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

 

My Girls – My Wake Up Call!

My Girls – My Wake Up Call!

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Here are three photos, the two on the left were taken a few years ago, the one on the right was in December 2017.  In all three photos I am smiling and happy, of course I am I’ve got the arms of my children around me!  Anyone who knows me knows that my girls are my world and for those who don’t know me, I am hoping you’ve picked that up from my blog and Instagram! Like most of us out there I have always tried to be a good mum, I have tried my best to do the right thing for my girls and that has always been the same, if I was drinking or not.  But there are a lot of ways that I now feel like I am giving my girls the best version of me and the best mum that I can be!

A lot of alcohol free experts state that if you are trying to give up alcohol for someone else then you won’t succeed, and  I’m not sure I fully agree with that?  I know for a fact that my girls are my motivation to stop drinking.  I want to be the best mum that I can be for them, I want to feel good all of the time,be healthy and full of energy for them, especially at the weekends when we have time to spend together.

The main thing for me is that they have my full attention whan they want it, well most of the time anyway!  We’ve all been there, a few glasses of wine down on a Friday evening and your ready to relax, your maybe trying to get the children to bed earlier or rushing their bedtime story to get down stairs to your next glass.   This doesn’t make you a bad parent it just means that you associate your down time and relaxation with a glass of wine, and that is easier to do when the kids are in bed.

It’s exactly the same when friends used to come around, I felt as though I would just go into wine world and leave the kids to it watching a dvd or playing.  This didn’t make me a bad mum,  it’s just that after 2-3 glasses the next glass became my priority.

My eldest, who was ten when I stopped drinking had definitely started to notice these times, when my attention was focused on the wine.  There are a few occasions that I will never forget and I honestly still feel bad about, when she said I hadn’t tucked her into bed properly or on a camping trip when she had been trying to get to sleep and I was cackling away taking rubbish outside of the tent! OMG cringe!  It was these times, that thankfully were few and far between, that I felt so so bad because I had upset her without realising it at the time.  She was growing up and starting to take notice, and I was noticing that she was noticing!  This definitely made me want to change.

Now I feel fully present for my kids, I am trying to give them the best version of me. We all know that being a parent is bloody hard work, sober or drinking but I definitely find that quitting the booze has helped me a lot.

I feel calmer, with no hangovers or feeling desperate to get a wine down me in the evenings at the weekends, I feel more chilled and patient with them (not all the time obviously!) I have energy to keep up with them and do what they want to do, most importantly I feel on their level of excitement, so for example at Christmas, Birthdays, or holidays, anything really that they are excited about, I am on that level with them.  Children don’t need alcohol to have a good time, they are genuinely excited about what they are doing not where the next drink is coming from.  The beauty of being sober is that I can now relate to that, I am with them on that level of pure joy and excitement for whats ahead!

I read a post on Instagram last week from a sober site that said sober parents are giving their children another option in life, and that is so true.  My girls can see that you don’t have to drink, there is an option to go out, have a life, celebrate Christmas, Birthdays etc and be sober.

So if you have got children just think they may be taking in more than you realise with regards to your drinking patterns, and if you change how you are after a few drinks they will possibly pick up on that.  Both my girls have told me that they prefer me not drinking, they say I am more “mummy like”  at the weekends!  And although I wont be turning into Mary Poppins anytime soon, I am so happy I have made the change when I did, whilst they are still young enough to want the more “mummy like” me tucking them in every night and not rushing downstairs for her next glass of wine!

Angie xx

 

 

A Sliding Doors Weekend…..

A Sliding Doors Weekend…..

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This weekend is what I call a ‘Sliding Doors’ weekend!  Does anyone remember the Gwyneth Paltrow, Sliding Doors film from 1998 (yes 1998! couldn’t believe it was that long ago when I googled it, OMG twenty years ago!!!!!)  Anyway the film is a story of the two lives of a girl, one if she missed a train and one if she caught the train.  Just that one small second of the doors closing on the train changed her whole life and you see how her life is so different, its worth a watch if you haven’t seen it!

Ok so your thinking “how is this linked to stopping drinking?” well I use the ‘sliding doors’ phrase a lot since I stopped drinking.  For me its a way of thinking how certain events, weekends, occasions, would pan out differently if I was drinking.  So for example if I have been  on a girls night out, had a fab time, a real laugh, good food, picked everyone up and dropped everyone off, got home safe,  updated my husband on the night, washed my makeup off (I love this part of being sober instead of waking up with it glued on me and my pillow!) I then settle into bed and think how different my night would have been if I had been drinking, that’s my sliding doors moment.

So this weekend is a pretty busy one, the sun is shining and it’s definitely a sliding doors weekend for me!

To start with we are out tonight with the kids, to celebrate my eldest daughter getting through her Year 6 exams this week, she’s been very calm through it all and quietly confident that she’s done well. What more could I ask for! We are planning to go for a nice meal, I will drive so no taxis to pay for or arguing over who’s driving and I’m looking forward to some lovely food and a good catch up with my hubbie and the kids after a hectic week.  Then not too late home because I want to be up early for a run tomorrow.  So if I had been drinking, it would be wine before going out, wine with my meal, I would probably have a huge pig out because my head would be saying – diet starts Monday! Then once the kids are in bed I would stay up later drinking and although I wouldn’t be falling over drunk I would definitely be feeling the effects and also tired, uncomfortably full in a carb coma and annoyed with myself for having no self control!

Saturday we are having people round to watch the Royal Wedding then planning on going to watch the football at the local pub (hubbies suggestion!)  So previously that would be a full day of drinking and “celebrating” into the early evening, with no other option to do anything else once you’ve been drinking most of the day!  But instead I’m still looking forward to a lovely weekend doing those things but I just feel like I can enjoy doing other things too.  So because my day isn’t focused on drinking I can also fit in my exercise, baking with the girls then we are planning a family DVD night later on and a takeaway.

Sunday I’m taking the dog to puppy training class early morning then a family day out somewhere for a walk, weather depending!  I mean can you imagine puppy training with a raging hangover,  no thanks!!  Mixed in with all of this is cooking, homework, feeding and watering people and keeping up with my 100 day challenge. So it’s easy to see how I don’t have time for wine and hangovers!

If I was still drinking I would still do the main things we have planed this weekend but I know I would be feeling rubbish, tired, waiting to have a glass of wine to make me feel better.  When I think of it now it seems crazy but I was stuck in that pattern for a long, long time.  Stopping drinking has made me get so much more out of life, I’ve just got this energy that makes me want to get up every morning and make the most of it – especially at the weekend,  enjoying precious family time that I want to treasure and remember!

So its only Friday afternoon………. if you know you will be spending the majority of this weekend  feeling rubbish after too much alcohol,  or you just know that you wont have the energy to do what you really want to do, just take a minute to think, have a sliding doors moment!  If you don’t drink, how much better will your weekend be? How much more energy will you have? What can you do with that time and energy? How do you really want to spend your weekend? Just think, you can maximise your weekend and better still waking up feeling amazing on Monday morning!

Have a lovely weekend and I hope the sun is shining for you wherever you are 🙂

Angie xx

credit to powerofpositivity.com for the pic x

 

The 80/20 Rule Works For Me!

The 80/20 Rule Works For Me!

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Last week I posted –  Eat like you love yourself…..and following on from that I’ve had  a couple of emails asking what foods I incorporate into my daily diet.  The main thing that works for me is the 80/20 Rule, where I eat clean and healthy most of the time but I don’t restrict myself, I keep it flexible and listen try to listen to my body.

As you all know I am not a qualified nutritionist or dietician but I certainly know what works for me.  In my previous post I explained how I have done a million diets in the past (which haven’t worked, no surprise there!) and now I have finally found a way of eating that works for me.

I try to stay as flexible as possible with my meals, and not get too obsessed with what I should and shouldn’t eat.  I definitely have an addictive personality, which I’m sure some of you reading this do too if alcohols a problem for you, so that’s why I try to stay flexible and not too strict.  I don’t count calories, I don’t restrict food groups and I have  never counted macros (I don’t even know what a macro actually is!)

So here’s just a general breakdown of my meals and what I eat in a normal week, as I said previously I’m not an expert and this is not an eating plan for people to follow but if you can pick up a couple of healthy alternatives from it then that’s a good thing!

Breakfast is normally a protein smoothie, made with frozen berries, protein powder, chia seeds and wheatgrass powder.  Or alternatively I will have protein porridge with all the same ingredients as the smoothie mixed into my porridge.  To be honest breakfast is all about speed and getting out of the door with the kids, washed, dressed with any extra school bags, musical instruments or tennis racquets they need that day!

For lunch I will make an omelette or sweet potato with tuna salad or I will make an open egg or tuna salad sandwich on rye bread with avocado.  Again what I have depends on how busy my day is, sometimes its left over tea from the night before!

For evening meals I always have what I make for the rest of the family (unless its pasta which I hate!)  There are two reasons why, one is that its easier and secondly I have two young girls who have a healthy attitude to food and are body confident (so far!).  I never want to make food an issue for them, I never want them to have food or body issues like I used to have.  So I will make a chilli, chicken stir fry, roast chicken – just a healthy as possible version of a family meal really. I cook a lot in my slower cooker too so its just less stress at a busy tea time!

I snack (a lot) on fruit, nuts, peanut butter on oatcakes, greek yoghurt and frozen berries, dark chocolate. I try to stay away from crisps or biscuits which I used to eat daily and once I start on those I can’t stop.  I’ve found by eating more regularly and staying full on healthy stuff,  it keeps me away from unhealthy snacking, that’s the plan anyway!

Fluid wise I make sure I drink at least two litres of water a day, I’m trying to get back into my green tea but at the moment my coffee addiction is getting in the way!

Weekends are much more flexible and we nearly always have a takeaway on a Saturday night, followed by treats and then most Sundays I do a big roast and a pudding.  What’s good is that I don’t feel guilty for eating the unhealthy stuff  because I know that most of the time I’m eating clean.

Quitting the booze has obviously also been a huge factor for me!  I mean just think of the extra calories you can save by not drinking! I would always skip the pudding for an extra glass of red, then probably come home and raid the biscuit tin anyway!  Not drinking means that I don’t have the weekend long food and drink binges and i am no longer repeating the “Sod it, i will start Monday!” scenario.

Most importantly, not drinking will enable your liver to work at its best.  An article in Women’s Health Magazine stated that excess alcohol can turn to fat in your liver and can raise the amount of fat in your blood, so its more likely to be stored in your body as fat.  And don’t forget after a couple of glasses of wine, all your good diet intentions go out of the window and who wants to do that morning workout with a raging hangover! So you can see how reducing your alcohol intake, or cutting out alcohol completely if that’s easier to do (for me it was) can help if you’re trying to lose weight.

Writing this has made me realise how much of a foodie I actually am now compared to when I was drinking! Just think of all those puddings I have missed out on for another glass of the same old red wine! Tragic!!!!!

Any questions or tips, then please comment or email me direct and  please find me on Instagram if you haven’t all ready, @liftingweightsnotwine

Angie

ps – oh and the meal pics above are taken when I was on holiday last month (my meals at home are normally just thrown on a plate!)  Lots of lovely fresh, healthy,delicious food, plus two puddings a day! (I put the token fruit with the puddings to make me feel better!!! 😉 )

 

 

 

 

Alcohol Free Drinks, Yes Or No?

Alcohol Free Drinks, Yes Or No?

At the start of my sober journey, my go-to drink was Becks Blue, I had to have a good stock in the fridge for the weekend ahead knowing it would stop any cravings or I would feel anxious and stressed if I didn’t have any in. The strange thing is I didn’t really drink a lot of lager when I was drinking alcohol, it was mainly wine or gin & tonic.

When I read Jason Vales book – Kick The Drink, he advises not to drink alcohol free drinks as they may trigger you to want the real thing. It’s probably the only piece of his advice that I don’t agree with, because for me the Becks Blue definitely helped, but I suppose different things work for different people.

As the months have passed, I haven’t needed the Becks Blue as much and I’m quite happy with a Diet Coke of sparkling water, but it always has to be in a wine glass though! I think a wine glass gives me the feeling of it being the weekend or a special occasion.

Last week I read a brilliant article in my husbands Mens Health Magazine, titled How To Party Like You Were Born In 1999. It’s basically saying how the younger generation drink a lot less now and that a quarter of adults under 25 are now tee total. Which is fab news! It goes on to say how young people are visiting dry bars where no alcohol is served and they are spending sober nights at dance exercise nights such as Ministry Does Fitness. It’s focusing on a healthy lifestyle and alternatives to getting leathered in your local pub, which is all really positive.

It also focuses on alcohol free drinks, and it’s this article that led me to DryDrinker.com. They have 100’s of non-alcoholic beverages on their site and I purchased a few for this Bank Holiday Weekend. We have two parties to go to and it’s just nice to take something along that looks more sophisticated than a bottle of Diet Coke.

I know in a lot of shops you struggle to find an alcohol free section, it’s normally a few bottles crammed on the bottom shelf! (Although I’ve found Booths have started stocking more). So it’s nice to have a wide selection so you can choose something for a special occasion, or just to treat yourself.

The article also stated that – just four cups of coffee a day can offset liver damage from alcohol by 80%, by reducing the build up of scar tissue. Now this is good news for me because I would say coffee is definitely my new drink of choice that I will not be giving up anytime soon!

So basically I would say if alcohol free drinks work for you and stops you picking up the booze then stick with it, and maybe look out for other alcohol free drinks to keep you on track. The link for DryDrinker.com is below.

I hope you all have some sunshine wherever you are, because it’s lovely here and that doesn’t happen very often!

If you have any tips or advice on alcohol free drinks or what’s helped you then please comment below!

Angie xx

https://drydrinker.com

Eat like you love yourself…..

Eat like you love yourself…..

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I’m guessing that if your reading my blog that you are looking at ways to be healthier, either by exercising more, stopping or cutting down on drinking, improving your diet or just looking for a little positivity and motivation!

If you are anything like me,  you will have tried a million different diets to lose weight, and probably you’ve also realised that diets don’t work! (its taken me until my 40’s to accept this!)  I have tried the Atkins Diet, Weight Watchers, Carbs Only Diet, No sugar Diet, and then the crazy starvation diets.  In the past I would just eat very little before a holiday or special event and then just binge, gaining what I had lost and more. Constantly yo-yo ing up and down, and repeating that pattern year after year, from seventeen to my early forties, how crazy is that!

Its only up until recently that I have got off the crazy diet rollercoaster and It definitely ties in with me stopping drinking.  Initially when you stop you do get sugar cravings and to be honest it was Christmas time when I gave up and  I just let myself  have all the sweet treats out there, and lots of luxury hot chocolates too (you know with a Cadbury’s flake and sprinkles!) Then after a few weeks the sugar cravings died down, I still have a sweet tooth whereas I never had before, I would much rather squeeze in another glass of wine than a pudding.  But now I’m a coffee and cake girl all the way!

So I have  had a few emails asking about what I eat and if I follow any particular diet.  i don’t follow any eating plan, I try to eat healthy, fresh food most of the time, all my meals I cook from scratch and I just try to eat whats good for me but also what I enjoy too.  There is a saying I have seen on Pinterest “When you start eating food without labels, you no longer count calories” and that is so true. So try thinking “Is this good for me?  How will I feel after eating it? Will it bloat me? Will it help my skin glow? Will I regret it or will I feel good afterwards? It’s amazing how just that small change will make a big difference!  I try to listen to my body too, so some days I will crave something sweet or a slice of pizza and i will have it, why shouldnt I?? But once you take away the restrictions of a diet or strict  eating regime you can really start listening to your body.

The main thing I found once I gave up the booze and got through the initial sugar cravings is that you no longer have the Saturday and Sunday all day binges, where you eat anything and everything to get through your hangover. I don’t think anyone wants fresh healthy food when they are feeling rubbish after drinking too much wine, I personally used to get really low blood sugar even after a few drinks and would feel faint and spaced out all day.  I would eat high fat and high carb foods- (crap basically!) to try to give me the energy boost I needed to get me through the day, once I was on that path any idea of eating healthy that weekend was just not happening! And then you start the whole “diet starts Monday” scenario, which I have done a million times.  I still believe in weekend treats and being flexible with your diet but once you’ve had the chocolate or a takeaway, make the next meal a healthy one, don’t blow it all and carry on for the weekend. It’s all about balance.

So if you know you want to eat healthier but don’t want to follow a strict eating plan, just listen to your body.  If you’ve cut down or stopped drinking you’ve already done one of the most amazing things you can do for your body and your health, so don’t stop there, look at ways you can improve your diet too.  Remember this is a new way of life, it’s not a diet, its hopefully for forever so do what works for you, make small but realistic changes that become your way of life and not just a temporary short-term fix, because as we know they just don’t work!

I am hoping to post more on food, recipes and healthy eating ideas.  As I’ve said previously I’m not a qualified nutritionist but I know what has worked for me.  By exercising regularly, stopping drinking, listening to my body and stopping the crazy diets, I am now at a weight that I am 100% happy with and I eat more food now than I have ever done. I nourish my body and mind with healthy good food and with treats when I want them.  I know by experience that this works – I just wish I had worked this out at seventeen, all that wasted time on stupid diets and missing out on all that lovely food!  But there’s no point in having regrets, just make a start today, make a change that your future self will thank you for and eat like you love yourself!

If you’ve any healthy eating recipes or tips let me know and I can share them on here or on my Instagram, I will be posting some of  mine on there too @liftingweightsnotwine.

 

Angie xx

 

 

 

 

 

Sober Celebrities ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sober Celebrities ⭐️⭐️⭐️

When people think of a sober person, I’m sure uncool, boring and grey are possible words that would spring into some people’s minds! I’ve got to be honest, for a long time that’s probably what I would have thought of a non-drinker. I mean how on earth could someone be fun on a night out without having a drink?!?!

Obviously now I feel very differently and know for a fact that being sober does not make me boring, I’m nearly 100% sure that my friends and family would back me on that! I’m still up for nights out even more than before and I’ve also got this new found confidence to try things for the first time, push myself out of my comfort zone, grab life with two hands. Thats surely less boring than going home early because I’m too drunk after spilling my wine everywhere and falling over and repeating the same stories again and again!

Now as for sober not being cool, I cant really comment on my level of cool, because that would make me so not cool!!!! But you only have to look at the long list of sober celebs to see that sober doesn’t have to mean uncool or boring.

The latest list I saw was in Harper’s Bazaar and it included over 50 famous faces, detailing why they didn’t drink and what there thoughts on alcohol were. I admit some of them I had never heard of but certain celebs definitely stood out ……..

  • Bradley Cooper
  • Eminem
  • Calvin Harris
  • Lana Del Ray
  • Naomi Campbell
  • Tyra Banks
  • Rob Lowe
  • Eva Mendez
  • J Lo
  • Colin Farrell

Some have never enjoyed drinking and have hardly touched the booze, whilst others have enjoyed it too much and have had to stop. A lot state they have gone sober because alcohol started to make them feel bad both mentally and physically, and I can definitely relate to that!

So being sober doesn’t have to be boring or dull, and if anyone disagrees with you or questions that then just point them in the direction of Samuel L Jackson, Calvin Harris or 50 Cent!

Hope you enjoy reading the list!

Angie xx

The full list can be seen here from Harper’s Bazaar:-

https://www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/latest/g11644970/celebrities-who-dont-drink-alcohol/