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!

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 70 – Clearing the Clutter

Today my fiance left to go hunting for the week and my plan was to make the most of this ‘alone’ day as my daughter was in town. I decided to tackle this area/room that had been literally weighing me down and making me crazy. If you talk to my daughter, she’ll tell you I’m a clean freak but I believe that’s only the case when I’m AF…

When I was drinking – I would let things slide. The dust and piles would keep accumulating and it literally adding to the anxiety in my life. It’s like I knew it needed to be done but I was too busy sitting my ass on the couch binge watching TV and having drinks instead. What a waste of time!

So this morning I started to tackle this and within 2 hours had half of it done. I also took a car load to drop off for donations and now sitting here resting my back before I finish up for the day.

In the process of de-cluttering, I have to be careful not to overwhelm myself and balance it all out with other ‘fun’ activities (so I’m not all work and no play or down time either). It’s important to take it one area at a time and there’s more left to do – but it will happen another day. The great thing is that I know I will have the time, energy and motivation to do so because when I am clutter free and organized, I just feel so much better.

Even this article from Mind Body Green 10 Reasons To Stop What You’re Doing & Start Clearing Your Clutter attests to the fact that it may help me lose weight – and I kind of am since I’m moving non stop all day and carrying boxes, going up and down the stairs… and I’m losing the weight of things that no longer serve me … Just as I’m Losing ‘da Booze.

It’s Day 70 of 365 AF and I’m only 30 days away from reaching my THIRD 100 Days… but this time I’m doing it three times over and then some! It’s my one year experiment and I can’t wait to see all I’ve accomplished when I reach my 52nd Birthday.

I have to thank Mel Robbins and her 5 Second Rule on this one… this area has been like this for almost a YEAR!! And in about 5 hours – it looks transformed! Now we can proceed with finishing up the area as we want to make a craft area and finish another nice washroom downstairs too.

And all this accomplished by 6pm!! So now it’s time to go hang out with my rabbit and clean up and re-organize her cage too! I’m on a roll and it feels amazing to live this SOBER life! Alone at home – alcohol in the house and I could sneak it in but the only person I’d be cheating is myself! Here’s to wrapping up another beautiful day!

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