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

It’s not just about stopping drinking….

It’s not just about stopping drinking….

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I apologise to anyone who follows me on Instagram because it’s the second time I have used this pic since Saturday,  yes its me making star jumps whilst out on a run early Saturday morning!  I’ve used it again because this picture sums up how I feel most of the time now I have  stopped drinking – yes there are off days but ninety percent of the time I am in star jump mode!!!!!!!!!!

” I Didn’t Get Sober To Sit On The Couch”

Now this is a quote (unknown) that I have seen so many times on Instagram and social media and I never really understood it until I was around 10-11 months sober, then suddenly it clicked!  For the first twelve months I was just counting down to the big ‘one year of not drinking’ and yes I was exercising regularly and feeling good in myself, which for the first months was the reward I needed, I felt amazing but this quote still didn’t register with me.

It was only around the ten month mark that I started thinking …………what happens after the first twelve months, what next? Do I carry on my journey? Do I try and moderate? Do I drift back into my old habits and just have this 12 months as proof that I can do it?  (Gosh the thought of going back to that makes me feel physically sick , the wheels would fall off big time!)

NO – I wanted to take my journey further, I needed to take the next step that came naturally ………. so my little blog was born followed by my Instagram page, which this weekend got to over one thousand followers, woo hoo I still can’t quite believe it!  Having a blog and Instagram page is something I could never have imagined the old me doing, I didn’t believe in myself enough to do something like that.  It is what other people do but not me. But here I am 22 months sober and it’s happening.  And that’s the key, stopping drinking alcohol has made this possible for me for a number of reasons:-

  • I have confidence in myself that I have never had before.
  • It has given me so much more free time to do the things I love. I am no longer planning my time around wine time and hangovers.  I’ve got 24 hours a day to spend, fully functional, full of energy on whatever I want!
  • I don’t have the niggling negativity that I would get after a boozy weekend, the self-doubt and anxiety I talked about in my last post (read it hereAlcohol & Anxiety, …….
  • I discovered my love of lifting weights and the amazing feeling of being strong both inside and out.
  • I’ve found that there is a whole new world out there in social media, of people sharing their stories and who are on a similar journey to me. All supporting one another. People who build you up not knock you down.

This week I am taking another step forward in my journey, a big step for me…………….. I am hopefully looking at becoming a fitness instructor in January 2019.  So this week I am mixing my exercise up a little and i’ve got a three-day pass for a local gym to try all of their classes and help me make a decision in what I want to teach.  I never thought I would be looking at this as an option, it’s the sort of job that I would look at and feel envious of people doing it. I could never be that fit, healthy, in shape or confident enough to do that. But that was the old me, and although I do keep having a bit of a wobble about it, I just know that I will give it my all and love every part of the process even if it does scare me to death somedays, deep down I know I can do it- it something that I’m excited about!

When you stop drinking or even if you’re trying to cut down its so easy to focus on what you’re giving up, but instead focus on everything you have to gain.  Think of all the things you want to do but haven’t had the confidence or self-worth to do them.  Alcohol feeds all your negative emotions, it enables you to escape your reality. By stopping drinking you create so much space to create a life you love and achieve things that you have only dreamt of in the past.

So now I understand the quote “I didn’t get sober to sit on the couch”  I have spent hours and hours sat on my couch sipping wine, and now I want to make up for that.  You don’t necessarily have to be signing up for mud runs or becoming a fitness instructor, you may want to write a book, learn a language, travel more, make a career move, make a relationship move even or just start your own blog??? The list of possibilities are endless! Write your list down of what you want to achieve and make that your motivation to stop drinking, to start or continue on your sober journey. There’s a whole new world out there for the sober you, stop letting alcohol hold you back!

If your following me on Instagram @lifitingweightsnotwine I will be posting my exercise challenge updates on there daily to keep myself and anyone else motivated and I apologise in advance for any future star jump pics!!!

Wishing you all a happy, healthy week ahead.

 Angie xx

Support Or Sabotage?….

Support Or Sabotage?….

How does your partner impact your sobriety? Are they positive and supportive or are they negative and destructive?

I do believe that how someone deals with their partners sobriety says a lot about their own drinking habits and relationship with alcohol. But their support or lack of it can definitely affect your success rate when kicking the booze.

Luckily my other half isn’t a big drinker.  He has always been able to drink in moderation, unlike me who didn’t know when to stop.  Now I’m not saying he hasn’t had blow outs and hangovers from hell but they are very few and far between.  So when I decided to give up he was very supportive, and since then he has been drinking a lot less himself.  It’s clear that I was the main drinker, the one who encouraged him to drink  alcohol more often so that I wasn’t drinking on my own.

So when I decided to stop, it was easy for him to cut down.  So say if we were staying in all weekend, he could easily just not drink, which in the early days was a huge support for me because it just removed alcohol from the situation and out-of-the-way of temptation.

Now if it was the other way round and he had decided to stop drinking and not me, I just know my drinking habits wouldn’t have changed. I would probably have ended up drinking more because I would be annoyed that he had stopped, if you know what I mean? And I am not sure how that would have worked in our relationship? So luckily for us it’s me that decided to be teetotal and not him!!

Since I set up my blog I have had several emails that mention lack of support from their partner being an issue.  And it must make it so difficult.  I mean when you’re having a moment of weakness you need someone to say ” don’t have a drink, you have come so far” you don’t need to hear “come on, who are you trying to kid, you will never do it, let me get you a drink!” Or words to that effect.

I’ve also had messages saying that alcohol was such a big part in their relationship that once it’s removed it leaves a gaping hole, a void, leaving people thinking ‘what can we do now?’

And it is true, if a lot of your time was spent socializing in the pub or having long, leisurely meals over a couple of bottles of wine, then yes you may need to get your thinking caps on and come up with some alternative date nights! Try things you’ve never done before, go to different places, just enjoy the time together, just the two of you (and if you’ve got kids most importantly the kid free time!!)

We don’t have date nights very often, possibly once a month.  The pictures above were taken last Friday night, our date night. We were planning on going to the cinema, however the film options were not very good so we decided on a walk at a beautiful seaside town close by.  It was a gorgeous night (the UK has had an amazing summer so far!) and we managed a 6k walk, then found a restaurant that served the best apple crumble and sat and had it with a coffee before we walked another 6k back to the car. As nights out go it wasn’t my wildest, but it was a really lovely night and we chatted a lot and reconnected with whats going on in our busy lives.   I would say a perfect date night, but I’ve got to keep it real and be honest – we argued and I sulked for the first ten minutes because my husband hates me taking all the pictures!! He’s not a selfie lover!! Ha ha!! Apart from that it was a fab night, and I would NEVER had done that if I was drinking, EVER!

Being sober for me just opens up so many other options for a date night, going to different places, cinema nights, walks and shopping! And it’s so much better than going to the same old pubs, getting drunk and talking the same dribble or arguing over nothing and waking up to remember none of it the next day!

So what’s your experience with your partner on your sober journey?  Are they supportive or are they sabotaging your sober attempts?  If they are ask them why? Could they have a problem with their own drinking, maybe encourage them to do it with you? Discuss what you can do with all the money that you will save!  It may be that they are just afraid of you changing, are you going to be a different person? Will you end up doing different things?! Well probably YES,  but that can be a good thing not a bad thing!

I know that being sober has made our relationship stronger in severaly ways:-

  • We argue a lot less.  When I was in that sort of mood,  after a drink I would argue about anything and just not let it go.
  • We get to do different things together on nights out and as a family as a whole.
  • I have saved us a fortune, we all know alcohol isn’t cheap!
  • And probably the best thing for my husband is that he has his very own personal taxi driver,  free of charge!!!

So if your struggling, sit and talk together.  Believe me,  stopping drinking will only benefit you and your realtionship.

I hope it’s a healthy week for you all!

PS ( to those who read my last post, and to the people who messaged and commented, to wish me luck,  I am so pleased to say I got the all clear yesterday and there’s nothing to worry about! Woo hoo!)

Angie x

See What Happens If you Don’t Give Up….

See What Happens If you Don’t Give Up….

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Are you sick of starting over?  Sick of yet another Day One? Yet another attempt to start a diet, eat healthy or kick the booze!

Before I stopped drinking for good I had a LOT of day ones!  I had been trying to stop drinking for around twelve to eighteen months before I actually quit.  I attempted Dry January and even tried to give up alcohol for lent once (it nearly killed me!).  But once I failed at it,  I would just convince myself I couldn’t do it and would feel so mad and disappointed with myself that I couldn’t succeed at what I was trying to do.  When I look back at it now, those unsuccessful attempts where my practice runs, which all lead to one day it just clicking in place and giving up for good.  So if you’re experiencing the same thing and you really do want to stop drinking because you’ve  gone a certain period of time and know how good it feels, then don’t give up, eventually you will have your last day one and stick with it for good.

Now I’ve got the stopping drinking part ticked off, but I feel like I have hit a plateau fitness wise!  i am struggling! Today is day 60 of my 100 day challenge and setting the challenge has definitely helped me be consistent with exercising everyday but I do feel like it has made me be more relaxed with my diet.  I’ve been thinking “well I have been exercising every day so why not eat cake!”  which is obviously counteracting my exercise efforts and I feel like I have hit a plateau.

So even though some days I have thought, what’s the point?  I know that giving up is not an option!  I have been looking at what I can do to mix things up a bit and get back on track.

Because I do a lot of my workouts at home, I looked into online programmes such as Kayla Istines and Beachbody but after looking into it I thought I would be paying for something that I have done and can do myself! I can get myself to that next level of fitness, I don’t need to pay a monthly subscription for someone to tell me what I already know!  After reading up on it I have found a book that’s come highly recommended and will hopefully give me lots of tips and information on taking my fitness to the next level and its ‘Thinner, Leaner, Stronger’ by Michael Matthews.  Full of training tips, diet information and what supplements to take, that will hopefully give me a fresh focus and get me out of this plateau.

One of my main aims is to get a six-pack (or I would be happy with 2-4 pack to be honest!)  After two children my core is definitely my weak area and this is what I want to focus on.  The old me would have given up, thinking what’s the point of trying to get into shape at 42?  But that’s the old voice that didn’t believe in me! Stopping drinking has definitely given me a new-found confidence,  and a belief that I can do this, its made me believe in myself!

If your following me on Instagram I will hopefully post some updates and before and after pics to see if my new plan is working, and of course I will share any tips and advice on here too!

Have any of you read this book? Or do you have any tips for when your fitness level hits a plateau?  Also how many day ones did you have before it finally became your last and you’ve kicked the booze for good? Lets help each other on this journey and see what happens when we don’t give up!

Hope you have a healthy and happy weekend!

Angie xx

 

Magic Mondays Not Manic Mondays!

Magic Mondays Not Manic Mondays!

Correct me if I’m wrong but Mondays very rarely get credit for being “good” days! I mean there has even been songs about how rubbish they are!

Mondays for me are one of the days I appreciate the most since I have stopped drinking, now they feel like one of the best days of the week. A fresh start, feeling recharged after the weekend and ready to tackle what lies ahead. They are one of the mornings, apart from Saturday and Sunday that I just really appreciate not having a hangover or feeling blah after a weekend of piggin out and drinking.

Rewind eighteen months ago and I used to dread a Monday morning. That feeling of dread would start on a Sunday night, around tea time, and I would be pouring another glass of wine to drown out that dread. I would start feeling anxious and just unable to cope with the things I had to do in the week ahead.

Now I still have the stress of things to do, but the anxiety has gone (90% of the time anyway!) And instead I spend an hour on a Sunday night preparing for the week ahead, planning my work, getting things in my diary and writing lots of lists! (I am definitely a list girl!). So I have still got the same amount of things to do, probably more now because I am generally doing more with my time now that I don’t drink, but my mind is just in a better place. I’ve not got the anxiety or the feeling of not being able to cope, and that is certainly down to me stopping drinking.

Monday morning was also the day I would start a crash diet, or crazy health kick after knowing I had over indulged all weekend. So I would set myself unrealistic goals including a strict exercise plan or start off the week starving myself. I mean you would have thought a woman in her forties would realise how that was gonna workout??? Yep by Wednesday I would be feeling like a failure and eating whatever, already thinking “I will start next Monday!”

Now my Monday’s are pretty much like every other day. I try to fit in whatever exercise I can, if I’ve a quiet ish day it will be a full weights workout like I did this morning, or if I have a lot on with work it will be a quick dog walk or ab workout. I will be careful with my diet and limit any treats if I’ve had a lot over the weekend but in general I will just be eating the same as I do on most days.

So now for me Monday’s feel good, I feel fresh and armed to face the week ahead. And I think what I could have got done all of those Monday’s I spent waiting for the day to finish because I felt so rubbish! They were just totally wasted days.

When I first stopped drinking I can remember looking forward to Monday mornings and wanting to skip up the school drive with the kids. But I didn’t obviously! Imagine how that would annoy someone who was feeling how I used to feel, not good! But inside I was skipping and loving these new Monday mornings that I had discovered. They were actually a huge motivator for me to not drink over the weekend because I loved the feeling of a hangover free Monday morning, and they still never get old.

It’s never too late to start, use today to chase your dreams and get closer to your goals whatever they may be! Wether it’s drinking less or stopping altogether, exercising more, eating healthy and getting in shape. Just start today!!

Have you any tips on how you prepare for the week ahead? Are your Monday’s totally different after quitting the booze? Any advice for others looking to do the same?

And I apologise in advance if you spend the rest of the day singing “just another manic Monday” because it’s been in my head all morning too!!

Hope you all have a happy, healthy Monday

Angie xx

Strong Is Definitely My New Skinny!

Strong Is Definitely My New Skinny!

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I just love this caption – “Strong is the new skinny!”

For me this is so true, after spending a lifetime wanting to be skinny (my role models were Kate Moss & Posh Spice ) and going on crazy diets, I have finally over this last year and a half changed my mindset.  I now want to be healthy and I want to feel strong both inside and out.

There has definitely been a shift in the media and female body images, I mean look at how many strong, healthy, realistic  role models are out there.  There are also a lot of fitness influencers out there too, and to be honest I would rather follow those on instagram than a celebrity anyway!

You only have to look on Instagram or Pinterest and there are so many motivational quotes:  ‘Sore today – strong tomorrow’,  Look like a beauty – lift like a beast’, ‘I’m not just strong for a girl –  Im just strong!’  All promoting strong, healthy women.  I love this and I hope this continues so that my girls grow up with this positive body image around them.  Its something that is realistic and achievable.

I posted recently about milestones and celebrating them in anyway you like, you can read it here at All Milestones Matter, Big Or Small………… So for my eighteen month sober milestone I treated myself to some new gym wear.  I have recently become an ambassador  for Just Strong Clothing, and I have to say I love their range and what their brand stands for.  They have created fabulous workout wear, and have numerous embassadors who are strong women, portraying a healthy lifestyle and image. You can follow them on Facebook and Instagram and they have an amazing community of women who are all just trying to be the best version of themselves, regadless of their shape or size they are just focusing on being strong both physically and mentally.  Imagine if all women focused on feeling strong, just think what we could achieve!

I have included the link below to visit their website and if you use my code ANGIEFAIR10 you will get 10% discount too!

So if you’re coming up to a special milestone, or just need an incentive to get back into working out or even just need a little retail therapy (like we need an excuse!), then have a look and treat yourself –  you deserve it!!

just strong clothing

Angie xx