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. **

Improving my Mental Health – Day 17 of 365

The Sober Time app (first picture) was one that was KEY in helping me by giving me feedback and visuals to get me through my first 100 Days. This time round I found the EasyQuit drinking and I like the stats it’s giving me. I agree that it takes longer to get back to a healthier state of mind even though I am feeling much better.

Early into this (day 17 AF – alcohol free) I am feeling more clear headed but now finding that my mind is racing and now I need to figure out a way to get some focus and not panic or overwhelm myself with all I want to do now that I’m sober. Too often this happens – we quit something and go to extremes doing other things and then we burn out. I’m very mindful of this now and trying to breathe more and meditate more when I start to feel that anxiety or overwhelm. Exercise helps too and my supplements help.

My sleep is improved which means my moods are better and I’m better able to function. My cravings for food are still a bit crazy – but I’m working no that and trying to be patient with myself (something I’m not too good at).

Overall so far things are going well and I’m confident that this journey of 365 days will happen… thanks to all the #sobertools I’ve got lined up.

Time to turn in and call it a day! Grateful for all the wonderful things that come with my sobriety!

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

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 🙂

My Focus Shift – Day 11

I decided it was time to change my Facebook ‘like’ page image to better reflect what it is I am now most passionate about. Today I listened to a podcast from Tony Robbins and something really rang true and stood out and it was about how at any time in our lives we can change our story. If you want to have a listen here’s the link: The 3 steps to a breakthrough | How taking control of your strategy, story and state can fuel lasting change

That’s what I’m doing every day – by not drinking and shifting my focus on activities that matter. My days are so busy that by days end – I have no energy left for cravings and simply feel totally satisfied with having had a productive and positive day. The group and all the successes being shared there really give me so much joy. And even when someone is struggling – to see how members reach out and support each other – it’s truly magical.

I received many great messages today that made me feel grateful…

  1. I received a message about a job offer with the government – asking if I’d be interested in applying as my profile stood out for them (this via LinkedIn) – talk about a nice confidence boost … but I truly LOVE where I am now and the flexibility I am able to have to manage all of my daughter’s appointments and also to just be able to be a part of the wonderful organization
  2. I received feedback about the September Health Bet from a few people saying  how great it was in motivating them… which is another true passion of mine. Not only do I work with a team that is all about healthy active living – I too feel it’s something I want to inspire others to achieve as I myself walk the talk
  3. I am now receiving benefits through my fiance’s plan and this means that my daughter’s orthodontics will be covered through both our plans so lessening some of the financial burden.
  4. My guy really is so great at taking care of me – he even purchased some rims and winter tires for my new Jeep so I can be safe on the roads for our winter driving.

This blog may not be too long or too deep – I’m tired in a good way – managed to get 90mins of activity in but wanted to keep up with my gratitude journal … and now I say … good night! 

Day 10 – 100 Drinks Passed

When I setup this app (EasyQuit Drinking) – I had a hard time figuring a ‘number of drinks’ per day because I was honestly too ashamed to even count. A typical day for me was a half of a 26oz bottle of Vodka. Maybe a beer or two as well. And sometimes even mixing in some coolers or wine. I guesstimated that I had 75 drinks per week – and a ‘healthy’ amount for women is only supposed to be 1 a day tops I believe so I’m way out of the healthy range and it showed in my physical appearance, my mental acuity and my energy.

I will say though that today I’m tired, but not because of ‘da booze but all that I’ve been doing! This is what my day looked like. Got up at 4:30am. Read affirmations, check in with my accountability groups and post. Workout (this morning was 20mins cardio with Jazzercize Burlesque). Then shower, wake my daughter and get ready to head to her school for her first day and a meeting with the VP, guidance counselor, child and youth worker (CYW) and special education coordinator. It’s a half hour drive each way. At the meeting we were caught off guard as they planned to change the program she was in so my daughter was very upset as was I because we had no warning. They just dropped the bomb on us there. Not good. My daughter left the room and talked it out with her CYW and was able to work it out. We have a plan and I am hopeful that things will go well this year. She thought she had ZERO credits, but turns out she had 2 and many in progress and the plan is to help her get 5 more by December.

I drove back after the meeting – she stayed at school and I went to pick up a few items for some food prep I was planning. Then we had our FIRST Zoom call with 3 members from our group and plans to make this a regular occurrence. Then it was back off to school to pick up my daughter. We stopped at a thrift store to browse. Came home. I worked out again Ab Jam and 10mins Arm workout. Then we had tacos. I changed and then it was off to the animal hospital with the rabbit for her pre-op appointment. Back home and made the turkey chili… still have to package it up in containers and then…

Well here I am checking with my groups and posting my blog as I want to journal. NO wonder I’m tired. These ‘days off’ work are so busy because they are mostly spent doing things for my daughter.

But I am grateful …

  1. For being able to be there for her – to be her advocate and make sure she gets the services she needs (and the workers at school noticed we were much closer and that she was doing much better)
  2. For my fiance and his financial support so we can afford to get the rabbit taken care of (that stuff is NOT cheap)
  3. For the news of me becoming a great aunt again – my nephew’s daughter was born at 6:15am this morning

And that’s it… I’ve run out of steam folks… it’s off to bed I go – Day 10 in the bag!

Double Digits Tomorrow

Tomorrow is double digits day for me … and I have to say for the record, since Saturday it hasn’t been as easy as it was the first 5 days. I know that once I get over the 2 week period – things will shift again as they have in the past. There’s this window between 6 and 14 days that is ‘iffy’ in that your emotions are all over the place.

I am finding that I’m feeling so overwhelmed with all the thoughts I’m thinking of in terms of what I want to do or accomplish and there just never seems to be enough time even though I am doing TONS. Thankfully I’m able to calm these down with meditation and reading – about practicing just being more in the NOW.

The cravings have turned to food and I’m giving in for the most part but still trying to balance that with enough activity and also cutting off when I eat by a couple of hours before bed. It’s not easy that’s for sure – and I feel bloated still but going to push through this as I know the light is just on the other side.

Lots done today and I’m thrilled to have a mini FIRST Zoom call with some members of our LDB group – something I hope to hold on a weekly rotation in a set designated day/time slot for the added ‘live’ support to help those who are striving to Lose ‘da Booze in their lives.

On my fitness front – I continue to post to my Facebook page and my Healthy 4Life group and Fit@50&Beyond group. Have a peak at their descriptions if you wish and follow or request to join if you think it fits your needs. I know that the more I focus on my health – the less I want ‘da booze so going to keep at it!

Gratitude List for today:

  1. I am grateful for the lunch hour I have to walk with colleagues so that I can get my activity in (as I slept in this morning)
  2. I am grateful for my flexible schedule and the day off tomorrow to attend my daughter’s school meeting and see her off to her first day of school
  3. I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with members of my group in a more ‘live’ way via Zoom call
  4. I am grateful for my FitBit and the friends who challenge me on there. My stats have greatly improved over last week’s and super proud of that

Day 8 – Celebrating A 100 Day Graduate!!

One of the greatest highlights of my day is when I see others succeed in their journey to Lose ‘da Booze in their lives for 100 Days! Today was the DAY another member of our group graduated and completed the 100 Day challenge!! It simply makes my day to see this and then to hear how it has helped to shift their relationship with alcohol and better their lives.

Here’s part of her testimony: I‘m pretty dang proud of this as I have had more than my share of triggers these last few months. Also summer is prime drinking time as inviting patios call out including my own but. I held true to me. I did this for me…. the fact it’s a domino effect in an amazing way motivates me. I take it one day at a time. The cravings at first were very strong but have disappeared and I’m grateful for that. Thank you to everyone here. Knowing we are just that •we• not alone is instrumental in staying focused. I love the support here and it truly is what has helped me stay on track. 💯 is just the beginning!!!! 💕😀 looking forward to our future ldb friends!! Have an amazing day. Cuz we are all worth it!!!

And then reading this from a member who is just starting her journey … I’m happy. I’m not focused on how I feel like shit or how I wish I didn’t drink that last glass. I’m focused on what is around me and who. How beautiful the sky is today and what I want to do this afternoon and no regrets! I HAVE NO REGRETS THIS MORNING!

My journey is enriched by each and every one of the members in our group and we strengthen each other. It’s one of my greatest distractions as I stay sober. My food cravings are still there but I’m happy to report that after one week of no booze (Day 8 today) – I’m down 3lbs and have logged in a workout every single day since the 4th of September! Today was to be a rest day – so I simply did a 20mins Ab Jam workout but don’t think I’ll hit my 10,000 steps today (too much time in the car today with driving my daughter’s BF back to town).

It’s almost time to go read … something I’ve done every day this week too! Had plans to do more – but despite not drinking, it’s insane how there just doesn’t seem to be enough time – even though I’ve been super productive. I’m being gentle with myself though and including some self-pampering … so off to take another bath and then to bed to read and lights out.

My gratitude list for today:

  1. I am grateful for the beautiful summer like day and being able to get some outdoor projects taken care of (we cleaned up the window wells and added some nice stones)
  2. I am grateful for my daughter’s good mood and her willingness and desire to do better (with the motivation of the trip to WV in April – where I get to hopefully meet some members of the LDB group)
  3. I am grateful for my bed that I will get to very soon … and a peaceful night.

I’m going to end simply to say – I am aware and mindful of the horror that Irma has inflicted on so many and thinking of my friends and family in Florida now – going to end my evening in prayer for them to stay safe.

Day 7 – Cravings Came Today

Well after not having many cravings most of the week – today hit me hard and I’m not sure if it was just because it was the weekend – because I was fine yesterday on the “Friday” when everyone else was going out drinking and while my fiance had drinks at home. I think the tension I was feeling was perhaps a combination of some negative energy – that came as a result of a bit of a tense moment with my fiance when he was upset with me for ‘making him look bad in front of someone’ – at least that was his perception. He has anger issues and when I see him get triggered that easily – it makes me nervous because I have had so many negative relationships in the past. Overall – in our almost 3 years together things have been great … so we talked it out and the rest of the day was ok but my insides didn’t feel ok.

So I tried to keep busy. I read more of the Power of Now… I logged in a total of 100 minutes of activity. I did laundry and groceries.

With all that’s going on with Irma – and seeing all the posts of the devastation and how it’s going to hit Florida next breaks my heart but allows me to feel so much gratitude for where I am NOW.

I am grateful for:

  1. The sunset walk I had tonight and the beautiful day we had
  2. I didn’t cave in to drinks even though I really wanted to
  3. I was able to burn calories (as I turned to food to deal with some of my emotions)
  4. I was able to communicate with my fiance how I felt so as to not allow us to build up any resentment and went on to have a good day.
  5. I was able to wish my one and only living sister a Happy 57th today

Completing Day 6 of 365 – FREEDOM

In a couple of minutes I will hit the 6 day mark. The days at work this week flew by as it’s kind of our ‘back to school’ as we welcome new staff and graduate students so I’ve been busy. Today we had our once a year orientation meeting with the group that keeps growing in size. It’s truly a wonderful team and I’m blessed to be a part of it. My day at work started at 6:30am and I didn’t leave till almost 4:30pm so it was long. The ‘gang’ was going out to what they call Patio Crashers and the location was a Craft Beer place – so I informed my boss yesterday that I wouldn’t be going. Besides – I had to pick up my daughter and was looking forward to just getting home.

Had a late dinner and still felt hungry. As a matter of fact – today was a HUNGRY day and at this stage in the game I didn’t fight it. I said “It’s Friday Night, it’s International Beer Day, and I’m going to have a cheat night with FOOD”. I know I shouldn’t be replacing one thing with another, but early in the journey of being AF – I always tell people to focus on the number one priority above all and to give in to other cravings.

I’m also super tired tonight so I hope to have a good night’s rest and wake up without an alarm tomorrow as it’s the weekend. But my plan is to make the most of it by doing some productive stuff! Goals for this weekend include completing a vision board relative to my Lose ‘da Booze journey and dreams for the group; learn more about Zoom so I can organize some weekly calls for those who wish to connect that way in a ‘live’ kind of support way; figure out the Google docs sharing so I can start creating some resources with the group’s input. And that’s besides just regular every day stuff lol.

The freedom I speak of in the title for today’s post is the Freedom of not having that debate in my head about whether or not I’m having drinks. It’s so liberating!! I witnessed a member having a struggle I used to have so very often and what I love about our group is that while our focus is to achieve 100 consecutive days AF, we are there to support every member without judgment. We of course root for them and try to help them do better and so far – that’s what I see!

To get to the point where I am at took me YEARS of trying and I know all too well the shitty feelings you get inside when you just can’t seem to get it and stick to it. The true KEY is really making up your mind that this is truly what you want and then no matter what is going on around you – your choice has been made and there’s no debate.

This is not to say that down the road I may not have a craving or hear that voice calling me back to say ‘hey it’s ok, you have been doing so great, you deserve a drink’… I will just tell it to SHUT UP because I’m not drinking for my 51st year of life!

My day has been pretty great overall… Did my morning workout – took a lovely walk with my good friend at lunch and we caught up and now I’m winding down ready to go read the 3rd chapter of The Power of Now… but first…

Today I’m Grateful for:

  1. The amazing group of people that I get to work with – going on 7 years this November
  2. Having weekends off
  3. The Belated Birthday Card I got from my colleagues
  4. And every single day – I am so very grateful for my Lose ‘Da Booze Family