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

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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