Sober Holidays……

Sober Holidays……

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Hi there!  So how is your sober December going so far?  Have you been following any of the hints and tips from my last post How To Have A Sober Christmas To Remember!and have they helped at all?

There has been so many social media soberistas posting all over Instagram about surviving the Christmas festivities without the alcohol that seems to be everywhere at this time of year!  As always I highly recommend Claire Pooley aka Sober Mummy and also Jade @soberlivinguk if your looking for further help.

It is SO weird to think that there are all these people out there who don’t want to drink at Christmas.  For years I just thought everyone was like how I used to be and saw Christmas as an opportunity to down wine most nights and feel crappy most days – who knew that there is a whole new world of people who celebrate it sober.  I love it!!

I have had a lot of messages asking for sober help for  people going away on holiday at Christmas time.  I did a whole post on this over the summer that covers beach holidays and you can find this at Happy, Healthy Holidays!

Now if your looking at heading off for a winter ski holiday, I can only offer a sober perspective because my first skiing holiday was in Dec 2016 when I had just stopped drinking.  Personally I have found learning to ski pretty difficult and I have no idea how people manage it after a few drinks!

So are you off to the slopes this Christmas?  Are you worrying about the Après Ski and all the mulled wine or baileys hot chocolates that are served everywhere?  I can see how skiing can be a very boozy holiday for some, its all about the après ski and cosying up in a bar by the log fire with a drink to “warm you through” after all you DESERVE a drink after all that skiing right?  I can certainly see how people tell themselves that.

Skiing is the most exhilarating kind of holiday I have ever been on.  The cold crisp air, the early mornings being the first people up the mountain,  the adrenaline rush from pushing yourself, new challenges everyday.  Alcohol would completely take that away, it would blur that natural high that you get just from being in such a beautiful place and taking part in such an amazing sport that takes your breath away (literally)!

Now on both of my ski holidays I have had a couple of accidents (not my fault – honest!)  The first was just a small crash with another skier, and to be honest my pride was hurt more than anything.  But it was a holiday full of challenges, anxiety and with that crash happening too and only a few weeks of sobriety under my belt I did feel like I could have easily hit the wine.

When I went away last Christmas you could say my accident was a bit more serious and after suffering a bad fall I had to have an emergency skidoo take me off the mountain after twisting my knee.  Lets just say the pain was up there with labour but the worst was being told I couldn’t ski for the rest of the holiday.  I was absolutely gutted and had to really dig deep to try to put a brave face on for my girls.  The old me would have definitely hit the hotel bar to drown my sorrows.  Instead I found comfort in reading the sober books I had brought and having lots of full cream cappuccino’s with a bag of peanut M&M’s on the side (never underestimate the healing power of good coffee and chocolate!)  If only my blog and Instagram pages were set up  then I could have turned to you guys for support.

Now although I wasn’t drinking on either of these holidays I was certainly the old drinking me when I learnt to ski at the Chill Factor Manchester.  The lessons were spread over a few weekends so that I could learn with the kids and yes some mornings I had a hangover from hell (even being sick in the toilets one Sunday, nothing to be proud of I know!)  I just can’t get my head around the thought of skiing and drinking, I mean I am clumsy and fall over without the booze so I would probably need to carry a  health warning to ski after a few drinks!

A sober skiing holiday has so much to offer:

  • Hangover free mornings – nothing beats getting on the slopes first thing whilst the masses lay hungover in bed plus you can’t help but feel fresh and alive with the beautiful crisp air!
  • Delicious food – skiing burns off a record number of calorie’s so enjoy the delicious food on offer and the fresh cream coffees and hot chocolates – it’s Christmas too so enjoy!
  • You are physically exhausted by the evening so snuggle up with a DVD and chill, it certainly beats being freezing cold and stumbling from bar to bar in the snow at midnight!
  • Feel proud of yourself – skiing is difficult and no matter what level you are at it is certainly an achievement in itself!
  • Make precious memories of your holiday, you cant take a bad picture on a skiing holiday because the scenery is just awesome everywhere you look!  Take lots of photos and videos, the sober and hangover free you will have much more patience to stop and take it all in.

 

In general I think skiing shares a lot of similarities to getting sober.  It’s not at all easy, you have to want to do it and sometimes you just really want to give up.  However, after all the blood, sweat and tears the actual feeling of doing it and the benefits are so unbelievable and you get a real sense of achievement! It is just so worth it! 

I hope this helps anyone planning their first sober winter holiday.  Have any of you got any sober holiday tips, or any stories or advice to share?

If you are looking for daily sober inspiration then please find me on Instagram @liftingweightsnotwine

I hope you have a fabulous, sparkly and sober week and don’t forget lets make this a December to remember!

Angie xx

How To Have A Sober Christmas To Remember!

How To Have A Sober Christmas To Remember!

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Firstly I would like to say a huge THANKYOU to all of you who congratulated me on hitting two years sober last week!! You really made an already special day, extra special and I was certainly feeling the sober love!

I have had quite a few messages and requests for hints and tips on how to stay sober over the Christmas period. So with December almost upon us I thought it wa a good time to get this post out there and it can hopefully help any of you feeling anxious about dealing with the ‘MERRY’ part of Christmas!

Two years ago when I decided to stop drinking, surviving Christmas was definitely at the forefront of my mind.  But as you know I love a challenge and part of me thought – look if I can get through Christmas not drinking then I can get through anything!  This will be my third sober festive season and I can honestly say they are the best!  You feel like you get so much more out of it, so many more things to do and so many more memories to make.

I have always loved Christmas and especially with having children, but I did used to see Christmas as a drinking free for all.  I mean there are so many reasons to be opening the mulled wine or prosecco at any time of day,  its Christmas –WHY NOT!

So anxiety And stress when you think about a sober Christmas are totally understandable.  I am someone who could polish off three bottles of wine plus more over Christmas day, and still cook Christmas dinner for all my family, so believe me I get it!  I wasn’t the ‘ooh I will just have a glass of Bailey’s’ sort of Christmas drinker, no it was a free for all for me from the start to the finish of the holidays!

Lets be honest, Christmas is a stressful time and with alcohol being offered to you at every opportunity,  it’s a dangerous situation to be in if you’re in the early days of stopping drinking, so its important that you plan ahead.  Think how you can make Christmas easier and less stressful on yourself? Cut yourself some slack this year! Most of these points look at how you can do just that.

So here are my hints and tips for a sober Christmas and New Year that you get to truly enjoy AND most importantly get to REMEMBER every single second of!

 

  • PRIORITISE – Realise that you can’t be everything to everyone.  Prioritise what really is important to you this Christmas.  Just because you have had the neighbours around every year for a booze up doesn’t mean that you have to do it this year?  If certain traditions and events are always focused on drinking you can always suggest something different.  You’re working on a New You, it’s ok to break some traditions and do things differently this year!

 

  • SELF-CARE ISN’T SELFISH – Make sure “time for yourself” is on your Christmas to do list!  Ok so you’re not drinking, why not use that spare money to book  a massage, get your nails done, treat yourself to something new to wear or new trainers or a sober book to keep you focused!  One thing that won’t cost you an anything is time, give yourself time to spend on YOU everyday over the holidays – take a walk on your own, have a bath, watch your favourite DVD, go to bed with a book and a hot chocolate, find your sober support group on Instagram or a blog you follow and reach out for help or jut a chat.  And something that’s going on my bucket list next year – go to the cinema on your own!  These are all things that just let you take a little time out of the chaos.  Giving you time to relax, recharge and refocus on staying sober and how amazing it is that you are doing this for yourself. YOU DESERVE IT!

 

  • IF IT REQUIRES FAKE SMILING IM NOT GOING! – This is one of my favourite quotes and since I have stopped drinking it is sooooooo true!  Now this is easier said than done at Christmas because there are some events and get togethers that you just have to go to and people who you just have to see!  Keep these meetings and events short and sweet, stay for as long as you have to then politely leave.  To be honest once people have had a few drinks they won’t really notice people coming and going anyway!  Just remember that nobody can make you reach for that drink no matter how stressful it gets! Your sobriety means more to you right now than how they make you feel.  Be selective with which events you go to, you don’t have to say yes to all of your invites, people accept it’s a busy time.  Even if that means your busy staying in for a DVD night with the kids, that is  important to YOU and that  is where you want to be.  REMEMBER YOU CANT BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYBODY!

 

  • PLAN AHEAD FOR PARTIES –  Always make sure you’ve got your own alcohol free drinks just incase there aren’t any available, and always make sure you keep a glass in your hand!  This is the number one trick as it stops people asking if you want a drink and you can avoid the (sometimes awkward)  ‘not drinking’ conversation. There are always people who fancy a brew at a party no matter where you go – and I’ve found this through my own experience!!  After a couple of hours drinking, there is always someone (normally a few people) who will say “oooh yes please” when you ask if anyone wants a tea or coffee!  Who knew that these people existed ha ha!!  Try it next time and you will be surprised.  And if all else fails and you need to get out of there ASAP, then YOU CAN – you drove, it’s a  win win situation !

 

  • PLAY FAST FORWARD – Accept that alcohol is going to be everywhere and don’t get caught up in all of the advertisements that glamorise alcohol.  Yes you may fancy a Baileys on ice, sat by a roaring fire – but just stop there and press fast forward.  The reality is your working your way through the bottle, torturing yourself with ideas of moderation and ‘just one more’, next thing your moving onto the wine and its a full on session, leading to a hangover from hell tomorrow with most of the day wasted, feeling crap!!  One of my first and strongest cravings was after I put the Christmas tree up that first year in 2016, normally I would be opening the mulled wine the second we switched the fairy lights on!  But nope that wasn’t  happening that year and boom the craving hit me so hard, I was angry, annoyed, why couldn’t I just have a drink??  So instead I walked down to our local cafe in the village and had a coffee and a big fat piece of cake with my girls and my Mum. We walked home, in the dark all snuggled up looking at all the Christmas lights in people’s houses. By the time we got home the craving had well and truly gone, I had forgotten about that mulled wine and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself!  I had done it! I hadn’t given in! So be prepared and ready to do something to take your mind away from the craving – IT WILL PASS ands next time it happens you will be stronger for any others that rear their ugly heads in the future! – read more at Don’t Let Triggers Kill Your Progress!

 

  • BE REALISTIC! – Don’t expect too much and set yourself up for an emotional melt down!  Just because you are in the process of changing doesn’t mean that everyone else is.  People will still get drunk, kids will argue and get over tired, the dog will try to eat the tree , or turkey or both!! (It’s our first year with the pup and this could happen- hes a labrador afterall!)  Accept that things aren’t perfect, perfect is boring, tell yourself you are perfectly imperfect and you can deal with anything this Christmas throws at you because you are  CHOOSING to spend it STRONG AND SOBER!

 

  • KEEP ACTIVE & GET OUTSIDE – no one expects you to start training for a marathon over the holidays but try to plan to do SOMETHING outside every day!!   This can be anything from a 30 minute walk or run or if your lucky enough to have snow, an energetic snowball fight with the kids!  If you have got children make the most of getting outside with them, especially if they’ve got new bikes or outdoor toys to play with!  Be the fun relative that actually gets OFF the settee instead of sitting in a carb coma with a bottle of wine by your side!  My first sober Christmas was spent at my sister’s house because we take turns each year.  Normally I would do exactly that and veg on the settee, carrying on drinking (Christmas day drinking started 11 ish until bedtime, no question, EVERY year!) So instead I got us all wrapped up and took myself, my hubbie and all the kids on a walk to the park, including the dogs.  You can imagine we had the whole park to ourselves and the kids loved it!  It was different, it was FUN!

 

  • MAKE THE MOST OF IT –  If you have got a few days off work around Christmas – just make the most of it!  This is a time when drinking used to be the main activity, once you take that away the options are endless.  Focus on the New Year and starting 2019 feeling fresh and recharged, with new goals and plans to continue on your journey of being the best you can be, alcohol free!

 

 

There are a lot of ideas and suggestions here and I know they won’t all work for everyone, but these are what worked for me!.  I’m coming up to my third sober Christmas and honestly, alcohol or the absence of it doesn’t really cross my mind now.  I know I can have a fantastic Christmas if not the best Christmas without drinking.  If like me you have young children who are growing up soooo fast, just treasure the sober memories that you make with them this year.  My youngest is nine and I know that this will be her last year of believing, I am just so grateful that I get to remember all of it with no alcohol involved – I get to feel the natural, pure excitement that she feels and you seriously can not beat that!

Give yourself the gift of a sober Christmas this year, you will not regret it!

I hope these tips help someone in some way, if anyone has any other ideas or advice for a successful sober Christmas, please comment and share your ideas.

And if your off on your holidays over Christmas my next blog will cover sober holiday tips too!

Happy Christmas Chaos Guys, LETS DO THIS!

Angie xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Years Of Sparkling Sobriety!!

Two Years Of Sparkling Sobriety!!

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Today is the 21st November 2018 and today I am celebrating TWO years of not drinking. Two years since my day one. Two years of NO hangovers. Two years of just being, me alcohol free!

Now I am someone who couldn’t even get through a Friday night never mind a weekend without drinking (unless I was pregnant or ill!) so yes I’m going to celebrate and post about it!!! For me its a pretty big thing!

As all of you lovely followers know, I started my Instagram page @lifitngweightsnotwine and Blog back in March this year and with the support of you guys it really has taken off, so thankyou so much!  Who knew that there are people out there who want to listen to a sober, 43year old Lancashire lass rambling on about her sober journey!  So thankyou for sticking with me,  from the bottom of my heart I appreciate it more than you know!

Up until today my Blog and Instagram page have been sort of anonymous, as in I have only told a few close friends and family about them.  However today to mark my two years soberversary,  I have shared them on my personal Instagram and Facebook page.  And I’m not going to lie, its made me feel really nervous and vulnerable.  I feel like everything surrounding my decision to stop drinking is out there for all to read.   And most worryingly its out there for people to judge!

That’s one of the reasons why I held back sharing Lifting Weights Not Wine, because I know my decision to stop drinking was a personal choice, just like people choose to drink.  That is their choice and for a long time it was mine too and I was happy (or I thought I was)  with that decision.

So here I am two years on from making the decision to quit and what have I learnt from two years of not drinking?

I have covered these points along the way in previous posts on my blog and go into much more detail on there (just click on the link to read them) but the main things that I have learnt on my sober journey are the following:-

  • Stop waiting to make a change, start now, where you are and with what you have got!  I stopped drinking on the 21st November 2016 when I had Christmas coming up, it was the perfect opportunity to say “I will wait until the New Year!”.  But instead I thought if I can do it now,  when there are so many social events and boozy opportunities ahead,  then I can do it no matter what.  So just start NOW, TODAY and STOP WAITING!  (lets share the same sober date!!) read more at Just start……….
  • Please do not worry about losing friends!  True friends will support you and stick by your side no matter what.  My best friends (some who have been my serious drinking partners in the past!) are still my best friends now.  They have supported me 100% and I am so grateful for that.  Yes I have lost a few friends, mainly going out friends but I view that as their problem not mine!  read more on this at Will I lose friends?
  • You can still socialise sober!  I go out more now than I have ever done.  WHY?  …

          I’ve realised I’m still a bit crazy, chatty and sociable without the booze.

        Nights out now mean I can have a good laugh, remember it all and not write off my whole weekend because I have a hangover!

         Plus I can drive, so meet up in different places and go to different things, plus I can taxi everyone along with me! read more at Sober Nights Out!!

  • Stopping drinking has given me a confidence in myself that I have never had, well not for a long time! – This is because I no longer have the anxiety that hangovers and drinking left me with. I now have a new lust for life and constantly looking to try new things and challenge myself.
  • I have discovered a passion for health and fitness, especially lifting weights.  The main thing I have found is that consistency is key – that’s what makes the change both physically and mentally.  I used to exercise for a few days then a hangover from hell and carb coma would send me off track for the next few days and undo all my good efforts.  Now I am ON IT and FOCUSED every single day and it feels AMAZING, I feel stronger and fitter than I have ever been.
  • I have discovered a tribe of sober supporters out there.  My Instagram and online family and followers have been amazing, sometimes just knowing that you are not the only person out there feeling this way,  is all you need to make the change and take that first step.
  • You are never too old to change!  I am 43 and recently signed up to train as a Bodypump Instructor next year, it scares me to death but not doing it scares me even more!  It makes me want to train harder too, because if I’m going to be the oldest one on the course I want to be up there with the fittest! I am also planning on taking a Life Coach course next year too.
  • Most importantly I know that I am giving my two girls the best mum that I can be.  They have been my inspiration from day one, and my cheerleaders.  They now have a mum who is full of energy, full of life, who the majority of the time is calmer and more patient (not all the time, I mean I’ve only stopped drinking and not become a Saint!)  I am 100% present when I am with them, they have got ALL of the sober me.  And that for me is my everything! My Girls – My Wake Up Call!

There are a million and one things I have  discovered in the past two years and the above are just the tip of the iceberg.  But they are the biggies for me!

The reason I have shared Lifting Weights Not Wine is because I feel proud of it!  I am not desperate for people to follow me, and I certainly don’t want people following me just for a nosey or to get a dig in where they can. If it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing and your probably better off following someone else!

My Blog and Instagram page are for people who feel the same as me about alcohol and who are looking to make a change or have already done so! It’s about grasping life with both hands and changing what you are unhappy about with regards to your drinking habits, health and fitness. The ultimate message is about living your life as the best version of you!

I have had so many messages and emails from people who are looking to change their drinking habits and lifestyle. And I also have a few friends who are on their own sober journey too, wether I have inspired them to do so I don’t know?  All I do know is that there is another world out there full of people wanting to change their self destructive drinking pattern and start living a life they love.  If sharing my story is helping and inspiring people then that’s all I can hope for!

Thankyou so much for all of your likes, comments and follows on Lifting Weights Not Wine – it really does mean so much!

Next week I will be posting about Surviving A Sober Christmas, and it will probably run over a few weeks because I have a lot of tips and survival strategies so watch this space!!

Happy Wednesday Sober Warriors!

Angie xx

Change Involves A Challenge!

Change Involves A Challenge!

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When I started my blog I had no intention of setting up the Lifting Weights Not wine exercise challenges, they just sort of happened!  Initially they helped give me content for my Instagram page @liftingweightsnotwine and now I’ve ended up having a few messages asking to start another one!  So on Monday 12th November I will start a new 40 day challenge that will run up to the 21st December, which is perfect timing for Christmas.

I don’t know about you guys but I am certainly someone who likes to journal or chart any sort of progress I am making.

For years I was obsessed with writing down my weight and aiming for a certain (normally unrealistic) goal in a specific time frame (unhealthy obsession I know!)

Then when I became aware that my drinking was getting worse and I wanted to cut down/stop, I downloaded the Drinkaware App.  Now this App is brilliant BUT you have to be honest with what you put into it, and that was my problem! You would find me fiddling my units on a sunday night in an attempt to make my weekend alcohol intake look better!

Then once I had stopped drinking, I (like every other soberista out there) started tracking my days and weeks of sobriety.  This stopped when I got to one year and now I track it monthly along with the exercise challenges to keep me motivated!

OK, so I know it looks like I’m a bit of a crazy woman writing down and tracking all of these things but it all refers back to one thing………………………….

MOVING FORWARD AND WANTING TO CHANGE!!

Here’s the thing, if you want to make your life better, you’re going to have to challenge yourself!

It’s so easy to stay the same, especially when it comes to our lifestyles.  We are in our own comfort zone and although we may be unhappy with how we look and feel,  that feeling is “easier” than taking on the challenge to change.  How we are is the norm, it’s what we are used to and it’s how our friends and family are used to seeing us.  Its comfy. Its normal. Its easy!

Personally I feel that we live in a society where drinking is considered normal.  I know I have had a lot of raised eyebrows when ive told people I don’t drink anymore, which is crazy when you think if I told people I don’t do crack cocaine anymore they would give me a pat on the back and think I was amazing! (Anyway I could blog about that all night long but I will save it for another post!)   We are so embedded into the drinking culture that surrounds us that its hard to escape,  its hard to make the change as we get pressure from around us to remain the same and stick with the “norm”!

Some changes are inevitable and we just have to accept them, like growing old, ill-health, financial situations, relationships etc some changes  WILL occur and there is nothing you can do but accept them and adapt.

The real challenge is when you decide to make a change yourself .

Stopping drinking was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, it was a huge challenge, it wasn’t easy but I just knew that I couldn’t stay the same.  I had to move from the place I was in, I was unhappy and unhealthy and I didn’t want to continue feeling the way that I did.  But by doing it I have proved to myself that I am capable of so many other things, I can push myself outside of my comfort zone and achieve so many other things with my life.  So now it’s opened up the door to lots of other challenges for me such as; focusing on a new career, pushing myself physically, wanting to learn and do new things and having an outlook that life really is one big adventure!

You have got to keep challenging yourself to change, yes its hard, yes you feel stressed and  uncomfortable at the thought of it but at the end of the day its the only way you will get there.  And in no time at all the ‘old you’ will be what makes you feel uncomfortable and the new you and how you live your life will become the norm for yourself and everyone around you.

So start right now – set the challenge – write it down – and make the change! And if you need some accountability or support then join me on Monday for my 40 day exercise challenge, tie it in with no alcohol and you will be feeling AMAZING by Christmas! And who knows you may want to spend this christmas sober! (Sober Christmas blog post coming soon)

YOU CAN DO THIS!

Any advice, tips or questions then please comment below or just to let me know how things are going for you on your sober journey?

Angie xx

 

 

 

Hangover Free Half-Term!

Hangover Free Half-Term!

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So half-term is almost over, and it has been an action packed one for me and my family!

A while ago I shared a post titled A Sliding Doors Weekend…..which basically was about life being so different for me after kicking the booze.  And this half term has certainly been a “sliding doors” kind of week!

We started the half term at the beautiful Whinfell Center Parcs in the Lake District.  I think holidays are a time when I definitely see a big difference in myself now that I am sober.  We try to visit Center Parcs every year since we’ve had children, it’s just somewhere that we all love.  Now the only time that I haven’t drunk on a Center Parcs holiday was when I was pregnant with my second daughter.

So for me normally it’s  typical “holiday” mode drinking!  Starting as soon as I get there to “start” the holiday off with wine at lunch, then a few beers in the pool, followed by wine whilst getting ready at the lodge and into the evening whether we are going in or out for tea.  Needless to say I have had some horrendous hangovers whist I have been there, and normally would be counting down to a decent hour that I could have a drink to feel better.

The last two times I have been I have been sober and  I have definitely noticed the difference.  Take away the alcohol and you really get a feel for what Center Parcs is all about!  I have had a weekend of feeling full of energy, we did so much more and seemed to pack our days full.  I woke up every morning feeling raring to go, compared to how I used to sit trying to stomach breakfast, watching people run past on an early morning run and just not getting how people did that???? And now, that WAS me, early morning runs and feeling fresh after a fab nights sleep after falling into bed physically, exhausted.  And when we came home I felt recharged, still tired after a full on weekend, but a weekend full of life not full of wine!

For the rest of the week we have been on bike rides, baking, pumpkin carving (obviously!), had dvd nights with home-made popcorn, been to Liverpool for a shopping trip, plus I had a girls night out on Friday.

Before I stopped drinking I still loved the time spent with my girls but drinking would slowly creep in, taking my focus away from them.  For example I would want to get them to bed so I could ‘chillout’ and have a bottle of wine, I wouldn’t have the patience to sit through a dvd or make popcorn.   I would make the most of not having to get up for the school run and drink every night, leaving me feeling totally rubbish the next day.  We still did things together and went to places but my hangover anxiety would creep in and we wouldn’t venture very far!

On top of the drinking I would eat rubbish ALL week and just forget any ideas of exercise.  Now this week yes I have had some lovely treat food (Café rouge thankyou for the best donuts with dark chocolate dipping sauce EVER!) and I have purposely had some rest days to give my body a chance to recharge, but I have also been active on walks, bike rides etc to balance it out.

People think that by stopping drinking that you are giving something up and missing out.  Personally I feel (and I hope I am showing) that this isn’t the case at all!  My life and especially holidays and times together with the family, have become even richer and fulfilled.  I am getting more out of our time together (and with my eldest being a tween I am not sure how many more holidays she will want to spend with me!).

The thought of sober holidays can make you feel anxious and worried.  Holidays are a time when we just know we will be drinking more, after all we ‘deserve’ it don’t we???  On average we drink three times more than normal when we are on holiday!  That’s the norm, its just what we do isn’t it?

But ask yourself – was your last holiday a time that you recharged your batteries, looked after yourself, tried something new?  Or was it just like all the other holidays, eating and drinking to excess, coming home in need of a holiday?

It’s also about what happens after the time off, when life returns back to normal and school and work resume.  For me that used to be the worst!  The horrendous anxiety and fear that I was going  back to some sort of structure and early mornings again.  Feeling drained but trying to plan to exercise and lose the weight I had gained over the week, attempting to detox my body.  On top of that I am not one of these parents who look forward to the kids going back to school, (there is nothing at all wrong with being like that) it’s just that as I work from home it all goes very quiet when they go back and I miss having them around.  So true to form I would be drinking wine as a last chance to make myself feel better!

So yes,  I may feel a little sad that normality resumes tomorrow, but I am also feeling positive and refreshed ready to face the week ahead.  We have had a fab week and made some amazing memories for my little family, and I am now ready for the hectic countdown to Christmas!

Have you got a holiday coming up? Or have you just had your first sober half term if you’re doing sober October, how did it go? Any sober survival tactics that you can share?

Wishing you all a fabulous hangover free week ahead!

Angie xx

Own Your Story And Write A New Chapter……

Own Your Story And Write A New Chapter……

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This week I have had my first ever interview with the lovely Gayle from the sober website and Instagram page SOBER BLISS!  Gayle offers a professional and personal service for people looking to stop drinking and discover the world of Sober Bliss!  You can find her at www.Sober-Bliss.com

So Gayle contacted me to see if I would share my sober story so far, for her to share on her you tube channel and website.  I am not going to lie, at first I was really nervous and hesitant as I still haven’t shared my Lifting Weights Not Wine Blog to ALL of my friends and family.   But I thought hey why not, I need to practice what I preach and step outside of my comfort zone with this!

So we set a time, and I was surprised at how easy it went.  It really was like just chatting with a friend over a coffee! If you would like to watch the full interview please follow the link below (and you may need to make a cup of tea, its a full 30 minutes, believe me I can talk!)  I feel like I have shared a little more of my story and revealed a little more of myself and the reasons why I have stopped drinking.   Listening back to it I did feel emotional, some parts are hard to hear and they take me back to not a very good place, but I wanted it come from the heart and it did.

I am so glad that I did it because I believe it is so important to share the positive message of sobriety.  There is a stigma attached to sobriety that it’s boring, dull, grey and that your life is over if you stop drinking alcohol!  Believe me this is certainly NOT the case!  I know that stopping drinking has given me a new lease of life, a lust for life a yearning to constantly try new things and push myself outside of my comfort zone.  I am doing things that I had only dreamt of doing before with a new found confidence.  I believe in myself!   That doesn’t sound very grey and boring to me, especially when you compare it to sitting on the settee with a bottle of wine most weekends or nursing a hangover!

If my story can inspire just one person to change their drinking habits and start on a journey to be the best version of themselves, without the booze, then I will feel proud to have shared it.

We all have a story, and if we are unhappy with how it is turning out it’s important to realise that you have the power inside of you to change it.

When we deny the story, it defines us.  When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending.”

(BRENE BROWN)

 

So I have made this a short post as I would love you to head over to You Tube by clicking on the link When Sober Bliss Meets Lifting Weights Not Wine

Please let me know what you think and if you like it then please share away, the more positive sober success stories out there the better!

Have a lovely weekend and enjoy those heavenly hangover free mornings!

Angie xx

Focus On Your Weights At The Gym Going Up, Not Your Weight Going Down.

Focus On Your Weights At The Gym Going Up, Not Your Weight Going Down.

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Ok so where do I begin…….. let me try to cut a long story short (well as short as possible!)

So from the age of about fourteen I have weighed myself approximately three times every week (minimum), more often than not on a daily basis.  My weight in that time has fluctuated from 9 stone to 12-13stone,  this isn’t including my weight when I was  pregnant with my girls. I sort of went off the scales then (literally!) but I was busy growing my babies, so nothing else mattered!  I am sure I am not alone in saying that I have had a very unhealthy relationship with weighing scales, they can determine my  whole mood, diet, energy and plans for the day ahead in a heartbeat – yes they really have that power over me or should I say they  HAD that power over me!

When I gave up alcohol, I knew that I could potentially turn to food and that could be my new addiction,  food could fill the gap alcohol had left behind.  This is why I had to consciously focus on exercise and trying to get in my best possible shape, so that if I was indulging in treat foods at least I was burning some of them off too.  In a previous post I explain how exercise is possibly my new addiction but at least its a healthy one. Exercise – A Healthy Addiction!

It’s only recently that I have had to try to get out of the really bad habit of weighing myself regularly, and I have got to be honest I have  struggled.  My main issue has been my weight gain from lifting heavier weights, and even though my clothes size has gone down I just feel frustrated because the number on the scale has gone up.   It’s crazy I know but I am sure that I’m not the only one who feels like this?

So the said scales are currently locked away in the shed and I am trying to stay body positive, which some days is harder than others.  I am just trying to focus on how I feel – I am lifting heavier weights than I have ever done, I have more energy, I am eating good, healthy, regular meals and snacks with not so healthy treats occasionally too.  A healthy,  balanced, realisitc diet.  A tiny little square that I step on every morning cannot measure how I feel, and although it’s work in progress I definitely feel like I am getting there.

Earlier this week I was chatting with a friend at the gym and she was telling me that she doesn’t weigh herself and instead uses a pair of jeans as a guide!  It felt like a light bulb moment for me, and I promised myself to do exactly the same.  It feels so liberating and scary!  It’s crazy how I could put own the wine glass pretty easily yet struggle with my battle with the scales.  I suppose somethings are easier to give up than others.

An article from The Insider (March 2018) gives 5 reasons why you should stop weighing yourself NOW!

  • It can distract from body cues – the number becomes so important that you ignore important body signals such as exhaustion and stress.
  • It can create mental obstacles – for example it can determine your mood and diet for the rest of the day even effecting your social life in some cases.
  • It can go hand in hand with or encourage eating disorders as the number on the scale becomes priority over everything else.
  • Standard scales don’t indicate your body composition, so they can’t tell you the distribution of fat and lean mass on your body.  This is why someone with a lot of muscle can look slimmer than someone with a higher fat composition, even if they both weigh the same amount.  If you only focus on the number, you could be stopping yourself from building muscle that will ultimately make you appear leaner.
  • And finally, the number on the scale is a poor indicator of your overall health!

So now my focus is watching the weights I’m lifting going up instead of obsessing about the number on the scale going down.  Who’s with me??  After all how can we measure our awesomeness on a set of scales!  I am stronger now than I have ever been and although my scales have been saying I am around 10lbs up from what I was at the beginning of the year, I am also fitting into a size 8 pair of jeans (that has NEVER happened) – I just need to get my head around it, and I am……..  slowly…..its work in progress!

I apologise that this post isn’t really about quitting the booze.  However it is something I have wanted to discuss, and I feel I have taken ownership of it now that I have shared it with you all.  And if its helps someone else in the process then that’s even better!

To anyone who is Going Sober for October, you are nearly a week into it and that’s amazing!  Make sure you have lots of alcohol free drinks stocked in the fridge (and chocolate!)  and that you spend the weekend nurturing yourself and taking time to chill – you are SMASHING it!

I will finish with a quote I saw recently (unknown):-

Your best weight is whatever weight you reach, when you’re living the healthiest life you actually enjoy living!

Well,  I will raise a Becks Blue to that!

For further tips and sober support please follow me on Instagram  @liftingweightsnotwine

I hope you have a happy, healthy weekend.

Angie xx