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. **

Awakening in the Now

I am still working my way through my FIRST book “The Power of Now”. It’s one that you have to kind of read and savor but each time I open it and read a passage it’s like YES … in terms of how he explains what so many of us experience as we don’t live in the NOW.

I will say that my mind is awakening and I am becoming more mindful again as the booze leaves my system. With each passing day (even though I’m early in the journey) – I get excited about the possibilities. I am not experiencing the negative feelings I was when I was drinking – the fear, the guilt, the angst… I end each day feeling grateful for all that was given to me.

The only thing I find is that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get to all I want to do! Seriously and when I drank I just sat on my ass and wasted SO much time! Now it’s a matter of getting to a place where I can calm my mind more and just take things one moment at a time and try to stay more focused rather than jump and hop all over the place (well except for when I’m doing my workouts lol).

I’m in a really good place right now… on day 12 AF and looking forward to another call with my LDB group members on Sunday as we discuss Sober Sunday and share tools to help us stay on track without ‘da booze! Life really is good and I’m so grateful!

Today specifically, I am grateful for:

  1. Having a dinner date with my honey – so no cooking for me today
  2. Another beautiful day of Summer in September and a walk at lunch with my colleagues
  3. Just one more day before the weekend begins and we make a trip out to camp on Saturday – with my fiance and daughter to his hunt camp and go out on the lake for a bit and maybe do a bit of 4 Wheeling 🙂

Day 5 and 100 Hours

These apps are the cat’s meow! The one showing 100 Hours is EasyQuit Drinking (which I downloaded on my android phone) and the other is Sober Time. They are #sobertools that keep me motivated!

Today has been an incredible day! I was on this natural HIGH – so excited about life without booze and all the possibilities ahead of me. My mind has been racing and I’m coming up with tons of ideas of things I want to do!

The Universe seems to be delivering things to me that are timed so right. I read an article on Mind Body Green about someones account of the 10 things she learned by going AF for 100 Days. I did a similar account in my blog 2nd 100 Days Completed and with my current journey and this blog and the group, I plan on created an even bigger list – of all the benefits of NOT drinking.

It’s so freeing when my mind is no longer even contemplating the decision – it’s like I have this wide open space and I’m filling it with so many great positive possibilities of goals and dreams I want to fulfill.

When I compare this to how I was feeling just one week ago – barely motivated to get up. Hitting the snooze button and wasting my life away sitting on a couch watching TV. I’ve missed out on too much time – NO MORE!

So my groups – on Facebook and SparkPeople – I have been connected with some of the members for some time and we’ve grown this bond/connection and one of those dreams is to meet in person so I’m working on that as I plan on traveling for my daughter so she can visit someone she connected with that has been helping her in her eating disorder recovery. I’m excited – just as excited as if this was one of my yearly sunny destination getaways (which I’m not doing this year). I’m going to make my own sunshine with these amazing souls I’ve connected with on this journey and I can’t wait to finalize details.

The opposite of addiction is connection and honestly that’s what I feel was a HUGE missing link. A group of people who really understand this issue – one that is now becoming more public but still needs work. It’s also an issue that many don’t like to talk about or deny… but I’m no longer hiding it and that in of itself is also freeing!

And so I wind down another incredible day – worked out this morning and this evening and MAN am I feeling great! Working out is really my cure and ‘medicine’.

And so again … ending this day in Gratitude:

  1. For my loving Fiance who is supportive of all of my dreams and goals
  2. For my daughter who is doing better on her journey to healing her eating disorder
  3. For my friends, colleagues and LDB and SP family!
  4. And this bonus one again … this affirmation about how spending our life our OWN way is the ONE Success I am living and LOVING!! In peace, joy and love!

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)

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!

 

Day 1 … Back to Basics

Sober June stopped for me… with a LOT on my plate with some at home ‘life’ stuff, I allowed myself a bit of give and had drinks… the problem is that I started feeling myself slip into old ways and I could feel my anxiety and guilt increase as I was no longer following through on my intentions … so not being my AUTHENTIC self anymore. And honestly – that feeling so completely SUCKS in comparison to the WIN I feel when I fight through the cravings and win!

In the moment the idea of having a drink sounds like so ‘relaxing’ but then it turns into more and more (at least in my case) so I’m back to Day 1 and working on my 125th day AF for 2017. I now only have 20 days left in this year where I could allow drinks to make my goal of 300 days for this year and with summer ahead and lots of possible drama surrounding my step-daughter’s wedding, I need to get a GRIP and dig into my sober tool box (one being my blogging and journaling my thoughts and feelings day by day).

Right now my work performance is suffering as I’m not focused due to the issues going on with my daughter. I feel myself slipping into a pattern of negatives … not working out, eating junk foods, passing on doing every day chores for sitting my ass on the couch and mindlessly binge watching tv. As a result I’m regaining weight I worked so hard to lose and feel like crap again! It shows in my posture, my face, my skin and my spirit.

I want the strong me again… the one who follows through on her goals and plans and so tonight I am going back to writing out a simple to do list … the feeling of accomplishment that comes with getting things done will allow me to wake feeling better. I haven’t been doing my morning workouts these days either and BOY does that take the wind out of my sails so I am back to it tomorrow. For tonight I’m going to clean up the kitchen, go through some emails to clean out my inbox (a cluttered / full inbox stresses me out) and end the night with some reading and/or meditation – turning in by 9pm hopefully to get my 6 hours of sleep to start my day right tomorrow with my daily practice… affirmations, posting to my groups and then working out all before hitting the shower to get ready for work. #sobertools

My daughter is in a ‘so so’ mood tonight so hopefully I’ll be able to follow through on my plan. One thing is for sure – despite the MAD cravings that came as soon as I came home … wanting a drink. I took my Kudzu and rode it out. I’m AF today! And below are my pics for comparison to later… I want the brighter happier me again!

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…

Day 6 – Friday is just another day…

screenshot_20170106-2256411Finishing Day 6 and I can’t tell you how amazing I feel – despite the poor sleep I had last night. I am just so excited and fired up with PASSION… I have truly found a niche that is something I plan on continuing indefinitely!

My lack of sleep was mostly because my mind is excited about the possibilities and the positive things coming from our group! As we near the end of the first week – I couldn’t be more pleased with the quality of the posts and the amazing support everyone is giving each other!

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future” as my quotes says and I am elated and NOT dreading the fact that I’m sober. I am THRILLED that being without booze on a Friday night is bringing me so much excitement now!

Yes it’s Friday night – and that used to mean thinking about drinking… but now it means FREEDOM… Freedom to leave work and go treat myself to a hair appointment to freshen up my ‘do’ before the BIG event I’m helping to host and participating in on Sunday! Freedom to have time to spend with my daughter (we went shopping together). Freedom to do some mall browsing and contemplate buying unique loose leaf teas from David’s Tea. Freedom to make plans that DON’T involve drinking – like making a date with my step-daughter to catch up, and visiting my girlfriend who’s been feeling down to give her a pep talk and hopefully motivate her a bit… And FREEDOM to drive anywhere at any time because I have NO BOOZE in my system! So liberating and amazing!

And now I write this blog before I head back to our amazing group wall to read everyone’s posts. They are all so incredible as we share our thoughts, feelings, experiences and it’s helping us … to know we’re not alone, to know we have support and a go to place.

A few members posted some phrases and quotes that I decided to make up as an album which I plan on one day developing into a go to resource for Lose ‘Da Boozers! Here are the two that I created into graphics today from 2 members’ submissions:

15826622_10153908057807563_1014117836330020275_n15895122_10153908746912563_6332542907243559861_n

I want to accumulate the GOOD that is coming from this challenge group … to have for present and future Lose ‘da Boozers…

I’m so honored to be kind of ‘leading’ this group (although we’re all leaders and super warriors as another member posted too)…

15894892_10211648521510038_1100369788419606422_n

All this after not even a full week – imagine what this will look like by the time we reach our 100th day!!

working-together-quotes-effective-team-teamwork-determined-people-working-together-can-do-anything-jim-casey-copy

I’m feeling better now than I did in my first 100 Day successful challenge as I was going it alone and sharing… this time I have others doing it with me and it’s 100 times BETTER!

My goal for 2017 was to do better than I did last year and this sure is a great start!!

Thank you to all the wonderful members … for trusting in me and for following me! You are all ROCK STARS in my eyes!!

Hélène

PS – Would you like to be part of this amazing group? Well the only condition is that you are committed to being AF (alcohol free) or ABS (abstain) for 100 days. Many started January 1st, but the challenge is open to start at anytime – so long as you commit to the 100 days! Here’s the link to join the Lose ‘Da Booze 100 Day Challenge

12 Days After my 100 Days AF

9df6f9918586fd26b60ccf07d9bc480b

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…

13507222_10153415036392563_5832215006420408831_n