The start of my journey…………….

The start of my journey…………….

So this blog is about  my recent journey of becoming sober and the healthiest I have ever been!

It has taken me a long time to pluck up the courage to start a blog! Because you are putting yourself out there flaws and all , but if my journey over the last twenty-six months can inspire anyone to reduce or stop their drinking and start living a healthier lifestyle – at any age- then it is worth it!

On the 21st November 2016, I decided that I wanted to quit drinking alcohol and get in the best shape I possibly could. The decision wasn’t made lightly, I enjoyed my weekend wines but at 41 the hangovers, even after just a few glasses seemed to last longer! Every Monday I would start the week feeling rubbish and  determined to cut down and get healthy, it would start off well but by Thursday I would be feeling like I deserved a drink and the weekend would then pan out exactly the same, then back to Monday feeling rubbish again. I got to the point where I was actually bored of this viscous cycle and constantly beating myself up about it, so I did literally wake up that Monday and just thought, right ok I’m gonna do this – its time to change!

Fitness and exercise became my focus so instead of thinking I was giving up alcohol I started to think yes I am giving up alcohol but  I am also taking up more exercise, eating healthier foods and I suppose you could say getting healthy was my new addiction. I’m definitely an all or nothing kinda girl and fitness and being healthy became my thing! (clothes shopping is a close second!)

I want this blog to help, motivate, inspire and encourage anyone who feels stuck like I did, to just get up and do it because believe me anything is possible if you really want it badly enough! You can change your lifestyle and how you feel! As explained in my disclaimer I am not a qualified nutritionist or personal trainer (yet!) but I know I can now deadlift my own bodyweight, and I know what foods and recipes have worked for me too.

So if you want to come along on my journey of just a normal (ish!) forty-two year old, married, busy mum of two, trying to feel the best I can both physically and mentally and living a life I love, just enter your email or follow me on Instagram. You can become the BEST version of you, lets do this together!

Angie xx

PS. if you want to leave a comment, just click on the title and the option comes up,you can also find me on Instagram @liftingweightsnotwine

 

3 Years Sober – what I have learnt and what happens next!?!

3 Years Sober – what I have learnt and what happens next!?!

The 21st November 2016 was the first day of my new sober life!

That was THREE years ago – three years of sobriety – three years of finding the sober me – the real me – three years of transforming myself and my life!  My day one seems a long, long time ago now, so much has happened in that time and its been a crazy whirlwind of ups and downs but these are some of the reasons why its the best thing I have EVER done!

  1. No Hangovers – not one single hangover – 3 years of waking up hangover free! AMEN to that!!
  2. Being present and totally there for my two girls Jess and Sally – my world
  3. No memory loss or blackouts at the end of the night.
  4. No planning my weekends and social life around alcohol.
  5. Going out and remembering the whole night, the food, the chats and most importantly the laughs.
  6. Realising that I am actually a really loud, clumsy person who probably looks drunk most of the time when I am out.
  7. Discovering that hot chocolate is up there with expensive therapy sessions – it actually makes you feel better and certainly got me through the early days.
  8. Going out when I want to go out with whom I want to go out with.  Not saying no to nights out because the people may not be boozy enough and NOT spending nights out with people just because they are boozy.
  9. Looking at my circle of friends now and realising that yes it has gone smaller but  stronger and my friends love me for me, drinking or not.
  10. Realising that I can actually be the sort of person that does crazy challenges like Tough Mudder !
  11. Sticking to a real exercise regime, being consistent.  Feeling proud watching my body grow strong, changing shape and my muscles getting bigger (this is a very slow process but I am not giving up!)
  12. To know my body, to be able to listen to what it needs – food, rest, fresh air, self care – not just drowning it out with wine.
  13. The money!! Just think how much money I have saved – seriously!
  14. To buy myself nice things and not feel guilty,  “well I’m not drinking!”
  15. Not having to get a taxi – anywhere!
  16. Being a taxi for friends and family and making sure they get home safe.
  17. No more thinking up excuses to go to the shop  for more wine.
  18. Not having to spend time devising a drinking plan that you know you will not stick to anyway.
  19. No more anxiety – or hanxiety – the dreaded feeling you get with a hangover where you worry about everything and your stress levels go through the roof.  (I used to always think I was going to pass out in the car or in the street and the kids would get kidnapped- yes it was that irrational!)
  20. Being able to drive anywhere and take the kids to anything they want to go to and not being annoyed that its an alcohol free event or that I cant drink because I am driving.
  21. No fixing my Drinkaware app figures and googling – am I an alcoholic or drink related illnesses.
  22. STILL loving the look on someone’s face when I say I don’t drink
  23. To accept and feel every part of the high’s and the low’s.  Everything I feel is real and true emotion, when it’s good its good and yes when its bad its bad –  but its all real.
  24. To get really excited,  like a child’s level of excitement for holidays and Christmas!
  25. To experience a totally sober holiday – these really are the best! (plus drunk people watching never gets old!)
  26. No waking up to a hazy memory of arguing or angry texting and you cant remember why?
  27. No beer belly or beer bloat!
  28. No missing the end of movies because you’ve crashed on the couch.
  29. No long deep meaningful conversations that you cant remember anything about.
  30. No awkwardness when you know you are repeating yourself again for the third time – that look on peoples face – awkward!?
  31. Having the energy to want to exercise everyday because you know it will give you a natural high.
  32. Knowing that not only your mind but your body is strong because of the healthy decisions you are making every day
  33. To sadly realise that you are a rubbish dancer dance drunk or sober but you don’t actually care because you just love dancing!
  34. No more morning after red wine breath, or the kids pointing it out to you.
  35. Realising that I LOVE meeting and speaking to new people.
  36. Learning to walk away from negativity and toxic people and situations.
  37. Finding my voice and being strong enough to say no.
  38. Having an inner confidence to stand my ground and not let people walk all over me.
  39. Washing my make up off EVERY night and enjoying self care and pamper time – (Tropic Skincare plays a huge part in this too!)
  40. Realising that there is such a thing as the sober glow, your skin, your eyes, everything – sober people just have it!
  41. Early morning runs.
  42. No starving myself all day to drink wine at night and then having a total pig out by 9pm.
  43. Being real – no falseness just 100% me!
  44. No stuffing myself with unhealthy food and carbs all weekend to try and feel half human.
  45. No mood swings (well I am 44 they may be creeping back slowly – ask my hubbie!)
  46. Having more patience.  As a mum, we need bucket loads and although I’m no saint I am 100% better than before.
  47. Realising that although I have never been a dog mum when I was drinking I know for a fact I am a better dog mum sober! I would have hated the walks, the poo, the general mess and stress of a dog. Plus imagine being all snuggled on the settee at night with my Bruno and having to get up every half hour for another drink – he would hate me!
  48. Realising that there is so much more to life than a clean house.  A clean house doesn’t make up for a messed up person or life.  My house is the messiest it has EVER been and I don’t actually care, I’m too busy living to clean up!
  49. Having a job that gets you from Monday to Friday but drains you of life, is not how it should be! Do a job you love and you will never work a day in your life – TRUE STORY!
  50. Coffee and drinking it guilt free! I used to avoid coffee due to its high caffeine but quite happily down two bottles of wine?! Now I admit I am addicted to coffee and enjoy every cup, plus never underestimate the power of a double espresso on a night out – Party time!!
  51. Finally after years of  weighing myself every day that, being fit, healthy and strong isn’t a number on scale its a feeling.
  52. At 44 years of age being able to look in the mirror and feel proud of how I look and who I am – no guilt or regret.
  53. Knowing that I am giving my body a fighting chance as it gets older to combat illness.
  54. Food glorious food! – I am a total foodie now, I love it ALL and its sooooo nice to have a dessert at the end of the night instead of another large glass of red.
  55. I have found my tribe – my sober tribe – through social media and day to day life, I have found people who get it and get me.
  56. Accepting that not everyone has to like you but also accepting that I don’t have to water myself down for those who don’t.
  57. Waking up early – naturally! The minute my eyes open, that’s it I’m wide awake – early Saturday and Sunday mornings whilst the world still sleeps are the best.
  58. Setting up my blog and Instagram page on my own.
  59. Not giving up on things as soon as they become difficult.  Skiing being one, (think of Bridget Jones -that’s me!) My Bodypump and ETM qualifications- all assessments that I have failed initially but got up and tried again and eventually got there.
  60. Realising how strong I am because I don’t give up!
  61. Being brave enough to set challenges and do things that really scare me but doing it anyway.
  62. Safe In the knowledge that I am showing my girls a way of life that doesn’t revolve around alcohol and that you can live a full, sociable, exciting life without it!
  63. Enjoying my own company and not feeling like I have to go to everything I am invited to, I actually enjoy being in on my own.
  64. Thinking I can do anything I put my mind to and not doubting myself.
  65. Feeling proud of not drinking and no longer feeling like I have to explain why. THIS IS ME!

The list goes on and I’m sure it will be even longer in the next three years!  It sounds drastic but stopping drinking has seriously changed my life because it has changed me.  It has made me push myself to change what I was unhappy with instead of drowning out my frustrations and unhappiness with alcohol and pretending to be happy.

I know I have neglected my blog recently and it really is because I have had so much  going on in my life that I just haven’t had the time.  But I promise from now on I will be finding time to post regularly.  You, my readers and followers have got me to where I am today and I am so grateful for that.

What happens next? over the next few weeks I will revisit the early days posts and how to survive a sober Christmas so please watch this space!

With regard to my journey I am now a fully qualified Bodypump Instructor and a Tropic Skincare Ambassador so both jobs are keeping me super busy and I love them both.  When I think that this time last year I was stood ironing peoples clothes for a living and  had been doing it for seven years, it actually makes me feel sad.  My life now is thriving – I am no longer just surviving the days and counting down to wine o’clock.  I am actually living and loving every sober second of my life!

To everyone reading this thankyou for being a part of this amazing journey as I hope I am a part of yours.

Love

Angie xx

 

The Best View Comes After The Hardest Climb……..

The Best View Comes After The Hardest Climb……..

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Happy Sober Sunday!!

First please let me apologise for there being such a delay in me posting – I am really sorry!!

If you are following me on Instagram you will know the reason why…….. I have been training to qualify as a Bodypump Instructor and I have finally done it, whoo hoo!!

It has taken me a lot longer than I ever thought it would do and I can safely say that Les Mills are asking for a very high standard in there assessments, down to clear instructions and millisecond timings.  The standard was much higher than I realised and it took me three attempts to get there but I finally did it. Here is my little Bodypump journey for any of you out there looking to follow the same path and become an instructor,  or just for anyone struggling right now – I hope this may help.

So my first initial training weekend was on the 30th and 31st of March (mothers day – I know, the guilt!)  This involved around 15-20 people spending two days of learning the tracks and being monitored and assessed.  On the Saturday morning I actually felt physically sick during the one hour drive to get there, I was so nervous but I really had no need to be.  There was a mixture of ages and physical abilities within the class but everyone was super friendly.  So I soon calmed down and felt relaxed with everyone.

The first thing we did was the masterclass – which was the new body pump release lead by our instructor Daniel and Damien who were the coaches.  They were amazing and easily showed us how it should be done!  After that it was a full day of practicing our tracks that we had been allocated and then teaching them to the rest of the class. So after day one I felt a lot more confident but also so tired and so hungry! (major tip – take lots of food!)

Day two was pretty much the same formation with your official assessment at the end.  Luckily we all passed and that was an amazing feeling!  Unfortunately though this feeling was short lived as you then have two months to submit full recording of you teaching the whole release to a class, scary!!!  Now two months may sound like a long time but when you include a holiday, the two weeks Easter holidays and basically just life in general getting in the way – then it really isn’t all that long.

So I learnt the release the best I could and submitted my first assessment – you then wait up to two weeks for your results (I know – the torture!)  Ten days later my result came back as a pass pending.  I was so upset, everyone else on the group seemed to be passing as we were updating a Facebook group we had set up – but no not me.  I cried for about half an hour and then thought – well I ‘ve just got to do it again!

So it took me another two weeks to keep practicing and aiming for perfection.  This time I thought it had gone better but my recording had cut out half way through so that knocked my confidence and threw me out with the timing.   But I was just at the point of thinking – sod it! I will send it in anyway and hope for the best.  Guess what- Les Mills don’t want that attitude they want confidence from instructors and they want your recording to run smooth and lets be honest almost perfectly.  So once again I got a pass pending.

Now this time my confidence was really knocked.  All of the self doubt started creeping in – I am too old to be doing this – I’m not good enough – its all a big mistake – its not for me – I cant do it????  Honestly I was so close to giving up and ready to wave my dream of being a bodypump instructor goodbye!!  I was 99% sure I would not be going to submit for assessment again.  My email with the result had come on a Friday and that weekend I had to dig so deep to not stay in bed for 48 hours.  I was gutted, that gutted feeling where you want to escape from being you – that gutted feeling where only sleep or alcohol will allow you to escape.

But I kept myself busy, the kids had netball matchers and we had other stuff that needed doing like cleaning the house!  I also had a really good chat with Damien who was one of the instructors on the training weekend – now talking to him was a game changer for me! He was and is so positive and convinced me to go and shadow him at his gym and told me that I HAD to submit for a third time.

So I did – I went to his classes and his enthusiasm sparked the fire back in me – I became so determined – this is what I want to do and I am not going to stop until I am qualified! For the next couple of weeks I had never done so many squats, lunges and deadlifts in my life.  I recorded myself,  recorded all of my practice classes until I knew the routine inside out and most importantly the timing.  For the first time I sent my recording in feeling CONFIDENT – I honestly felt like I couldn’t have done any better – and after another ten days of torturous waiting …………..yes,  you guessed it I PASSED!

When I opened the email confirming that i was now qualified – the feeling was the best!  The fact that it had taken blood sweat and tears to get their (literally) made it all the more amazing when I finally got there!  And you know what I believe its definitely made me a better instructor now.  I worked so so hard to get there I will never just take it for granted. Les Mills you are a hard act to follow but the constructive criticism and rigorous assessment that you gave me has certainly been for the best and I am so proud to be a Les Mills instructor.

I feel like I have got so much more out of this than a qualification.  I have learnt how important it is to not give-up, no matter how difficult things get.  I will be 32 months sober next week and honestly I have found my sober journey easier than my body pump journey!  But I don’t think I could have one without the other – the drinking me could only dream of achieving something like this and would have given up at the very first hurdle.

I have always said that giving up drinking is only the start of your journey and it is so true.  My challenges used to be just getting through a weekend without a drink, or even one night without a drink!  But now it has slowly led to me challenging myself both physically and mentally and although it sounds dramatic saying that getting sober has changed my life – it really has because it has changed how I feel and my mindset.  I want to fight now for the things I really want in life and I know I have the strength to not give up until I get there.

I will apologise in advance because you are now going to be singing this all night but in the words of Miley Cyrus :

“It ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side – its the climb!”

So to anyone reading this and you are struggling with the early days or million day ones of sobriety – just remember this one thing DO NOT GIVE UP – you will get there.  And if you have a few months of sobriety under your belt and you are starting to want to change certain things about yourself, in your life or challenge yourself in different ways – go for it -you can do it!

I am hopefully going to get back on track with my blogging, although I have just received the Bodypump 110 programme which is now being released, so the learning has started all over again!  Just like my sober journey – things are changing and challenging me all the time!

I hope you’ve had a lovely hangover free weekend and if not and you are looking for help and inspiration then read through my other posts and don’t forget to find me on Instagram  @Liftingweightsnotwine 

Love Angie xx

 

I’m Still Here – Please Don’t Leave Me!

I’m Still Here – Please Don’t Leave Me!

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Hey there – happy warrior Wednesday guys!!!

I am feeling so so so bad! I havent blogged for so long and it makes me feel really guilty.  All of you who have bothered to follow me are so important to me and my sober journey, and hopefully I am important to you on yours?

Life at the moment is pretty much going at a million trillion miles an hour and I am struggling to keep it all together – unfortunately my blogging has taken a back seat and I am sorry.

So a quick update with things – I have finally stopped my ironing business, woo hoo!  My job as a Tropics Skincare Ambassador is just going from strength to strength and I am doing so well I have been given the opportunity to meet Susie Ma and Lord Sugar at the Tropics headquarters – I cant tell you how excited I am about that!  And finally I have passed my theory Exercise To Music course and will be doing the BodyPump course in two weeks – all this plus kids, a crazy labrador puppy and trying to get in my best shape ever – lets just say I have been struggling to fit anything else in!

And you know what, I am not for one second complaining because I would rather have ALL this going on than being stood at my ironing board, Monday to Friday, counting down to wine o’clock day in day out!  Bring on the crazy new me and my sober journey because it really is the gift that keeps on giving!

Is anyone else feeling the same? Does anyone else feel that their life is changing at a crazy rate – in a good way! All because you have stopped drinking and started to chase the things you love to do in life and become the person you want to be.

When it comes to my blog,my baby!  Which is a huge source of sober support for me – please just stick with me.

Everything I am doing now is leading me to give you better posts, I can hopefully look at having my own exercise and sober support programme by the end of the year.   I want to set up a sober on line shop that will include gym t-shirts, sober rewards and all of the lovely Tropics pamper products for you to be able to purchase once you hit your milestones – big and small!

I also want to rewind back to the start of my sober journey for you guys out there in the early days, to help with social outings, friends, weight loss and sober self-care etc

So please stick with me guys!!

In the meantime I am still posting nearly everyday on Insta for sober inspo and motivation so please find me @ lifting weights not wine

Don’t forget you can email or DM me anytime, I love hearing from you and will reply every time!!

Lets carry on  this crazy sober journey of following our hearts and becoming the best version of  us!

Lots Of Love

Angie xx

27 Months Today!

27 Months Today!

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Today marks 27 months of my sobriety.  Not sure what that is in days so I just keep ticking the months off!!

I’m not really celebrating as such but as its half term I am going to the cinema with my girls to watch a film, with a Macdonald’s for lunch as an extra treat!

Recently I have been talking about the big changes that have been happening in my life since I stopped drinking  including moving into a different career.  And without a doubt my biggest change in my life is in my fitness and health, both of which have improved dramatically.  These are the BIG things, but the little things are just as important to!

I have mentioned previously about the guilt I used to have in the past and the increasing levels of guilt that I had as my children got older and would start to notice my drinking and hangovers.  These times made me want to change, made me want to stop so much but I just couldn’t.

A couple of these times that have really stuck with me when I felt particularly bad are linked to the cinema.  Once when I was so hung over after a night out that I had to leave the film after twenty minutes of it starting, much to my eldest daughters disappointment.  I had horrendous anxiety, felt sick and was convinced I was going to pass out it wasnt good.  I went home and went to bed, I felt so crap, I just felt like I had let her down so badly,  but that wasn’t enough for me to stop.

The second time was also a cinema trip.  We had booked to see Finding Dory later in the day after sunday lunch, I had a hangover from hell and found myself drinking the dregs of wine from one of the  bottles from the night before just to make me feel better and more “normal” to go and sit in the cinema.  Obviously after an hour in I  felt even worse and spent the whole film in a world of self-hatred and thinking how fast could I get to the loo to be sick.

It was about two weeks after this that I quit.  But from there was about 12 months in between these two events.  That’s a long time to feel crap about yourself and wanting to change but not having the strength to do so.

Because a lot of my posts are about positivity, change and living a life you love,  it makes me feel pretty sad when I write about the shitty times.  But it’s these times that got me to where I am today.  If by sharing this I can show one person that it’s possible then it is so worth it!

So today, I am up and on it, workout done and off to the cinema. Feeling fresh, strong and healthy knowing that I am giving my girl the best version of me.  It certainly is a million miles from how the drinking me felt.

If your reading this, how are you feeling about yourself right now?

  • Do you hate yourself or love yourself or at least are you on the journey of loving yourself?
  • Are you giving your children and your family and friends the best version of you or are you functioning at 50% suffering from hangovers and feeling drained most of the time?
  • Are you spending your time wishing you were someone else (I used to do this all the time) Why can’t I be the woman who has their life together? Whose mind isn’t obsessed with trying to control their drinking?
  • Are you proud of who you are?  I was ashamed and disappointed in myself every monday morning, EVERY SINGLE MONDAY!  I was constantly letting myself down – that’s a really horrible feeling.

 

Now all of the above are feelings that you don’t actually realise your walking around with most of the time.

Your aim is to get through the week, feed the kids, workout if your lucky, clean up, do your day job, smile at people and just tick off the boxes – day after day after day!  Your head is buried in all of that, you can’t see a way out.  You just don’t have the strength to fight away out of it to make a change.

What makes making the change even more difficult is when your drinking isn’t causing too many problems in your life.  So your drinking way more than you should be but your life looks pretty normal to other people.  So  no one is going to pull you to one side and say – your drinking is out of control you need help.  Because to the outside world you do look in control.

I didn’t tell anyone how much I hated myself at the time that was trying to quit.  To others I was the life and soul of the party and 90% of the time all happy, bubbly and smiling.  I was always the one who would get the most drunk, I would never be out without drinking, I would always want to stay out the latest, always wanted that next drink that other bottle.  But the guilt, regret and the hangover the next day was just soul-destroying.  I couldn’t understand how I seemed to be the only one who was feeling like this, everyone else seemed to just carry on as normal and didn’t have this guilt that I had.

It was only by setting up my blog and Instagram page that I realised there are so many others out there who feel exactly like I did and who are making the change to sobriety.  People sharing their own storied has given me so much support and I know from the comments I have received from followers that my story has done the same for them too.

How I was in the past,on certain days was nothing to be proud and I hated myself at times, but now I’m gradually learing to love myself and feel proud of what I’ve achieved.

How far have you come in your sober journey, in days, months or other achievements?

If you’re looking for daily sober inspo please find me on Instagram Liftingweightsnotwine

Thankyou for following my story – the sober support I have found on my blog and insta has been amazing – lets keep sharing the sober love!

Angie xx

 

 

 

 

Want A New life? Get Sober!

Want A New life? Get Sober!

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Earlier this week I saw this quote on internet and it just hit me – boom!

I have had this huge guilt recently that I haven’t been blogging as much as I planned but at the moment my (new) life is just getting in the way.  And I have to keep telling myself that it’s a good thing, not a bad thing.  Life is moving at a zillion miles an hour and I just need to embrace it!

I mean – what was my other option.  My life certainly couldn’t carry on the way it was, I couldn’t carry on the way I was.  Kidding myself that I was ok, that my drinking was ok.

It is so easy to get stuck in a drinking rut, so easy to tell yourself that everything is ok, that it’s normal to feel drained, its normal to want to drink to escape who you are and what you are feeling, its ok to spending most of your weekend either drinking or thinking about drinking.

It’s not NORMAL. Its not OK.  And there is only YOU who can do something about it.

Earlier this week I posted this on my Instagram page and a couple of Facebook groups that I follow.

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I was absolutely amazed at the response!  My message was a bit more ‘tough love’ than It would normally be, but you know what a lot of people seemed to react to that in a positive way.  On the Facebook groups especially I received so many positive comments.

You really DO need to stop listening to your own bullshit and kidding yourself that your life as it now is OK.

One of the things that sobriety has shown me is that by taking alcohol away you are allowing yourself to be who you really are.  You start to discover the real you, what you REALLY enjoy doing, the people who you really want to spend your time with.  Its like unravelling the layers to discover the new you – this new life that you are slowly creating around you.  When you are drinking, your focus is on drinking – take that away and your life becomes about so much more.

Last night I realised how far I have come in my journey.  And although I have been so stressed this last couple of weeks with course work and signing up to be a tropics ambassador,  I felt like last night was my reward.  I stood in front of a group of friends and family and hosted my launch party.  I felt confident, I was in my element, I was talking about something I love and it was a huge success!  I loved it and I can’t wait to do another one.

Now rewind to the old me – at this type of party (which I had a few, it fit in with young kids, it got people together and most importantly, I could drink what I wanted in my own house) I would be taking every opportunity ti knock back the wine, constantly getting up for a top up and having another glass in the kitchen as my ‘kitchen’ drink just in case I left my glass in the other room (please tell me someone else out there has done that!!??) And I have sometimes even woken up with no idea what I have ordered??    I would NEVER have even contemplated being someone who ran these parties!  What?  a Friday night, having to drive somewhere, having to watch other people drink, and having the confidence to stand up there, with no wine and sell something nooooooo that would NEVER happen!  My wine was far to important to me, it was my ‘reward’ for a ‘tough’ week with the kids.  It was the escape that I needed,  and NOTHING would get me off the settee and away from my wine.  How ironic that it was the wine and the settee that I needed to escape from!!

Fast forward to last night and I stood up there after a large glass of Zero Point Zero fizz from Aldi and held my own party! And after lots of positive texts from my guests I’m pretty sure I smashed it!  The person I feel like now to the person I felt like then is just two totally different people.  I really do feel like my sober life is a new life and a new me.  I am slowly becoming the person who I am meant to be and doing the things I love.  I am waking up everyday feeling excited (stressed, hectic and anxious at times – yes!) but feeling as though my new life is slowly coming together and the hard work of the early days of sobriety, and the numerous day ones are paying off.

Change doesn’t happen over night.  I have seen a lot of people towards the end of Dry January saying things aren’t changing such as weight loss, energy levels etc.  But they won’t, the changes are slow, gradual but they will happen .  Not picking up the glass id the first change you need to make – the rest will follow.  You are becoming the real you, taking away the smoke screen of alcohol that tells you everything is OK.  ITS NOT OK.  And if you are reading my blog you probably already know that it’s not ok.

It doesn’t matter if your on day one or day 1000 of your sober journey.  What matters is that you stop kidding yourself and start pushing forward on your journey to discover the real you and live the life that makes you want to jump out of bed every morning (well let’s be realistic – most mornings!)

If your just starting out on your sober journey, oleo look back at some of my first posts that help with the early days Just start……….

Hope its a happy hangover free weekend for you guys and that your spending it doing something that you love.

Please find me on Instagram for daily sober inspo @liftingweightsnotwine

ANGIE xx

A sober shout out to Linda,Trish, Michelle and ….. My mum who are all on their little sober journeys and becoming sober,strong women (its only taken me 43 years to be a good influence!xxx)

 

You Didnt Come This Far To Only Come This Far!

You Didnt Come This Far To Only Come This Far!

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First of all sorry for the delay in this weeks post – gosh what a week it’s been!  To cut a long story short, my week has been taken up with two very poorly children and now a sick dog thrown into the mix too.  Seriously, dogs can catch human sick bugs, who knew!  I feel like I have been in some sort of sick zombie time warp, living in a world of Calpol, snot and sick!  Anyway the eldest has gone back into school today so I am actually up, dressed and normality seems to be resuming! (fingers crossed!)

So I actually need this post more than anyone, you guys are helping ME get some positivity flowing again today so THANKYOU!

The title of this post is a quote that I have seen a lot dotted around the soberista social sites and I LOVE IT! And you know what it’s only recently that I have truly ‘got it”, and that I really feel it.

When I first quit drinking, my focus coupled with exercise, was basically just getting through the days, weeks and months without picking up a glass of wine.  It was a year of first times to tick of my sober list – first sober Friday night, first sober weekend, first sober night out, first sober Christmas, first sober holiday, fist sober Birthday – you get the picture!  That was enough to keep me motivated and inspired me to keep going.

Fast forward to the end of the first twelve months and feeling really pleased with myself, I  remember posting my one year success on my personal Facebook page and also the lovely Clare Pooley (sober mummy) mentioning it in one of her blog posts.  Now you can imagine the response from Clares post was a lot more positive than my personal page, although a handful of close friends and family have been behind me all the way which I am SO grateful for (but that’s a whole different blog post for me to discuss at a later date!)  But basically it was Clare and the comments from other members on her blog that inspired me to set up Lifting Weights Not Wine.  So my second sober year has really been spent setting up my blog and Instagram page, but I’ve also had this feeling that I want more.  I want to change what I do on a daily basis.  I have felt restless, unsettled and frustrated – what next?

From being a Mortgage Advisor before children, to setting up my own ironing business to fit around the children when they were babies, my work has never really been something that I loved doing or felt passionate about.  It has just got me from Monday to Friday with the promise of the weekend (normally unless pregnant a boozy weekend!) getting me through the week.  But all of a sudden the sober me wasn’t happy with that, I didn’t want to just get by, waking up every morning and only really looking forward to the workout or run I could squeeze in but feeling bored and tired of my actual job.

It’s then that it CLICKED – I didn’t come this far to only come this far!

So I have slowly been putting changes in place and it feels like this year, so far that its actually happening!  I know I have mentioned my goal to be a Bodypump instructor before, that’s now all booked in to start at the end of March, but I have also now become a Tropics Skincare Ambassador.  Now both of these changes excite me, I have a passion (as you all know ) for exercise especially weights and to be able to actually teach that to people is just AMAZING for me.   The move to Tropics has come from a love of their products, which I have been using for about 8 months now.  Clean, natural skincare and cosmetics that totally fit in with the new me and my sober lifestyle, trying to be as healthy and toxic free as I can possibly be.  Both of these career changes together will eventually replace my current ironing business, which worked for me and served a purpose when the girls were babies.  But now I want to do something that I love and feel passionate about, something to wake up excited about!

Now I know these career changes are small and some people are going to work and making multi million pound business deals or managing hundreds of staff, to them this will probably look like nothing.  But these changes are HUGE to me!  They are EVERYTHING! These changes would have scared the drinking me to death and I would not have had the courage to make the change.  And lets me just point out the majority of my business will be done at pamper party’s on Friday evenings, imagine the thought of the old me leaving my wine and the settee on a Friday night! I thought  I was happy plodding through the week, living for the weekend and then spending most of it drinking and feeling hung over – dreading Monday morning.  Now I have got this new-found confidence to change ,to look for new goals, trying to be the happiest and best version of me that I can be.

So to those of you who are smashing their way through Dry January and starting to think “yes – I am actually feeling good!”  Why stop?  Why start drinking in February? Why not carry on?  Why would you want to go back? Why not see where this sober journey is going to take you? How exciting is that!!

Look if I had given up I would still be exactly where I was, I wouldn’t be making the positive changes that I am making now.  The only initial change i made was that I stopped picking up the wine glass and look how many positive things have happened as a result.  So just ask yourself, do your REALLY want to stop now?

How about any of you guys who have more than a few weeks of not drinking behind you, are there any big changes that you have made or are in the process of making? What are your plans for the sober you?

Quickly getting back to the Tropics Skincare, I’m not sure if you have heard of it but it really is a beautiful skin care and cosmetic range that I have totally fallen in love with – they promote a positive, healthy and clean image that I am all for!  Have a look and see what you think, and if you’ve a sober milestone coming up why not treat yourself!!  Don’t worry I am aware that you guys are looking for sober inspiration and not necessarily skincare advice so if you would like to  be part of a my own Tropics Facebook group where I will share videos, tips and offers then please find me on facebook @tropicswithangie or click on Tropics Skincare to go straight to my Tropics Online Shop.

 

I hope this post has inspired you to look at the bigger picture of not drinking, because believe me there is a bigger picture and you can make that as vibrant  and colourful as you want it to be!!

Happy sober Friday and let’s have an amazing hangover free weekend sober warriors!

Angie xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 – Are You Still On The Right Track?

2019 – Are You Still On The Right Track?

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Can you believe we are already half way through January!  How is it going? Are you still on track with your New Years resolutions?  Are you feeling strong and heading full speed on the right track or have you given up and fallen by the roadside?

According to a Forbes survey just 8% of people achieve their New Year Resolutions and stick with them until the end of the year!

So if you feel that you are losing your mojo and determination that you had in abundance on January the 1st! Then don’t worry you are certainly not on your own!

This post is hopefully going to help you relight your fire and get you back on track.

So firstly lets look at those of us who are taking part in Dry January, how is it going?  Are you starting to feel the benefit? Are your energy levels slowly starting to increase? Are you feeling good and enjoying the new you and possibly thinking you can carry on past January and beyond?  Or are you struggling? Are you counting down the days until the 1st of Feb so you can return back to the old you, the drinking you?

Well I may be nearly 26 months sober, but you know what? I never completed a Dry January, I just couldn’t do it!  I was one of the latter of the above, who felt miserable and deprived.  Every January I would set myself up to fail. I wouldn’t plan anything in my diary, avoided catching up with people, eat bucket loads of chocolate and spend most of the time feeling like I was “missing out on life” !!- It’s no wonder I didn’t succeed!  I can see what I was doing wrong now, but I couldn’t see it then.

I can see now that it all comes down to your MINDSET,  believing that YOU CAN do it, and being EXCITED about the process.  These early days should feel exciting, new experiences are waiting for you around the corner,  2019 holds a full year of first time sober experiences and believe me it is a whole new world!  I believe that it 100 percent comes down to your mindset, you need to flick the switch from feeling deprived that you are GIVING UP DRINK to being EXCITED about getting so much more out of life as the SOBER YOU!

The main thing that helped me in the early days, and helped me turn stopping drinking into a positive experience, was exercise. (That shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of my regular followers!)  I found exercise something new to focus on.  So instead of obsessing over the drinks I was missing out on I changed my MINDSET and started to focus on the exercise that I could do.  And I’m not talking about doing mega weights sessions from day one, I mean enjoying a gentle jog or walk in the morning and just relishing in the fact that I didn’t have a hangover or felt rough.  In the first few weeks I walked nearly everyday, just enjoying the fresh air and feeling better in myself.   My exercise had always been in fits and starts in the past because my boozy weekends got in the way,  so this time I wanted to be consistent and try to do something every day.  So as my energy increased I started  mixing it up with running, Jillian Michaels workout dvds and then onto weights – but it can be anything, whatever exercise you enjoy doing!

So if you’re struggling this January and you haven’t done already,  why not look at starting some sort of exercise?   The following are points from Mike Trott at Les mills and may help if you’re struggling with where to start:

  • First you need to find something you enjoy – this is key. Try everything and  anything, that will keep you busy and keep your mind off the wine!
  • Be nice to yourself – some days you just won’t have the energy,  so if your body is saying it needs a duvet day then that’s OK just get back on it tomorrow – remember that not having a drink is your priority.
  • Take it steady, don’t overdo it or injure yourself.
  • Make sure you reward yourself – if you worked out everyday this week, celebrate it with a new book, a pamper in the bath, a DVD night.  Just something to give you a bit of me time and acknowledge how amazing you are – not drinking AND exercising, double whammy celebration!
  • The main thing that you need to remember is that it takes time to build a habit, anything from 18-24 days depending not the individual.  This is a huge variation so give yourself time, others may take longer or grasp it quicker than you – it doesn’t matter, this is YOUR JOURNEY.

 

Now I have used exercise as my focus through sobriety,  but there a million other activities and hobbies out there!  Discover what makes you feel alive, the world is your oyster!

Personally, for me exercise has shown me more than anything how much stronger I am both physically and mentally.  Added to that the boost it gives you in happy hormones and you can understand why so many people use fitness and exercise as an essential tool in their sober journey.

This was my Instagram post today which basically sums up all that I have said in one simple quote………..

CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS AND YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR BODY (and your life!)

Change your mindset, tell yourself YOU CAN  and the rest will follow!

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I will finish with this short clip from Idris Elba who I absolutely love, who doesn’t!!  It’s  not just about stopping drinking but a more widespread message about not giving up on yourself.  It’s so simple but effective, I love it……………..

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Remember – You signed up for Dry January for a reason, you set goals and resolutions for a reason – you want to change!  You don’t want t be that person from 2018 who was unhappy with themselves,  so don’t give up on the new you and in the words of Idris –

YOU ARE SO 2019 RIGHT NOW- GO FOR IT!!

Any advice or tips you want to share please leave a comment and if you’re looking for daily motivation and inspiration please find me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/liftingweightsnotwine/

 

Angie xx