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.

IMG_7789.JPG

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

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

Get Back To Being YOU!

Get Back To Being YOU!

 

IMG_4275

This morning I waved my eldest daughter off on her first ever residential school trip.  Her whole class is off the Lake District for five days of canoeing, caving, high ropes, barrel rafting and jetty jumping.  It sounds amazing!! Did I feel emotional when I kissed her goodbye at the coach this morning? yes, but I surprisingly didn’t even cry.  Her excitement for the week ahead was just so contagious I felt more excited than emotional! The whole class was just a bundle of bubbling excitement as they lined up to get on the coach, and I am so excited for her, yes of course I will miss her but she will be  having the time of her life!

I have mentioned in previous posts that since I have stopped drinking I feel as though I am on the same level as my children when it comes to being excited about events and occasions, it’s almost as though I have gone back to being a child again! (hence the picture!)

Jason Vale has a fab section about this in his book ‘Kick The Drink’ , he states:-

“When you stop drinking, you actually return to normal.  We never needed alcohol before we started drinking: the need arose afterwards.  I remember going to parties as a child and I didn’t need alcohol to enjoy myself.  I never feared Christmas or birthdays would be a disaster without alcohol…………. I never thought I would become so lethargic and tired that my main source of pleasure would come from a bottle……. When I was a child I never thought I would end up like the adults I saw.”

When I read his book, this really struck a chord with me, when did we start needing alcohol to have fun?

In the picture above the 7-year-old me is ready for a party, we only took pictures on special occasions like parties or holidays!  Can you remember just being totally excited for what lies ahead, seeing your friends, the games, the food, the party bag, you didn’t need to have a drink to enjoy a party!  Fast forward to my twenties and I wouldn’t have gone to a party if I wasnt drinking, gosh it would have been my idea of total hell, what socialize sober???

Jason Vale believes that alcohol creates the fears that that makes us drink in the first place.  So if you have low confidence, you drink to make you more chatty and relaxed, but it’s not you it’s the alcohol and if anything the next day you feel more withdrawn and anxious than ever.  But once you get into the habit of drinking, you feel as though you need it to have fun and enjoy yourself! I know for a fact that I drank more when I was unhappy with my body and poor fitness level. Drinking made me forget that I wasn’t feeling confident in how I looked, which is crazy because the calories from the drink and food binges that followed the day after, were doing nothing to help my body confidence and in fact making it worse.  It has taken me a long time to break away from this vicious cycle.

When you remove the alcohol you find yourself doing things that you really want to do, just like children do. What do you really enjoy doing? what makes you smile? As a child I was never still, I was always out on my bike, in the garden or on a friends farm and when I stopped drinking I wanted to go on this health kick and try to get in my best possible shape, have more energy so I could be an active mum and have an active life, like I used to have. I feel like I have found my lust for life again.  My next move is a career change and I am hopefully looking  at moving into the fitness industry, its very early stages yet but watch this space!

If you’re looking at stopping drinking or cutting down, firstly think what is making you pick up the glass in the first place?  If it’s to make you feel more confident, then work out why you lack confidence and work on that without the booze because it makes things worse in the long run.  Do you drink to de-stress? What’s making you stressed? Try treating yourself to a massage, reading a book, having a long soak in the bath with your favourite music.  Do you drink to just have fun? then seriously question what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with!! And when it comes to special occasions or holidays, these are fab, happy times anyway, do you really need to drink to enjoy them? If you haven’t tried these events sober, you will never know.  Dig deep and ask yourself, “Why do I need to drink?” “What made me start drinking?”

If you haven’t already read Jason Vales’s book I highly recommend it, it was definitely a game changer for me*, and it makes you see why you actually drink, in a totally different light! (*Along with Clare Pooleys Sober Diaries)

Now the house is very quiet, whilst my eldest is off spreading her wings and loving and living life, truly enjoying the moment! I’m already counting down the days until she returns and to hear about all of the things she got up to!! ( previously I would have used her being away as an excuse to have a drink every night this week, to take my mind off it! But not now, I am going to get through a list of jobs I have been putting off for months  then lose myself in Love Island every night this week!)

Credit to Jason Vale & Kiona LLanos for the quote.

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…..

IMG_3523 (1)

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/

 

Exercise – A Healthy Addiction!

Exercise – A Healthy Addiction!

IMG_3368 (1)

One of the reasons I started this blog was to document how my life has changed by stopping drinking and exercising more – hence the name!! But more importantly I hoped it would help anyone looking at making the same changes in their lives. Since I started blogging I have had a number of emails asking about my exercise programme, or how to get started. (All I can provide is advice based on my experience as I’m not qualified in this area! But hopefully it will help!)

I am certainly not someone who has always exercised, apart from playing netball at school, and having a 6 month period at a gym in my early twenties!  Exercise hasn’t been a big part of my life until recently! I was in my worst physical shape after having my two girls because being a mum was my priority (same as a lot of other mums out there), and it wasn’t until my youngest started preschool that I attempted to get myself back into shape.

To start off with I  began running, well jogging, well hyperventilating……. that just put me off and made me realise how out of shape I actually was, but it gradually got easier. Then a mum from school recommended the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred dvd, which started me off  using small hand weights. I was still drinking and my diet was all over the place but I gradually saw the weight coming off slowly. The problem was I would workout in the week, not drink most nights and not eat a lot most days, then by the time the weekend came around I would feel like I ‘deserved’ to drink and eat whatever I wanted, and not exercise – the weekend was my time off. Now this is fine and I totally agree with giving yourself a break and not being too strict with your diet but the problem was I would just feel so rubbish by Monday that it would take me until mid-week to get exercising and eating healthy again. I can see now that it was a crazy, vicious circle, but of course I couldn’t see that then!

So for me it was only when I stopped drinking that I saw a huge change in my energy levels and motivation to exercise.

About two years ago my friends boyfriend started his own personal training business and he introduced me to weight training.  I loved it from the start, lifting weights makes you focus on being strong, not skinny and that was a whole new way of thinking for me. I was still a bit hit and miss with exercising and would be committed for a few weeks then do nothing for a while. It was only when I stopped drinking that I started to exercise regularly. I started doing both weights and running and I began to see the change in my weight and body shape.  The main thing wasn’t what I was doing it was the fact that I was being consistent, there were no weeks off or hangovers that took over the beginning of the week and no weekend binges. Regular, consistent exercise and a healthy, balanced diet with weekend treats (sometimes daily treats!) is what has worked for me.

So am I addicted to exercise……? Erm I’m not sure really!! All I know is that it clears my head, lifts my mood, helps me deal with life better and I feel healthier than I have done in a long, long, long  time! Plus (and probably the most important) I eat more now than I have ever done!! Major bonus!

So if you’re trying to cut down or quit the booze, try to make regular, consistent exercise your focus. It doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous, just a daily walk or exercise dvd, just something to change your mindset and get you on track to being healthy and feeling fab!

And to anyone following me on the 100 day challenge, comment and let me know how its going? I’m going to be honest some days it has been hard for me to fit exercise in but I feel like I can’t give up now, so it’s keeping me on track! Hope its going well for you 100 day challengers – we’ve got this!!

Angie xx