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!

First Week Back

I’m back to the AF way after allowing a total of 59 days with drinks and finishing off the year without any booze. That means this calendar year will result in 306 Days AF – in comparison to the 263 Days AF I had in 2017 and 2018.

Better is better – and my story is one of forward progress. I shared in my groups about how we must stop comparing ourselves to others. For some it’s about going cold turkey and for others like me, it means building up to what may eventually be a 100% Sober Life.

I embrace every lesson I’ve learned along the way and while some may consider my days with drinks as failure – I continue to move forward.

One of the most current lessons is how as I near my first week back on the AF train – just how much better I feel in comparison to how I felt after having several consecutive days with drinks.

The anxiety, depression, jitters, worry, fear, lack of self-confidence and lack of self-esteem is gone. As I face uncertainty with my job and definite changes ahead after a 9 year tenure in the same position, I am very happy to be where I am today feeling much more confident and self-assured. I trust that The Universe has great things in store for me and letting go of the fear and simply focusing on what I do best.

As I prepare to share a workshop on Changes and Challenges at work and in my online paid group, I heal myself through the process and am able to share from my own personal experience the benefit of rising above the negativity and leaving behind the things that no longer serve me.

My focus now is to keep building strength. Get back to my regular exercise routine. Focus on building my coaching business and putting more programs and blogs out there.

When one door closes, another one opens. Here’s to fresh new beginnings! If you want to know more about my coaching and the programs I offer, visit my website Healthy4Life with Helene

A One Year Experiment – RESULTS

Today marks the anniversary of my start of this “One Year Experiment”. I started it following 102 Days of allowing drinks into the previous year and feeling like I wanted to keep doing better.This year I ended with only 47 days with drinks – and an 87% AF score! Each year keeps improving (dating back to 2013 when I started this journey). From 17 % AF to THIS!!Here are some of the things that have happened in this one year experiment:

✅ I became a Certified Wellness Coach and Wellness 360 Leader with the International Association of Wellness Professionals (a lifetime dream of mine)

✅ I launched my new website for my coaching practice www.healthy4lifewithhelene.com (Check it out and download the FREE 10 Day Add In Challenge so you can be on my list for when my newsletter gets launched)

✅ I put on many lunch and learns related to wellness at my own workplace and in the community; I also attended a FIRST hospital wellness conference

✅ I signed up for dance fitness classes (something I love and had been neglecting in my life)

✅ I completed two 5 K walks to raise funds for my workplace – the RBC Race for kids (supporting mental health) and the CN Cycle Race (to support kids with cancer)

✅ I received TWO awards at work – one for the entire Research Institute (the Spirit of the RI) and one with my team (HALO Spirit Award) for the work I’ve been doing since October 2015 with the Fit & Well Group (former the Fit Club) to promote healthy active living and wellness at work

✅ I continue to lead many groups (which I’ve been doing since about 2015). Two for the mission to #LoseDaBooze – one is secret and this one for those aged 50+: Living AF 50+ Age Group and 1 for overall health and wellness Healthy 4Life Group.

✅ I also started a paid group for clients who wanted more individualized support.

These are some of the positives!! And this could not have happened with 17 % AF days. I did experience events that were high stress over this period and I recognize that when I allow myself to get off balance and neglect self-care is when I get tempted to cave in to the old habit of numbing out with booze. My mission now is to keep going AF! And my intention is to now launch a sober companion program for clients who need additional support beyond the free groups. A one on one approach with me as their coach/guide to work through the challenges that present themselves and provide a 360 approach to succeeding in the mission to #LoseDaBooze

My story is not yet one of 100% sobriety but my story is still one of success and this is what I want to help others with. So many beat themselves up for re-starts and re-counting ‘Day 1’s while I believe it’s all part of the process.

So long as you keep going – you are not failing! I say cheers to the next chapter and new beginnings!!

My One Year Experiment

There are 10 days to end this experiment which started on August 12, 2018. While I didn’t make the full year 100% AF – I did achieve a goal of over 300 days and in my books that’s a WIN!!

Today is my first day back on track following a week away at a cottage rental. I’ve been off work since June 17th due to surgery and I’m ready to get back to my health goals in every way.

Having allowed myself drinks again – I’m posting/sharing what that has also allowed back in … including unhealthy eats, weight gain, recurring headaches, heartburn/stomach issues, night sweats, anxiety, elevated stress and just a general unwell feeling.

I posted in my group today to ask about what positives one notices when they don’t drink and the list is opposite of everything above really! Here’s an example post from one of my members on the benefits of NOT drinking:

Feelings of being Content, Happy, Calm, Enthused, Clean, Fresh, Energized, Optimistic, Fit, Healthy, Joyful and the list/observations could go on.

I’m ready to get back to my HEALTHY self and with my 53rd birthday just ahead in September – I plan on continuing the journey to improve my relationship with booze – to a point where perhaps it will just be edged out of my life completely. For now I’m very happy to report an over 87% AF year through this experiment!

Follow me on Facebook for an upcoming Sober Companion program being launched September 1st – if you feel you need extra support to get to realize how life can change for you when you #LoseDaBooze.

300 Days AF out of 327

I did it!!

When I launched my own FIRST 100 Day challenge to have 100 consecutive days of being Alcohol Free (AF) back in 2016, I rolled into 2017 with the aim/goal of hitting 300 days out of 365 days AF. Well that didn’t happen back then… but my stats keep improving … from 2016 with 209 Days AF to the next two years (2017 and 2018) with 263 days AF.

This 300th day spans over 2018 and 2019 as I had intended on August 12, 2018 to quit for good… but veered off course. But I’m not letting this bring me down. By far… after reading this incredible article – Some Pitfalls of Early Sobriety: Avoiding the Fuckit Bucket and in particular this passage below…

I feel empowered that I keep pushing forward with the intention to improving my health as an overall goal. That’s why I love the community support that has been built into the groups that I lead… where we cheer each other on – whether someone has 1 day or 4 days or 2 years… we are all striving to change our relationship with alcohol.

The point is not always for someone to be done for good – although in many cases we find moderation simply doesn’t work and as this article spoke to – that negotiating play that comes to mind is all part of the process. I’ve printed the article to have it handy as part of my #SoberToolbox and will go back to it when my mind starts to play the ‘F&ck it’ mind game.

I’m learning… that I’m an empath and that I’m super sensitive and when I allow things to overwhelm me I crash. It’s in learning WHY we crash that we can avoid future slips. For now I’m committed to #DryJuly and ending my One Year Experiment on August 12th with this 300 Days in the bag… but still mindful of ending the full year in 2019 with at least the same 300 days to up the stats from the past 2 years at 263 Days.

While Annie Grace (author of This Naked Mind and The Alcohol Experiment) said that we shouldn’t always be counting down sober milestones or days, but rather counting other things such as milestones of when you started sleeping better, or when you had more energy, etc. I’m a numbers girl, so for me looking at the stats and seeing that I’m over 90% of the time AF is a huge WIN for me in comparison to one year where I only had about 18% AF days.

I also track my overall health improvements via my posts in our groups on Facebook and via my blogs here and on SparkPeople. I love Facebook most of all as it brings up memories and shows me just how far I’ve come but it also shows me the patterns that keep repeating and it arms me with the tools to change those too!

The journey to LoseDaBooze will look different for EVERYONE because we are all unique on so many levels. But the community that brings us together in strength is knowing we are not alone in the battle to overcome the addictive pull that booze had on our lives! If you’d like to join in one of my groups – check out my Facebook page and friend me or message me and I’ll send you more info.

It’s never too late to be what you might have been!

Day 296 AF out of 323 Days

Every day is an opportunity to start FRESH!

A lot has happened since my last blog. After my initial slip off the AF wagon after 277 consecutive days I allowed drinks back into my life. Then re-started with a sober stretch through the end of May and through the month of June had more days with drinks than not.

July 1st marks the mid-point mark to 2019 and it’s an opportune time to do a review of what I’ve achieved and the goals I have yet to reach. It’s an opportunity to shift the scales back in the right direction to make this year a healthier one than last year! Always keeping in mind the principle that “BetterĀ isĀ Better

One thing I’ve learned is that putting too much pressure on myself to be 100% all the time on mark with my goals causes me to crash and that’s what I’ve experienced. Following my surgery – I spent the past 2 weeks laying low and offline as I needed time away from everything to regroup myself. Today is the first day getting back on board – but with a different mindset. I’m going to follow a rule that is similar to the 80/20 rule but fine tuned to Shaun T’s motto of 90/10 – where I do well 90 percent of the time and allow myself 10% ‘give’ to take a breather or break… This applies to food and drinks! I honestly was out of control it seemed with both – and applying the rule to both cutting out alcohol and being on course with healthy eats 90% of the time!

Today was my 296th Day AF (not consecutive but overall) and my goal to stay in the 90% range is where I will end up by August 12, 2019 which will be the ONE year mark since I decided to shift my habits relative to booze.

I know if you read some of my previous posts/blogs – I said I was retiring the habit but this rebel voice inside me fights this all or nothing thing and rebels … so I’m accepting how with each year, my stats keep improving.

Bottom line is if I want to reach my health goals to get back to a healthy weight – I need to cut out booze – which usually leads to eating unhealthy foods and results in lack of motivation to do any of my routine workouts.

So while I’m in post-operative mode and can’t exercise for another 4 weeks – what I can do is clean up my eating/drinking… so the goal is to do a Dry July as a restart/reset. I won’t lie – today had some cravings come calling as it’s a holiday and drinks were all around me – but I stood in my promise to do Dry July. I know I can do this as I’ve done it before and now I’m glad to be joined again with my Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Success Group as well as the Age 50+ This Naked Mind and The Alcohol Experiment Group.

Doing this with others is what has brought me the most success… so I’m looking forward to being back on track with my community as we strive to #LoseDaBooze for #DryJuly.

Back into Double Digits

277 Days AF – 9 days off and back ON!

It feels good to cross over that 10 day mark again. When you first get back to being AF – the first days can sometimes include symptoms that make it tough to keep going. I had to deal with physical symptoms that I had not experienced in some time including night sweats and more frequent headaches. I’m guarded against my progress as I’m physically not feeling my best and for that reason seeing my doctor on Friday. I believe that I’m experiencing symptoms of depression and with this recognition, realizing that despite my best efforts to heal myself … including being AF, exercising, meditating and taking some natural supplements… it just doesn’t seem to be enough.

I suppose my life situation has also affected where I’m at today. With over 6 years of dealing with constant high stress relative to my daughter’s severe mental health issues I’m just feeling burned out. I’m feeling like things will never get better and feeling a loss of hope. My weight loss has stalled because I’ve turned from booze to food for comfort and that’s just not ok anymore.

I have my pre-operative appointment today, then an appointment for my daughter (to help her with the disability program and hopefully accessing some services for herself) and last but not least – an appointment for myself to access some family support to get me through this.

As I myself am a health coach – I recognize that while I provide support and guidance to many through my groups, that I too must practice self-care and get the added support I need to get through this phase. There is no shame in asking for help. If nothing else, I see this as another piece of experience to add to my repertoire to hopefully be able to help others who may be going through similar situations.

I believe in my strength – but I also acknowledge I’m human. The priority to stay sober through this is KEY (despite my wanting to sometimes turn to it to ‘cope’ or numb my way through). I know that this is not the answer. Rather – the support groups, the counseling, checking with my doctor to make sure there’s no physical reason for how I’m feeling is what I’m working on this week.

Having crossed the 10 day mark – I’m now focused on reaching Day 21… which will happen post- surgery. I’m looking forward to what I hope will be 6 weeks of time off work to recover on many levels – healing my body, mind and spirit.