Day 296 of 365 – Gearing up for #DryJuly

July 1st is just around the corner and boy am I ready to make some changes. Since March – I’ve been struggling… and a big part of that struggle is having fallen back into a pattern of allowing drinks back into my life.

I’m still of the mindset that I’m not ready to say NO forever (for today – although I am beginning to believe it would be the easiest solution to just say “I don’t drink booze anymore)… I do know I need to get back to where I was … like this photo at 3months AF (alcohol free)…

With major stressors – I’ve turned to drinks as a coping mechanism to let go, to forget, to numb myself out… but I KNOW it’s not the healthy way to do things. So I’m gearing up to get back on the Sober Train and one day at a time – hope to finish this year completely sober!

I’m not in control of certain things going on around me – but this is a choice I can make and something I DO have control over….

And so I’ve invited people via my Facebook page to join me  … and there’s our secret group there too as well as the team on SparkPeople (Cutting Down the Booze).

Not everyone has an issue with alcohol and some can take it or leave it – or stop at 1 drink or two… I unfortunately don’t fall into that category and it’s taken me a long time to just accept that. Since 2013 I strived to reach 100 Days AF and finally succeeded in doing to in 2016 and then I started a group to have others join in. It’s a secret/private group because this issue is not something everyone is open to sharing … here on SP the Cutting Down the Booze team nears 1000 members… With the non-judgmental support of the community – I have greatly improved my AF stats and working to continue doing so! My last longest stretch of consecutive AF days was 174 days!

The other factor that alcohol hinders is my advancement to reaching my health goals. I have regained most of the weight that I had lost and my lowered motivation, lowered self-esteem, anxiety, depression has come back into play.

I need to shake myself off and jump back on the wagon to greater health! The stressors in my life will be better handled when I am strong again – healthy and SOBER. I will be stronger because I’ll be eating healthier, and exercising more regularly again. Exercise REALLY is the BEST Medicine!!

So it starts with a #DryJuly …

And I hope it will close the second half of 2018 – Sober & Clean… AND Lean … Health4Life – this is not a ‘diet’ but a lifestyle!!

It’s time!! It’s not too late to make 2018 the BEST year of your life!! Join me!!

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!

My BIGGEST Reason WHY

This right here is my BIGGEST reason why I am choosing to Lose ‘da Booze for an entire year! The picture to the left was after my 2nd 100 Day Challenge and I was down 45lbs from my starting heaviest weight in January 2016. The picture on the right is me today – having regained 33 of those 45lbs and standing at 102 days of drinking in 2017. That happened in just 5 short months!!

I initially hoped to reach 300 days AF but when that didn’t happen – I made a commitment to ensure I at least did better than last year. In 2016 I had 209 days AF and by ending this year and going into next year AF – I will beat that number.

My health suffers on so many levels when I choose to drink. My mental health has deteriorated along with some outside stressors beyond my control. I was struggling daily with low self-esteem and low self-confidence and it was spiraling… I’d drink, then choose to do nothing about it and just zoned out and avoided life in general – raising my anxieties even further. My relationships also suffer as I withdraw and don’t feel like doing much. I miss out on so many activities and it can’t continue this way. I need to be a role model for my daugthers who also suffer from mental health issues.

At the beginning it’s tough to stay sober and face the feelings in a raw state but I know it’s very much what I need to do to get back to a place where I am going to be happier. The weight gain just makes me feel so yuck on so many levels. My clothes are fitting tight again. I’m not comfortable in my own skin and my energy levels feel it big time too.

It’s time to shift the tide back to where I was happy and AF at day 100 – going beyond this time to really allow my body to get physically healthy. I have yo-yo’d with my weigh because of emotional eating and drinking and now I need to learn to cope in other ways. With the sober tools that I’ve been gathering, including our Lose ‘da Booze family – I know I can achieve this.

My WHY is to simply live my best life and I’ve learned in the first 50 years of my life that ‘da booze was preventing that from happening. So here’s to getting back to the habits that will make me smile more and be feeling good in my skin again! www.befitspirited.ca

Day 5 – Surviving & Thriving

Today’s the day I start to feel that ‘good’ feeling again and no longer feeling like something is being taken away, but rather I’m giving myself something! I know many sober bloggers may not get my take on all of this as I am not going 100% AF – but simply aiming to improve my habits and for this year – in 2017 aiming to hit 300 days AF (where in 2016 I hit about 209 days AF and in previous years only maybe 65 days AF).

I’ve been reading and listening to various sober resources and I don’t know … perhaps one day I’ll join them and say alcohol is BAD and I should just never have it again, but I’m not there. I do still look forward to and enjoy having drinks. It’s not just my sub-conscious saying so – it’s my many good memories that do. Sure I’ve got some BAD memories from some episodes but I can say with certainty those are no longer a part of my life. I do not drink to a point of blacking out. I never drink to a point where I’ll wake up with a hangover (I can’t deal with them anymore lol). I drink to feel good, but not to totally get smashed.

My slogan of “Lose ‘Da Booze” originated from my team Cutting Down the Booze (calories) on SparkPeople where I became a leader and noticed that many were struggling to lose weight and much of it was due to the alcohol still taking too much a part of their lives. My goal and intention is to lose that booze voice that was preventing me from reaching my health goals. While I appreciate what some say – that moderation doesn’t work or is too hard (and YES it is hard) – for now I’m sticking with my plan to simply improve mySELF and that means being better than I was yesterday – every single day!

I guess in comparison to the other sober bloggers or resources – I may be different, but we each have our own unique gift to share with the world… and I’m pretty proud of the work that is happening with our groups and how lives are improving! The 100 Consecutive Days and 300 Days or More in a one year period groups are worth checking out if you’d like to know more… I am only approving people if they send me a message though – to ensure they are right for the group.

So here’s to Surviving and Thriving. Here’s to my continue commitment to the Sober June! And today marks day 121 AF of my 300 AF days goal for 2017.

An Anniversary Date… Six Years Ago… Time to Write the NEW Story!

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I woke up this morning realizing that it was exactly 6 years ago today that made the ‘move’ to my current new city to make a fresh start for myself and my girls. A big part of the reason that I chose to move from my home town of over 40 years was to get away from the things that surrounded me that no longer served me, including the circle of friends who drank and took pain pills as a way of life to get through each day. I was also part of that world as I was dealing with a lot of loss and hurt (from divorce, to deaths of close loved ones, financial difficulties, etc).

One of the things I’ve learned as I reflect on this change and anniversary is that it’s time to write a completely NEW story and let go of the past story, the past behaviors and make way for NEW ones.

I have not been AF since September 10th – having allowed myself to slip back into the daily drinking habits and TODAY that changes again. My NEW story involves shifting to a healthier lifestyle and getting back into a routine that will nurture and allow me to continue growing in positive ways. It’s time to shift the focus to GOOD and positive forces.

I have learned many lessons and continue to do so – change is the only constant in our lives. One thing that I know for sure that stands true is we can only ever live ONE DAY AT A TIME. And so today started with me waking from a great night’s rest and early morning workout. My plan is to take the day to clean the slate and start writing this new story that involves success and positive outcomes.

I continue to access my support networks through SparkPeople and my wonderful Cutting Down the Booze Team as well as the new source of support that I’ve found through the HAMS website. I am blessed to work in an environment that supports and promotes healthy active living. I’m truly grateful for all that I have in my life today.

And so – NO REGRETS – six years ago I made a bold move, started over and today – I start a NEW Story! Part of which will include perhaps a bit more presence here. Here’s to a FABULOUS New Day!

What’s my WHY

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My why … here… is to simply get healthier. Yes I joined here and was blogging and thinking and reading all about getting sober. But in the end, it was honestly making me crazier … Where I want to be tomorrow is a person who is focused on health – eating well, exercising and living a balanced life.

When I think about my motivation for doing this – ‘NOT drinking alcohol’ is simply a side effect of reaching for the goal of becoming healthier. I know some have deeper issues and I debated that in my own head for ages but again – it took away from the things I really needed to focus on – and as with many other aspects of my life – I’ve learned that you attract what you focus on and I choose HEALTH – I choose getting my next fix through a good workout, or planning a new outing, trip, or activity. I plan on LIVING!!

I got sucked into this world and was hungrily reading every blog post I could, and don’t get me wrong, I have great respect for the sober blogging world… for me though – I just needed to step back in order to focus my attention on other things that were more in line with where I want my life to go.

Alcohol is very much a part of our culture and will always be around – like many other ‘bad habits’ that surround us (cigarettes, gambling, etc)… they are addictions… and I admittedly have an addictive personality and so I’m shifting it now to all things health – coaching/training, strength training, dancing, meditation, self-help books, relationship books, body image… Alcohol was a side effect of me not being happy with my SELF and so that’s the area I’m working on. I drank out of loneliness and boredom and so now I’ve gone out and thrown myself back into the dating world… I’m taking new classes and trying new things… I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and the high I am getting from it all – well you can’t get that by just sitting around thinking about drinking all the time.

So my friends… I’ll keep popping in here every now and again… but see me anytime over at SparkPeople as I blog daily there… check out today’s blog about What is YOUR Motivation?

Cutting Down the Booze Team

Cutting Down the Booze Team

I’m not sure if you can access the link without being a member but we’d love to have you join our team!! SparkPeople is a wonderful website that is absolutely FREE… As you shift your focus to becoming healthier, this site provides tools and resources to get you on the right path. I have been a member for almost 8 years and have been leading this team Cutting Down the Booze for a number of years. It’s a place to go – where there are not judgements, rules, only acceptance and support for wherever YOU are at with your goals around alcohol.

Shift Happens…

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Sometimes in order to regain control over something, you need to shift your attention to something else. This is what I believe to be key for me in my journey to continual growth and self-improvement. My focus has shifted from alcohol to simply wanting more out of life. 

There are some great resources here in the sober blogging world, and some who also provide extras that you can buy into… but that’s not for me. For me – it’s about the gift of giving freely without any expectations to get something back. A prime example of this is a team I have been co-leading for a number of years through SparkPeople – called Cutting Down the Booze (Calories!!). The team started out small enough and today stands with almost 800 members. The team thrives on everyone giving their advice, sharing their experiences, challenges and victories. 

It’s ever changing and all accepting. There are no conditions to make it 100 days AF without a drop. YOU decide what YOU want to achieve and we’ll be there to support you. Many of us did wander over here and some have successfully completed the 100 Day Challenge but it left many with feelings of failure (me included). I did not make it – but yet, here I am today and doing better than ever.

The measure of our success is unique to all. Some have to quit completely and can not or choose not to have booze as part of their lives. Me – well I know I will never be 100% AF – but I do know that my focus has changed. 

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I am making 2014 the year where I am no longer controlled by a substance – but shifting to matters of substance, like dancing, healthy eating and exercising and cleansing. There’s no room in my head for ‘da booze thinking. I’m too busy LIVING life!!

So follow your gutt. Trust your instincts and DO what is right for you – however that may look! Have a fabulous Sunday!

 

Face It… Change It…

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It wasn’t until I came to the full realization that I had no real control over alcohol that I was able to take action to change it. It has taken me years to get to where I am today, working towards living a sober life. I swear – saying that still makes me cringe – to think I’ll ‘never’ drink again – but I try to just focus on one day at a time instead (because forever is a LONG time).

Yesterday I came real close to caving in again, but the thoughts that ran through my head were that I just didn’t want to go back again to that place where I disappoint myself mostly and secondly, disappoint those who are cheering me on this journey. I’m very grateful to my friends and supporters, Kim and Belle, and of course my team members from Cutting Down the Booze over at SparkPeople. Not everyone gets how hard this is – but thankfully I’ve found a support network that does – including this sober blogging space and Soberistas too! So many great supporters there as well.

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Fall is my favourite season and it’s ironic that my move is happening now too. As the leaves change colors, I too am changing my own colors or scenery and life – including making my home a fresh new space with new energy that is completely AF for me.

I have come to terms with my need to be completely sober since I can not moderately drink. It’s just another season in my life. What really helped me to stay on track yesterday too, despite the incredible urges, was how I made a vow to myself on my 47th Birthday to become sober. I really don’t want to give up on that promise or vow so early in the game. At the very least, I need to achieve the 100 days – since I am part of the 100 Day Challenge team (and I’ve hit re-set one too many times).

What comes after the 100 days… well as I’ve read and heard from many successful members is that the call or craving for alcohol is no longer there. And that my friends is my wish – that the desire for booze is gone from my thinking. I’m ready to do this – and truly change it.

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