Day 30 of 365 – Easier This Time Around

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!

 

R’October Sober

While I’m on a personal journey to going a full year without ‘da booze, I thought I would launch a one month challenge and give people a sneak peak at the community we’ve built since January 1st, 2017. The group has grown so very close and every member contributes so much. Some haven’t been able to do the 100 days, so I’m encouraging existing members to try to go Sober for October to build up their AF muscles to perhaps one day take on bigger challenges.

In just one month so many benefits can be observed – this is a blog at my first 30 days done during my first 100 Day Challenge: Day 30 and Going Strong

I’m currently on day 19 of my latest challenge and feeling great. My thinking is so much clearer. I forget less and remember more. I am super productive and more focused. I workout more consistently. I am more mindful of all of my nutrition (no lies though the first couple of weeks sugar cravings can be insane but here’s suggestions to get through those – a great post by Hip Sobriety – Sugar Addiction in Sobriety – Why it happens and 13 tips on how to break it). There are tons more benefits too – clearer skin, money saved, no more hangovers…

I’m also recommending people sign up for Annie Grace’s 30 day Alcohol Experiment as a means to guide you through the challenge.  Her book – This Naked Mind is also a great resource!!

When you arm yourself with the right #sobertools and support/accountability – you CAN and will succeed… you just need to make the commitment to join in. If you want to be added to our secret group, I need you to friend me via my Facebook page and then I can add you. This group is a safe space and is meant to be kept private and confidential to all participants – so we have a strict policy of what is said in the group stays there. Here’s a description of the group – if you think it’s for you – send me a message via Facebook and I can add you.

Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Challenge SECRET Group

The goal of this group is for you to reach 100 Days (or more) consecutive days Alcohol FREE (AF)! It’s about Surviving and Thriving without ‘da booze! For those starting out – this may be an intro as you take on a one month challenge as a trial to work your way up to the 100 Days or more goal.

This group is meant to be a safe space to share a sometimes very private and personal journey related to your desire to let go of alcohol in your life for 100 CONSECUTIVE days (or more). This group is SECRET to allow for us to be able to share in this group and not open to the open Facebook community you may have on your own page, so please respect this and do not share anything that is said in this group outside of this group. If anyone encounters any issues around this, let me or another admin know.

** This group will not tolerate negative posts or is not intended for posts relative to opinions about religion, politics, debates relative to other groups, etc. These posts will be removed. We will not tolerate TROLLS either. **

This group is committed to focusing on being AF (alcohol free), ABS (abstaining)! We understand that some may not be ready to jump in right away and perhaps gaining inspiration to get to a point of doing a longer period of abstinence. There’s no failing in here – we believe that better is better but if you are doing too many restarts perhaps you’re not quite ready for this challenge and you perhaps need to check the other resources: HAMS is a great support group for moderation support with some periods of abstinence www.facebook.com/groups/harmreduction/.

I created the group because the AA model did not fit what my intentions were when I think about ‘Losing ‘da Booze’ and my journey (as I do not believe I am powerless in any way). I wanted to create a group of support that did not follow the 12 steps but that simply was a gathering of like minded individuals who were simply trying to better their lives – without any negative labels. While I do recognize AA has helped many – this is not the place or space for discussion/debate.

Blogs are posted periodically via losedabooze.com

DISCLAIMER ** This group is for support and encouragement but can NOT replace professional medical counsel. If you have a serious dependence on alcohol or have been a heavy drinker- please consult your doctor or professional counselor before attempting to quit completely for this 100 day Challenge. You may have to practice tapering first. **

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

Where Does Time Go… Day 4 of 365

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:

  1. I’m grateful for the better night’s rest I had last night
  2. 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)
  3. 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
  4. 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)

12 Days After my 100 Days AF

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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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.20161228_045857Sober 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. 1610270440421screenshot_2016-09-08-07-45-20
  3. 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. 20161228_045913
  4. 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). 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!
  5. 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!!fb_img_1482867183805-1
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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!15541913_1108379195926444_2989509071391420090_n
  9. 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.
  10. 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… 1

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…

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Be Confident… Be Accepting

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WOW – Accepting everything you are, and aren’t… Then that is when you will truly succeed! Now that hits home for me! I honestly think that we can all take away something from this message – in whatever way we want to look at it – be it sobriety, or other lifestyle and health choices. The path we choose will be ours to own and I am owning mine.

I had another tough day today – dealing with huge financial stressers and trying to figure out how to work through them and then dealing with my 12 year old (more self-harm and being out without letting me know where she was, and more talk about issues at school which I’ll have to deal with tomorrow). 

I felt like drinking but I didn’t and the craving came and went without a fight because I’m not counting anymore but rather ‘balancing’ things. I am accepting who I truly am and who I am not. I am not that person who can achieve what YOU can. I am on my own path of discovery and perhaps figuring out like a new explorer – ways of tackling this issue differently. 

I know many will say – but your previous blogs and statements (heck even I look back on some blogs and wonder lol) … you are contradicting yourself or fooling yourself, but I truly believe that I’m on a different plane if you will. Travelling towards the same destiny but taking a different route. Mapping my way through some rough times by navigating with different tools and resources. 

I am looking forward to tomorrow’s doctor’s appointment to address some possible physical issues that have been affecting my ‘spirit’ and mood. I also hope to address the pain I’ve been experiencing in my joints so that I can get back into a regular exercise routine. I also wonder about figuring out my whole hormonal shifts in all of this too. Hopefully the blood work will give me some answers. 

So I’m closing off another day – while tough and challenging on some fronts – successful in managing and coping without the aid of booze, but rather turning to my writing for solace. Thanks for listening.