Hello Day 40! Face to Face Comparison

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So here I am at Day 40 during my 2nd 100 (+) day Lose ‘da Booze Challenge and I will say that this time the weight is not coming off as fast .. namely because that’s what happens when you start to get closer to your goals.

I have lost 8.5 lbs but what I find more impressive is how I feel and look!

I have a healthier glow about me. Above is the face to face from Day 1 to this week! Can you see the difference!?!

I have more energy. I am definitely getting more toned thanks to my consistent workouts because I’m not drinking. I’m loving my guns… and hooked on working to make them even more defined (and say goodbye to the jiggles).So I guess it’s true when you give up one addiction you often replace it with another… but in my case it’s FINALLY being replaced with something I’m passionate about – my health and helping others achieve this kind of success with their own fitness/health as I continue to lead by example through my own journey (as it’s NOT OVER yet).

So I’m not reverting to a negative habit as that sometimes happens (although I still sneak in the odd treats / sweets and yes pizza lol). I’m finding balance – I’m practicing self-care, I’m more aware, I’m more ALIVE!! And I’m truly thriving!

The Facebook group “Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Challenge” that I created and that I’ve grown so fond of are like a ‘family’ to me now. There are great things happening and we’re not even at the halfway mark yet! I can’t wait to see what the next 60 days will bring!

Here’s to letting go of ‘da booze, slowly letting go of the wrong kind of bulges (in ‘da belly) and building the RIGHT kind of strength!! As Sagi Kalev would say “Stand in YOUR Power” #Whatever it takes!!

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Testimonials from our 100 Day Challenge group: One month in

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Today’s blog is dedicated to our wonderful Lose ‘Da Booze 100 Day Challenge Group members who have been open to sharing and posting. Through the first month, we have developed what I believe is an incredible community – almost like our own little family of support and positivity as we strive to improve our lives with this 100 days (or more) AF (alcohol free) challenge…

I am posting this anonymously … because the description for our group is that what is said in our group stays there (to allow for open sharing of some more difficult challenges that will remain confidential within the confines of our group) – but these positives, well with permission I am sharing them so that YOU can see what just ONE month in has done for the lives of those in our group and the people in their lives too!

  • This is my longest time sober in my adult life. Positives are not being hungover so often, feeling good (except for the cold I caught), regular exercise, and sleep!!!!!!!
  • I have learned that my past does not define me, but my current and future life is what I need to look forward to and shape as positively as I can. Some of the things I did in the past that weren’t so attractive was not me – sober Joyce – it was drunk Joyce – so I am learning not to feel guilty about those incidences. I feel terrific in mind body and spirit. I have so much more energy, my mind is sharper and I get so much accomplished. I find I am not as angry and more patient (even though patience has never been a strong attribute). I sooo look forward to communicating with this group. I like the fact that I can provide help and receive helpful comments.
  • I feel so much better. No bloating and down 7 lbs. Happy to wake up pain free , no joint pain
  • My positives are that when I am caregiver for my mother-in-law and she falls, I am able to be present and help her get to a place where she is comfortable to get up. I also have lost a few more pounds, although that is more than likely from my being sick last week than any walking I have done. I have put another $100 in my fund for the pen show, which is an annual thing I attend, I have been putting all my money that Sober Time shows me I have saved into it.
  • I am finally being a “normal ” person by not upon awakening, scurrying into the convenience store picking up my daily 12-pack of beer then drinking until I go to sleep! That’s NO life! I am actively associating with people now, I m keeping myself and my house up, not hurting my liver, and I m not spending money on USELESS AND NASTY beer!😁
  • So much time saved!!! I’m looking forward to my fit February! Lose ‘da Booze complemented by Lose ‘da Bulge! Yay!!!
  • I’ve lost weight, I feel great and I know I can enjoy going out without having to drink.
  • Been told “wow. You’ve lost weight!” I’m starting to feel it! I’m much more regularly moisturizing at night, have saved a ton of money. Lowered anxiety. Lowered depression. Not sitting alone in bars after work to “decompress” very engaged in activism again, less reactive to people (or at least quicker to de-escalate) feeling the change in habits.
  • Longest I have been sober in my adult life. Decreased anxiety, sleeping well. Very productive cleaning up my house and tackling organizing projects. Skin is smooth and soft, not dehydrated. Making healthier food choices. Feels like I have control overlife instead of life controlling me. The challenge: dealing with all these genuine emotions that I used to suppress or make worse with alcohol. Finding self-love again.
  • Things I haven’t heard from my wife since January 1st: you look drunk, why are you drinking, are you drinking later, do you want me to buy beer, don’t drink and drive, you spent all your money on beer, don’t drink my wine, are you drinking my wine, are you hung over, you look hung over, you were a mess last night, ……….Things I haven’t heard from my wife since January 1s:  you look good, am proud of you, how are you feeling, do you want me to buy beer. It goes to show that living with a daily drinker and your ex drinking partner things don’t change in a month. I’m not concerning myself with that now. If I waited for her I would still be where I was last year, drunk. I am doing this for me, no one else. I’m feeling super good and proud of myself. As others have said this is the longest time of my life being sober. I’m getting so much done and feeling good. When I put my hand on my stomach I can feel the flatness and the scale showed 197 this morning 🙂 I’ve said it before but thank you Helene for being you 
  • During these 31 days being AF was my only focus. I tried to start a diet and a workout routine, however, I found that I didn’t have enough willpower to do that. Overall, I feel great and proud of myself. The most challenging thing for me has been accepting the discomfort of dealing with myself: my emotions, my tendency to overanalyze everything, my bossy controlling nature, and my high expectations. For a month I didn’t escape my reality and I felt amazing, irritated, happy, free and downright uncomfortable. However for 31 days AF, I have grown in self-acceptance, self-tolerance, self-awareness, and self-love. Personal Growth has been my biggest reward this month which for the past 10 years I wasn’t able to enjoy because I was stuck in a cycle of shame, guilt, and escape. I welcome February along with its ups and downs. It is great to just be me again.
  • It’s only been 17 days for me but have lost 4 pounds and I am starting to see a light at the end of all the darkness I have felt for so long. Cravings are few and far between and I don’t obsess about my next one. Oh, and the anxiety of the craving is definitely gone, along with the crabby bitch that came with it!
  • So my husband and I are celebrating with iced tea and popcorn tonight! 31 days for both of us and a star filled calendar…. thank you for being such an incredibly supportive and caring family of positive people. Hugs to each and everyone of you and I say congratulations to all of you for all that you have accomplished. We Are One proud group.
  • I was so excited to finally reach this goal!! Today’s message says I get to choose whether I view this AF time as an obstacle or a chance to grow…I choose to grow! Thanks to everyone in this group for the encouragement and support!

Do you want to be part of this community? Are you ready to make a change in YOUR life? Here are the basic rules/principles for the group:

**FIRST and foremost – 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 days (or more). This group is closed 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 know. I am approving requests for people to join – but do NOT know if there will be some of you that know each other. If you are here together… then it means you both need this.**

I created this group for anyone wanting to do a FULL 100 Day challenge – being AF (alcohol free), ABS (abstaining) – 100%! There’s no failing in here – if your goal is only certain days without then this group ISN’T for you! HAMS is a great support group for moderation support with some periods of abstinence http://www.facebook.com/groups/harmreduction/. You can also become a part of another team I lead – through SparkPeople – called Cutting Down the Booze – which has a month to month accountability thread and daily chit chat (which I have led for near 10 years). http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_individual.asp?gid=2546

I do not believe in the AA model and if it’s something you believe in then perhaps this group is NOT for you (as I do not believe we are powerless in any way).

When I turned 50 – I made a decision to change my lifestyle – in honor of my sister who passed away in 2008 at the age of 50 because of her issues with alcohol (she drank herself to death). It took me years to get to this point – to be able to finally let go and reach my goals and I think it’s because I adopted the motto Fit@50&Beyond! and simply out to prove that YES this can be done! I know YOU can do it too… if you really ‘REALLY’ want this!

The First Challenge began January 1st, 2017 – but you can join anytime – so long as you commit to a FULL 100 Days Alcohol FREE!

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.  **

If this speaks to you then message me at helene@befitspirited.com or send a request to join the group at: Lose ‘Da Booze 100 Day Challenge

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Dry January and BEYOND!

I woke up this morning to find that perhaps… I am inspiring people and so honored to be ‘featured’ this week as Woman of the Week! I am honestly MOST proud of our Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Challenge group and all the goodness that is coming from it!!

Today marks Day 31 for those who started on January 1st! For some it’s been successful – for others, there have been resets or a change in their goals… but I think I can safely say for ALL it’s been beneficial!

The group is setup to be for those who are committed to 100 days or more AF (alcohol free) – and to those who are not ready for that level yet, I recommend they follow HAMS or that they join the team I lead through SparkPeople Cutting Down the Booze (Calories).  Better is better… so long as you work to improve.

I know it took me years to get to where I am and I have had to work through some tough stuff before I was able to finally accomplish the 100 days. So if you’re not there yet, don’t beat yourself up! Seek help and support. I would love to connect with you (you can always email me or personal message me on my Facebook page).

For me – after finally working through all the ‘other stuff’ I am now working on the physical component! BeFitSpirited … the name of my website because being healthy is all about doing so – mind, body and spirit (as you can’t have overall wellness without a balance of all of these factors).

I am truly feeling that VIBE of Success and boy does it feel good! As we turn the page to the new month ahead – if you feel you’ve kind of lost the momentum that comes with the new year’s resolutions or goals – I am here for you! Reach out!! Check out this amazing deal too – which ends at the end of February!! It’s what I now credit my physical transformation to!! All Access to all the workouts I want from the comfort of my own home… no driving to a gym – no wasting time cleaning off the car (it’s a cold winter where I live) – I just press PLAY and can do it even when I am traveling. I’d love to help get you started! You can visit my website for more info All Access Pass

Here’s to kicking off the NEW month with POWER!! I can’t wait to see what we accomplish in February!!

Wanting to do it ALL – Day 29 of 100

I’m just sitting down for a bit of a break… Last weekend I spent most of it helping my daughter move. This weekend – we had dinner with friends on Friday night and spent the day visiting my partner’s family. Today I woke up and did a double workout (to make up for one I missed this week) then showered and we headed into town to run errands and get groceries. I made a nice soup for lunch and then he went off to an event I encouraged him to attend (I was kind of looking forward to some alone time).

I then continued some food prep – made some chicken fried rice, a batch of chili and a snack with my Shakeology (for when those chocolate cravings hit… as I plan on cutting on this daily habit I picked up of eating chocolates since I quit ‘da booze again).

I have so many projects I want to do and it feels like there’s never enough time. Odd since I used to waste so much time with my drinking habit. Now I have to really be careful about how I schedule things to stay balanced and not over extend myself.

I’m grateful for the energy and clarity that I have. I am grateful for the commitment that now seems so easy to stick to – like a new way of life.

And I have been keeping up with posts on our amazing Facebook Lose ‘da Booze 100 Day Challenge group! I’m going to ring in and share that this time round – the weight is not falling off as it did in my first 100 days. I am now at this set point I was at before 3 years ago for what seemed like forever and I watch as my weight bounces between 3 lbs up and down … but I’m going to continue tweaking my plan and journal what I eat to see where I can improve.

I googled a few articles too and I do believe in my case the peri-menopause and hormones are also playing a role. But no matter what that number reads on the scale – I feel so much healthier now than I have in ages! I pushed really hard with my weights this morning and it felt so empowering! Tomorrow I start week 5 of 12 with the Body Beast Program and I know I will follow it through to the end. I will do my monthly check on February 1st with my weight and measurements.

I was telling my partner that I’m where I was when I finished my first 100 and that is why historically I could never lose because I’d quickly regain as soon as I allowed myself drinks which would be for days in a row.

So I’m going to just keep doing what I’m doing. Pacing myself. Writing things down on my to do list and crossing them off with satisfaction. I just finished cleaning the house (something I neglected so badly too when I drank). Laundry is done, dusting, floors are washed, bathrooms cleaned.

And the rest of the night will be spent relaxing a bit and enjoying the last of my weekend ‘night’. Looking forward to hitting it again tomorrow morning with my Monday feeling amazing and on track!

Let’s Talk… Day 25 of 100 (round 2)

16265855_10153967242947563_5536163841391382683_nToday was a day to open up and talk about mental health issues. So I thought I’d share that I myself have been through depression, I have experienced major anxiety and I also have been a parent to three (including my step-daughter) girls who have suffered from the same. Both of my own girls were subjected to horrific experiences in their lives which brought on a lot of hurt. Both have used self-harm as a means of releasing some of their pain.

I’m happy to say that at least the self-harm days are behind us but the scars will remain forever.

Many times I used to use alcohol to try and cope and make myself feel better – when in fact it most often perpetuated or worsened some problems. Now that I have 25 days in and a 100 day abstinence period behind me – my perspective on dealing with stress, anxiety and depression is so different.

I am finding healthier ways to cope such as starting a group on Facebook where we have some day to day accountability and support and it’s extending beyond just being AF to sharing on other topics to bring us more health.

I have a new addiction these days and that is to my workout programs. I look forward to them every day and when I miss them I feel the difference. I make time for them – schedule it in my calendar. I use my FitBit to stay motivated and try to reach my 10,000 steps a day.

Today my outdoor walk at lunch was necessary to try and deal with some stress relative to my daughter having a few bad days. And during this walk my phone fell and broke .. replacing it cost me $226 – and this would have just been the thing that would have made me snap and want to say ‘fuck it all – I may as well drink’… but that did not, nor will it happen.

Instead – I came back home and I am alone until bedtime (my partner is out for training with work). I am here blogging and checking in. And I am looking forward to my night time pampering routine – the epsom salts bubble bath by candelight.. and getting to bed early enough to wake up at 3:45 and get my routine and new day started!

Not once did I crave a drink – and there’s tons in the house … and even alone when I could sneak it and ‘not tell you’ about it – I won’t because when I commit to something – especially outside of just this personal secret commitment but when I put it out there – it means so much more.

So on this day where we are to try and be more open – I share again how I am bit by bit sharing more publicly about this issue – the alcohol issue… because I think it’s another one that many don’t discuss but experience. So let’s open up bit by bit – share as you feel comfortable. You may be surprised by how positively people react.

I am trusting all of you … and sharing in the hopes that perhaps my story can help others.88908c1bb2b8510e0215ac869f94d186

Knowing When to Call it a Night

bitmoji-802778330When we are on this journey to staying sober – sometimes we go into overdrive because we find this new energy and we GO (and go and go)…

But today – after we finished moving my daughter in – the energy left me. I felt the drain and perhaps it’s because this has been so emotional leading up to the move.

It didn’t come easy (her applications for the first two apartments were refusedand just waiting to hear about this one and FINALLY getting her out of that bad living situation she was in into something brither and healthier). There were many stressful moments. BUT – I dealt with all of it 100% SOBER because I’m on day 22 of my 100 day challenge and can’t even think of messing it up.

There were many opportunities presented with/surrounding alcohol and perhaps the only time I had a bit of a twinge was at the end of the very long day yesterday – we went to a busy restaurant and my partner’s tall cold glass of beer looked good … but I ordered my Club Soda with Lemon and felt great for doing so.

So as we launch into the fourth week of this 100 Day Challenge – my goals are being tweaked a bit… YES to continued concentration on self-care and getting enough rest/sleep (so as soon as I post this I’m going for my bath – may body is ACHING from all the physical work over the past two days).

For February 1st – I’m going to start a challenge for myself to cut out chocolate and chips for the month and I am sure it will be hard given it’s Valentine’s month and there’s plenty of treats but I want to reach 150Ville and I am only 4lbs away – and that will mark my 40 lbs lost milestone! I made time this weekend to cook some healthy stuff (really getting back into the groove of cooking – something I dreaded or avoided when I was into the daily drinking).

I know the scale is not the only measure of success – but it’s been steadily moving – my stats… be it my measurements, my skin’s glow, my energy and my weight… all going in the right direction thanks to this challenge of losing the booze (which at this point feels like a no brainer thanks to that book The Naked Mind – that I’m reading about a chapter a day).

So here’s to a fresh new week starting tomorrow! Here’s to a restful and peaceful sleep tonight knowing I have setup my daughters as best I can. Here’s to a guilt free conscience because I am sticking to my goals!!

Have a great night everyone!!

Day 21 – 2nd 100 Day Challenge

Another sleepless night for me … but despite this I have NO DOUBT that I will complete day 21 without cravings or issues.
Seriously – all this awake time allows for a lot of thinking/reflecting. I was reading more of The Naked Mind and even as I read the words I feel a change has already occurred inside for me. The SHIFT has finally happened – one I truly was after for so many years, where I control the alcohol and not the other way around.
In the past, days like today would have been a trigger for drinking – when I was tired, I’d want to just chill and have drinks. But now, I feel so energized! Honestly – even with this little amount of sleep, I’m excited today because I’m FINALLY helping my daughter move into her own place! My honey is working overtime until noon and once he gets back home around 1 we’ll start loading up the truck and trailer and head over to get her settled in.
This has been a HUGE stressor for me (and honestly BIG kudos to my daughter as I don’t know how she survived this long in the living conditions she was in). I hope that after today – I can walk away feeling good about where she is and hopeful for her to finally have her really good ‘first’ start at being on her own. She moved out a couple of years ago but had shitty living situations … until this move!
Being sober through all of this has kept me really strong and focused. Having the group of fellow 100 Day Challenge Lose ‘da Booze participants has given me even more OUMFF if you will to make this 2nd round even better than the first! Seeing the support and just how well everyone is feeling is incredibly inspiring. To a point where I really question even during this next ‘break’ before my 3rd 100 Days (or more) challenge will be different too.
When I completed my first 100 days on Dec 16th – I had my first drink on Dec 17th later in the day and to my surprise it didn’t even really taste that great or give me much pleasure. Yet I kept having some. And every day – I had drinks from that date until 11:55pm on Dec 31st before I started this 2nd round.
To be honest, I had some fears and doubts that I’d be able to get back on board the AF train as that used to be an issue for me… but once I got past those first few days (days 1 to 3 are usually the hardest)… it has been a breeze! I’m no longer really obsessively checking my Sober Time app as I did the first time (yet I still find it incredibly motivating to see the money I’m saving – and now spending on some fun pampering stuff… like getting my nails redone)…

Honestly – my Fridays have never been better! From a truly productive day at work (with a photo shoot to update a pic for use for our annual report and some of my other stuff), to after work pampering for ME – then picking up my daughter to get her glasses and do some shopping and visiting a friend.

Freedom reigns as I am sober and can drive myself anywhere … and I’m so grateful to have the financial freedom to be able to do stuff (after years of struggling and biting the bit and barely getting by).

This week I hit a SUPER goal with my coaching business that I have been aiming for it’s been almost 2 years… I’ll post when it’s official!

I’m part of an amazing group with our local coaches and I help put on our local events!! So thrilled about all I’m able to do (and have the CONFIDENCE to do now).

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To be honest – I would have never pictured myself among these other lovely ladies… but here I am. Pushing past the comfort zone on so many levels! Seriously NOT allowing ‘da booze to hold me back anymore. So many times in the past I would opt out or back out last minute and if I am honest about it – the alcohol played a HUGE part in my not advancing in many areas of my life (even though I was a high functioning drinker – I still saw opportunities missed).

Life like that is behind me! When I finish this second round – I’ll be boarding a plane to go on my dream trip to Hawaii for 13 days! Another dream of mine that I am sure would have not been possible had I not made the changes in my life! Of course my partner is a HUGE reason why this is happening too… but it’s all in the cards and how I’m playing the deck now!

Seriously – 2017 is going to be my most amazing year!! And it’s all because I finally LET GO of that booze voice inside my head to replace it with my passion for Fitness and my passion for helping others live THEIR best lives too!