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!

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)

Once You Make the Decision…

I came across a great article today Willpower Doesn’t Work: Here’s How to Actually Change Your Life and it re-affirmed something that I already kind of figured out. When I first completed my FIRST 100 consecutive days AF – something I had tried to do for years before – the difference was that I was 100% committed and knew it was something I really REALLY wanted. I went public about it and shared on social media – openly with friends (even though I feared some might heckle me). In the end – when we want to achieve a goal it’s for US that we are doing it – no one else.

Once the decision was made, while there were difficult moments and cravings, I stuck to my guns and got through it. Just as I KNOW I will do the same this time as I have openly advertised through my facebook page/ad that I’m going to go a FULL year without ‘da booze!

By setting this up – and having the amazing accountability and support through the group that I created, my energy is driven to succeed – no if’s and’s or but’s! This is a non-negotiable and my WHY is a long list that basically boils down to wanting to live a healthy life – mind, body and soul!

Too many times alcohol has robbed me of moments or put me at risk or damaged relationships. As a child I also witnessed how the adults in my life behaved badly under the influence and I simply don’t want to live that way. My dream is to help others who are struggling with this issue that so many don’t like to talk about.

It’s amazing how I now often bring it up in conversation without any fear as I openly explain why I’m doing this and how I had issues with it. My decision to just commit to one year at this point is simply my next step experience and after I complete it – I will then decide what’s next.

I know from previous experiences that going back to alcohol does not bring me the joy, pride and satisfaction that I have when I am committed to my health goals. The simple short lived buzz just isn’t worth all the ‘after effects’ that come with it. I am super thrilled that my last hangover was September 2nd – before I celebrated my 51st Birthday and I look forward to how the days will go… simply one day at a time.

Today was good. I am now completing Day 3 so overall feeling pretty good. The only tough part is my sleep is still not great so I am feeling tired tonight. Still have the night sweats. I managed to get my butt out of bed at 4am to get back to my routine of reading positive affirmations and sharing on Facebook with my groups and on my like page. I got a 20mins workout in and started my day. Ate relatively healthy – I do allow myself some ‘give’ while cutting out the alcohol at first as sugar cravings usually kick in but today kept it to one single snack size serving of a Brookside and had a few chips. Other than that – pretty proud of my eating (feeling more in control of that already again). I also got a walk in at lunch and connected with a colleague that joined the Health Bet I organized. It was my first time meeting her and we chatted and found we had so much in common (as her daughter aged 15 had very similar mental health issues as my daughter had) – it was great to be able to exchange our experiences. Then when I got home – my daughter wanted to come back to town so my fiance drove her. I stayed back and made a nice soup for our lunches and made his dinner. Took care of the rabbit (took her out on the leash outside for a hop around) and here I am now winding down… aiming to get logged off technology by 9 or 9:15pm to read my next Chapter of The Power of Now (as I’ve set a goal to read the numerous great books I have purchased through the years and never read).

So I close off the day with my Gratitude List…

  1. I’m grateful for my sobriety and my Lose ‘da Booze Group (or family as we’ve come to call ourselves)
  2. I’m grateful for my workplace and my passion for healthy active living with Day 1 of the September Health Bet I organized and how it’s helping to motivate others to move more
  3. I’m grateful for my health and being able to workout (even though I’m a bit sore – it’s the hurt so good kind of thing)

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.

Ready to Lose ‘da Booze? September RELAUNCH!

September arrives tomorrow and with it the wave of new beginnings, re-starts and continuation of those who have already been losing ‘da booze beyond their 100 Days!

Some are starting on the 1st – some on the 3rd (that is my date) and others on the 5th. This group is now secret, but if you’d like an invite, you can always message me via my Facebook page and I’d be happy to share more.

Better is better and doing it with others is so much BETTER! I hope to have you follow along on this next level journey I am embarking on of going a FULL year without alcohol!

 

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!

Putting Words In My Mouth…

Having a conversation on the phone with my daughter tonight … and what was supposed to be a positive call (she finally found a place) turned into the ‘twisting of words’ and her saying I was yelling and swearing… when I KNOW I wasn’t.

You see the issue has been historically – that I probably did behave that way (or at least I would always second guess myself) but being SOBER and being present in the words I speak – I am very aware of what I’m saying yet my daughter I think still views me in a way that we used to communicate when we would get into arguments when I used to be drinking.

It’s sad really and frustrating – but I guess it’s my reality. The fact that it’s a touchy subject too that has to do with having to deal with my ex (she wanted me to talk to him and I avoid it at all costs now and deal with him through the legal system only). We are at a crossroad… but once we cross this bridge or path – I hope that things will settle down.

Having both my daughters in a good living space and having a good relationship with them is important to me. Being SOBER while dealing with this stage of transition and my ‘early and unexpected’ empty nesting… as my youngest just turns 16 next month is something I have to really allow to sink in… That and just moving in with a partner after being on my own for 14 years… Let’s just stay I’m glad I went to see my therapist to talk about all of it.

She re-assured me that I was doing very well and I do believe I’m on the right path… but tonight – I’m feeling drained … and I ate some of my emotions (had chips and cheesecake) but I did NOT drink. I did a workout and now going to log off and head up to take a bath and perhaps read more of the Naked Mind book.

Tomorrow is a new day and I need to let go of that which I can’t really control…

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) – ** 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!
  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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