Alcohol Freedom February

How did you do for #DryJanuary? Did you discover some of the FREEDOM that being AF brings? Has your resolution to make changes faded away?

If you are struggling to #LoseDaBooze and the online FREE groups aren’t enough, then join me in a private group to provide you with more support. As your Sober Coach/Companion, in a private group limited to a very small number of participants I offer more than I can in the larger free groups. I tailor each month to the needs of the group. I offer these monthly at a cost of $50 USD and include the following:

  • Daily check ins including posts, live videos and additional resources to help you reach your goals
  • Unlimited access to me via messaging for the month
  • TWO 30 to 45 minute coach calls (one on one with me)
  • For February – the bonus PDF on 28 Days to Lose ‘da Booze Inspiration
  • Prize/Draw Giveaway for one lucky participant

I have been on this journey now for nearly 10 years and have progressively and successfully gained more freedom as I have discovered just how liberating it can be to release the alcohol in my life. It has taught me to get back to basics and re-discover a happiness and joy I had lost to the numbness that booze gave me. I run a few FREE groups to help with this as well (Living AF Age 50+ and Lose ‘da Booze – The Other Way).

If you’re struggling. If you want to really dig deep and make true changes and choose to Lose ‘da Booze for the month or perhaps more… I’m here to support you because I get it.

While I’m not yet 100% AF and may never be – I am someone who can offer you a different perspective from the all or nothing view. I’ll share more about this in the February group as I continue to develop my own system to help others to achieve their formula for success!

So if this speaks to you, send me a message on Facebook (as the group is run there). I would love to help you achieve the Freedom that can liberate you into a healthier YOU!

I am a Certified Wellness360 Leader/Coach and use this practice to coach my clients to overall health and wellness. You can also join in the FREE group Healthy4Life360 as a complement to this offer.

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.

The Year in Review

The December Paid Group is FULL!! It’s been renamed to shift the focus on the work we’ll actually be doing.

Every year, I take my calendar in December and look through to see what events, challenges, wins and progress I’ve made. This is beyond just ‘da booze but overall as I strive to always improve my life on all levels – thus my Healthy4Life360 tag line.

This is the first year I beat out my highest number of days in a year … in 2017 and 2018 my highest number of AF days was 263. I’m proud to say that I will be finishing this year with 306 Days AF and that my vision for 2020 is to keep bettering that number! I don’t want to say I’m aiming for 100% (although deep down I hope I achieve it)… I’m just acknowledging that Better is Better! So whatever that may look like for me will look differently for you!

The wonderful thing about the FREE groups I run is that this is understood – in a community / space where people ‘get it’. For the past couple of months I’ve started to run more intensive groups limited to 10 participants and will be running one again in January – so if you need MORE than the free groups can offer with more one on one accountability and coach calls with me – then send me a message via Facebook.

The groups are secret so to join in you must be invited by a friend… if you’d like more info then find me on Facebook and I’d be happy to tell you more!

As we prepare to go into a new decade – I am excited about how my life will continue to bloom and prosper now that I’ve decided to #LoseDaBooze to WIN in life!

Sober December Group

Want to end the year on a Natural AF High with me?! Need an extra boost to get you started? If you’ve been thinking about taking a break and struggling with how to get started or staying motivated to keep going then join my personalized PAID group where you will get one on one attention beyond what the FREE groups can offer.

November to Remember’s group is going strong and I have decided to offer another one for next month! The offer is for a price that is LESS than you’d likely spend on booze in a month. For $50 USD – I will provide those who sign up with one on one support for the 31 days in December. But even before that, I’ll connect to get us set up for success with a one on one call (so before December 1st). I will provide DAILY check ins via personal messages and interactions. I also provide a 2nd call that you can use at your discretion during the month of December.

I’ve been at this since 2013 and I have 6 strong years of experience and have lived what you are likely living right now. I am also now a Certified Wellness360 Coach with the International Association of Wellness Professionals who can help you get to the root of why alcohol may be an issue in your life. If you feel frustrated and want to get going to Lose ‘da Booze and WIN in life then connect with me! Connect with me via messaging on FB. Add me as a friend and then we can get started! To confirm your registration a payment must be received. Hurry because this group is limited to 10 members only! Don’t miss you!! Finish 2019 feeling incredible and ready to make 2020 a year of perfect vision with total clarity as you begin with 31 days AF behind you!! Let’s get you on the road to living the freedom that comes when you #LoseDaBooze

As an added incentive for this month – I’ll be doing a draw for ONE lucky participant to win a hard copy of Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning for Addiction Recovery (packed with great sober tools to add to your toolbox). So don’t delay – RESERVE your spot now!

November to Remember Special Offer

Since jumping back on board for Sober September and I’m still on course for finishing up this year AF with a total of 309 Days AF in 2019.

As a Certified Wellness360 Coach, I realize the importance of support to achieving your goals. I continue to provide guidance and inspiration to my FREE groups, but for November launching a special offer and it’s time limited and I’m only accepting a maximum of 10 people for this group.

Sometimes you need more than what the free groups can offer and here’s what I’m offering for a price that is LESS than you’d likely spend on booze in a month. For $50 USD – I will provide those who sign up with one on one support for the 30 days in November. But even before that, I’ll connect to get us set up for success (so before November 1st). I will provide DAILY check ins via personal messages and interactions. I will also include a ONE hour coaching call and work with the CORE coaching method to help you reach your goal!

So if you need that extra oumph to get you going. If you feel like you’ve been trying without success and need some guidance, I’m your person! I’ve been at this since 2013 and I have 6 strong years of experience and have lived what you are likely living right now. If you feel frustrated and want to get going to Lose ‘da Booze and WIN in life then connect with me! Send me a contact request or connect with me via messaging on FB. Let’s get you on the road to living the freedom that comes when you #LoseDaBooze

R’October Sober 2019

It’s Day 21 of #SoberSeptember 2019 and I’m going strong and feeling 100 times better than I did in August. The depression and fog has lifted and my energy and motivation is BACK!! While I allowed drinks from May to August (a total of 59 days) my plan is to finish 2019 Sober AF! And I’m putting it out there again … for those who may want to hop on board! Try for ONE month and see for yourself just how much of a difference it can make in your overall wellbeing!

When you #LoseDaBooze – you open the door to so many great things. It’s like that saying, you must clear out clutter to make room for the new. That’s what alcohol was for me. I used it as a coping mechanism to mask or numb many of life’s challenges. I used it for every excuse – to celebrate, or because I was tired or because I deserved it… but do you know what I deserve more of? The peace, the clarity and the FREEDOM that comes with sobriety!

I danced with the idea of moderation over 6 years… I went for long stretches of alcohol free (AF) stints – 30 days, then 100 days a few times over, and my last longest 277 days. Each time I re-introduced ‘da booze… I slipped back to old ways and patterns and I noticed just how unhappy I felt.

When I compare or list all the reasons why I drink and how it makes me feel versus when I don’t drink and how amazingly positive my life is – it’s like a no brainer… SERIOUSLY!

Gone are the cravings from my mind … this longing for a substance that was clouding my life in so many ways. The alcohol was preventing me from reaching my health goals, my dreams and it was stopping me from pursing my passions! I don’t like to say ‘never’ but I feel as though this habit is more a thing of my past and one that no longer serves me or my purpose in life. I have BIG dreams and I’m going for them with a renewed energy and focus!

Don’t you want a taste of how this feels? I encourage you to jump in… Because it’s a secret group, you’ll need to friend me on Facebook if you want me to add you). Secret means it’s beyond a closed group in terms of privacy. People can’t even find our group so it won’t show up on your news feeds in any way. While I’m more public about my journey now because I want to help others achieve this … I understand that it is something many still wish to keep private.

So what do you say?! Are you ready to join in for R’October Sober 2019 with us?! It’s time for YOU to #LoseDaBooze and discover the gifts of being AF!!

Sober September 2019

I am nearing the 2 week mark since my return to the AF way and keeping up with #SoberSeptember. Cravings have been minimal but thoughts have come up here and there. What I notice is that they appear when I’m tired or feel like I ‘deserve a break’. I know now that allowing ‘one’ drink opens the gate to more because one is never enough. Once I start I feel like what the hell – it’s no longer an AF day so may as well make it a good one and I’ll get back to AF tomorrow… which ends up turning into more days. The saying that if we want true and lasting change – we must be willing to do things differently for me means that I need to find alternate coping mechanisms when those thoughts/triggers come up.

This past week has definitely held a record number of challenges including 3 days of dealing with crises with my daughter (with doctor’s visits, crisis line calls and emergency department visits). This weekend is about helping her move to yet another place (this has been about her 6th or 7th move since January). She is now 18 and we have been dealing with her mental health issues since 2013 – which is when I embarked on this journey to Lose ‘da Booze. I knew I had to be strong and sober! I knew that drinking was not going to alleviate any of these issues – if anything they at times made them worse.

My new coping mechanisms include blogging (my version of journaling), posting in my groups and seeking external support via a parents’ lifeline and some of my own counseling to work through this difficult time. YES I’m a health and wellness coach and I know first hand just how important it is to get the support you need through difficult times. There’s no shame in asking for help.

Amidst all of this – I’m also accomplishing other positive things such as a successful interview (step 2 or 3) for a full time permanent position (as I was told my current position would be reduced to 2 days a week in January). I managed to workout every single morning and am back to my routine of daily positive affirmations. I listen to audio books to and from work (currently listening to Jack Canfield’s Maximum Confidence: 10 Steps to Extreme Self-Esteem). I am walking the 5km Race for Kids September 15th in support of children’s mental health. I’m eating better than I was – not perfect but much improved! I am doing some Intermittent Fasting and trying to stop eating at least a few hours before bed – but allowing one day a week for a bit of a break. Oh and I launched my Sobriety Swag website!

One of the designs available

So yes – it’s been a tough week – but because of my health practices, I feel a sense of balance. I also listen to my body. For the most part had been sleeping well – but when I’m tired – I go to bed rather than reach for food or booze. Today will likely involve a nap as I didn’t sleep great last night… thankfully it’s the weekend and I can! But first… a workout to start the day!

Hoping you are all doing well through this month. If you need any extra support, please contact me or visit my coaching website Healthy4Life with Helene or visit/like/follow my Facebook Page where I post daily for motivation and inspiration to help YOU live Healthy4Life!