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)

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New You In 2019 !

Happy New You In 2019 !

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HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS!!

I am so sorry this post is late!  If you follow me on Instagram you will know that dropping my phone down the loo ( who needs alcohol to be clumsy!) and being away on a skiing holiday hasn’t  helped much in my media updates!!

But now I am back so Happy New 2019 – better late than never!

I hope you have had an amazing Christmas and started this year feeling positive and ready for a fabulous year ahead.

Now I am back upto date in the world of social media I can see I have had a boost in followers, so thanks for that guys – I am guessing January is the most popular time of the year for people wanting to kick the booze, especially after a Christmas of heavy drinking and Dry January being popping up everywhere.

If you are looking for help and advice in the early days please read Don’t Let Triggers Kill Your Progress!Just start………. which you will hopefully find helpful.

In the early days when I stopped drinking I read A LOT of books about getting sober.  Fiction, non-fiction, podcasts, blogs – anything I could find I would read to inspire me, keep me focused and stop me from picking up the wine.  Now life seems so busy I don’t seem to find the time to read very often, so this Christmas I made sure that a good book was on my list so I could indulge and read it whilst I was away.

The book I read this holiday was GIRL WASH YOUR FACE by Rachel Hollis, it  is an AMAZING read and I strongly recommend that you buy it!  Seriously it is perfect for getting you in warrior mode and determined to achieve whatever you want to achieve in life!!

Basically it is about lies that Rachel has believed all her life, things that have held her back from being who she really wants to be.  Each chapter addresses those lies and fights back with positivity and tips to erase any negativity or obsatcles that are getting in the way of reaching our goals.  It doesn’t focus just on sobriety (one chapter is about alcohol) but it’s for anyone wanting to change any aspect of their life.

One of my favourite chapters is NO IS THE FINAL ANSWER, and it fits in perfectly at this time of year – New Year – New You – New Goals – New Dreams!

Basically Rachel explains that if something means so much to you, then do not accept NO as an answer.

‘NO IS ONLY AN ANSWER IF YOU ACCEPT IT!’

I love this!  Think about it, if it’s something that you truly want to achieve then why let anyone (most importantly yourself) stop you?

What are your goals? What do you want to achieve this year, in five years, ten years?  Where do you want to be? What do you want to be doing? Who do you want to be?  You need to ask yourself these questions and write down the answers. These are your DREAMS, they will never be as impotant to anyone else as they are to you!

Now what is stopping you, why have you given up on these dreams?

Rachel highlights some examples –

‘A boss has told you that you weren’t right for a dream job’

‘A parent, out of love or fear told you not to try’

‘A spouse or partner was afraid they may lose you and tried to keep you anchored’

‘Or you’ve been told your too over weight to run a marathon, too young to start a business or told to take dance lessons!’

This next sentence resonated with me the most –

‘Maybe the voice saying no is your own, maybe the negative self talk in your head has been playing on repeat your entire life!’  

Yep! That is what struck a chord for me.  It really is only since I stopped drinking that I started believing in myself and pursuing changes that I never thought possible.  Because I had done what I thought was impossible – I had stopped drinking!

To all of those who have tried we all know that stopping drinking is hard, people try and fail a million times ( I know I did) but it is so so worth it when you achieve it.  It seriously gives you such a positive outlook on life and opens up new doors for you.  You just feel like you want to live more, do more, be more!  Goals and dreams ARE difficult to achieve, and that is what makes it so amazing when we get there.

Rachel reinforces that giving up is not an option:-

‘Don’t tell me you have to give up because its difficult.  This is the difference between living a life you always dreamed of or sitting alongside the death of the person you were meant to become.  You have to do something about it, you have to reach down inside yourself and remember the reason why you started this’

This is why you need to write down these goals and dreams so that you can always look back on them if you feel like life is getting in the way and you’re being distracted.  Your goals can be large or small, from feeling confident in a bikini to running a worldwide organistaion or running a marathon!  What matters is that they are important to you! They should set your soul on fire and no matter how scary it feels to try to achieve them – giving up on  them should scare you more!

Personally I have a list of about eight things I want to achieve this year, mainly linked to Lifting Weights Not Wine and a career change to a job that will make me want to jump out of bed every morning! That is my main goal! Some days it seems like a lot of hardwork to get to where I want to be and I worry that at 43 time is not really on my side, especially when I think of all the super fit twenty year olds entering the fitness industry!  But I drown that voice out by doing something to get me closer to where I want to be, from a workout to studying for my course, just something to get me one step closer.

So if you haven’t done so already, ask yourself what are your goals and dreams and start writing them down.  Make a plan to get you to where you want to be, and forget how long it will take  – just start!

Rachels’ book is amazing and I recommend it for anyone who needs to start believing in themselves and embark on their own journey to become who they want to be! My twelve-year-old even started reading it after I had finished it and she loves it, how amazing is that,  imagine having this positivity and belief in yourself at such a young age – you go girl!

If you have signed up for Dry January – let me know how it’s going?  Message me if you need to for any help and advice.  You are doing one of the best things that you can for your mind, body  and soul by giving yourself a break from the booze.  Keep up the good work and who knows 2019 may be your first sober year, you may not want to stop at the end of  January.  Believe me sobriety is the gift that keeps on giving and life just gets better and better!

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

2019 HERE WE COME!

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