’s like my replacement ‘alcohol’ drink – so I try to limit it to ONE per day MAX – but on tougher days I have more. Some even try non-alcoholic drinks to replace booze – but for me that was never a go to option.
Let people know about your intentions of being AF for the challenge – some may give you a hard time, but most will be very supportive! If someone offers you a drink, say no thanks – and if you feel you have to give an explanation – prepare some ahead of time, but honestly these days, people seem to be more understanding. Those who aren’t perhaps shouldn’t be in your circle of friends as you do this challenge (and you may notice this happening as some may feel uncomfortable as YOU make this healthy change for yourself).
BEFORE DAY 1 – take a photo of yourself – your face, take your full body pics with workout gear or tight clothing, weigh yourself, measure yourself. For some – this break from alcohol will lead to other benefits such as weight loss BUT in order for this to happen, it means adopting habits like daily regular exercise (even if it’s just making sure you make your 10,000 steps a day). For me a distraction from the cravings was to do some exercises. Once I focused on the workouts – the cravings would subside. Once you complete the 100 days do the same and share your stats! These were my first 100 Days Results!
Because we are starting this journey on January 1st this time – it would be a good idea for you to review your year and mark down the ‘negatives’ of your drinking habits and list WHY you want to do this! I’d love if you shared your ‘why’ with us in the group on Facebook.
And last but not least – create the VISION you have for the year ahead (I’ll be doing one in the next day or so and I will be sharing via video how to do one too – stay tuned). Dream big and make plans about what you want to achieve!! This 100 Days is ONE of those things, but as you focus on healthier things – what other dreams do you want to achieve? I started this list by saying you need to focus on ONE thing – but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your eye on what’s next. YES – the ‘one day at a time’ is super important here… and remember…
If you have any questions or feel you want to reach out – I’m always here… so never hesitate to message me personally or post in the group. Whatever you are most comfortable with. I’m not claiming to be an expert by any means… and I have had the guidance and help from various sources including some wonderful groups HAMS and leading the team on SparkPeople Cutting Down The Booze (Calories) and some resources including Annie Grace’s This Naked Mind and the 30 Day Sobriety Solution. We have an album of photos of the books we have come to go to as resources in our group.
This particular challenge is for those who want to be 100% AF for 100 Days… but always remember – better is better… so follow the path you need to and never consider making a positive step (however many days you do) a failure… but keep this quote below in mind…
Yesterday was a BIG day for me. Back in 2013 I started this blog – when I had intentions of doing a 100 Day AF Challenge. I didn’t make the 100 days – but I did get a good stretch in. I went back to re-read a few of those blogs and thought wow – I’m still thinking a lot of those things.
And then it was like an ‘a-ha’ moment. That stuff is in the past and while it has brought me to where I am today – what really counts is where I am going.
I can’t keep looking back on what I did, how long I stayed on track. I have to start with a clean slate and just look ahead. Taking it ‘one day at a time’.
Today is Day 4 AF for me – I am also finishing a 3 Day Refresh and feeling pretty amazing (I can’t wait to see my results tomorrow morning when I compare from Day 1).
And while it’s the weekend – my only focus is to get ready for my Extreme Challenge on Monday! It’s an amazing program – 21 days, 30 minute workouts (so very doable) and I of course include my go to “healthiest meal of the day” Shakeology. I missed having it every day when I was sick with anxiety, stress and migraines and it’s a vicious cycle because when I do drink it I feel so much better!
So my go to drinks now – water, mineral water or sparkling water with a splash of lemon, herbal teas AND my Energize (pre-workout) – I love how this stuff makes me feel – Packs a healthy punch to give me the boost I need!
My plan tomorrow is to go grocery shopping, plan my clean eating meals (and the resources that come with this program make it so easy). The support too! I joined a group – we’re all in this challenge for a chance to be part of an Infomercial for the 21 Day Fit Extreme. This is a dream of mine and that’s my focus. You know the Law of Attraction – ask, believe and receive… Visualize – I want this! So I’m not thinking of drinking… I’m thinking of SHRINKING and being one of the success stories! I believe it so much that I did my very first public video (as part of the assignment for this challenge) and posted it and put it out there publicly. If you want to see it it’s on my page at www.BeFitSpirited.com (which for now is just my Facebook ‘like’ page – but that too will change as my focus is to build my website to track my journey).
I really felt like I was on ‘fire’ yesterday – this passion! I want to succeed and transform myself in every way – mind/body and spirit and more than that I want to help others do it too … which is why I’m coaching.
I hope you’ll follow my journey … and if ever you want to reach out – I’d love to be your coach for FREE!!