Best Christmas Gift

On Christmas Day 2019 – I will attain my 300 Days AF for the year! This is a goal I’ve strived for since 2017. I will finish this year with 306 Days AF and feel pretty darned proud of that achievement.

I am not 100% AF (yet)… but I’ve come such a long way. Over the past few days with the holiday socials, I’ve observed how alcohol really changes people. From the physical change in how they look, to how they talk and just how really kind of unpleasant they become. My tolerance for being around people who get intoxicated is ‘nil’.

Observing and hearing this brought up some childhood memories when the adults drank too much and the fear it instilled in me. It also brought back memories of some of my past relationships. It explains a lot about just how negatively booze has affected my life, even when I decided to join in and was drinking daily for some time.

I don’t like that version of me so I’m looking forward to 2020 with a clarity I have not had before. The lessons learned that have brought me to where I stand today is what I now share as a Sober Coach/Companion.

I want to help others through this and pay it forward as I struggled for so long with this addiction. It was really just a ‘bad habit’ I needed to shift away from. Uncovering the WHY and dealing with issues that led to my problem with alcohol has been enlightening. I know in most cases, for those who may be struggling with drinking more than they would like it’s likely linked to some form of past trauma. Peeling away the layers through the years, I am now feeling more confident than ever about my shift to #LoseDaBooze and make room for bigger and better things in my life.

If YOU are ready to let go… or if you want help to even try ONE month AF (alcohol free) then consider joining one of my free Facebook Groups (they are private so you need to message me if you want in) or my more intensive paid Facebook group ($50 USD/month – no obligation beyond one month). I start the Dry January group January 1, 2020! If you’re finally ready to make a change and need help – reach out! You are NOT alone! And you are not an alcoholic (I don’t believe in labels). You are someone who is ready to truly live life without the cloud or numbing of alcohol. Message me on Facebook for more details.

Weight Loss and AF Days

Year January Weight Alcohol Free Days
2010 174 137
2011 168 167
2012 158 126
2013 170 189
2014 172 91
2015 184.5 65
2016 199.5 209
2017 170.5 263
2018 180.5 264
2019 186.5 306

In my decade in review I also wanted to do a check on how booze affects my weight. I know that when I drink, my inhibitions go down and with the added calories of booze, the slowed metabolism as my body works to process the poison – and the added salty, greasy foods that come with the hangover – I’d always regain any weight I would have lost. I also slipped off the workout routine … either because I was hungover or because I didn’t have time since I was planning my days around having drinks.

I hit my highest weight following the year when I had the least amount of AF days and as I turned 50 in 2016 – the weight was harder to get off. Even though I’ll end this year with 306 days AF – it’s been a lot slower to lose the weight, but I’m also noticing how removing alcohol isn’t the solve all for weight loss.

The challenge many of us face following removing booze is the intense sugar cravings. This is my next barrier to tackle. Sugar is as addictive as the drug cocaine. Holly Whitaker has a great post on how to manage these in her article Sugar Addiction in Sobriety and How to Fix it.

As we near 2020 – I’m preparing my goals and vision and this is the next area to tackle. It means using many of the same techniques I used to achieve my sobriety – to remove the ’emotional eating’ that has taken place in my coping mechanisms. It means being more mindful and really processing emotions sober and working through them.

I know that these last days of 2019 will be filled with socials and great foods… and I won’t deprive myself – but I’m going to work on balance and mindfulness. I look forward to creating my vision board and sharing it with you. Visualizing where I want to be at this time next year… my health will be in much better shape (literally)… and I plan on being accountable and sharing with you one year from now to prove it!

You not only have to #LoseDaBooze to WIN in life! You have to take other action steps to really balance out other areas of your life as well. And that happens when you achieve a good stretch of sobriety and can stand strongly in it to then work on the other parts of your being that need attention!

As a Certified Wellness Coach – I work with clients to address the 12 elements of the Wellness360 Wheel and I’m living the journey with you! I look forward to serving and helping more clients in the New Year! If you’d like more info – message me on Facebook or visit my website.

A Decade in Review 2010-2019

A Decade in Review completed this morning… for the purposes of this blog, I’ll share my observations relative to my journey to #LoseDaBooze.

Here are my stats through the years:

Year Days AF
2010 137
2011 167
2012 126
2013 189
2014 91
2015 65
2016 209
2017 263
2018 264
2019 306

It was in 2013 when I first intended to try a 100 Day challenge and it wasn’t until 2016 that I finally reached that goal. Through the years as I now observe my stats – I recognize that the days where my AF numbers were low were years where I allowed life challenges to get the best of me and coped out and used booze as a coping mechanism.

Another observation was about my weight fluctuations. I’d lose weight when I was AF for long stretches, but as soon as I tried to moderate – the weight would come back on. As of today, I’m down from my highest weight by 13lbs. I have gained and lost the same 40lbs so many times over, but my goal for 2020 is to lose that 40 (20+20) and keep it off for good!

I know in order to do this I must stay vigilant about keep alcohol out of my life as much as possible. When I’m AF – I just accomplish so much more (eat better, sleep better, exercise regularly, etc). In reviewing this year’s events as I will end it with 306 Days AF – I am in awe of the progress I’ve made (and it’s not just about the weight but my overall health). A few highlights include becoming a Certified Wellness Coach, receiving an award from my workplace for my work promoting workplace wellness, getting a new vehicle with my own credit (following bankruptcy a few years back), getting a permanent full time job after 9 years of contract work, presenting workshops as a wellness coach to a variety of audiences and launching my coaching business and getting some paid clients… just to name a few.

Through the many years in this review I noted the difficulties with my daughters and how it continues with my youngest – but the difference now is that I choose to focus on the positives in my life and give less attention to her ‘crisis’ moments. This year was likely one of the toughest ones too as she moved about 8 times (in and out of my place) but I stayed strong in my focus to the goals I wanted to achieve and didn’t cop out to booze to cope.

In 2016 I achieved my first 100 days. In 2017 I achieved my 2nd and 3rd and had an AF stretch of 174 Days AF in 2018. In 2019 I had an AF stretch of 277 days… and only 59 Days with drinks! My philosophy has always been that “Better is Better”. I tell my clients and group members that there is another way (I’m not a fan of the AA philosophy or that we are powerless in any way). Rather than berating yourself and saying you’re back to Day 1 – focus on how many days of success you’ve had and build on those!

What you focus on you attract more of… so focus on your health and envision what you want to feel like. For me personally – 2020 is going to be a year of clarity and focus! I’m doing an exercise with my paid group to create a vision board because visualization is a powerful manifestation tool!

I am excited about finally crossing over and achieving over 300 days AF (a goal I had set a few years back)… and hope to continue to guide others to achieving their own level of success as a Sober Coach! Every month I run limited enrollment groups and the next one is in January so if you’d like to have some one on one support for an incredible price of only $50 USD – then message me via Facebook (or add me as friend) and/or follow my public page for overall inspiration (as I post about more than just the #LoseDaBooze mission).

If you are still struggling and need additional support, consider me as your Sober Coach/Companion… Invest in Yourself and launch 2020 with Sober Clarity!

Never Have a Day One Again

I’ve been reading posts through the various sober groups that I’m a part of and whenever I see someone say “I’m back to Day One again” I cringe.

You see, you’ll never ever be back to that same day one. Every day is new and you are not the same person you were yesterday. As I am doing the work to do my Decade in Review, I could try to count the numerous times I re-started my AF efforts… but instead I choose to focus on my progress.

Since I started tracking my AF days, I have marked the days where I was AF with stars in my calendar. More recently I started using Sober Time – but when I reset from a streak – I keep count of my totals. I find this more empowering and less defeating than having the mentality of starting over again at DAY ONE.

What I see is progress in some of my stretches through the years… from only being able to string along a couple of days, to 30 days, to 100 days, to 173 and my last longest stretch of 277 Days AF. I see years where I only had 65 Days AF to finishing this year with a total of 306 Days AF!

Each year I kept count of my totals. And I’ve been sharing the year by year review in my groups (the Lose ‘da Booze – The Other Way secret group and the Living AF Age 50+ group).

This has been a process in my head. While I’m not yet 100% AF – I’m definitely doing so much better than I was in past years. And that’s what counts! My head is not constantly filled with thinking about drinking. Booze is no longer taking up the majority of real estate in my head. In its place now is my focus on health and wellness and supporting my clients to reach a point where this can happen for them as well!

So please, if you’re on this journey to #LoseDaBooze, be gentle with yourself. Each time you go back to booze – it’s because there’s a lesson you needed to learn. Until you’ve learned that lesson the pattern will keep repeating. The KEY to breaking the pattern is creating new behaviors and habits. Replacing the bad habit with a better one! You will NEVER be back at Day One Again!

There are many books that have helped me along the way and I may post a blog about that soon, but if there’s ONE book I can recommend to you is the Little Book of Big Change by Dr. Amy Johnson. I’ve listened to this one 3 times over and each time I walk away with a new understanding. What I loved about this book is that it wasn’t just about booze but in general about letting go of habits that no longer served you in your life!

If you are starting a new day AF, I encourage you to stay the course! Arm yourself with some #SoberTools like the groups I mention or consider joining one of my private groups to have a more intensive one on one experience with me as your Sober Coach. My next group will be in January 2020 and is limited so if you’re interested in stepping it up and getting additional support beyond the FREE groups … then send me via Facebook where I run the groups.

ABOUT ME: I’m a Certified Wellness Coach with the International Association of Wellness Professionals(IAWP). Through my accredited education with the IAWP, I was trained in a unique health philosophy called Wellness 360™ that helps people to create health and balance in all areas of their life. As Wellness 360™ coach I help my clients through 5 proven steps designed to help them create total mind-body wellness with tons of support and guidance on their journey. I also offer specific support related to living a sober life.